What types of CCTV systems are there?
There are a huge variety of systems available. Work on the basis that whatever you need there is a solution – budgets are the only limiting factor. Allcooper can install systems for homes, businesses and large organisations that can be both stand alone or monitored by a Video Monitoring Centre.

We have massive choice of cameras – internal, external, vandal resistant, heat sensitive, covert, domes, conventional cameras and more.

We don’t record images to VCRs anymore. We record in digital format to a variety of equipment, but primarily Digital Video Recorders (DVRs). The main consideration when specifying a DVR is how many cameras you need, how long you want to keep the recorded images for, what quality of image you need and how you can access both the live and recorded images.

Essentially, the longer you want to keep the images, and the higher quality recording you have, and the more cameras you have will increase the storage capacity of the machine. The larger the storage capacity, the more expensive the DVR, so it’s a critical calculation. Fortunately our Surveyors take all these factors, and calculate them to provide the correct solution for your system.

So what recorder is best for me?
It really depends on the results of our survey. We always recommend an element of contingency, so that you can add an extra camera, without having to purchase another expensive DVR.

New technology means that we can record images to your own existing IT hardware via a piece of software known as an Network Video Recorder (NVR). This kind of solution requires the full support of your IT professionals to execute securely and effectively, but removes the cost of having a stand alone DVR.

Can I upgrade my existing VCR?
Yes. We can replace your existing VCR for a DVR. This is very cost effective and DVRs are available from about £500 + VAT.

What happens if there is an incident?
A DVR is much more flexible. You can search very quickly for incidents. It’s essentially the same as the difference between a music tape and a CD. Some DVR’s have a log of events, which you can view either via a dedicated keyboard and monitor, or some systems have the capacity to be viewed via a PC. The incidents can be saved to a CD or DVD, or even emailed.

What types of cameras are there?
There are literally thousands of different types of camera. Whatever your application, we will specify the correct camera for you. It’s a specialist skill and it is a very fast moving technology. What’s also good is that the costs are coming down, for even the very best cameras.

Can they move by themselves?
Some systems can be configured and programmed to carry out patrols. Other systems have movement sensors linked into them. When someone is detected, the camera will move to a preset position.

Can I record number plates with them?

During the day, just about any camera, if properly set up will record number plates. However, at night the car lights play havoc with the camera’s light sensitive chip. What you really need is a specialist camera that only records reflected infra-red light, which means it can read each and every number plate irrespective of weather conditions. More advanced options are ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) systems, which match number plates to databases and automatically open gates and barriers, or send alerts.

What cameras can be used at night?
Again, this depends on local lighting conditions, your requirements and the effect of light pollution. We have options across the board. The latest infra-red lights are fantastic as they use little power because they are LED technology. They also last up to 20x longer than conventional IR lights.

What type of lighting is best?
Probably infra-red; this way burglars cannot see anything, and light pollution is minimised.

Can I see the images over my IT network?
It depends on your systems, but essentially you can, if your IT Manager gives your system an IP address. In fact anyone with the correct authorisation can view it. Be careful here though. Some manufacturers offer their software for free, and others charge. We think that firms that charge for their software are likely to spend more time and resources developing it, which may be a better option in the long run.

Can I see the images over the internet?
Normally, if you can view the cameras on your network, you can view them on the internet. You’ll need a broadband connection for decent images.

What happens if I get broken in to and they wear balaclavas?

Well, I’m afraid that you’ll have footage that may be entirely useless. You should really consider a monitored CCTV system. Have a look at our CCTV page for further info.

Can these systems replace the need for a security guard?
Yes they can, and what’s more, they never sleep, protect the whole property and typically pay for themselves (ROI) in around 18 months.

Can they open gates remotely?
Yes they can. Our Video Receiving Centre can have 2 way conversations with your people, as if we were actually on site.

So are camera systems still the future?
More than ever - for reliable, cost effective security, nothing comes close.


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