Considering CCTV at home? Here’s a Q&A about CCTV options for the residential user.

Have you ever considered adding CCTV (closed-circuit television) as an additional measure of securing your home? We spoke with David Phillips to better understand the options available & whether it’s worth fitting your home with such high tech security. From affordable options to D0-It-Yourself, read here for an insider’s scoop!

Q. Do you know what percentage of home owners use CCTV in South Africa?

A. We have seen a remarkable increase in the number of home installations in the past year or 2. However the majority of the installations are still business to business solutions.

Q. If not, can you give us a general figure? (e.g. a quarter, one tenth, etc.)

A. If I had to guess, around about 5 – 10% would be for home installations. This is mainly in the higher income bracket as unfortunately CCTV is still perceived as a luxury item instead of a value add security solution.

Q. What, in particular, is the value of having CCTV in your home?

A. Today with a number of manufacturers, such as CP Plus, your CCTV solution can be integrated into your home security solution, in other words used in conjunction with your current alarm system. The way this is achieved is whenever your alarm is triggered you can set it up that you get either a snapshot of the intruder/s or a recording of a few seconds to your smartphone, laptop or tablet device. The other benefit is being able to dial in directly to your DVR (Digital Video Recorder) and review the footage. Many remote monitoring companies use this method to then notify the Police or local armed response. This cuts down reaction time from break in to response. The added benefit of this is that the reacting officers can receive realtime info regarding the whereabouts of the perpetrators, whether still on site and even where they are hiding. I have also heard that a number of reputable insurance companies will give you a better household coverage rate once a CCTV solution has been installed.

Q. CCTV is considered a particularly high-end product, therefore something the average South African home-owner cannot

inexpensive.cctv

Photo: David Playford, http://www.sxc.hu/profile/playboy

afford. Is this a misconception?

A. Unfortunately you are right, it is still perceived as a luxury item. What a number of forward thinking security companies are doing is offering a ‘rent to own’ option over x number of months. How this works is that you pay a greatly reduced monthly instalment and at the end of the agreed term the equipment becomes yours. Now as far as I know the majority of this instalment is tax deductible in a business to business scenario, I am not sure on the home user. With a 4 channel solution, which is 4 cameras a DVR plus installation, as long as the design has been thought through and implemented correctly you should be able to cover the majority of your perimeter, or at least the high risk areas. This shouldn’t set the end user back more than R10 000.00, is your family’s safety worth R10 000.00?

Q. What are your most affordable CCTV options available for the general public (residential users)?

A. Unfortunately we are an importer and do not sell to the end user, however we have a wide range to suit most budgets. As with everything in life you get what you pay for, so should you decide to install a CCTV solution please keep that in mind. Do not expect to pay R5000 for your system and then complain that it doesn’t do what you want it to. The other bit of advice I could offer the residential consumer is please use a reputable company that will give you the after sales service etc. In the security installation industry there are a number of fly by night installers that are in it to make a quick buck.

Q. What is your opinion of D.I.Y. CCTV options?

A. They can save an end user a lot of money as long as they are installed correctly, and a number of the more recognised brands do great DIY kits. What I will suggest is call up a recognised CCTV vendor and get the right advice. If the guys are serious about the public’s safety they will be happy to give you a bit of advice over the phone. The downside to a DIY kit is that you may not have the flexibility of a custom designed and quoted system. I would go with the custom solution every time.

Q. How can the residential public determine that a CCTV system is good or not?

home.security.cctvA. The majority of systems function along the same lines and all pretty much do the same thing, however it is the quality of the components used in the manufacture that sets the good and bad apart. If it looks and feels cheap and nasty it probably is. Look for a rugged build quality, especially in the African climate where there is large fluctuations between temps and weather conditions. Make sure the IP rating, not to confused with internet protocol, is at least 66 for outdoor camera and 65 for an indoor camera. This IP rating is based on dust and water resistance. If in doubt contact PSIRA or any other organisation that is security industry based and ask their advice.

Q. There are many DIY options on the web for setting up remote CCTV (via webcam). Can you name the pros and cons of

cctv.remote.viewing

Some CCTV systems can be viewed remotely.
Photo: Kulo T. http://www.sxc.hu/profile/qoomomyuko

these?

A. It seems that a number of manufacturers have their own specific ways of setting up remote viewing. This is not done by webcam but by connecting your DVR to an ADSL line via a router. I can only really comment on CP Plus, we use a Dynamic DNS set up via CPPlusworld.com which once the port forwarding has been done correctly on the router takes no more than 5 minutes to complete. We also have all the software required for different remote viewing devices on the disc that comes with our DVR’s. If the manufacturer of your DVR doesn’t have a dynamic DNS set up it can be difficult, you may need to pay an IT specialist to help you with this set up. Which could set you back about R650.00.

Q. Best & most comprehensive product you can recommend for the client for whom money is no obstacle?

A. Wow, there is so much out there to choose from, if money was no option there are some amazing pieces of hardware and software to choose from. I would suggest that you shop around to see what fits your requirements the best as each installation is bespoke.

Q. Can you recommend any good websites or links to help readers educate themselves on CCTV options?

A. Try AVforums.com, or homesecurityguru.com. AV forums is great to post questions and get answers from people in the industry.

Q. Any additional advice or tips for using CCTV in your home?

A. My best advice is to get a reputable company to assist with a bespoke solution design and please get more than 1 quote. By shopping around you can get yourself the best deal, do not be afraid to negotiate with your service provider.

David Phillips is CCTV Product manager at Syntech. www.syntechsa.co.za.

Syntech is a trusted, locally-based supplier of CCTV systems in South Africa.

 

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7 thoughts on “Considering CCTV at home? Here’s a Q&A about CCTV options for the residential user.

  1. Pingback: Forgotten about this sneaky little entry for home intruders? Cyber Crime is big in SA. « Home Security Blog

  2. This is really nice to get aware about the points you have pondered. Security companies are providing various kind of protection so we can adhere any one from it. I am also using CCTV, GPS tracking and Bio metric security threads for my company.

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