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5 Tips for Buying a Commercial CCTV Camera System For Your Business

commerical security CCTV video surveillance systemCCTV commercial video surveillance systems have grown in popularity in the past 5 years, as the capabilities of systems have grown, and the costs of CCTV systems has declined.  Using video to provide enhanced security for their commercial properties or protection against incidents such as slips and falls has become a more common building feature, and it is rare to see a business that does not have security CCTV video surveillance in one form or another.

Purchasing a CCTV video surveillance systems for the security of your business can be tricky, as there are many different aspects to buying a system that can seem daunting.  Here are 5 tips on purchasing a CCTV security video system for your business.


CCTV video systems have become so prevalent that you can now buy basic systems at your local electronics store which you can install yourself.  These systems are often “plug and play” and provide basic CCTV video security features such as recording, playback and remote viewing.  There are some pitfalls to these sorts of systems, the largest of which being that you have to install them yourself.  Professionally installed CCTV systems provide the expertise of viewing angles, best practice for recording, and hardened installations. They are also professionally designed and engineered for optimal camera, whereas  DIY systems rely on you choosing the correct equipment, viewing angles and recording features.  Finally, DIY systems are often limited in the number of cameras you can install, ranging for 4 to 16.  Professionally installed systems can be designed to be scalable, and move from as few as 1 or two cameras to tens or hundreds, meeting the fit you need.


It’s a good idea to know whether or not you want o look at IP-based video systems or older analog-based video.  Analog video systems are analogous to your old tube-base television sets. A limited number of “TV lines” are available and can produce a limited image.  IP-based systems can record in resolutions equivalent to analog to HD 1080 resolution and even beyond. IP-based systems can use one camera to cover large areas where multiple analog cameras could have been used  previously.  The costs of IP CCTV systems has come down to the point where they are very similar to their analog counterparts, and the economy of being able to cover multiple areas with a single camera vs multiple also bring this in line.


Have a good understanding of what it is that’s important to you for the deployment of the CCTV system you’re looking to have installed.  It is your business, and no one understands what it is that’s important to your business like you.  If you have a good understanding of what it is that you’d like to protect, protect against or have recorded by the CCTV video system that will go a long way in helping your security professional, like FMC’s trained Client Services Reps design a system that fits your need.  Do you need license plates?  Would you like to cover against trips and falls?  General area surveillance? Specific entry points?  Having an idea of what you’re looking for will help determine the best equipment to be installed.


CCTV video surveillance systems need somewhere to record the images they capture.  These systems can record continuously, only where there is motion in front of them, when a specific action is triggered and more.  In most CCTV security video systems, systems are set up to record on motion or on a trigger (like a door opening) to save memory on the recording hard drive.  These hard drives record in a continuous loop, and when the hard drive is full the oldest footage is recorded over.  Larger hard drives will have a larger “loop” of footage.  This recording can be done in a digital video recorder (DVR) for analog systems or a network video recorder (NVR) for IP-based CCTV video systems.  More recently, the capabilities have extended so that video can be recorded “at the edge’, meaning within the camera itself.  This is useful for remote systems where wire runs may be difficult, or cameras need to be frequently moved, however if the camera were to be damaged, the recorded video would disappear with it.  Video can also be recorded “in the cloud, meaning it is transported off site to a remote location.  These systems are limited to your internet speed and availability.  With no internet availability, there’d be no recording, and an on-site back-up for these instances is recommended.  A combination of NVR/Edge/Cloud recording provides the best redundancy.


You won’t always be available in your business to log in and view images, so having the ability to view the CCTV video system remotely through a web app, desktop client or app for your smartphone is an important aspect of the system.  It can also save you valuable time and costs for your commercial security alarm monitoring system, as when alarms go off you can log in and remotely view what is happening at your location.

We hope these help when you’re looking to purchase your next commercial CCTV video surveillance system.  For more information on FMC’s professionally installed commercial CCTV video surveillance systems and how they can better protect your business feel free to Contact Us, and we’d be happy to help.

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