Buyers Guide - CCTVAustralia


Please go through our buyers guide to find out more information

What are the different types of CCTV?


Currently there is 6 main technologies that are mainstream on the ever expanding CCTV market which is D1 CCTV, 960H CCTV, HD-CVI CCTV, AHD CCTV, HD-SDI Digital CCTV, IP Digital CCTV. Sounds confusing ? Please see the main 5 technologies below.


D1 Analogue CCTV

Analogue Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) systems provide cost effective video surveillance with a wide range of options. CCTVAustralia offers a wide variety of analogue video solutions to fit the most meager budget. The analogue systems we offer are considered reliable due to our product testing & knowledge. Picture quality-Analogue CCTV is termed as D1 which is a phrase for 704 x 480 resolution


Cost – Analog systems generally have the lowest cost for most applications but is limited by it’s resolution.

Cameras – More variety of cameras from infrared (IR) to standard domes to fit every need. Cameras can be mixed and matched from different vendors without compatibility issues.


Proven – Analogue is a time tested and proven solution for video security. It has been the standard for many years and is widely used around the world.



Is the latest advancement in CCTV technology it is termed as the next step up from D1 resolution being 704 x 480. 960H CCTV is still classified as analogue but has 30% more resolution than normal CCTV being 960 x 480 in resolution. 960H is a newer CCTV technology that benefits the customer who still has a budget in mind. 960H will give you that bit extra when it comes to resolution if you are not satisfied with the standard D1 CCTV picture. Please take note that 960H cameras will need a 960H DVR to utilise the extra resolution.


Picture quality-Analogue CCTV is termed as 960H which is a phrase for 960 x 480 resolution


Cost – Analogue 960H systems generally have a lower cost for most applications and is 30% better than standard CCTV.


Cameras – More variety of cameras from infared (IR) to standard domes to fit every need. Cameras can be mixed and matched from different vendors without compatibility issues but take with caution the DVR must be a 960H DVR to see the full benefit of this technology.


Proven – 960H being a newer technology is an advancement of standard CCTV using the analogue principal



Analog High Defintion which has been officially released at the end of 2014. AHD is the newest technology advancement by utilising Analog resolution to the next level of Megapixel Clarity being full analog High Defintion video in a surveillance system. The technology of AHD is to have high definition video using digital TV (DTV) transmission. This technology is now the next step up from 960H as the Cameras & DVR can guarantee the resolution of 720P which is 1 to 1.3 Megapixel cameras in this new format

Where do I start when choosing CCTV?

Before starting to compare systems, sit down and consider your CCTV needs carefully. First, consider what you want to monitor. General comings and goings? Vehicles? Do you want to see faces, merchandise, crowds? Once you decide what you want to see, choosing components will become easier.


Be aware that there is different grades of electronics and that if you are serious about implementing a long lasting quality CCTV System stay away from the cheapest is best options as they are more than likely made in a Sweat Shop somewhere in Asia. You the customer can have serious consequences such as overheating, catching fire, failing power supplies, footage not recording at certain times cameras overheating cameras just stop working just to name a few problems.


Next decide if you want Professional Grade equipment which is made for performance & preferable to Consumer Grade equipment which is made for price. Quality can refer to both how detailed the image is and how fast the frame rate is. Frame rate is simply a measure of how many individual pictures make up the video. If you are still a believer in Consumer Grade CCTV which is specifically designed for a pre-selected price range then you will be purchasing Low Grade Electronics.


Think about how your system will be remotely accessed. Will you simply record at all times, and only review the tape when a problem occurs? Or will you have a dedicated employee watching for trouble? Also, with multiple cameras, you have the option of connecting each to its own monitor, or combining multiple images onto one monitor. A wise choice is to allow the system to record at all times.


You should also decide whether your priority is to deter potential crimes or to catch perpetrators. Both can be important, but your priority will influence your purchasing decisions. If you are more interested in deterring certain activities, large, visible cameras are your best bet. Trying to catch criminals on a DVR Recorder without them being aware of it requires hidden cameras, which cost more both for hardware and for installation. If your monitoring target is internal, you run the added cost of having to hide and secure the recorder and monitor as well. as a general rule most business owners will show their cameras to the public & staff as a pre-caution.


There’s a lot of choice, and technical talk which can be confusing, but as an important point you should really use a licensed security company & installer to make sure that your future system is installed correctly. At CCTVAustralia we are happy to discuss these options and help you chose the right solution for you – please call us on 0447 259 986 or fill in our online quote form and we will be happy to help.

Why should I have CCTV?


The aim of CCTV is to act as an extra deterrent (Burglary tends to be an opportunistic crime), to identify and deter offenders who are targeting specific property and, in the case of external remotely monitored CCTV, to stop potential intruders by issuing an audio warning before they attempt to break into the building.There are some situations where an alarm isn’t suitable. We have clients who use CCTV to protect sites where valuable equipment is kept outside (e.g. building sites, garden centers), sites with extensive grounds such as golf course etc.

It`s often the case that when someone knows that there is no CCTV at a premises they can get mischievous thoughts in their head creating a situation which may arise that can give them the opportunity to take whatever they feel should be rightfully theirs. Lets face it we live in a ever changing world where people have habits such as Poker machines or they simply have no control about their income and waste it as fast as they get it. This can create a Mentality where society owes me a living and I should have what I want attitude. There is a Myriad of reasons why people think they can get away with theft but as history shows us this has been happening ever since mankind has existed so lets get serious and stop the I trust everybody attitude.
Here are some reasons CCTV is used


• To improve community safety
• To help protect shrinkage in your business
• To help protect against false insurance claims
• To help deter crime and detect crime
• To help reduce the fear of crime
• To reduce the threat of criminal activities
• To help protect your belongings & possessions
• To assist the Local Authorities in their enforcement and regulatory functions
• To assist in supporting civil proceedings
• To assist with any injury claims
• To watch all transactions of your Money
• To stop ex relationships from harassing you
• To stop opportunistic people with theft

Video Surveillance Provides Evidence – Budget cutbacks to police departments everywhere, mean reduced resources to respond to and investigate crimes. What this means for the homeowner or business owner is greater emphasis on the use of security cameras to assist police. For example, if you report a break-in at your store but you don’t have any video surveillance to show to the police, they may be less likely to follow up with an investigation because of cuts to the budget. This is becoming the case more and more! Security camera footage can provide that critical piece of evidence that will encourage the police to put resources into an investigation. Most police departments will be appreciative of the fact that you took the time and money to install a security camera system, and they’ll be more likely to investigate if there is good video surveillance footage to help them solve the crime.

How Clear are the Pictures?

How clear are the images?
having different types of technology CCTV picture clarity images vary from grainy to very clear here are the resolutions below


Normal D1 CCTV = 720 x 480 old CCTV cameras No longer being made.
960H CCTV = 960 x 480 No longer being made.
AHD CCTV= 1280 x 720 and now up to 8 megapixel.
SDI CCTV = 1600 x 1200 and now up to 4 megapixel.
IP CCTV = varies 1280 x 720 to 2560 x 1920 and now up to 8 megapixel and 12 megapixel now being made.

Why do i see grainy pictures on TV from a robbery? its simple the equipment used is either older analogue technology or is a very cheap system with sub standard electronics inside the recording of the Cameras & DVR.As you can see the higher the resolution the clearer you will see the image. We are only showing up to 2 megapixel cameras there is also 3 megapixel, 5 megapixel & Just released 10 megapixel IP cameras on the market now imagine how much more you can zoom in and what the picture clarity will be. Dont play with Toys protect yourself, your family and your assets with Quality CCTV.


Gone are the days of blurry vision with old technology. Today’s CCTV systems are fully equipped for facial recognition with software zooming in capabilities which can see the small details

How many CCTV cams can I have on a system?


The amount of CCTV cameras used on a system all depends on the technology that you will be using.

Normal CCTV can go up to 16 cameras and now 32 cameras as the DVR recorder being used will have 16 or 32 channels giving you the opportunity to place as many cameras in the system.


AHD CCTV which is a newer version megapixel technology also currently only goes up to 16 cameras but you can double over the DVR meaning you can have two dvr`s with 16 channel stacked on top of each other.


SDI DVR’s as they also have a limitation of using 16 cameras on their DVR’s but you can also double over the DVR meaning you can have two dvr`s with 16 channel stacked on each other. our current HD-SDI commercial range have the option of also connecting our external E-Sata storage device which can give the capabilty of recording another 16 terabyte of footage on each DVR this device comes rack mountable.


IP Network systems are much more scale-able in regards to the amount of cameras that can be used as manufacturers of IP NVR’s now have the capabilty of going up to 100 cameras using proper storage systems for all the recording to be stored. This technology is generally the best for much larger scale applications due to the fact that the infrastructure of IP is made for these type of installations.


AHD CCTV can use 4,8,16 cameras on a DVR can be doubled over to make 32
SDI CCTV can use 4,8,16 cameras on a DVR can be doubled over to make 32
IP Network Systems can use 4,8,16, 32, 64, 128 depending what system you use.

Can I have a covert camera installed?


Q: What is the difference between covert and normal camera equipment?


A: A Covert camera is a hidden camera and cannot be easily detected, and a normal cctv camera is usually a fixed camera system in full view that not only records the selected area but also acts as a visible deterrent to potential offenders.


Q: What details do I need to worry about regarding the installations?


A: If you decide you want to install covert cameras you will have to make sure that the installer is given a specific time where he can install the camera without anybody seeing it


Q: Where will you place the camera?


A: A CCTVAustralia installer will determine the exact placement of the camera at the time of the site quotation and may review the location when it comes to installation.


Q: Who reviews the recordings, and how much time does it take?


A: You can review the recordings yourself or a technician can do it. The amount of time it takes depends upon the amount of activity on the recording.


Q: where can i put covert cameras


A: This is a good question but to make things clear that certain areas are illegal to have cameras such as Toilets, Change Rooms, Fitting Rooms, Private Offices (without consent)


Covert cameras although can be very useful in some situations is not as popular as you think. The advantages of having clearly seen CCTV cameras is a much more bigger deterrent showing the public or staff that everything is being recorded.

What is a DVR digital video recorder?


A DVR is the recording device which stores all the images onto internal Hard Drives for up to 4,8,16 or 32 CCTV cameras and view all 4,8,16 to 32 on a display.

Recordings can be played back from all the cameras or one at a time. the owner of the DVR can go back to any time in the recording and playback a recording in that time period desired


The recorded images can record for as long as necessary depending on the size of the hard drives being used in the Digital Video Recorder.


Many DVRs can be controlled, viewed and played back over the Internet using an Internet Browser or a Client software. This allows you to view your premises from anywhere in the world.


A DVR must work in sync to create a robust and reliable piece of equipment, designed to capture those unforeseen circumstances. Creating a DVR solution requires a dedicated team of software and hardware engineers, database programmers and system designers, plus support personnel. Since we are talking about security where there is no margin for error we use only the best technology, and latest software for our DVR and our video cameras. These applications take years to develop and debug.


It would be advisable to invest in a quality DVR recorder as there is much less ramifications as the more professional recorders have been tried and tested and are made for durability.


DVR recorders are mainly used for Domestic to small to Medium sized Businesses 16 Channel DVR recorders need to be doubled over to make 32 Channels unless they are a 32 Channel DVR recorder. DVR`s are great for small shops, Newsagents, Bakeries all small to medium businesses.What is the difference with a IP NVR Recorder


IP NVR`s are similar in some ways but different in structural operation. An NVR contains no dedicated video capture hardware. However, the software is typically run on a dedicated device, usually with an embedded operating system. Alternatively, to help support increased functionality and serviceability, standard Linux and Windows operating systems are used with standard Intel processors and video management software. An NVR is typically deployed in an IP video surveillance system.


Network video recorders are distinct from digital video recorders (DVR) as their input is from a network rather than a direct connection to a video capture card or tuner. Video on a DVR is encoded and processed at the DVR, while video on an NVR is encoded and processed at the camera, then streamed to the NVR for storage or remote viewing.

Commercial NVR Recorders are especially made for much larger scale Installations such as Large retail, Government sector, Industrial, Hospitality & Financial sector. Commercial NVR`s have Much more storage space for hard Disk Drives giving the Storage capability needed for 1 to 5 even 10 megapixel cameras.

How long do the recordings last?


CCTV systems use hard drives for recording purposes. The recording hardware has various memory sizes which determine how long the system is able to record for. There are methods to work out how long a certain quality of image can be recorded for.


As a general rule my clientele generally are happy to have anywhere from 2-4 weeks footage on there hard Drives. If you desire to have more footage then depending which hardware you are using more hard drives will need to be added to boost the storage of the CCTV system.


When the recording system is full the recording will overwrite piece by piece until it starts again as a never ending cycle.


The DVR recorders we use currently do have the capability to add more recording by adding the recommended hard drives for extra storage. As technology progresses the size of Hard Drives will increase and so will the capability for DVR`s to have more storage.


IP Systems for larger scale Installations are usually more benefical due to the fact that the NVR servers are made for much larger Storage operations.

Tell me about frames per second


One thing you need to be careful about when analyzing specifications of a DVR with respect to “frames”, “fields” or “images” per second capabilities is do they have the right specifications.


Here is a brief understanding about frames per second how it is applied to CCTV.

The total number of frames/images per second for the entire CCTV System to be used across all cameras being the whole total

The number of frames each camera will use when recording

Take in to account the display speed and the Recording Speed


The frame rate issue is a complex issue. The fact is the rates that manufacturers quote are usually the maximum rate and that there are other factors involved which will determine the correct frame rates that will be needed.


when manufacturers quote IPS being Images per second and others quote FRPS being frames per second you would think it means the same well that is not correct.1 IPS actually = 2 FPS as the standard is 30 frames per second as this is the highest the human eye can see.


This is where it becomes more relevant and important to use quality CCTV equipment because the recording device will be displaying and capturing at the same time therefor the performance may deteriorate, as they may be using the same components to accomplish different tasks. One function must wait for the other or both perform at a reduced rate. To counteract this problem some companies use a separate video display card (decoder), which generates real-time video on all channels all the time but you can imagine the cheaper manufacturers to save some and more will not worry about doing this separation.


So how does it all work well there are 2 types of physical compression; hardware and software. It is actually a case of compression and decompression. Compress it to travel down the network and decompress to transmit when it comes out the other side, so the name “Codec.” When you use hardware compression there is no loss of efficiency, as all the work is being done on the board by the hardware components. That is of course if you have all the right components.

Will the cameras record at night?


Yes! You have two options if you want to record at night. The best solution for you may include a combination of the two.


A popular option is to install Day/Night cameras. These are cameras with Infra-red LED technology enabling them work 24/7. These cameras record in colour during the day and then automatically switch to black & white when light levels drop below a certain light level. The distance the cameras will see at night is dependent on the strength of the Infra Red LED’s.


The other option is to install what is called low light cameras for night time vision. These are advanced cameras that at night time with some kind of street lighting or external lighting present that will be able to see clearly at night being in the black and white format. Low Light camera technology is proceeding ahead very well but to get the most effective Low Light cameras are usually more costly.


The preferred method for larger installations is to use Infra red cameras due to there guaranteed performance. Infra Red cameras are usually better for coverage over greater distances, and also for situations where pan/tilt & zoom cameras are the best solution.

Remotely monitored tell me more


Using a Broadband connection your CCTV system can be viewed remotely either by yourself or by a remote monitoring center. A system which is monitored by a monitoring center can have sensors and speakers connected to the system. When the system is armed the detectors send an alarm signal to the monitoring center if movement is detected. The operators will then “dial in” and look around the site. If they spot potential intruders they will issue an audio warning.


CCTVAustralia Remote View DVR Setup Service


CCTVAustralia offers our all inclusive DVR internet set up service. Our Valuable Technician will guide you through the Network set up needed to view your cameras Live. The set up will take approximately up to an hour and will be directed by Remote View software. Before we schedule a Remote View DVR set up various information will need to be gathered so there is no unforeseen circumstances that can delay your DVR internet Set Up. Finally, most of our internet enabled recording devices also work with many smart phones. If yours does, we can also help you set it up so you can view your cameras from your phone almost anywhere! All you need is 3G signal (and a Smartphone – Android, iPhone, Blackberry, Windows Mobile).


Once you have decided to book a set up we will arrange an appointment within a day or two (excluding weekends & public holidays) Please contact our technician at or call us on 0447 259 986

Due to the amount of cheap illegal imports coming in to the Australian market we will only do Remote Viewing with equipment that has been proven and tested by our own technicians. This is our policy to minimize faults and liability from the use of illegal & dangerous low priced electronic CCTV Systems.

Do you install in homes & business?


CCTVAustralia has served a vast range of customers in Australia, including homeowners, business owners, government agencies, and any other type of organization. Our company specialises in both Domestic & Commercial Installations therefore our experience and technical know how will be a great benefit for any of our future clientele.


Our commercial installations usually range from 16 to 32 cameras and sometimes up to 100 cameras. Our experience in this field doing these larger installations gives CCTVAustralia the edge when it comes to all types of scenarios and situations an Installation will present to us.


CCTVAustralia also has a contact of Installers Australia Wide that we can forward on to you the customer once you have purchased from us. Please discuss with us if we can help provide an installer for the area that you are located for your CCTV needs.

How long does it take to install?


The amount of time needed to do a installation comes down to the type of installation and how many cameras will be needed to install. Usually a professional installer will allow time to ensure a neat and professional job. For a basic system assume it will take no more than 2 days, longer for a larger or more complex installation.

Which lenses should I use?


One of the problems with CCTV installations is that the wrong lens is chosen. This normally results in people being too small to recognise and depnding which camera you have you cannot electronically zoom in. To be able to recognise a person on a standard CCTV system they must be at least 50% height of screen.


To observe a person at 50% you can only view an area the width of two car park spaces (4.3m). The most popular lens sold to customers is a 1/3″ 3.6mm lens. This gives a wide angle view of 70-90% but can only provide facial recognition when someone is within 3.2 meters so if the camera is located at a height of 5m you are depending on an intruder bringing a ladder and climbing up in front of the Camera in order to be recognized. Generally a 3.6mm lens will only enable you to either observe or detect a person. (Please see below the different sizes of lenses and how they see)



Currently there is more versatile cameras on the market which will give you the capability to adjust the lens giving you a range for example from 2.8-12mm so you can actually zoom the camera in and set it at that point manually. Another advantage with the latest technology Digital cameras is that you can now actually magnify the picture and this will not change the Picture Quality. Recommended size Digital camera would be Megapixel quality but in my experience 2 megapixel is a great camera for this kind of option.


One of the main problems I see with CCTV Installations is that for some unknown reason they have installed the camera up to 20 meters high on a wall realistically do you think that they will get any facial shot being that high maybe they put it up that high to see peoples bald heads. As you can imagine the main offenders are usually unlicensed installers the main culprit being Electricians who seem to think they are automatic experts because they pull electrical cables.


Different kinds of lenses


Depending on what type of camera you are using there are different types of lenses that can be used but in general most cameras today have what is called Vari Focal lenses which means the lens is built in to the camera and can be adjusted manually to get the correct view that is needed. (Please see below an example of different kinds & size of lenses.)


Do you offer maintenance?

At CCTVAustralia our cctv maintenance team including contractors are experienced to carry out on-site repairs on CCTV equipment and carry an extensive range of electronic security components to ensure any repairs are correctly done and fixed as soon as possible.


Regular maintenance plans are produced once installation is done to help take care of your Surveillance system to perform for many years.


Our CCTV maintenance & repair team are responsible for both emergency and routine maintenance. Our standard maintenance and repair process includes:



• Check cameras, housings, supporting brackets and towers for deterioration or damage.
• Check the camera field of view is correct & lenses correctly focused.
• Check all camera bracket fittings and clamping bolts are tight.
• Check operation of auto-iris lenses.
• Clean cameras, lenses and housings windows.
• Check and adjust pan tilt unit.
• Check operation of infrared units.
• Conduct any repairs as needed.



• Check monitor and cable connections for deterioration or damage.
• Check controls and adjust for best picture.
• Conduct any repairs as needed.



• Check controls and cable connections for deterioration or damage.
• Check operation of switchers and multiplex controllers.
• Check and adjust time date settings.
• Check operation of telemetry controllers.
• Conduct any repairs as needed.


Video Digital Recorders

• Check hours run indicator and recommend for removal for service as appropriate.
• Check recorders for deterioration or damage.
• Check operation controls and make short test recording.
• Check and adjust time date settings and time-lapse memory settings.
• Check recording and playback quality.
• Ensure that recording settings are optimum for length of time

How should i choose an Installer?


One of the main questions a customer might ask is why cant I do the cabling myself?. It’s a good question and for smaller applications such as a 4-8 camera set up this cctv installermight be the case but unfortunately some people think that CCTV is easy, but as experts we know it is not. CCTV technology is developing extremely fast, so if you are not in the loop about up to date applications, and recent technical achievements you will miss out.


Of course you can buy a kit and a manual in an electronics store, but are you sure it’s what you need, and are you sure it will work to the standard you are looking for? How much time you will spend trying to install it and realize that the playback is sub standard ? Is the equipment worth the police ignoring your footage due to low standard equipment? Your result will most likely be a small percentage of what you could have achieved and your money will be lost. A good professional will achieve Australian Cabling standards for larger installations. Can you?


Why not contact us today and we will give you the advice that you deserve. Technology is progressing very fast with CCTV so your part time seller & installer really are not in the Mix when it comes to the latest options that can be used.


Total installation Catastrophe


Time and time again i get the shudders down my spine when I go to a new quotation believe it or not it is because the previous un qualified installer had absolutely no idea what they were doing. Lets be honest many people automatically think they are an expert CCTV installer but really do they know the ins & outs of maintaining a system. What is also a problem that I see is the method of cable installation when it comes to CCTV as I can not stress enough that if this is done wrong the picture quality will suffer I could have a good wining session at what I see out there but I would prefer if you read my Blog Article about Installation at


Be careful of the Electrician who all of a sudden knows CCTV


So you know someone who is an electrician and is always looking for work and all of a sudden lets you know that they can install & provide CCTV Systems. Let me say this to you once and it is up to you if you take my advice most electricians do not understand the full concept off CCTV systems. To not have this experience means the average Electrical cable puller is not experienced at installing your CCTV system at your place of business. So firstly they are not experienced and secondly don’t expect sympathy from a professional Security Cabler when you ask them to fix your CCTV problems because they have also seen this scenario many times.

Consumer vs Professional CCTV


There are two type of categories of video surveillance equipment on the Australian market and are both individually designed for different purposes & applications.


Types CCTV Suppliers


Professional grade equipment is simple. The electronics are designed for performance and the price is based on the cost of the electronics.

Consumer grade equipment is based on a preselected sale price which is for the Lower End General market. The the electronics are designed for the Lower End price Range. This is why we see the amazing prices such as $299, $499, $799, $999, $1299 for a 4,8,16 Channel CCTV Kits ; the price was preselected and the product designed to fit within the price. Often the result is inferior electronics that never produce the level of performance the marketing literature boasts.


What you have to understand is that these suppliers have cut every conceivable corner to make these price point CCTV Systems achievable. This does cause a fair amount of problems one of them is generally the operating temperatures of the inferior electronics tends to be much hotter due to the cost cutting on parts such as “Heat Sinks” (which absorb and reduce heat) so the cost of the electronics could fit into a sale price.


This brings us to the industries golden rule: when it comes to video surveillance equipment, price and performance are directly linked.


Consumer grade equipment is provided by brands such as Swann, Costco. They are sold through big box stores and you really pay for what you get because lets face it will the checkout chick on aisle seven be able to assist you when you need to ask some serious CCTV questions.


Usually with the consumer end CCTV the infra red LED`s will not perform to expectation and sometimes you would ask the questions do they have a Infa red because the quality is so poor when viewing at night. The heating problems will probably exist and the Cheap software codec used on the DVR recorders will usually freeze and every now and then the DVR recorder is not even recording thats great if something does happen. If you still believe in consumer grade equipment I am sorry but you will have to learn the hard way.

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