Here are the answers to some of the common questions we receive from clients who are looking at standard definition or analog CCTV systems.

You may see standard definition CCTV referred to SD (standard definition), traditional, conventional, digital or analog (or analogue) CCTV. All these terms usually refer to the same CCTV technology.

An analog CCTV surveillance system is made up of:

  • Security cameras
  • A DVR (Digital Video Recorder) with a hard drive which will record and allow playback of the video footage
  • A monitor (or other option) for viewing the live and recorded footage
  • Cabling to connect the CCTV cameras to the DVR and the system to power

Is there an analog CCTV camera that will record in color at night?

No. All security cameras with infrared will record in color in the day and black & white (or monochrome) at night.

Should I use a low light true day/night CCTV camera or one with infrared for the best image at night?

It depends on the environment, where the security camera will be mounted, and how big an area you would like the camera to monitor.

If the entire area you want to monitor is well lit from multiple light sources then a low light CCTV camera will likely capture the best picture. In comparison, infrared illuminators (often built into the camera housing) may not have enough power to light the entire area. Using a standard high power illuminator can put out too much IR (infrared) light close up to the camera washing out the image or creating glare. Technology such as Hikvision’s Smart IR help alleviates this problem by reducing power to the IR illuminator as the subject approaches the camera. This dramatically reduces glare and allows the use of higher power illuminators.

If the area is relatively small or indoors IR illuminators often work well as the IR will reflect off the walls and floor lighting the room up.


How do I view the surveillance footage?

The security cameras are all connected back to the DVR which records the surveillance footage. The DVR can connect to any computer monitor or to the AV input on your TV. If you want to view the cameras on a dedicated monitor we recommend a 4:3 aspect ratio monitor otherwise the image will be stretched.

You can also view the cameras remotely via almost any internet connected device including your laptop, iphone, iPad or smart phone. Your device will need to be configured for this. Please note that you cannot plug your laptop directly into the DVR to view the video because the DVR needs to connect through your computer network.


How far away can the security camera be from the DVR?

The maximum distance a cable length can be run between an analog camera and a DVR depends on the type of cable you choose.

We use commercial grade UTP (CAT5/6) network cable in all our installations which allow video to be sent several kilometers if using active baluns or 300-400m using passive baluns. It has the added advantage of being thinner and easier to run and also means if you want to upgrade to IP cameras at a later date we can use the same cable. UTP cable is less prone to interference than traditional coax cable.

If you are purchasing product from us to install yourself, or using your own electrician or installer, we have a number of options. You may prefer to use CCTV combo cable which has a coax and twin core power cable in one outer sheath. Our commercial grade cable is available in 100 metre rolls and is suitable for runs of up to 400 metres. Our economy cable rolls are suitable for up to 80 metres. We also have a range of pre-terminated (with BNC and DC power plugs included) in 10m, 20m and 30m lengths.

How do I keep the CCTV cameras recording if there is a power cut?

A UPS or Uninterruptable Power Supply can be installed as part of the CCTV system. This battery back-up makes sure the security cameras can keep running if their is a power cut. It also acts as a surge protector and regulates power supply to the hardware reducing the risk of damage from electrical spikes. A UPS is a cost effective addition to your CCTV set-up.

What are pixels?

Simply put, pixels are dots. The number of pixels, or dots, in an image is what is described as the resolution of an image.

The more pixels that are used to create the image the cleaner and crisper the image quality.

For example a 600TVL security camera has a resolution of 795X596 pixels. This means the image has 795 dots horizontally and 596 dots vertically, making a total of 473,820 dots in the image.

The number of pixels in the image directly affects the quality of the image especially in an application where detail is important such as face ID shots. Industry best practice allows 450 x 450 pixels to cover a 1 square meter area when used in a high detail application. So if you want to use an 600TVL camera to get ID shots for example of customers entering or leaving your retail shop it is important that the camera only cover an area of about 1.5m wide (eg a doorway) to get useful images. An area any larger than that will mean a poor quality image that is difficult to positively ID someone. Position of the camera and lens choice are also important as the further away from the camera the more zoom is required to keep the field of view down to the 1.5m wide target size.

How do I get a high resolution image from my CCTV camera?

The resolution of an analogue security camera is usually represented by how many horizontal TV lines (TVL) it has. A 420TVL camera is low resolution of 500X582 pixels whereas a 600TVL (795X596 pixels) or more will provide a higher resolution image.

However it is important to know that the maximum viewing and recording resolution of an analogue surveillance system is determined  by the DVR not the camera. If your DVR only records at CIF resolution (352×288 pixels) connecting a 600TVL camera will not improve the resolution as the DVR is only recording at the lower CIF resolution.

For true high resolution images we recommend looking at a HDCVI or ideally IP systems.

What does the Lux measurement of the camera mean?

Lux relates the energy per unit area falling on a surface to what the human eye can see. The light sensitivity of a camera is measured in Lux and indicates to what light level the camera will be able to record to.

  • Direct sunlight is 100,000 – 130,000 Lux
  • Daylight is 10,000 – 20,000 Lux
  • An overcast day is 1,000 Lux
  • An office is around 200 – 400 Lux
  • Twilight is 10 Lux
  • Full moon is 0.1 Lux
  • Quarter moon is 0.01 Lux
  • No moon in a clear night sky is 0.001 Lux

More and more of us are switching on the benefits of CCTV security systems. In the UK it is now estimated that there are more cameras per person than any other country in the world.

In 2015, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Bernard Hogan Howe promoted the use of CCTV, saying that cameras should be installed by homeowners and businesses to help detectives solve crimes.

Aside from the obvious advantage of being able to monitor your premises, what are the benefits of using a CCTV system?


Want to know more about our CCTV systems? Talk to an expert.

A CCTV (closed-circuit television) system allows the use of videos cameras to monitor the interior and exterior of a property, transmitting the signal to a monitor or set of monitors.


Deter criminal activity

Outside of being able to monitor your premises, CCTV cameras as deterrents is probably one of their most recognized benefits.

Just like seeing a mounted alarm system, an intruder seeing cameras may decide that it’s easier and safer to move elsewhere. It’s much better to prevent intrusion than dealing with it after it’s occurred.

“Most criminals are pretty disorganised, they don’t think about it. The reason the cameras are high is two-fold. One is to keep it out of harm’s way.”

One study found that using CCTV in car parks resulted in a 51% decrease in crime; in public transportation areas a 23% decrease in crime; and in public settings, a 7% decrease in crime. Even the lowest figure, 7%, is a significant improvement.


Improved home insurance rates

By deterring criminal activity, CCTV security systems can reduce your home and property insurance costs. You are less of a target, so the risk is lowered, which means the price of your insurance can decrease too.

“If you’re the victim of burglary and your home isn’t properly secured, you may find that your home insurance provider could question your claim and refuse to reimburse you for any loss.”

As well as being less of a target, CCTV offers evidence towards insurance claims that you may not have had otherwise. The more evidence you have to support your claim, the better, proving beyond doubt the circumstances surrounding your claim.

Find out more about how security cameras can potentially reduce your home insurance costs.

Peace of mind

A camera system can provide people with an increased sense of security and reassurance, particularly in areas where the crime rate is high.

Many of the more sophisticated models can be wireless, meaning they can be viewed and monitored from your smartphone or tablet. This gives you the ability to check in and review your premises at the click of a button, so your home security is always in reach.

“As importantly, you get a whole shot of what happened at the event: What did they steal? Did they use a knife? You get all that. But more relevant today is a face. That’s what we need.”

It can act as a comfort blanket, giving you the freedom to get on with your life, confident that your property is being watched.



Protecting your home or business isn’t as complicated or expensive as you may think. Modern security systems aren’t just for massive corporations. A modest initial outlay will buy a set up tailored to your requirements, help to protect people, and prevent costly theft or damage.

The technology is easy to understand, simple to use, and cost-effective to maintain. Don’t wait until the worst happens. Thinking ahead now will save you a lot of money and stress in the long run.

One of the most cost-effective ways to provide security in the workplace is with CCTV Security or Video Surveillance Systems. The highly advanced technology of modern security cameras allows businesses to lower cost and risk by protecting their assets with continuous and seamless monitoring of their facilities. These relatively inexpensive cameras have mostly replaced expensive security guards while drastically increasing the reliability and accountability.

Here are ten reasons why CCTV systems are crucial and extremely necessary for businesses today:

1. Reduce Cost and Risk

CCTV security systems prove to be amazing investments from the day they are installed. Full view of your premises, real-time recording and remote online access by a manager lower your risks and prevent costly incidents such as burglary, fire, vandalism, etc.

2. Prevent and Deter Crime

Criminals target buildings that lack some form of monitoring. The very presence of CCTV cameras is enough to deter potential criminals. With surveillance access, employees can also take the necessary action to reduce crime risk and alleviate the criminal source quickly and efficiently.

3. Fool-Proof Coverage

A well-designed CCTV infrastructure is practically impenetrable and can provide 100% coverage. Multiple cameras reduce blind spots in addition to keeping an eye on the most vulnerable areas of the property. Also, the risk of human error (like the guards being pre-occupied with other things) is practically eliminated with a full-coverage surveillance system.

4. Reduce Property Insurance Premiums

Because of reducing the likelihood of break-ins and fire hazards, properties that have been installed with security systems have been given significant discounts in insurance premiums.

5. Increase Customer’s confidence

Banks and shops equipped with CCTV cameras give the customers a sense of security and safety. The customers feel more secure, which ultimately enhances consumer confidence and trust in your business.

6. Easy to implement

Modern CCTV Surveillance Systems are easily installed and implemented. Just plug-and-play! You don’t even need to worry about integrating your current security system with your new one. You can complement your existing security system with a new one.

7. Keep Your Employees Honest

CCTV cameras on the outside prevent break-ins by outsiders, but by having them installed inside your business you can monitor product, assets and other vulnerable areas of your facility. Ultimately, it will discourage poor behavior by company employees. Even if something happens, the records can prevent false accusations and trust issues among staff.

8. Encourage Good Behavior

CCTV cameras help in creating discipline among employees and customers alike. Surveillance systems encourage both employees and customers to be on their best behavior.

9. Prevent Safety Incidents

In order to reduce any potential dangers to your personnel, it’s crucial to install CCTV cameras in high-risk areas (like where fires can break out). Properly selected cameras can prevent potential damage because emergency measures can be taken immediately with careful monitoring.

10. Assist Law Enforcement

By having CCTV recordings of a crime, law enforcement agencies can use the footage and release photos/videos of the culprits to the public. Having records of the suspect can make a huge difference when it comes to making an arrest and getting dangerous criminals off the street!