Wireless CCTV Camera Systems
Each week we speak to a lot of people planning CCTV systems. No two conversations are ever the same but the subject of wireless CCTV and in particular wireless CCTV cameras often comes up. In theory it would seem to be to be the ideal solution, no wires to run means installation times are reduced, so why is it then we don't sell wireless CCTV ?
Before you buy wireless cameras or a wireless system read this.
Generally speaking wireless CCTV is not the answer for a number of reasons. Firstly it isn't actually wireless, you still need to power the cameras via cables. Wireless cameras tend to be fairly low quality predominantly aimed at the lower end of the DIY market. They have a limited choice of lens options and chosing the correct lens is the single most important factor in determining the overall quality of your system. Read our camera buying guide to understand what you need to consider when looking at CCTV cameras.
The wireless link it's self can also cause problems. A lot of other devices share the relatively narrow frequency bands available in the UK. Wireless routers which stream the internet around your home share the same 2.4GHz frequency of many wireless CCTV systems for instance. Microwaves, baby monitors, bluetooth devices, structural building components, cordless telephones, walls and other solid objects are just some of the things which can get in the way of a potential signal.
5.8 GHz wireless transmission methods sometimes suffer less interference than 2.4 GHz products but that is changing as more and more devices switch to the higher frequency. The higher frequency tends to be blocked more readily by solid objects such as walls. Whether you choose 2.4 or 5.8 GHz there is one thing which is unavoidable and that is the power limit imposed on unlicensed wireless devices in the UK. Keep this in mind if you ever watch a demonstration of wireless CCTV technology, was it made in the UK using unlicensed equipment or overseas where no such limitations exist?
There are wireless solutions which do work but these tend to be specialised professional licensed systems which are expensive, the wireless link alone costs more than a typical system from ourselves.
A wired solution will always give the best results, keep in mind you only have to install it once. CAT5 cable when used in conjunction with a simple pair of passive video baluns can transmit video signals up to 300 metres without deterioration. Switch to active baluns and that distance increases to an incredible 1,200 metres far in excess of any unlicensed UK wireless Camera.