Home Automation and Security Systems Part 2, Camera’s
Buying you first CCTV system isn’t something to be undertaken without full consideration, as the costs can soon spiral to achieve your end goal.
11:54 14 June 2017
There are a lot of so called professional’s out there who have spotted a gap in the market and will offer to install you a CCTV system for a fixed fee. I recently had a quotation from a company who I shall not name, but for a 3 camera system they asked for £850 inc vat. When querying them about the brand, cabling, camera type and quality they hadn’t got a clue. The only certainty was the price £850 which incidentally was an estimate.
So where to begin?
•Identify what you are wishing to protect
•Do you want to record and for how long?
•What clarity of viewing/recording do you wish to have?
•What Camera Types should I use?
•Who will install cabling and configure?
Once you know what to protect you can proceed to select the camera resolution and recording storage duration.
Bandwidth and Storage
Bandwidth Consumption assuming per camera H264, 10fps, High video quality no further optimisation
1M Pixel (1280*1014) – Upload 2.12Mbps Storage 7 days 110GB
2M Pixel (1600*1200) – Upload 3.13Mbps Storage 7 days 220GB
3M Pixel (2048*1536) – Upload 5.14Mbps Storage 7 days 387GB
5M Pixel (2560*1920) – Upload 8.02Mbps Storage 7 days 483GB
As you can see the above figures put cloud storage beyond the reach of private individuals
•Traditional Analogue, low resolution low cost, run over Coax
•AHD analogue HD cameras higher cost than traditional, run over Coax
•IP Non POE all ranges of resolution, cheaper than POE compliant cameras
•IP POE camera all ranges of resolution
The selection of camera types is very important as it makes decisions on cabling which is a major part of your budget. I will always use IP POE, as it’s the most flexible and future proof. However these types of installation require a more experienced or at least better read person to enable a successful installation. They’re not zero configuration options. If this makes you fearful then go for an Analogue solution. These typically come as turnkey boxes and are plug and play.
Cabling choice, all camera types can be run over Cat5 or Cat 6 cablings. Even Analogue, for these you need to use Video Balun Adaptors (not expensive). When buying the cable, don’t be tempted with cheap indoor cable if running outdoors, it will degrade over time. There is special outdoor cable, 304m (standard box) is approx. £60 in lieu of £35 for indoor cable.
Choosing your Cameras and NVR
Simply you’ve chosen the number of cameras, resolution, know the recording requirements you can decide on Cameras and NVR. It’s best practice not to mix brands, but not 100% essential, just easier. A good brand such as Hikvision give good value for money and good quality. Look at the construction quality of the camera bodies and mounting, this is a good sign.
Generally cheaper doesn’t mean they wont work, maybe more difficult to setup, or Chinese English.
If you go down the route of your own NVR, look at NVR’s based on the Linux open Source project MiniNVR. This is simple and perfectly functional. When choosing these NVR’s you need to specify number of cameras, recording resolution (Mbps for all cameras) how many cameras do you wish to view at any time.
Cameras, providing the specification for your requirement, ensure they’re ONVIF compliant as this is one of the main standards the NVR uses to operate.
Viewing on your mobile can easily be setup on Android or IOS, either directly for the NVR or individual cameras. This is somewhat more advance so can be discussed later.
Camera Standard and Considerations
•ONVIF (similar to HTTP for browsers)
•Power, generally no issue with network cable (larger PTZ or large IR arrays exceptions)
•Coax cables can be substituted for CAT5/6 providing correct adaptors are used, useful when cabling is in place or wishing to carry Power and Audio
•Mixing Brands of camera and DVR is possible but not always successful even with ONVIF compliance
Reducing Bandwidth Consumption
•Have local DVR for the cameras, monitor remotely using lower resolution
•Select the lowest possible resolution and video quality
•Reduce Frame rate (10fps is sufficient)
•Optimise video codec (H264 most efficient)
•Use Motion detection
•Use Trigger zone with motion detection, this says only trigger recording when entering a certain location on image
•Similar rules as above
•Record limited hours of day
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