Pre-Buying Guide

What brands do HDCCTV sell?

We sell Xvision and IQCCTV equipment, we chose it over other brands because it is great quality and reliable with superb features and most importantly the equipment is designed in the UK and technically supported in the UK, and finally it is not owned by the Chinese government as is some of our competitors equipment.

Do I really need a HD CCTV security camera system?

That depends if you want to OBSERVE or IDENTIFY

OBSERVE - Any working camera system will let you observe people, objects, vehicles etc, but you wont necessarily get a clear image, perhaps if the person or object is close to the camera then it wouldn’t be a problem to identify them, but if they’re more than a few feet from the camera it can be a problem due to low quality pictures, and this can be a huge issue if you need to positively identify someone, after a burglary for example.  

IDENTIFY - How many times have you seen a fuzzy blurry photo on Crimewatch or in your local paper? Poor quality cameras are almost as useless as having no camera at all. The ONE THING that should be uppermost in your mind why are you buying a video system is IMAGE QUALITY. The one thing that will prove a crime easily, the one thing that removes any doubt of what happened. A fuzzy picture will give you a clue what happened but the proof is in the detail.

Here are examples of standard resolution and high definition cameras, this is how they look when showing full screen on a modern TV.


Which HD CCTV system is best? AHD or HD IP?

Neither are better than the other, they both have their merits and strengths 

RESOLUTION 2 & 5 Megapixel 2-8 Megapixel
DVRS 4-16 Cameras 4-16 Cameras
CABLE LENGTH UP TO 500 metres UP TO 130 metres

 *  AHD Recorders are also compatible with older standard definition and 960H CCTV cameras

** The HD- IP Recorders are compatible with ONVIF compatible cameras. More information on ONVIF can be found HERE

Which camera type is best? Dome or Bullet?

Neither is better  - they are often the same camera in a different housing. The camera style choice is purely for aesthetic reasons. Some people prefer a camera to be discreet and dome style, others like a bullet style camera.

Megapixel Resolutions Explained

High Definition CCTV cameras are available in different resolutions to suit different requirements, the resolution is measured in "Megapixels" or millions of pixels that the image sensor can capture. The Megapixel number is calculated by multiplying the horizontal resolution by the vertical resolution. 2 Megapixel camera has a resolution of 1920 x 1080, this gives the total of 2,073,600 pixels, this number is rounded up or down to the nearest million.
4 Megapixel cameras resolution is 2592 x 1520 = 3,939,840, slightly under 4 million pixels.

5 Megapixel camera resolution is 2560 x 1960 = 5,017,600*

*Notice how the horizontal resolution of 5 Megapixel is less than 4 Megapixel, this is because 5 Megapixel is a more square image than 4 Megapixel, 5MP is similar to older televisions it is a 4:3 ratio, modern TV's are 16:9 ratio. Having 4:3 ratio cameras gives you extra height in the image, this is perfect for cameras looking down from high up on a property as they see more area than a 16:9 camera.

The video below shows real-world differences between 2, 5 & 8 megapixel cameras.

How many cameras do i need

We can supply a complete CCTV kit with only one camera up to 32 cameras to suit your needs.

Many domestic customers will take a 4 camera recorder and 2 to 4 cameras to cover the main front and rear areas, larger properties will sometimes take an 8 channel recorder and up to 8 cameras, this way they can cover more areas and outbuildings etc.

In an ideal world you would have a camera system set up so that all possible angles are covered, if someone should wander onto your property for whatever reason there should be at least one camera recording what they do and where they go, think about how an intruder would be able to get onto your property, could they climb a fence or come through a hedge or rear gate?

It is often not always possible to cover every eventuality within budget so you should at least cover the important areas, front/rear doors, any large windows or patio doors, garden gate, driveway etc.

How Much Recording Storage do i need?

High definition cameras can use a lot of hard drive space up very quickly, a camera may use up to 40 GB per 24 hours of constant recording. When you have several cameras recoding constantly the daily storage requirement can be quite high. For example 4 cameras recording constantly will use 160gb per day, this gives a weekly requirement of over 1TB. So a 4 camera recorder constantly recording all 4 cameras will store recordings for 7 days before the oldest file gets overwritten. This is fine if you are usually at home and not on holiday for more than 7 days but more drives are required if you do. To get more recording time out of the hard drive you can set the recording mode to motion detection, this means it will only record when the camera detects movement, so it is not recording hours of nothing. The recorder lets you set the recording mode individually for each camera so you can have some set to constant and others to motion, many customers will set their most important cameras to constant record and the secondary cameras to record motion only. Our recorders also have a Record Schedule function that allows you to set the record mode differently at different times of the day, or different days of the week, the Record Scheduler allows you to set the mode differently for each hour of the entire week for each camera individually.

Can I backup and export recordings if the police need evidence

Yes, you can export video clips and snapshots to a USB memory stick or hard drive and you can export recordings and snapshots over the network using the software XIQ CMS although the latter method is considerably slower than a directly connected USB storage device.