CCTV Surveillance FAQ's

Should I get a colour or black & white (B&W ) camera and monitor?

Your decision depends on two factors:

1) What will be the light conditions in the area to be viewed?

If the lighting conditions will be in low light areas such as outdoors, dim restaurants and dim factories, then B&W is best suited. If the viewing areas are well lit, then colour is acceptable. B&W cameras can produce image in low light conditions and colour cameras need more light for a good image. B& W cameras can also use the addition of infrared illuminators to help them see in low light conditions. Colour cameras cannot use infrared illuminators.

2) Do you need to recognize vehicle colours or whether a suspect is wearing a red or blue jacket for example?

If you need to see that a customer is at the counter, but you are not concerned about the colour of his outfit then a B&W system should suit your needs. If you are concerned that this same person needs to be positively identified and that could mean knowing the colour of his outfit, then a colour system is best.

How big should the screen size of the monitor be?

The bigger the monitor, the better it will be to view image details.

How many cameras will I need?

If you want to view more than one area, and you will need at least one camera per area. In some cases you may require two or more cameras in a area. A general rule of thumb would be that each camera should cover an area of no more than 30 feet if good identification is required.

When is a Dome Camera or a Bullet Camera used?

Dome cameras are commonly used when there is a need to mount cameras to the ceiling. The benefit is that you cannot see where the internal camera is facing and it provides an illusion of increased surveillance. Domes are less obtrusive and generally accepted in any environment. Bullet cameras are smaller and less noticeable but they are visually directional in their viewing and they are weather resistant for outdoor applications.

What is the PIR Motion Sensor on the top of the camera and when is it used?

The small item mounted to the top of the camera is a PIR ( Passive Infrared Sensor). It is a sensor that looks for and detects the movement of objects by sensing heat sources. The PIR detection feature is a user option. When the feature is active, the sensor will detect anything moving in front of the camera and the monitor will chime and bring that camera to full screen while at the same time triggering an output relay that can activate a professional DVR to start recording. This feature is great if you want notification and a recording of activity in front of any camera. Typical applications include unmanned lobby areas, receiving doors, back doors, restricted areas, and at times when the business is closed..

Should I use a Wired or Wireless System?

Where ever possible, wired video should be the first consideration as it produces a clearer image and is more reliable with less chance of interference. Wireless has it’s advantage in situations when video observation is only needed on a temporary basis or when the prospects of getting a wire between two points is next to impossible. Wireless is also excellent for simple observation applications when high definition is not an issue and when low cost solutions are the objective.