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Guide to Closed Circuit TV (CCTV)

So would you like to play "Spot the CCTV Camera?". Eagle eyed visitors may recognise the profusion of street furniture, surrounding a single heritage dome camera keeping watch over part  of Londons' prestigious Oxford Street shopping area.

Time Lapse, VCR's, DVR's, NVR's ...
it's time to go on the record...

Top 10 tips about Digital Video Recording

It’s actually quite difficult to come up with a list of top ten tips about DVR’s when really all Doktor Jon wants to say is .... at the very least, try and make an attempt to understand what it is your buying and using.

Unfortunately the CCTV Industry is so obsessed with the ‘D’ word, it’s almost completely lost sight of the ‘P’ word .... "professionalism".

Configuring a CCTV system to fulfil a set of needs isn’t rocket science, and yet the majority of end users possibly have more chance of walking on the moon, than ending up with the most appropriate system for their needs. Why is this? Well in simple terms, it’s all about knowledge; if you don’t understand the subject, or worse still think you understand it but don’t, then that unfortunately is a recipe for disaster.Digital Video Recorders (DVR’s) are very sophisticated, often expensive pieces of technical CCTV equipment, which are often barely understood by many selling them, much less those who are buying them.

Doktor Jon has given you some (although not all) of the facts, so now it’s up to you to decide. So here’s your top ten tips why you shouldn’t rush naively into embracing the brave new world of Digital recording:-

1) Try not to be blinded by science; many of the more sophisticated features of a DVR, will rarely if ever be used in anger.
2) For many units, built in remote access and control of a DVR over a network or the internet, whilst something that is almost totally impractical for an analogue VCR, is still for many DVR's not that simple to set up.

3) The phrase “adequate for our needs” should never be used. If the picture quality and facilities are not better than basic analogue, then why bother?
4) High speed access of recorded data, is the DVR’s ‘tour de force’. So in key applications such as hospitals or shopping centres for example .... it really is the biz!

5) In terms of making incident data copies, recordable DVD with its 4.7 / 9.4Gb disc capacity should fit the bill for most situations (remember, not all DVD formats are compatible!).
6) If you want top quality, and you need lots of pictures, it’s probably going to cost .... so you’d better hope that your Bank Manager is in a good mood!

7) A number of DVR’s have sophisticated motion detection capabilities already built in .... if it moves, they’ll record it automatically!, but it's not always an ideal solution to an obvious problem (i.e. DJ doesn't recommend it).
8) If the the recorder supports removable or external Hard Disc Drives, this can be a reasonably affordable and sensible approach to archiving.recordings for more effective use as a forensic surveillance tool.

9) High resolution DVR’s can provide superb quality recordings, but they do tend to gobble up hard disc space at a frightening pace, so don't scrimp on the Gb's
10) There are no standardised DVR formats or compression methods; if you do capture something, the authorities can elect to seize the recorder as vital evidence!, if they are unable to quickly obtain the recorded bits they need.

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