It wasn't long ago that CCTV was the preserve of the rich and famous or big business. Whole rooms with dedicated staff were set aside for the equipment, multiplexers, switchers, time lapse recorders and cameras the size of dog kennels. Occasionally someone would attempt DIY CCTV but they were usually electronics enthusiasts and a printed circuit board and soldering iron featured somewhere along the way.
Fast forward to the present time and things are a lot different. Fitting your own DIY CCTV system at home or work is not only a viable option but also well within the reach of even the most basic DIY'er. What has made this possible? Well a number of things, the cost has come down massively since those early days. A whole CCTV system can be bought for the price of a single component in the old set up. CCTV DVR recorders have come of age and now do the job of several components, they also manage their stored footage in a way which requires no changing of tapes or re-setting of memory hard drives.
CCTV cameras have come down in price, several new camera body styles have evolved which keep size down whilst still allowing for outdoor use. It's worth knowing that those huge outdoor weatherproof enclosures sometimes housed quite small cameras. Finally there have been developments in cable technology such as video baluns which allow cut to length cables to be made using nothing more than a pair of side cutters and a small flat head screwdriver.
There is some homework to do if you want to get the best from your CCTV system, but hopefully that's why you're here. Many people simply buy a CCTV in a box solution and whack the cameras up. The problem is they are rarely the right cameras and there are a number of potential problems but they are dealt with elsewhere on the site. Spend some time looking at our CCTV Camera advice
section to familiarise yourself with what to look for and things to consider.
As CCTV DVR recorders have evolved so has the need to set them up properly prior to use. In effect they are a small computer and so need to have a hard drive installed, be formatted, configured and so on. This can be a little daunting if you are unfamiliar with them but we make things easy by doing all that before we deliver providing you buy both DVR and hard drive(s) at the same time. We fit and format the hard drives then configure the DVR for you. This means the DVR arrives plug and play. You just have to run wires from the DVR to the cameras, (avoid wireless by the way for reasons mentioned elsewhere on the site.
When powering your CCTV system everything runs on 12 volts so there is no need to tap into the mains wiring. DVR recorders come with their own plug in transformers and there are a number of plug in camera power supply options. As already mentioned Cat5 cable can be used to do your cable runs with both video and power connections a simple case of screwing the wires tight using a small flat head screwdriver, no need for soldering irons or special cutters and crimping tools.
systems evolve they offer more and more features including the ability to see your CCTV system over the internet using either a computer or a mobile phone. Even these potentially complex to set up features are readily available to the DIY CCTV installer thanks to our remote set up service which deals with port forwarding on your internet router, getting round the problem of a dynamic IP internet service and even getting email alerts of movement triggered events. We can offer this by utilising screen sharing technology where one of our IT technicians shares your computer screen over the internet during a live one to one session.
Many people who talk to us think they have to use the likes of ADT to install a CCTV system but are put off by the cost. It surprises them not only to learn that they can save a substantial amount of money but that the quality doesn't have to suffer. We might even go so far as saying you could have a better system due to the fact you will have a sound understanding of CCTV and be able to choose cameras which are right for the job. Quite iften the big companies fit generic cameras with too wide a field of view resulting in little detail being recorded.