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Now that CCTV has become the lifeline of all businesses from multi-nationals to small shops and religious places. We can now boost our overall security approach with live monitoring of premises. Even more important is the closed circuit television recorder, which gives you a chance to make a copy of the footages for further review. For beginners, selecting a CCTV system recorder can be a complex task. The fact is most people in the security industry do not understand the technology involved. Among the main things to watch out for in CCTV camera surveillance systems is the internal storage, video quality, camera range, water-resistance, rotation, and set-up installation.

Focus on your needs before checking out the available alternatives. Only then should you check the price to avoid its misguiding influence. Expensive may be high quality but may not always be relevant to certain situations. Cheap, on the other hand, may not necessarily mean ‘fake’ or poor quality. Balance between the need and the price to install the best solution

Here are some things to consider as you set out to purchase your first closed circuit television (CCTV) system Recorder.

Amount of Channels

The number of channels depends on your needs. Many people are likely to buy a device with many channels only for some of the channels to be rendered useless. If all you need is a surveillance system for a house or compact place, choose what is suitable for the area of surveillance. Although it sounds like cliché, consider you needs before purchasing the multiple channels. Whether it is 4, 16, or 18 channels, they depict the number of cameras install at a set time. If you need only 4 cameras, there is no point purchasing a 16-channel system.

Beware that you can expand your system later. This gives you a chance to improve your system according to the new needs emerging. Choose a system, which allows customisation especially if you are on a budget (and we all are). The other option would be to buy a whole new system and replacing the old. This means you need to have a long term too even as you purchase your first affordable and convenient system. For example, you want to expand your business soon hence the need to expand the system and channels thereof.

Type of Closed-circuit television (CCTV) Recorder: TVI, CVI, AHD or IP?

The advancement of CCTV technology has led to diversification of the solutions. For example, HD-CCTV (high definition CCTV) has improved camera quality by transmitting uncompressed high-definition footages. The best part is that you do not need to upgrade the cabling to achieve this. The newest HD-CCTV can use the old coaxial cables to send the perfect images you need. Installing new cameras without the need for overhaul replacements means it is cheap and convenient too.

TVI CCTV Recorders

TVI (Transport Video Interface) got the approval of many competing manufacturers after its release. This was an advancement of the digital CCTV with the following characteristics:

  • 300-500m coax cable distance.
  • 720p up to 60fps, 1080p up to 30fps.
  • No transmission delay.
  • PTZ control signals transmitted over coaxial.

CVI CCTV Recorders

CVI (composite video interface) emerged in 2012 and spread widely two years later. Its popularity is based on its provision for HD image transmission of analog images to as far as five hundred meters of cable. Transmitting this far without the need for a boosting mechanism—was at that time—unheard of. After incorporating digital technology, this solution became popular. Originally, digital systems could only send up to 100 m and was limited to one line of cable. Here is the summary of an HD-CVI:

  • PTZ control signals transmitted over coaxial.
  • No transmission delay.
  • 720p up to 60fps, 1080p up to 30fps.
  • 300-500m coax cable distance.

AHD CCTV Recorders

AHD (Analog high definition) is an interesting innovation whose distribution and source is untraceable. It was later adopted by Samsung, making it legitimate and sustainable in the long-term. Some of its benefits include:

  • PTZ control signals transmitted over coaxial.
  • No transmission delay.
  • 720p up to 60fps, 1080p up to 30fps.
  • 300-500m coax cable distance.

IP CCTV Recorders

IP (Internet Protocol) Is the latest and most widely used technology in CCTV today, giving installers and end users the ability to have camera systems linked across the would through IP networks. With resolutions scaling up to 29 Megapixel and the ability to remotely log in and configure camera settings from anywhere on the network makes IP CCTV systems the preferred choice from all formats on CCTV when planning an installation.

Other Factors

Recording Capacity

You need to be aware of the storage of your closed circuit television recorder so you will not be running out of space every time. If you fail to check on the capacity, you are likely to lose some of the footages. Keeping track of the hard disk space will help you organize your work and make transfers of old files effectively, to extend recording capacity, frame rates and bit rates can be optimized for better long term performance.

Video Analytics

Select a system, which can allow you to make video analyses. This is important if you need to scrutinise footages later. Video analytics allow you to capture minor details in the footages for complete control of your security surveillance. Depending on the complexity of the analytics, some of the following technologies could be utilised.

  • Line Crossing alarms to email functions
  • Perimeter alarms to notify you when entered
  • Car or person searches through backup data
  • Colour searching through backup data
  • People counting for shop entries


To find confidence in the system, find the one that comes with warranty. The best devices come with up to 3 years warrant for repair and replacement. Avoid street and ebay devices, which are not verifiable or traceable when you fall in technical hitches. Always purchase through verified channels for ease of support and warranties in future


If you are going to utilise this product efficiently, it needs to be flexible, dynamic, and compatible with common tools and equipment. You do not want to call for help anytime you need to adjust things to your preferences (whether on the software or hardware). Familiarise, therefore with the system to ensure it can be usable by you whenever necessary. It should not complicated and difficult to understand, as it will defeat its purpose, which is instant retrieval of video footage and easy operation of all system utilities.

Do you want to learn more about CCTV and Recorders?

If you’re looking at installing a new CCTV system in your home or building, or need advice buying a CCTV system recorder, contact Rapid Alarms today!