Maplins CCTV, why they may not be the best option
One of the largest retailers of CCTV in the UK is Maplins, indeed it was from there several years ago that we bought the system which lead to the formation of CCTV42, we weren't overly impressed, felt we could offer a better service and put our money where our mouth was. Whilst they are well known and their products sell in reasonable quantities we strongly believe that there are much better places to buy CCTV from.
So what is wrong with Maplins? The biggest issue for us is they are not a CCTV specialist and do not have the knowledge required to advise on what will suit your needs. They carry a huge range of products from computers to radio controlled toys, disco equipment to weather stations. Their CCTV equipment is designed to a price and products often try to cater for all eventualities which means in reality they never quite hit the spot.
When you know what you are looking at it soon becomes apparent that their CCTV cameras are never going to live up to the sensationalist claims. As an example the effective ranges quoted are simply laughable.
Take the 4-9mm camera described thus: "Often criminals and other suspicious individuals can escape identification as they are just beyond the range of many standard security cameras that produce blurry or grainy images"... "you can clearly capture crystal clear images from up to 115 feet or 35 metres away".
The fact is that fully zoomed in the 4-9mm lens on that particular camera limits its effective range to approximately 10 metres or 30 feet, over 85 feet short of their 115 feet claim ! If you can identify someone at 35 metres with that camera I will stand naked in Trafalgar square!
Maplins tend to display their cameras in a way whereby you are only a metre or so from the camera in the shop's display. You can recognise yourself on the monitor so all is good. The problem comes when you fit the camera outdoors and your distances increase. All of a sudden you are reduced to a mere blob on the screen. No use at all for most CCTV applications.
When you understand the basics of CCTV the Maplins CCTV range throws up an awful lot of questions if you want a good quality CCTV system. If all you want to do is fit some cameras on the wall and be able to say you can see your house on the telly then its fine. But if you were hoping to get prosecutions and positive identifications at distances over 5 metres or so then you might end up being very disappointed.
The other problem with Maplins is obtaining technical support on more complex items such as DVR recorders. In their defence they carry a large range of recorders from a number of manufacturers so it would be unreasonable to expect them to know each one in intimate detail. You will also find that models come and go.
We only carry one brand of DVR which we developed over a number of months so we can fully support it. We have been asked to help a number of people set their Maplins supplied DVR recorders up for remote viewing over the internet and whilst we usually manage we don't know the product well enough to offer assistance beyond that. On a personal note I am also a bit shocked that Maplins still offer CCTV DVR products which have a maximum recording resolution less than D1 (4CIF). You wouldn't immediately spot it because you have to wade through a load of spurious specifications but the information is usually there if you know what you're looking at.
I am sorry if this page of the website all seems very bitter and some might think unprofessional but we are passionate about making sure our customers buy CCTV from an educated and well advised perspective. Simply fitting some cameras on the wall and plugging them into a DVR doesn't work. When you need to rely on the footage it won't provide the level of detail you require. We are an award winning company and that award wasn't some throw away trinket, it was a highly competitive and respected national award given by our industry in recognition of our work ensuring customers fitted worthwhile systems obtaining arrests and prosecutions as a result.