Low Cost CCTV Systems
We would point out at this section is written as a supplier rather than a competitor to mini-kit systems. They are frequently supplied by our associates, wholesale, to intruder alarm companies who may do a small amount of camera work, or to customers who may require a system which they can install themselves.
Some of the problems with mini-kits are as follows, although we would point out that we are not referring to any particular system as specifications may vary. Nonetheless the following will give you an idea for the things to be careful of.
- Inferior Quality. The definition of both the cameras and the monitors can be less than we would recommend for commercial use
- Mini-kits are normally made dedicated to a supplier. As such very little, if any, industry standard equipment can be added to the system. (Till Scans, Multiplexers, other cameras other than those made by the supplier for the kit.)
In a situation where you have an internal shrinkage problem, you would be unable to add a Cash Scan system if you were using a mini-kit. What is more important, should you at a later date install a professional CCTV system a mini-kit would not be able to be linked up to it for central monitoring. We have known those who wish to upgrade their system have to remove the mini-kit and start again.
Among the basic items not available with a Mini Kit is a remote switcher. This means that whenever you wish to manually change the camera on view, it is necessary to move to the monitor.
- Limited lenses. With many mini-kits only one or two lenses are available, so they never really cover adequately the required areas. Certainly few systems of this type would utilise wide-angle lenses that will give a 90°+ angle of view. In practice this means that, without the right lenses you may see good detail in a far too small area or insufficient detail in the right area. There is little point in spending even a small amount of money on a system that is not going to show you what you want to see.
- Mini-kits do not generally offer Auto Iris Lenses or an electronic shutter. This is often essential where the light levels may change from time to time. Without Auto Iris Lenses the camera will either offer too dark a picture to be clearly seen or on a bright day be blinded by glare.
- No specialist cameras. We are not aware of any Low Light mini-kit cameras, even if such cameras are not required initially see 3. above.