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Neil, Camera and Video Technician
Category: Camera and Video
Satisfied Customers: 3736
Experience:  NZCE Electronics and Computing
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Customer Question

I'm moving into an office with has no security cameras. I would like to have anywhere from 16-24 cameras for the outside and inside. I would like to be able to record and retain media for 2 weeks. I'm new the CCTV world. I would like to know which dvr, outdoor camera, indoor camera, wiring, brackets and any other relevant information I would need to know. I will be doing the install myself and have IT guys on staff to setup the dvr.


Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Camera and Video
Expert:  Rick replied 1 year ago.
Hi. My name is***** own a small camera repair business and am a technician with over 25 years in the business. I'll be glad to help you.

Rather than use a DVR, you may want to set up a security camera server using a computer and tape drive, (or other recording media). This is the best and most common method used today. There are many models on the market today. You'll need to do a little research on them and network acquisition modules with the capacity you want to find one that suits your needs.With the number of cameras you want to use, this is what you will need. If this is an option you would like to explore further, I'll be more than happy to help you.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Rick thank you for the response. First can we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of going with a dvr vs a camera server. Afterwards we can then discus the bells and whistles of the route which best suites me.

Expert:  Rick replied 1 year ago.

First of all, the number of cameras you need will probably exceed the capabilities of a DVR system. A computerized camera server system lets you store the files digitally and will allow you to "browse" the files rather than review the DVR recording. A computer server is more or less a DVR, with more capabilities and is the modern way of storing video images from many sources for the length of time you select. With a straight DVR storage system, you would end up with more than one DVR for the amount of cameras you are using. A camera server is just a tower box computer you can store pretty much anywhere.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Understood. Ok so lets say for now that's the direction I'll go. Please answer the following questions below;

Does the computer have to run a servers os or can it be a workstation?

What kind of cards would need to be installed on the computer?

Do the cards any any limitations compared to the dvr's?

Does the software come with the cards?

What kind of cable connects the cards to the cameras?

Does the cable provide power and signal?

At what cable length does quality & signal degradation start? How do you remedy this situation?

What kind of cameras would you recommend for indoors and outdoors?

Would the cable type be the same for outdoor runs compared to indoor runs?

Expert:  Neil replied 1 year ago.
A different expert here... I would recommend a DVR over a computer based system for your application... There are plenty of 24 port and greater DVRs... My recommendation is to set yourself a budget then try and get the best return for that budget... You should look to an IP based system as that simplifies the cabling but it does increase the price. Were you looking to install this yourself or will you be getting this supplied and fitted professionally? Installing CCTV is not to onerous if you have some experience in running cables and are familiar with computers.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Neil yes I'm looking to install myself completely

Expert:  Neil replied 1 year ago.
If going IP or conventional you will need specialist tools for the terminations... RJ45 crimper for IP and BNC coax crimper for Conventional... The Cat5 cable is a little easier to install so this may be a factor in your decision... I would try to spend the little extra and go IP... Just google "24 port IP DVR" and start to get an idea of pricing... Epect to pay at least 20% more for "name brands" name brands will give you greater support... An example of DIY name brand is Swann: They have a 24 channel Conventional kit: These often come with made up leads eliminating the need for a crimper...
Expert:  Neil replied 1 year ago.
Here is a 16 zone IP DVR:
Not sure if they go to 24 port in IP...
Though they are available elsewhere...
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


With bnc cameras the bnc cable provides power and signal?

With ip based cameras how does it get power and signal?

Expert:  Neil replied 1 year ago.
The BNC cable usually has a power cable attached, the IP based camera is powered through the RJ45 connector and cat5 cable. Most of the kits include made up cameras so it is just plug and play...
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hey Neil how are the systems below. The one you recommended appears to be discontinued.

Any other you would recommend in the price range?

Expert:  Neil replied 1 year ago.
It looks ok but not a name brand... I would check on the support long term but the price is ok
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Have you used this company before or heard of them?

How does this nvr compare to the ones I sent you? Is the price difference justifiable?

Expert:  Neil replied 1 year ago.
I haven't heard of them but that doesn't mean they are not genuine and will be around for a while... I had a quick look at the offerings online and that deal looks pretty good...