CCTV Installation: DIY vs Professional Setup
In this day and age, there’s no such thing as too much security. It’s essential for any home or business to ensure the right security systems have been put in place to prevent any burglaries, break ins, and assaults. Alarms and barriers might help, but if you really want to ensure maximum safety, CCTV cameras will be extremely useful for this.
There are two ways you can go about setting up your security cameras: you can install them yourself or hire a professional team. If you’re unsure as to how you should go about setting up security cameras, this post will break down how CCTV’s work and the pros and cons associated with both professional and DIY installation processes.
How do CCTV systems work?
CCTV, also known as closed-circuit television, is a type of surveillance system that uses cameras to monitor activity in a designated area. These security cameras are used to capture images or videos of people or animals, and the monitors then display these images. Aside from being used as a part of a wider surveillance and security system, CCTV cameras are often used for traffic monitoring and crowd control.
CCTV systems typically work by sending a signal from the camera to the monitor which then in turn displays the images. The signal can be transmitted wirelessly or through a cable, and CCTV systems can be either analogue or digital. Analogue CCTV systems use an analogue signal, which is converted into a digital signal by a CCTV recorder before being transmitted to the monitor, whereas Digital CCTV systems use a digital signal, which is transmitted directly to the monitor.
Available in a variety of sizes and designs, CCTV systems can be either fixed or portable. You’ll also be able to install security cameras with a variety of additional features such as those with HD video quality or even night vision.
CCTV cameras are an effective deterrent against criminals and intruders. In the event that a break-in or burglary does happen, the CCTV footage can be a very helpful piece of evidence when pursuing a legal case. Additionally, once you’ve installed your security cameras you’ll be able to integrate them with other security measures like intruder alarms and security barriers.
DIY CCTV installation
DIY CCTV systems are CCTV’s that you install yourself without hiring professional CCTV installers. They are often easier to set up compared to CCTV cameras available through professional services.
You’ll be able to choose between either wireless or wired CCTV cameras. Wireless CCTV cameras are usually easier to install yourself as you won’t have to worry about hardwiring the security cameras to your home’s electricity or distance to any outlets. Installing wired security cameras might not be as easy, but they have the added benefit of not requiring any batteries.
These days, you can find plenty of easy-to-install DIY CCTV kits, but there are several benefits and disadvantages to consider beforehand.
Installing your CCTV yourself is a good budget-friendly option if you are looking to save on installation costs. Although a professional team comes with years of expertise, that can come with a high price tag. Additionally, without the need to hire professional installers you can also save up on equipment by installing low-cost alternatives. For example, instead of purchasing a DVR you can use an old laptop or computer to manage and store your security camera’s footage.
DIY installation can also be a quicker alternative to professional CCTV installation. When installing CCTV systems by yourself, you can do it at a time that’s suitable for you and/or your business instead of waiting to schedule in a time with professional CCTV installers. If you already have the security cameras and installation equipment at hand, the process will be even quicker.
You’ll also have more control over your CCTV system if you go down the DIY route. This could be useful if you want your security cameras to capture a specific area or if you want to use certain types of CCTV equipment. DIY installation will also mean that you’ll know the ins and outs of your security system, so if anything were to go wrong, you’ll know exactly how to fix it.
You’ll need a good understanding of how CCTV systems and installation works before you install the security system yourself, and a lack of expertise can really hinder the installation process. Of course, you may try to watch a few videos and read up on CCTV installation, but even still, it would be very difficult to replicate the expertise of a professional team. Aside from the technical knowledge, professional CCTV installers are also aware of the legalities involved in CCTV systems, including data protection laws, the Human Rights Act, the Freedom of Information Act, etc.
Without professional CCTV installation, you’ll also have no follow-up help or installation aftercare. While it might look like you won’t need it when you first set up your CCTV system, you might end up completely lost as to how to use it properly. Professional installers will help walk you through your entire CCTV camera system and prevent you from encountering any issues in the future.
Finally, DIY CCTV installation will involve more work for you. This might already sound obvious from when you hear the word ‘DIY’ but some people don’t realise how much hard work CCTV installation is until they’ve already started. Instead of being able to sit back and relax, you’ll have to spend hours installing the CCTV yourself and even more time fixing any problems that might come up. There’s also much more pressure on yourself to get the installation process right.
Professional CCTV installation
Professional CCTV installation involves working with a team of professional installers and expert engineers. With their expertise, the installers will be able to conduct a thorough audit of your property to ensure that the security system is tailored to your unique property and its requirements. This means understanding exactly what it is that you want to monitor and which areas would serve as the ideal location for your CCTV camera’s setup, to allow for maximum coverage.
After the audit, they’ll be able to determine which cameras would be best suited and how many you’ll need. During this process, they might suggest more cameras than you initially requested, this will be because they’ve identified key blind spots that would need monitoring. These cameras will then be installed by an experienced engineer that will set them up with the best viewing angles in mind.
Just like DIY CCTV installation, hiring a professional team has both its benefits and advantages.
By hiring a professional team of CCTV experts, you’ll have total peace of mind knowing that your CCTV cameras are being installed correctly. These experts have years of specialised experience behind them and know how to install CCTV systems that will cover all your blindspots and have the best video quality. As soon as you’ve scheduled your appointment with these CCTV installers, your job is essentially done – just let them into your property and watch them install your perfect CCTV camera system.
You’ll also be able to receive professional advice from CCTV installation experts. A professional team won’t just install the security cameras for you, they will also give you advice on how to use and maintain your CCTV security system as well as the rules and regulations surrounding security cameras.
Hiring professional installation services will also ensure that your security camera system uses high quality equipment. Using high quality cameras is essential to creating an effective security system, but making those decisions yourself can get quite tricky. You can try to read online reviews and watch videos but that won’t replace the professional opinion of CCTV installation experts. By working with a professional team, they’ll be able to supply high quality security systems with reasonable prices.
Professional CCTV installation undoubtedly comes at a higher cost than a DIY setup, although the price range does depend on the quality and type of CCTV equipment you choose to use. But despite the higher price that comes with professional services, you are getting what you pay for. If you try going the DIY CCTV installation route, you might end up spending even more money further down the line if you need to fix any mistakes or errors that arise.
Working with professional CCTV installers can also make for a less flexible installation process. Booking CCTV experts will mean working around your schedule as well as theirs. Many CCTV installers will also visit your property for an initial audit before the actual installation appointment, which means it might take even longer for your security camera system to be ready for use. That being said, this isn’t necessarily true for all professional installers. Our professional CCTV installers here at MCFP are able to accommodate all your needs, whether that be for scheduling, location, or any other specific requirements.
Which one is right for me?
The answer really depends on your personal needs, budget, and abilities. If you need a more low-cost security camera and surveillance system and don’t mind taking your time in learning how CCTV installation works, you could choose to use DIY CCTV systems. This might also be the more viable option if you’re installing a home security CCTV system, which are often less intricate to install compared to CCTV systems for commercial properties.
If you’re willing to spend a bit more money, we recommend hiring a professional CCTV installer to help you. This will be especially helpful if you have limited DIY experience and aren’t confident in your skills.
If you’re looking to set up a CCTV system for your home or office, our experts here at MCFP are here to help. We provide CCTV installation services for both office and home security anywhere in Oxford, Bicester and Bristol. Contact our team of specialists today and we’ll help you get started.