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Sapphire High Definition CCTV

Why CCTV?

Installing a Closed Circuit TV (CCTV) system is the next logical step in protecting your property.  The National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC), which superseded the ACPO, has publicly stated that the Police are unlikely to respond quickly to burglaries unless they are in progress.  Instead they are more and more reliant on evidence supplied by the public from witnesses and private CCTV systems.

The use of CCTV as a deterrent against theft and anti-social behaviour has been proven over the last few decades but has been generally regarded by the domestic consumer as a rather costly and perhaps unnecessary addition to home security.  However, this is certainly changing as more and more consumers realise that CCTV not only acts as a deterrent but also gathers evidence of events if required.  Couple this with the peace of mind factor of being able to remotely monitor the system from anywhere in the world, and CCTV becomes an almost must have.

Why Sapphire?

Sapphire CCTV is a division of Sapphire Alarms and is dedicated to bringing the next level of home and business security to the DIY marketplace.  We have extensively researched the current CCTV technology, and quickly realised that the future of CCTV is with High Definition systems, and as such we only supply analogue HD TVI and network HD IP systems.  Over the past two decades Sapphire Alarms has helped thousands of customers install, upgrade and repair their burglar alarm systems, and as such has earned a reputation for integrity and sound advice.  We can now bring that experience and knowledge to the CCTV marketplace.

What is High Definition (HD)?

Historically, standard analogue systems are capable of achieving a maximum resolution of around 700 TVL (TV Lines).  These older systems are commonly termed as D1 or the wide-screen version 960H.  Once you have seen the clarity of the video produced by HD systems, you will realise just how poor standard analogue (D1/960H) is.  When comparing resolutions it is convenient to convert everything into pixels, and as a guide, 960H captures 0.46Mp (Megapixels), HD 720P captures 0.92Mp and HD 1080P a massive 2.1Mp.  HD 1080P systems are commonly referred to as 'Full HD'.  When it comes to HD IP systems, these are quoted in Megapixels such as 1.3Mp, 2.0Mp up to 5mp or 6Mp.

Which HD System?

We have tried and tested all the current HD systems such as HD-SDi, HD-CDI, HD-AHD, HD-TVI and HD-IP.  As a result we concluded that there are only two real contenders - HD-TVI and HD-IP - and we cannot see any real advantage in using the other systems, although this may change as manufacturers attempt to unload their existing stocks of SDi and CDI products at discounted prices. In our opinion SDI and CDI will effectively be dead sooner than later.  As such we are dedicated to supplying only TVI and IP systems.

An overview of these two (TVI & IP) systems is given in the articles below.

HD-TVI Explained

HD-IP Explained

Why Hikvision?

We have tested both TVI and IP systems from several different manufacturers with varying results.  It would seem that every CCTV maker and his agent is manufacturing TVI and IP systems.  The quality of these un-branded products sometimes leaves a lot to be desired, as does their feature list.  In fact a lot of the claimed features are either not present or are grossly over-exaggerated.  Luckily, there are a few manufacturers who obviously take care in the quality control and the correct description of the products they supply.

For the quality and ease of installation, the stand-out manufacturer is the Chinese company Hikvision with Dahua coming a close second.  We have never had a problem with them, and their products perform exactly as expected, backed up by good quality software.  Their systems are designed to be installer friendly and are thus eminently suitable for the DIY marketplace.  Admittedly, the price of the Hikvision systems is somewhat higher than directly imported products, but it is really worth the extra for the peace of mind that you get with a quality product.

As a result of our confidence in the Hikvision product range, we provide a two year unrestricted warranty on their products.

The Hikvision TVI and IP systems are designed to automatically configure connected cameras.  The DVRs (& NVRs) are also very easy to set-up for remote viewing over a Wide Area Network (WAN), such as the Internet.  Hikvision also have the 'EzViz' system for viewing the CCTV system on mobile devices.  Using 'EzViz' requires no port forwarding or static IP address.

Articles


Getting Started With HD CCTV

Hikvision IP Cameras - Quick View
Hikvision TVI Cameras - Quick View
Connecting IP CCTV Systems
Connecting Analogue Cameras
About DVRs & NVRs
HD IP CCTV Explained
HD TVI CCTV Explained
Using PoE in IP Systems
Choosing CCTV Cameras

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