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Hi Live-In-Upwey!

I’ve been installing CCTV systems in Bar, Supermarkets, Liquor Stores & Restaurants for a number of years and hope I might be able to answer your question!-

Analogue is the oldest technology and uses coaxial cables and it is generally the cheapest. You can get a full 8 channel system with DVR (Digital Video Recorder) for under $1,000. It will work OK, but the resolution won’t be the best it can be.

Digital is the newer technology and is true High Definition and uses network cameras. Cameras in a digital system are connected together via network cable (the same type of cable your computer uses to connect to a router).
You must run individual cables back to the NVR (Network Video Recorder). The NVR connects to your router and as long as you open the correct ports you can access your cameras live from anywhere including your laptop or phone or IPAD (using the included app). You can use CAT-5 cable, but it is better to use CAT-6 so you get the best performance possible. In terms of how long footage is retained, this will depend on the size of the hard drive you install, we usually recommend at least 2TB as high resolution creates larger files. It will also depend on whether you set the NVR to continually recording 24 hours or day or motion detect (like an alarm system).

You can always access all the cameras on your network locally via another computer on or your phone via WI-FI. This will always give the best performance as the data doesn’t have to travel over the internet. If you are playing back footage, it’s always highly recommended you do it locally.

If you are wanting remote access, you need to have a half decent internet connection especially ADSL2+ (at least 8mbps download) and a Static IP address also. For better performance when using remotely, I have setup 4G prepaid internet and connected it to the NVR and this works great (although a little more expensive to run).

Digital is definitely the way to go. We have used Digital CCTV systems to successfully catch people shoplifting and even staff helping themselves! We’ve had to supply footage to police regularly and even they were impressed with the resolution as the faces were super clear and fully identifiable!

You asked about Business & Home uses and you can definitely do this. The biggest expense is not the hardware itself (which is usually under $1,000), but the cost of cabling each camera back to the NVR. We usually run double cables so you can use one for a camera and the other for a phone or computer.

If you can run the cables yourself, you will save a lot of $ (however if you don’t terminate the cables properly you will get issues). There are lots of CCTV kits available which come in 4 channel, 8 channel, 16 channel and 32 channel flavours and include the NVR, cameras and pre-made cables so all you have to do is literally run all the cables, plug it all in and configure it. The channels refers to the number of cameras you can have on that system.

There are heaps of brands out there and you can go on E-bay and buy them for peanuts. However, I’ve found with these ones they only last a few months, come with very basic software (often that has been translated to English) and tend to overheat which leads to freezing. We use a locally based (Sydney) supplier which has a Help Desk during business hours if needed and really nice easy to use software.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions whatsoever and I would be more than happy to give you the name of my CCTV supplier also.

Good luck with your CCTV project!

Kind regards

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