CCTV video surveillance systems are now common in our country. Small and large CCTV units are widely used in small shops and even in houses. From the security point of view installation of a security camera system is a necessary thing.
If there is a burglary in any shop, the police will ask ‘Why not put CCTV?’ It is also common to blame shopkeepers if they fail to fix a security camera system on their premises. In this article, we try to learn how to install a CCTV camera or a CCTV system.
Oh Sorry, some of our readers may wonder what is CCTV?
Let us explain it for the benefit of those people who hear about CCTV for the first time.
What Does CCTV Mean or What Is CCTV’s Full Form?
The full form of CCTV is Closed Circuit Television. That means it is an array of security cameras, a recording system (DVR), and a monitoring unit (monitor or a normal television).
There are no laws in our country that specifically state where CCTV can be installed or not. As there is a strong link between CCTV and a person’s privacy, the indiscriminate use of cameras in public spaces is a topic of discussion.
Where Can Install a CCTV System?
We have no legal impediment to placing a CCTV camera on our private property for our security and protection. But we are not authorized to fix and operate security cameras in public places without any approval from the concerned authorities.
Although there is no specific rule for this, warning boards such as ” You are under CCTV surveillance ” are generally displayed wherever surveillance cameras are fitted.
This is not just aimed at deterring criminals from committing crimes. But also aims to avoid unintentional privacy breaches that are misunderstood by anyone else.
Such warning boards will help you to take the necessary precautions when you enter the CCTV surveillance area.
With the increase in demand, there are surplus agencies that install CCTV systems. It is considered to be a very profitable business and hence itself a lot of fake security camera fixing agencies take advantage of the ignorance and misunderstanding of the customers and takes huge margins.
Also, we would like to mention that there are plenty of genuine CCTV system providers who are also affected by those fake agencies.
So for those who are interested in doing and learning things on their own, let’s try to understand how to install a CCTV system at a minimal cost. It is also helpful to understand the CCTV basics for those who plan to install a security camera system by using a third-party installation team.
One can get acquainted with the video surveillance systems which are currently popular in our country and are easily available in the market.
What Are the Devices a CCTV System Consists Of?
Security surveillance or CCTV surveillance system mainly consists of Cameras, DVRs, Powersupply, and monitors. This setup is only required when we have to use more than two cameras.
But if we have to cover the protection of the small area, especially in a small home, office or shop no need to go for the complication of a large CCTV system. In this case, we can meet our requirements by using one or two stand-alone cameras.
Nowadays different types of these cameras are available at very comparative prices. So let us understand various methods or systems used in CCTV surveillance systems.
Types of CCTV Systems
1. Stand Alone IP Cameras
As the name indicates, it is a stand-alone camera. Each camera is connected to the Internet either directly or via a network switch. It can be wired or wireless depending on the usage of a wired standalone camera or wireless standalone camera.
By using these types of stand-alone cameras remote viewing and recording are possible through mobile apps or computer software over the Internet.
Although remote viewing with IP cameras is possible in many ways, peer-to-peer viewing systems, which generally do not use servers, are now widely used. Peer-to-peer viewing is the same technology as torrents we are using. Each camera has a unique ID that connects directly to mobile phones or computers using this unique ID.
Alternatively, remote viewing is possible with the direct IP address of the camera. This requires either a static IP address for the Internet connection (usually not available for home broadband connections) or third-party services such as No IP, which converts dynamic IP addresses into static IP addresses.
While Chinese brands are available with Remote Pan Twilight Zoom (PTZ) functions in the ₹3000-4000 range For cameras with similar features in D-Link, Sony, and Motorola brands, we have to pay five to ten times than the Chinese models. So cheap Chinese cameras dominate this arena.
IP cameras are often used when only one or two cameras are needed. These small IP cameras can be used for a variety of purposes, from one-room shops to babysitting at home and caring for housekeepers, etc.
If the default passwords and user IDs of the IP cameras are not changed, they can be misused very easily.
2. Cameras with Local Memory Card Storage
In particular, these are stand-alone cameras with only local storage and don’t have any network connection facility or remote storage facilities. These cameras generally support a memory card of up to 128 GB.
These also have audio and video output. If required, the video can be connected to a TV via cables and monitored on an external monitor. Such cameras are available at comparatively low prices.
3. IP Cameras Installed at Various Locations
In this IP cameras are fixed in various locations. These cameras are then connected to a network video recorder (NVR) via cables and network switches.
In multi-story buildings, an advanced form of this system with multiple cameras is used. The advanced system may include the IP cameras themselves or a hybrid system along with analog cameras would be more appropriate as per requirement.
4.WiFi CCTV System
This system is a combination of WiFi IP cameras and an NVR. The advantage of this system is no need for cabling which will reduce the installation time and cost, But the wireless cameras and NVR are comparatively expensive.
5. Hybrid System with Analog Cameras and Network Cameras
As mentioned in the title this system comprises analog cameras and IP cameras. Also, the DVR used in the system should support the normal cameras and IP cameras.
6. Analogue Cameras Installed in Various Locations
This is the CCTV system connected to a digital video recorder via cables. This system is used when we are planning to surveillance of a large area.
This is the most popular system and hence we will discuss this system in more detail. The main devices included in this system are CCTV cameras, a DVR with a hard disk, a Power supply (SMPS), Cables and connectors, and a Monitor.
There are generally two types of cameras used for the CCTV system. One is a Dome camera, and the other is a Bullet camera.
Dome cameras are cameras that can be mounted on the wall or the ceiling. Dome cameras are named for their dome-shaped structure.
Bullet cameras are mounted on a special axis in the shape of a tube. When it comes to price, dome cameras are cheaper than bullet cameras.
Focus and coverage areas are generally higher for bullet cameras than for dome cameras. Dome cameras are commonly used for indoor coverage and bullet cameras for outdoor coverage.
Of course, not all bullet cameras are suitable for outdoor use in rain and sunlight. So be sure to choose IP68 standard bullet cameras for this kind of use.
There are also Pan Twilt Zoom (PTZ) cameras that are not commonly used.
Cameras with microphones are also available to help record sound. Most of the cameras available in the market now have night vision features. Nothing needs to be done additionally for this purpose.
The price varies depending on the megapixel rating of the cameras. Usually, 2-megapixel cameras are the most commonly installed.
Digital Video Recorder(DVR)
The Digital Video Recorder (DVR) is the core of the CCTV system. All cameras are connected to the DVR by special type cables.
DVRs is a small computers with an operating system of their own. It has a mouse and monitor attachment and sockets for connecting cameras.
DVRs are marketed based on the number of channels (cameras) they can handle. The most basic model is a 4-channel DVR. Up to 4 cameras can be connected to it.
If you want to connect five cameras, 5-channel DVRs or 6-channel DVRs are not available in the market. For that, you will have to buy 8 channel DVRs. After 8 channels, there are generally available DVRs with 16 channels and 32 channels.
The most widely available models in India are Hikvision, CP Plus, Godrej, BPL, Sony, and iBall. HikVision and CP Plus are popularly used DVRs.
Notice that there are no major price variations between 4-channel DVRs and 8-channel DVRs. Select the DVR Depending on how many cameras can be attached to each channel and the type of the recording.
DVRs can capture 1080P videos that are more costly than 720P DVRs. Both DVR models of the leading companies on the market will have network ports to link to the internet and will have an operating system configuration accordingly.
There’s also a category called Wireless DVRs. It’s used for the connection of wireless cameras. Due to the small distance coverage between the cameras and the DVR, these DVRs are not commonly used and are not available on the market by leading companies. But they are freely available on Chinese portals.
It is used to supply the 12 volt DC power needed to operate the cameras. The current rating of the SMPS often varies depending on the number of channels used.
The cable is available in 90-meter bundles. Loose cables can also be purchased from the stores. This cable consists of a bunch of shielded cables for connecting the output of the camera, a positive and negative cable for a 12-volt power supply, and wires for connecting the audio.
The camera cable is often a shielded cable to prevent degradation of the video signal. Often go for a high-quality cable that prevents the distortion of the videos. The power supply cable has a red wire as a positive of the power supply and a black or blue wire as a negative of the power supply.
Two main types of connectors are needed for CCTV wiring. One is the BNC/RCA connectors for connecting the camera and the DC power connectors for connecting the power supply.
Wiring is the most time-consuming and tedious phase in the CCTV installation process. Even if you just pull the cables and roughly attach them, it’s still going to work, but it’s not good for visual appearance.
The wiring may be achieved with plastic cable clips through the corners of the ceiling or parallel to another wiring so that it doesn’t appear too dirty.
Hard discs are not equipped with DVRs when we buy them. The hard disc must be purchased separately according to the required capacity. You may purchase the necessary capacity of 1 TB, and 2 TB hard discs depending on how many days the data should be stored.
While there are variations between regular computer hard discs and Surveillance Media hard discs, due to the wide price gap and lack of market availability, standard hard discs are the most widely mounted on DVRs to reduce overall cost.
DVRs can set up recordings in several ways. 24-hour recording, recording only at certain times, recording only if there are any motions, etc. may be programmed for specific channels.
Needless to say, the motion sensor that has been activated for recording will store more days on the hard disc. The recording can be programmed to write the old data after specific days.
That is, when the hard disc is complete, new data is recorded at the top of the oldest data. Recording format, video quality, and frame per second are all factors that decide the size of the video being captured.
Four motion-detection cameras (in average noisy areas) use 15 to 25 GB of memory a day. If it’s a 24-hour continuous recording, it’s almost double that.
The most frequently observed frames are 30 frames per second. The resolution is 720P for 1-megapixel cameras and 1080P for 2-megapixel cameras. There are a lot of online calculators available that offer the result of the different combinations use of frames per second, camera megapixel, and resolution.
Ordinary computer monitors or LED TVs can be used for monitoring purposes. Video out connectors for analog video output is not widely found on industry DVR models.
You can then continue to use a TV display only if the TV has VGA and HDMI ports. Or you can need to mount an additional VGA to Video Converter.
Generally speaking, the microphone is not connected to the CCTV system built, but those who need it can purchase the microphones separately and attach them to the appropriate position on each channel.
Microphones are available in the range of Rs 300 to Rs 1000. Only the DVR is required to have an audio card (in some DVRs, not all channels must be audio supported).
CCTV System Assembly
Let us now assemble a CCTV system.
There will be at least a rough idea of how many cameras are needed and what type of camera should be used. The approximate cost of purchasing and installing a 4 channel system is given below.
On different e-commerce pages, a variety of CCTV assembly kits are available. If you want, you can try out and pick the best CCTV kits on Amazon based on your budget.
All of these are available online exclusively as kits from the ₹ 10000 range. (If you don’t have an HD DVR, a 1-megapixel camera is sufficient and the price is much lower in that case). The hard disk is going to cost an additional Rs 3,200. You can use either the TV you are currently using or a separate computer monitor as a monitor.
The DVR must be installed in a safe location. First, set up the cameras where necessary. Needless to say, this requires drill machines, wall plugs, and screws.
Connect the power supply and video cable to each camera and root to the location where the DVR is installed. You may not have a hard disk installed on the DVR. Open the DVR cover and fasten the hard disk to the specified position and connect the SATA cable and the power cable (many YouTube videos are available for reference).
Then connect the video cables to the specified video input connectors and the SMPS power supply for each camera. Some SMPSs have positive and negative terminal connectors for each channel to be connected separately.
In others, there is only one DC terminal, one positive and one negative. At this point connect the positive wires of all the cameras to the positive and connect the negative wires to the negative.
Connect the mouse and monitor and turn on the DVR power. You will see the option to enter the username and password on the screen.
In most DVRs, the username will be admin and the password will be either admin or blank. This information could have been entered in their user manual. All of the menu options are self-explanatory. All configuration videos of the very popular DVRs are available on YouTube, so there will be no difficulties in this regard.
As stated earlier, all major DVRs have P2P viewing capabilities for live camera viewing on mobile phones. To do this, connect your Internet router through the LAN cable to the DVR network port.
Many P2P camera mobile apps, including the one from HikeVision, can easily view all cameras by entering the unique DVR ID, username, and password. The settings for this are available in the DVR Network Setup menu.
The most important part of this is to enable P2P.
What’s the main security issue with such a peer-to-peer web view?
The main security issue with this peer-to-peer web view is that anyone can view the camera by randomly searching for DVR/camera codes. As a primary security measure, it is, therefore, necessary to change the default DVR username and password. This allows remote viewing with cameras via web browsers and special software.
While the CCTV system has become ubiquitous all over the place, criminals have also been updated accordingly. So it’s common to steal DVRs now, too. It is therefore imperative that the DVRs be secured in such a way that they cannot be stolen so quickly.
While Internet-connected video is a very secure way to record and store on cloud servers, it is virtually impossible due to the high recurring costs and the limited bandwidth of the Internet connection.
Although many cloud storage services are available from different companies, they may not be affordable.
If you have a good internet connection, you can set up a DVR to upload DVR motion detection alarm images and video clips to your computer connected to another location.
All you need to do is turn your computer into an FTP server and enter the information in the specified fields in the DVR network settings.
Since your Internet connection does not have a static IP address, you may need to use any services such as No-Ip to make the dynamic IP address static and forward the FTP port (21) to the Internet router.
Although technically a bit complicated, there are a lot of supporting videos and other information available on the internet so don’t despair.
Needless to say, you need an internet connection with a good bandwidth upload connection to the internet. A normal broadband connection is just enough for viewing.
No matter how careful you are, you need to think about taking a step further to catch the smart-tech thieves. Destroy DVRs and cameras, cut off power supplies, disconnect from the Internet, install extra dummy cameras to prevent criminals from overrunning, attach pinhole stand-alone cameras to local storage, make sure you have the power to fix them, and so on.
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Mr.Sreejith, the Operational Manager at Secu 1 Security Systems in Pune, wrote this article. He is solely responsible for the content and layout of this article.