CCTV - Cheap But Not So Cheerful

Everyone loves a good bargain. The cheaper it is, the happier it makes you. But when it comes to CCTV, does cheap really make you cheerful?

To answer this question, we first have to look at a couple of options available on the market. One being “cheap and cheerful” and the other a higher ticket item.

Standard Analogue CCTV
Analogue CCTV Systems have become very cheap to buy as there are a lot of providers on the market, but, their picture quality is outdated.

Now analogue CCTV can come with several useful features, including:

Night vision - You can see the burglary happen even on the darkest nights.

Weatherproof cameras - You can catch burglars in the act, even in the unpredictable British weather.

Analogue CCTV can be a good option for small buildings such as houses where the small distances involved can still enable a reasonable and useable video to be recorded. However, Analogue CCTV systems do not offer enough to businesses. When you have to record footage of a larger area, the picture starts to become blurry and grainy. The faces of the burglar cannot be clearly identified and you cannot make out the number plate of the getaway vehicle. This can be vital in catching the burglar.

HD systems are more costly compared to the Analogue System, but offer a better picture quality and more features due to the high picture quality. Some of the additional features of HD CCTV include:

Number Plate Recognition - Some CCTV systems are able to read number plates and then check a database of number plates. If the number plate is on the database, the system can open an automated gate to allow access to the vehicle and deny access to those that are not in the database. This prevents unwanted visitors in and out of working hours.

Item Recognition - The system can monitor a room and if something is removed from the room the system will note the change and send an alert to security or the owner or person responsible for security.   

Smart Tracking - HD CCTV is able to pick up on movement and then track it. If a burglary takes place, the camera will track them so you do not miss a moment, preventing the burglar from being able to hide in blind spots. If they drive up in a car and then get out of the car, the system will continue to track the movement and hence still follows them.

Forensic Detail - HD systems offer a high enough resolution to be able to pick up on facial features and to read car number plates. This is ideal for evidence against the criminal. Quality systems enable you to zoom in and sustain a high image quality.  

Easy to upgrade - Some HD systems use the same cables as analogue systems. This means that new wiring would not have to be installed.

Cheaper pixels - Overall HD CCTV Systems offer more features for your money and are also cheaper per pixel (how the picture quality is measured) than analogue systems.

The question we started with:
Now let’s revisit the question that we asked at the beginning, does cheap really make you cheerful?
The cheaper Standard analogue CCTV has some excellent features, but for a business, the picture quality just doesn’t meet the requirements needed to really protect your business. HD CCTV has a bigger price tag on paper, but compared to analogue, it is far superior with many more features and much higher quality. It is an invaluable tool for securing your business. You cannot put a price tag on the safety and the security of your workforce and contents of your business.

Interested to know more about HD CCTV? Click to watch thisvideo or call us for more information.


In this technological age, CCTV is a highly regarded form of security for a business. According to, in the UK, there is estimated to be 4 million to 5.9 million CCTV Cameras. The advantages of CCTV are obvious. They are a visual deterrent and provide around the clock surveillance.

Your employees can be made to feel safer with CCTV in place, which makes for a happier workforce. You can also monitor the staff, so if a problem ever does occur (for example, a dispute between two colleagues) you can review the footage and get a complete picture of what went on.

Disadvantage of the analogue systems:

However, a lot of CCTV systems have a common disadvantage, they have poor video quality. This is down to the type of systems that are used. These systems are called Analogue CCTV systems. These systems have been around for a long time and we have seen an influx of very cheap systems recently. Like most things these days, you unfortunately get what you pay for.  

Because analogue systems are very cheap, they can be better suited to basic home security than they are for businesses use. With many businesses, there is a wider area to monitor than in a home environment, so you would need a lot more cameras, just to make sure one of the cameras is close enough to see the criminal’s face or record that all important registration number. Another issue is that these systems have limited wireless options and you can usually only connect a maximum of 4 cameras to the system.

So what are the alternatives?

An alternative is High Definition (HD) CCTV.  The biggest advantage that HD CCTV has over Analogue is superior picture quality. Features of the criminals face can be made out and number plates can be read even if you zoom in.  This means the system has a larger line of sight than their analogue counterparts, meaning fewer cameras are required.

Another advantage is that certain HD CCTV Systems (HD over Coax) use the same wiring as Analogue Systems, so upgrading your current system is a lot easier than you might think.

Due to the superior picture quality, a lot more features can be added to HD CCTV systems. One of these features being the ability to read number plates. The system can recognise car number plates and then check them against a database, before opening the gate to the parking area. This can be used to deny access to unauthorized parties in or out of working hours.

As mentioned before, you get what you pay for, but if the system deters, prevents or catches a perpetrator and thereby prevents loss of production, stress of having to spend time with the police, having worried employees, time lost explaining to everyone what’s happened and having to sort out insurance, the extra cost of the HD CCTV over analogue will become insignificant. Also consider they can do so much more than just record what it sees – they can be programmed, they can notice when something is missing, help in process controls by monitoring production and much more.

If you want to find out more about HD CCTV and how it can help your business, watch this video or give us a call to discuss your requirements.

Is Your Business's CCTV System Currently Meeting Legal Requirements?

Who is in charge of changing the time on your CCTV? Does anybody in your company know how to change the time on your CCTV system?

Did you know? It is a legal requirement to make sure that your CCTV displays the correct time and date. If the CCTV footage displays an incorrect time, it could result in the whole case being thrown out of court.

An alarming amount of companies do not change the time on their CCTV systems making them what is essentially an expensive deterrent only.

So why is it such a big deal that the CCTV displays the right time or not?

If the CCTV’s time is out by an hour, a suspect can claim that he was somewhere else when the incident happened. You would have supplied false evidence, thus falsely proving their innocence. The criminal will walk free to commit more crimes.

Imagine that your business had been broken into and thousands of pounds worth of equipment were stolen. Imagine that you have spent all this money on a CCTV system, which has captured the whole incident in full colour. It shows the burglar's face and his getaway vehicle. You would be pretty annoyed at being targeted, but relieved that you have evidence needed to gain a prosecution. Now imagine the agony of being told that the CCTV footage cannot be used as evidence because the time on the CCTV is incorrect. All that time and money you have invested, all gone to waste over a simple thing and what will your insurance company say? They may use it as a reason to not pay up because your system was not properly maintained!

Before you leave this blog, answer these questions
  • Has the clock on the CCTV system ever been changed?
  • Do you even know if it is currently correct?
  • Who is responsible for checking that it has been updated?
  • If someone is responsible for this, what reminders are in place to ensure the update is done?
  • How long would it normally take to realize that the clock has not been changed?
  • Does anyone know HOW to change the clock?
  • Even if you pay for an automated clock, have you checked that it is accurate?
It is also a great idea to set a calendar reminder for the start and the end of the British Summer, time to change the CCTV time for the respective times.

And finally, go and check your CCTV system now to make sure that it has the correct time.