CCTV Systems

CCTV Camera Systems

We supply and install CCTV in Herts, Beds and Bucks. If you are looking for a Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire or Hertfordshire CCTV security camera installer then look no further than Citytalk.

 

  • A range of CCTV camera systems for every budget
  • All our systems provide digital storage and archiving
  • All of our systems provide remote monitoring from iPhone / Android / PC
  • Systems scalable from one to 100 cameras
  • Professional installation of all CCTV and DVR systems
  • Free site survey to establish your requirements

 

 

Types of CCTV System 

It is important to recognise the capabilities of the different types of systems when choosing to buy CCTV cameras to protect your business. Citytalk offers a wide range of CCTV security camera systems suitable for many different applications and budgets. Our range of High Resolution CCTV systems is shown below:

 

Analogue CCTV cameras with Digital Video Recorder (DVR)

Analogue CCTVThis type of CCTV system is an updated version of the 'traditional' CCTV system. Cameras installed in each part of your business premises have a 'coaxial' video cable run from each security camera back to a central location where the recording is made. Luckily the old style of video recorder with a tape that needed changing every day has now been replaced with a device called a DVR. This stands for Digital Video Recorder which converts the video into a digital recording which is stored on an internal hard drive similar to a computer. So while the cameras are analogue, and the video signal that is carried back over the cables is also analogue, the recordings stored in the DVR are digital. This has several advantages over tape based systems such as:

  • No video tapes to change
  • Recordings can be stored for a long time with the only limit being the size of the hard drive
  • New recordings can automatically overwrite oldest recordings if desired
  • Important recordings can be protected and archived to prevent being overwritten
  • Several of our DVR models have built in DVD recording - useful to supply archived recordings to Police
  • Cameras can be remotely monitored by iPhone / Android / PC
  • Audio recording is available as an option

Analogue camera systems are in use in probably over 90% of current CCTV installations. Analogue cameras are recommended for most lower risk situations as a functional and visible deterrent to theft and damage and provide a good balance between picture quality and cost. Analogue cameras are particularly effective in close range situations such as shops and offices and low light situations such as restaurants and pubs/bars. Businesses that require the ability to recognise the identity of persons or vehicle number plates at longer range such as in a carpark or a factory might want to consider a higher resolution digital camera system such as IP CCTV or HD-SDI.

 

Digital HD-SDI CCTV cameras with HD-SDI Digital Video Recorder (DVR)

HD-SDI CCTVThis type of camera and DVR is a specialised system that offers very high video quality with 720p or 1080p full HD resolutions and full frame rate of 30FPS. HD-SDI video is considered to be 'broadcast quality' and is delivered digitally over traditional coaxial cables. The costs of HD-SDI cameras and a HD-SDI DVR are higher than analogue and IP cameras but offer a superior picture quality because the video stream is far higher resolution than analogue and is not compressed as much as IP when it is sent from the camera to the DVR. Another advantage of HD-SDI CCTV cameras is that if a business is upgrading from an older analogue CCTV system, the HD-SDI signal can be delivered over the existing coaxial cable from the old analogue system and the cost saving of not having to run new cable may outweigh the increased cost over IP cameras. Businesses should consider HD-SDI if they require high definition surveillance of fast moving objects. A large amount of hard drive space is needed for high resolution full frame rate video and as such, HD-SDI video is generally recommended for only the highest risk situations. If a business does not need surveillance of very fast moving objects, and IP based system will often fulfil their requirements and also be more flexible and cost effective.

IP based digital HD CCTV systems

IP CCTVIP based HD camera systems are rapidly becoming the most popular type of CCTV that we install. High Definition digital cameras connect to the local area network (LAN). The cameras can connect to an existing office LAN, or new cabling can be installed or extended as required. Power for the cameras is also usually supplied via Power Over Ethernet (PoE) switches which send power over the network cables from the data room or comms cabinet. If a company has an existing Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS), the cameras can also operate on backup power in the event of a power failure. Video from IP cameras can be recorded in a number of ways:

  • Dedicated IP CCTV server (PC Based)
    Recommended for larger installations with 8 cameras or more. Key benefit is faster review of footage when locally viewed on the server and advanced video analytics such as automatic detection of object removal.


  • Dedicated IP CCTV server (NAS based)
    Recommended for smaller installations of one to 8 cameras. NAS stands for Network Attached Strorage. A NAS is like a tiny PC without a screen or a keyboard. A NAS uses much less electricity and is cheaper than a dedicated PC or server based solution. Footage can be streamed from the NAS and viewed on any other PC on the network or across the internet.


  • Existing PC or server
    Recommended for very limited budget installations as CCTV footage can take up a lot of hard drive space on an existing PC or server.

The key advantages of IP CCTV systems are:

  • Can be connected to existing LAN infrastructure
  • Number of cameras is easily expandable
  • Much higher video quality compared to analogue cameras
  • Video quality does not degrade over long cable runs
  • Cameras can be placed at remote locations and connected via internet or wireless network

We offer:

  • Megapixel Full HD 1080p digital CCTV cameras
  • 3MP and 5MP cameras available on our IP CCTV systems.

 

Picture quality

The 'quality' of video from a CCTV system can be described as a combination of several different factors. It is very important for us to understand what your requirements are as a customer, and how these different quality factors will affect the ability of your CCTV system to fulfil your requirements.

The most basic measurements of quality in a CCTV video are:

  • Resolution
    The number of dots (pixels) that make up each frame of the video. The higher the resolution, the more detailed the image. Higher resolution video requires more hard drive space than lower resolution video. Many of us are familiar with the typical 'CSI' style movie scene where a dark and blurred CCTV image is 'enhanced' by computer and the identity of a person, or vehicle number plate is revealed. This kind of zooming in without loss of detail is only available with very high resolution digital cameras and is universally impossible with the traditional analogue cameras employed in most older CCTV systems.


  • Frame Rate (FPS)
    The number of still pictures (frames) stored per second. The higher the frame rate, the more smooth the video. Higher frame rates also require more hard drive space than lower resolution.


  • Compression
    When digital video is transmitted and stored, it is compressed to use less space. Higher compression can store more video on a smaller hard drive at the expense of losing some fine detail. Some DVRs have better compression than others. Citytalk DVRs offer modern H264 compression and can store many days of video without significant loss of detail.

There are many other important factors when specifying a CCTV system and the choice of cameras is vast. Citytalk are experts in and install all types of:

  • Fixed cameras
  • Pan Tilt Zoom (PTZ cameras)
  • Lenses / Field of view
  • Low Light Performance Cameras
  • Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) Cameras
  • Infrared (IR) Cameras / Night Vision Cameras
  • CCTV Lighting / Infrared (IR) Spotlights
  • Automatic Numberplate Recognition (ANPR) Cameras
  • Covert CCTV Cameras (Hidden CCTV Cameras)

This is why every CCTV system we quote for will start with a free site survey where one of our experienced engineers will visit your site and assess which type of system is right for your business. Getting a CCTV system which gives balances all of the above requirements against cost is key to tailoring a system that is right for your business.

There are some limitations in the quality and resolution that analogue cameras can provide. The maximum picture quality for the majority of analogue cameras 720 x 576 horizontal by vertical resolution. This is reduced slightly when stored as most DVRs store a maximum resolution of 704 x 480

It should be noted that without a zoom lens, it is a limitation of even the very best analogue camera systems that they are not very good at long range identification of people and vehicle number plates. For this reason, they are increasingly being replaced by fully digital systems which provide significantly higher picture quality suitable for long range identification of people and vehicle number plates.

Contact us today on 01296 744310 to discuss your requirements.

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