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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.

If it's video switchers
that really turn you on...

How to get the best from a Switcher

There are no hard and fast rules, but from experience Doktor Jon can offer these few simple tips; whenever possible, try and anticipate the longterm requirements for a system, rather than just buying something that does the job now!

If you need a four channel switcher today, buy a six channel; having two unused inputs costs little more, and can spare the aggravation when you need it least.

If at all possible, try and stick to a reputable branded manufacturer - some of the cheapest switchers on the market hardly keep working long enough to finish switching an eight camera sequence!

Wherever possible, try and find a nice warm comfortable UNTOUCHED home for the unit. Perhaps as many as eighty percent of switcher failures, are as a direct result of the cleaner coming in every week, and moving the switcher 30 centimetres to dust underneath.

All that happens is that over a period of time, the video cable connections begin to break down, usually with a dry solder joint or poor crimp connection inside the BNC plug. In practice, a properly soldered connector is possibly ten times more reliable than a standard crimped unit, and over a period of years, that can make quite a big difference, both in terms of reliability, and also the bank balance!.

In the unlikely event that you come across a ‘line powered’ switcher, whatever you do ... don’t use it!! If it is designed for a specific manufacturers cameras, the chances are that connecting it up to any other brand camera units, will simply burn out the cameras back end video amplifier circuitry!

As with any piece of CCTV equipment, the trick is to thoroughly understand the present and future requirements, before actually taking the plunge.

Ten 'Must Know Things" about Switchers >>

The unique "TRUSTED" National CCTV Improvement Campaign

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