DIY CCTV installation tips
Assuming you’re confident physically fitting your system i.e. drilling the holes and running the cabling (if you’re not then please seek professional help).
We’ve put together a list of tips to take note of when it comes to positioning your cameras and setting up your recorder.
Positioning your Cameras
- Avoid pointing the lens towards light sources. Light sources whether it be security lights, streetlights or the sun, can have a serious impact on the quality of your footage. Glare from light sources if shining directly on your lens will affect your cameras brightness and contrast. In extreme cases you may not be able to see anything due to glare.
- Position your cameras high enough so vandals can’t get at them, but not too high as it affects your viewing angle. This can be a delicate balance. The ideal place is head height, but this leaves your cameras vulnerable to vandalism. A good rule of thumb is to position them in line with a second story window. This will keep them out of reach but also give you a good angle on potential intruders. Positioning them too high will make it difficult to make out physical characteristics of potential intruders or vehicles on your property.
- Be conscious of what you’re recording. You should not be pointing the cameras into other people’s properties or windows.
- Think about the entry points of your property and cover them. Often the front drive, side entry or back garden are key areas to cover.
- If you’ve purchased your CCTV system from a reputable seller, the cameras are likely waterproof. However, to help protect your equipment in the long run, try to install them under the eave if it’s low enough. Don’t leave them over exposed to the weather. Ensure you cover the connections.
- Run any cabling out of the reach of vandals. Internally if possible.
Positioning your Recorder
- It’s important to choose the position of your recorder before anything else. It needs to be close to a TV or monitor and have access to your router should you wish to view the cameras remotely.
- All camera cabling will need to run into the back of the recorder so plan around this.
- Recorders are like any other electrical equipment and need space around them, so they don’t overheat.
Setting up your Recorder
Recorders come in many shapes and sizes and the menu system can differ from brand to brand. However, there are a few pointers we can give you which remain the same or similar across all CCTV recorders.
- Selecting to record on ‘motion detection’ will allow you to record for more days without overwriting data. This is because footage will only be stored when the cameras detect movement, most recorders are set to record 24/7 out of the box. This is a good option for recorders with low capacity hard drives and multiple cameras. Or those going on holiday for extended periods of time.
*Note: If you’re installing at a business location, check the regulatory requirements that apply to you regarding stored footage before switching away from 24/7 recording.
- Check the display settings of your recorder. Most recorders are set to the lowest resolution to ensure compatibility with a wide range of monitors old and new. The problem with this is that if you have a shiny new tv or monitor, the image won’t look great. Find out the resolution of your monitor or TV and match the resolution of your recorder to it for the best image.
- A key part of any CCTV system is being able to remotely monitor your cameras when away from the property. To do this you’ll need to plug an ethernet cable from your internet router to your recorder. From there you will most likely need to download an app to your smart device, then go through the steps to add your cameras to your smart device.
We hope this article provides some useful information you can use when it comes time to install your new cctv system. It is not a step by step guide by any means, it provides general pointers to look out for as part of the overall installation process.
As mentioned earlier in the article, if you don’t feel confident handling the physical or technical aspects of the installation process, please seek the help of a professional security system installer.