CCTV accessory buying guide
Once you have selected your DVR recorder and CCTV cameras you will need to consider things like cables, power supplies, connectors and so on needed to complete your CCTV system. In this CCTV accessory buying guide we are going to talk about some general things to think about when choosing products and also specific things to consider when looking at particular items.
Compatibility of parts within a CCTV system
One of the most frustrating things we found when sourcing CCTV products was the number of times we ended up trying to connect two items together only to find plug A wasn`t compatible with socket B and socket B only worked with plug C if it was fitted upside down.
All our accessories are designed to be compatible. We achieve this by using industry standard fittings which also helps to future-proof your CCTV system and ensure any upgrades are kept simple.
We love plug and play.
Make sure things are designed specifically for CCTV
Where necessary we ensure all our CCTV camera accessories are designed specifically for the job. We have always favoured going directly to the manufacturers and seeking their advice rather than taking what ever the wholesaler had going cheap that particular week.
The DVR hard drives we supply are a good example of how we like to work. There are any number of different types on the market, even within a single brand. DVR recorders used in CCTV systems place very heavy demands on their drives and so it's essential not to use standard computer drives or domestic AV drives which expect to be switched off overnight even though they will fit and function for a while.
We are in constant discussions with companies such as Western Digital to ascertain which drives best suit our applications. They provide drives for us to trial ensuring there are no product compatibility issues, particularly when installing multiple larger drives. We want to supply the right product not something that happened to be good value at the wholesalers that month.
All CCTV DVRs output their signal using BNC connectors that then needs to be plugged into your monitor. Normal flat panel televisions don't have BNC inputs. To get around this, we have our BNC to SCART adaptor
and our BNC to phono adaptor
to allow you to plug the DVR into a normal television. Modern flat panel televisions are more often than not built as widescreen models. When you view your CCTV cameras, you will either have black bars down both sides of the screen, or you will have stretched images that don't quite look right.
In some installations, either space is at a premium - there is not enough physical space to fit the adapters to the television, or the correct aspect ratio of 4:3 is desired. We have sourced some very reasonably priced CCTV monitors
that have the BNC connections built in and one also has audio capabilities too. For reference, our 17 inch CCTV monitors have the same effective area as a 21 inch widescreen television when viewed in 4:3 aspect ratio. This size is more than suitable for a 16 camera CCTV System and is what we use in the office here.
With our power supplies we have worked to ensure they don't just cover the demands of the cctv camera
, they exceed them. Where many firms supply 0.5, 0.6 or 0.7 amp transformers as their standard stand alone single camera supply we supply 1amp units as a basic single camera CCTV power supply, more than enough for any camera on our site. It also means we stick to our compatibility promise, you don't have to worry that you're buying the wrong power supply, cable etc. They all work with each other. We also display each camera's power requirements clearly in its description.
In spite of reading this CCTV accessory buying guide there are times when customers make an incorrect choice. Just to be safe, if we think there is anything odd about your order or we are worried you might have forgotten something, 8 cameras but only 7 cables for example, we will give you a call before dispatching your order. We don't just bung everything in a box, whack on a courier ticket and chuck it in the back of the van !
As well as this guide we also have a CCTV DVR recorder advice
page and a CCTV camera advice and buying guide