A Guide to Choosing The Right Commercial CCTV System


When considering the best CCTV option there are many alternatives to be considered, Manufacturers, IP or HD, quality of camera, hard drive capacity, remote software etc. In this guide, we would like to provide as much information as possible to help you make an informed decision when choosing a commercial CCTV system and why we pride ourselves as being a leading commercial CCTV specialist.

Whilst there are literally hundreds of CCTV manufacturers and thousands of CCTV product’s we have chosen HikVision as our preferred supplier. We have been installing their equipment for a little over 5 years and witnessed some incredible advances both in picture quality and AI technology, they are currently Global number 1 within the CCTV sector and it is our privilege to be recognised as a value added solution partner by them. As part of our remit we have to keep up to date with what other products are available to make sure as a company we provide the best value for money to our clients and by providing and installing HikVision CCTV products we are confident we are doing that. Their products are at the forefront of the new AI technology and extremely reliable backed up by a 3 year “like for like” advanced replacement warranty meaning that as an end-user you have the peace of mind that you have made a solid investment in purchasing this equipment. You can read more about Hikvision in our recent blog Why choose Hikvision for your commercial CCTV system.

A big decision for any client is whether to choose HD or IP Cameras, so we would like to clarify what each option can offer. Our success as a company can be somewhat attributed to “putting the right jockey on the right horse,” making sure that our clients are provided with a quality product that provides them with the benefits they expect and can fit within their budget constraints.

The main difference between the two options is that IP cameras are a lot “smarter” they have considerable advantage over HD cameras when it comes to the new AI technology, with built in features such as, Line crossing detection, intrusion detection, unattended baggage detection, and object removal detection. They also have an SD slot, allowing them to act as a stand-alone camera for specific areas where it is difficult to get cable back to the recording system. However, the quality of image is the same so an 8MP HD camera will provide the same picture quality as an 8MP IP camera. The other big difference is cost, as the IP range is considerably more, so if the budget is tight and the AI features are not important or a necessity then the HD range of camera is perfect for the majority of clients and is our most popular product.

As we have previously mentioned we have seen an incredible increase in the quality of the image and as a company we will not install anything less than an 8MP camera as standard (with the exception of ANPR and PTZ Cameras). Not only is the image much clearer but it also offers a wider angle of view, meaning that in some cases one camera can provide coverage of an area that previously would have needed two cameras making it far more cost-effective. Read more about CCTV image quality in our Guide to choosing the right megapixels for your CCTV

In most cases a period of 30 days recorded footage is advisable and we will make sure this is achievable with the right Hard Drive capacity and the correct set up of the CCTV recording system. The system will be set to motion detection, meaning that the images will only be recorded when there is pixel movement within the cameras view, this not only reduces the amount of hard drive capacity needed but also makes it much easier to find activity within the area the cameras are covering and negates the need of scrolling through hour upon hour of footage when nothing is happening. Also, the frame rate and sensitivity settings will be formatted on each camera meaning that areas requiring closer monitoring can have an increased frame rate thus producing better images when reviewing recorded footage.

Most CCTV systems in the marketplace do offer remote viewing software allowing you or members of staff within the organisation to view both live and recorded images, however some of this software is extremely complex and can even mean extensive training in its operation. The HikVision IVMS software is extremely easy to use and there are no expensive license costs as there can be with other systems, it will also allow the ability to view multiple sites simultaneously on Smartphones, Tablets and Laptops from any location where there is a 4G service. This means that instead of having to drive hours to a specific site you can instantly view both live and recorded events from your device at any time day or night.

Whilst we have outlined the quality of the products we supply and the benefits they will provide this could all be worthless if they are not installed properly, with our years of experience specialising purely in CCTV and the knowledge we have gained over those years we are able to make sure that every camera will provide the optimum image of the specific areas needing to be monitored. This can have a major impact not with just the security of your premises but also other aspects within the day to day running of the business, correctly positioned cameras can negate expensive Health and Safety claims or investigations as well as the monitoring of the productivity of employees, highlighting incidents where staff training or increase in their activity may be required.

Finally, Active CCTV is a family run business that has been established for 21 years, we take great pride in our customer service and aftersales care. We have “old fashioned” values where you are treated with respect and your business is valued and appreciated irrespective of the size of order. We are able to react quickly to your installation requirements whether that means having to work through the night so as not to prevent loss or downtime or being on site on a specific date to make sure the CCTV is fully operational for a re-launch or re-opening. You and your business are important to us, we take it personally, with our sole aim being able to provide, the right product at the right price, installed to the best of our ability and to exceed your level of expectation.

commercial cctv systems advice

If you need help and advice choosing the right CCTV system for your commercial premises call our team directly on 01492 547997 or send us an email to [email protected] and we will be happy to offer free CCTV advice.