Top Tips For Choosing Home CCTV

CCTV advice and top tips for choosing the right CCTV system for your home

Choosing the best CCTVCCTV and surveillance is a constantly evolving technology. Products such IP cameras provide sophisticated capabilities for monitoring, recording and reviewing activity inside and outside your property.

We've put together a list of things you need to ask yourself to get the right CCTV system for your needs.

1. What sort of CCTV is right for me?

2. Choosing IP and upgrading to a digital CCTV system

3. How can I monitor my CCTV camera's images?

4. Do I need fixed or moving cameras?

5. Should I integrate my CCTV with my other security systems?

6. What accredition or references should I look for in a CCTV installer?


1. The right CCTV for your homeWhat sort of CCTV is right for me?

It’s essential to start with a clear idea of what you want your CCTV system to achieve. What suits your neighbour may not suit you.


Things to consider:

  • Are you considering the installation of CCTV as a deterrent to intruders and thieves?
  • Do you want to record access to a building or car park?
  • Do you want to monitor movement in particular areas of your property?
  • Does it need to record activity round the clock or at specific times, for example when your property is unoccupied?
  • How long do you want to keep it?
  • How often do you want to review it?

2. Choosing IP and upgrading to a digital system

Although analogue cameras are still available, the benefits of digital are so great that we rarely install them anymore.

IP cameras, such as Hikvision can deliver a wide range of features, including:

  • High definition or megapixel images
  • Greater detail
  • Cover a greater range
  • Can be powered over a network using Power over Ethernet
  • Built-in sound recording

IP CameraIP camera can also feature infrared technology to capture full-colour images during the day and black-and-white images in the dark.


The need to upgrade will depend on what equipment you already have, your surveillance requirements and your budget, but as a long-term investment IP CCTV offers both superior quality and technology.

With Digital CCTV systems, you can manage your security from anywhere in the world, using your smartphone, iPad or computer. 

  • Remote monitoring alerts wherever you are 

  • Up to 15x more detail with Megapixel cameras 

  • Read number plates, identify visitors 

  • Video recorded on hard disk for easy search and playback

Find out more about upgrading your system

3. How can I monitor images?

A key consideration in getting the right system is to know how you want to view the images from your cameras. You need to ask yourself:

  • Do you want a third-party to monitor your property?
  • Will you need to access your CCTV images remotely while abroad?
  • Do you want to receive email or text alerts if suspicious activity is detected by your CCTV system?

4. Do I need fixed or moving cameras?

Camera housings can either contain fixed cameras, trained on a single location, or PTZ (pan/tilt/zoom) cameras that can rotate 360° and provide pre-programmed ‘tours’ of an area. Motion detectors can be added to a PTZ camera system so that the camera can respond and focus in on suspicious activity. Depending on the rationale for your CCTV system, you might want a mixture of fixed and PTZ cameras to cover different zones and applications.

5. Should I integrate my CCTV with my other security systems?

A huge benefit of choosing Chris Lewis Fire & Security is that we are a ‘one-stop-shop’ – our range of expertise means we can install CCTV, fire alarms, security and access solutions for you as well as and integrate existing systems to enhance your security.

When integrated with an intruder alarm, your CCTV system can be set to record images at a higher resolution when the alarm is set or activated. When integrated with an access control system, CCTV can provide additional visual verification that a person has authorised access.

6. What accreditation or references should I look for in a CCTV installer?

NSi GoldCredible CCTV installers will have industry accreditation such as recognition by the NSI (National Security Inspectorate), which promotes compliance with relevant British, and European Standards. They will also meet the requirements of the police and the insurance industry. A reputable company will not have any problem with you asking for their credentials, and should also be able to introduce you to existing customers for reference.

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