The Complete Guide to Buying a CCTV System

In this guide, we explain the best way to choose and buy the best CCTV system for your individual needs.

Complete CCTV System Vs Customised CCTV Solutions – Which is best?

For most people, the preferred choice is buying a complete CCTV system. This approach is often the easiest and most effective way to ensure you have all the parts and pieces needed to give you complete CCTV solution, without the hassle of having to worry about which individual parts and pieces you need to buy before you can get it installed.

Our complete CCTV solution is comprehensive, and comes with everything you need, along with power adaptors, cables, optional hard drive and monitor. You can also very quickly find and buy additional cameras and recorders to extend or upgrade the system with ease.

Content

  • How to choose a Complete CCTV Kit
  • How to choose Cameras
  • How to choose Recorder

CCTV Kits Quick Guide

Wireless Kits IP Kits Analog Kits
2MP See > See > See >
5MP See > See > See >
8MP 4K See > See >
Panoramic See >
1.3MP See >

Use the table above to quickly navigate to a section below.

How to find the best complete CCTV Kit

If you want to buy a CCTV system, there are three different types of security cameras to choose from. Each one of these CCTV systems will offer different specifications and address unique requirements in terms of affordability, quality, compatibility, and ease of installation.

Wireless - Wireless CCTV Security cameras are ideal for almost every situation. They are easily portable and can be installed without having to drill any holes in the property. Whether for home or business, the lack of cabling makes the installs easy, and it helps keep things tidy, and it means the cameras are discreet and aesthetically pleasing.

IP – IP CCTV security cameras offer the best resolutions and frame rates, so they are the highest quality in terms of the imagery the provide.

Analog – Analog CCTV are good for cost efficiency and backwards compatibility with legacy or existing installations.

Explore all CCTV kits >

Content

  • Wireless CCTV Kits
  • IP CCTV Kits
  • Analog CCTV Kits

The Best Wireless CCTV Kits

A fully wireless CCTV system is ideal for those who want to avoid the challenges associated with cabling. These types of cameras are powered locally, and they do not need to have a cable connection to the recorder. This means you don’t have to worry about drilling holes in the walls, nor will you need to deal with any complex networking. A 300-meter wireless CCTV camera range is ideal for most households. They can be placed in any room, and once set-up, they will connect automatically to the recorder.

A wireless CCTV camera is part of the IP system family, so it provides all of the benefits of an IP solution, without the hassle of the wiring or cables.

Explore all Wireless kits
Pros - Wireless CCTV
  • Compact CCTV solution
  • Easy Installations
  • Part of the IP camera family, with most of its benefits
Notes - Wireless CCTV
  • Be mindful of the 300M wireless range in larger properties
  • Watch out for your wireless router stability
  • Extreme weather conditions have the potential to impact wireless range, but this is only ever for a limited period, and rarely occurs

2MP Wireless CCTV Kit

Offering a generous 300M wireless range, and a crisp sharp 2 Megapixel resolution.

8 different wireless cameras are included in the kit, with either a Fixed 3.6mm lens or a 2.8-12mm Varifocal lens for optical zoom.

Choose between wired and wireless recorders. Great night vision range choices up to 60M. Instantly remote view and receive alerts with the free app. Cameras are waterproof, weather resistant, and vandal-proof. Includes all accessories.

Use the dropdown menu below to select number of cameras you would like to buy.

Explore Whole Collection >

5MP Wireless CCTV kit

Offering a generous 300M wireless range, and an amazing 5 Megapixel resolution that is 2.5 x sharper than 1080p. 3 different wireless cameras included in the kit, and the Tropox offers a superb product at a great price. The Tropox PTZ is designed in a bullet-shape and comes with a dome. 2-Way audio feature is enabled across all of these systems.

You can also choose a localized SD storage option for extra peace of mind. Great night vision range choices up to 60M. Instantly remote view and receive alerts with the free app. Cameras are waterproof, weather resistant, and vandal-proof. Includes all accessories.

Use the dropdown menu below to select number of cameras you would like to buy.

Explore Whole Collection >

12" LCD-NVR Wireless CCTV kit

For real-time monitoring in high quality HD, and a quick and easy plug-and-play set-up, this complete wireless CCTV is amongst the best in class. One of the most compelling features of this wireless CCTV kit is that the screen is completely integrated into the recorder. Compared to most other CCTV systems that have a separate monitor and recorder, this reduces the need to have multiple devices, and it makes surveillance management easy, saving space at the same time.

Equipped with Infra-red LEDs, there is a clear 30-meter night vision capacity, along with having the IP66 professional grading for outdoor security camera status. 4 different wireless cameras are included in the kit, with additional cameras available to buy if you need to increase the number of endpoints in your system.

Instantly remote view and receive alerts with the free app. Cameras are waterproof, weather resistant, and vandal-proof. Includes all accessories, with the option to purchase an extra SD card and audio module.

Use the dropdown menu below to select number of cameras you would like to buy.

Explore Whole Collection >

IP CCTV Kits

Buying an IP CCTV system will give you the latest and greatest technology to work with. You get higher specifications and higher resolutions. Also known as PoE, which is short for Power over Ethernet, this means you can enjoy an easy installation process using a single network cable that you can simply plug-and-play.

IP CCTV resolutions are beyond sharp, and there are really very few limitations where resolutions are concerned. The offer ultra-HD quality and lightning fast frame rates, that most other types of CCTV systems just cannot match. With resolutions of up to 4K, and 12 Megapixel, you will enjoy comfort through the clarity offered with an IP CCTV system.

Why PoE is always Best

These types of CCTV systems are incredibly easy to install, and the need to have just a single cable makes the entire integration and adoption straightforward and simple. This is a primary factor that people who buy this product absolutely love. The professional grade of IP CCTV systems we offer all come equipped with PoE ports, allowing you to quickly and easily connect and power-up with a single ethernet cable.

Explore all PoE Kits >
Pros - IP CCTV
  • Crystal-clear imagery and the highest picture quality
  • Highly functional software, with an extensive range of professional features
  • The camera is powered by a standard network cable
Notes - IP CCTV
  • Some IP systems can have a miniscule delay that is less than 0.5 of a second, and often completely unnoticeable

2MP IP CCTV kit

This IP CCTV camera offers outstanding value, with a sharp 2 Megapixel resolution. With up to five different camera choices, with either a Fixed 3.6mm lens or a 2.8-12mm Varifocal lens for optical zoom.

Great night vision range choices of up to 60M and fully integrated PoE ports.

Instantly remote view and receive alerts with the free app. Cameras are waterproof, weather resistant, and vandal-proof. Includes all accessories.

Use the dropdown menu below to select number of cameras you would like to buy.

Explore Whole Collection >

5MP IP CCTV kit

This high-resolution IP CCTV camera boasts an impressive 5MP camera which is up to 2.5 times sharper than 1080p. There are five different cameras to choose from, and either 4,8 or 16 channel PoE recorders.

Using AI-powered technology, you will benefit from the ultra-modern face and body detection capabilities. Get either a Fixed 3.6mm lens or a 2.8-12mm Varifocal lens for optical zoom. With fully motorised lenses, you can automatically zoom in and out with ease.

Great night vision range choices up to 60M. Instantly remote view and receive alerts with the free app. Cameras are waterproof, weather resistant, and vandal-proof. Includes all accessories.

4K IP CCTV kit

Offering an ultra-sharp HD 8 MP resolution, that is more than 4 times sharper than 1080p. This IP CCTV system is robust, and highly capable for the most demanding of situations.

There are four different camera options for you to choose from, and either 4 or 8 channel PoE integrated 4k recorders. Using AI-powered technology, you will benefit from the ultra-modern face and body detection capabilities. Get either a Fixed 3.6mm lens or a 2.8-12mm Varifocal lens for optical zoom.

With fully motorised lenses, you can automatically zoom in and out with ease. Great night vision range choices of up to 60M. Instantly remote view and receive alerts with the free app. Cameras are waterproof, weather resistant, and vandal-proof. Includes all accessories.

Use the dropdown menu below to select number of cameras you would like to buy.

Explore Whole Collection >

Pano IP CCTV kit

Get a complete 360-degree panoramic perspective with this supreme Pano 360 IP CCTV system. Get coverage for each and every corner in your space with a sharp 2MP resolution and excellent night vision capabilities.

Fully integrated PoE ports come as standard, and you easily mix and match this system with other CCTV cameras.

Instantly remote view and receive alerts with the free app. Cameras are waterproof, weather resistant, and vandal-proof. Includes all accessories with optional wireless connectivity.

Use the dropdown menu below to select number of cameras you would like to buy.

Explore Whole Collection >

Analog CCTV Kits

If you want a super HD resolution CCTV system but have a limited budget and analog cabling already in place, buying an analog CCTV kit is the best solution to meet all of your needs. Offering the simplicity of a plug-and-play installation, they present a cost-effective, straightforward, easy to implement CCTV solution.

They are still one of the most popular systems, due mostly to their cost. However, with the superb resolutions now on offer, you no longer need to compromise cost with quality.

If you already have analog cabling in place, yet you want to break away from the limited 1080n resolution, take a look at the 5MP and 4K UHD Analog CCTV Camera systems; you’ll be amazed at the high-quality imagery you can get from analog CCTV solutions.

Explore all AHD Kits >
Pros - AHD CCTV
  • Cost-efficient and budget-friendly CCTV solution
  • No time lag on video streaming
  • Ideal for extending and upgrading an existing analog CCTV solution
  • Easy plug and play installations
Notes - AHD CCTV
  • Needs a power supply and BNC cabling

720p AHD CCTV kit

This offers great value for money and gives you three different cameras to choose from. With a 720p resolution, and superb night vision, it gives you a solid IP CCTV system at a highly affordable price. It also comes with a specialist Hybrid fusion mode for both analog and IP cameras to give you more flexibility than many other types of conventional CCTV systems.

Set-up of the system is quick and easy and can be done in a matter of minutes. You can instantly access the remote viewing capabilities and receive alerts via email or the free phone app.

Cameras are waterproof, weather resistant, and vandal-proof. Includes all accessories.

Use the dropdown menu below to select number of cameras you would like to buy.

Explore Whole Collection >

2MP AHD CCTV kit

Another budget-friendly solution that delivers great value for money. It gives you seventeen different cameras to choose from, with a crystal-clear 2MP resolution, and superb night vision to complete the package.

With quick and easy installation, this system uses a straightforward plug and play set-up that can be done in just a matter of minutes. You can instantly access the remote viewing capabilities and receive alerts via email or the free phone app.

It also comes with a specialist Hybrid fusion mode for both analog and IP cameras to give you more flexibility than many other types of conventional CCTV systems.

Cameras are waterproof, weather resistant, and vandal-proof. Includes all accessories.

Use the dropdown menu below to select number of cameras you would like to buy.

Explore Whole Collection >

5MP AHD CCTV kit

This offers unbeatable value for money while giving you an impressive 5MP resolution; it is the perfect harmony of quality and fair pricing. You get seven different cameras to choose from and wide-angle lenses to heighten the quality and scope of the cameras with superb night vision as standard.

Using AI-powered technology, you will also benefit from the ultra-modern face and body detection capabilities. It also comes with a specialist Hybrid fusion mode for both analog and IP cameras to give you more flexibility than many other types of conventional CCTV systems.

Set-up of the system is quick and easy and can be done in a matter of minutes. You can instantly access the remote viewing capabilities and receive alerts via email or the free phone app. Cameras are waterproof, weather resistant, and vandal-proof. Includes all accessories.

4K AHD CCTV kit

The 4K analog CCTV system delivers incredible value for money while giving you a razor-sharp resolution. Given the high-quality of imagery it delivers, it is priced exceptionally well. There are seven different cameras to choose from, and they offer wide-angle lenses that elevate the quality and scope of the cameras. Night vision also comes as standard.

Using AI-powered technology, this CCTV systems delivers advanced face and body detection capabilities. It also comes with a specialist Hybrid fusion mode for both analog and IP cameras to give you better flexibility compared with many other types of conventional CCTV systems.

The set-up of the CCTV system is straightforward and can be done in a matter of minutes. You can instantly access the remote viewing capabilities and receive alerts via email or the free phone app. Cameras are waterproof, weather resistant, and vandal-proof. Includes all accessories.

How to Choose the Best CCTV Camera

Use our handy tools below to help you identify the best type of CCTV system for your individual needs. The two charts will provide you with a range of solutions based on your ideal resolution or night vision preferences.

Explore All CCTV Cameras >

Content

  • Resolution as Priority
  • Night Vision as Priority
  • Notes

If Resolution is Your Top Priority

Wireless Cam IP Cam Analog Cam Resolution Pixel Count
2MP See > See > See > 1920 x 1080 2073600
3MP See > See > 2048 x 1536 3145728
5MP See > See > See > 2560 x 1960 5017600
8MP See > See > 3266 x 2450 8001700
12MP See > 4000 x 3000 12000000

Resolution is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a CCTV camera. Smaller resolutions can save hard drive space, while large resolutions can achieve greater clarity in the recording. With H.265+ compression technology, the hard drive can store much more space, even with highest resolution, so be sure to consider this when making your selection.

If Night Vision is Your Top Priority

Wireless Cam IP Cam Analog Cam in Feet Purpose
25 Metres See > See > 100ft Standard British house
30 Metres See > See > See > 130ft Large house
40 Metres See > See > See > 200ft+ Long garden or driveway
60 Metres See > See > See > 3266 x 2450 Small car park
100 Metres See > 400ft Large car park
150 Metres See > 492ft Large car park

Night vision is another major point on the priority list when you shop online for the best CCTV system. The covered range of the CCTV system will usually be determined by the strength of the LED light that is being used. Always make sure you choose the most appropriate strength of light to avoid over lighting an area, or the opposite, with the light not being bright enough.

Yes, you need 4K CCTV system!

4K resolution is mind-blowing, and in recent years, H.265+ compression has become mainstream. It dramatically compresses your video into a file that is comparatively 75% smaller, taking up to 75% less space on your hard drive.

With the rapidly declining price of hard drives, ultra HD 4K has already become the affordable choice, and is now easily accessible to all. It no longer has a higher than comfortable price tag, and with H265+ and a low HDD cost; now is the perfect time to buy a 4K CCTV solution.

Why you need to AVOID TVL

As you’ll appreciate, technology advances at rapid speeds. TVL or TV Line is now considered to be old-tech, and while it was popular 5-10 years ago, there are bigger, better, more affordable solutions on offer.

TVL will not give you a satisfactory video quality, regardless of how high their numbers might seem. Instead, look for MP, MPX or Megapixel. The minimum you should consider is 1.3MP, and even though this is relatively low, it is still far better than any TVL-worded cameras.

How to Choose the Best CCTV Recorder

If you buy or own IP cameras, then you will need to get an NVR (network video recorder). If you buy or own analog cameras, then you will need to get a DVR (digital video recorder). Aside from this, a DVR is also XVR, and this means it can handle outputs from both IP and analog cameras. If you plan on connecting an IP camera to an NVR without a PoE Port, then you will also need to get an external PoE switch for it to work correctly.

Explore All CCTV Recorders >

Content

  • NVR v.s. DVR
  • Full Size Recorder
  • Ultra mini Recorder

NVR v.s. DVR

CCTV Network Video Recorders (NVR) are intended for IP cameras and Digital Video Recorders (DVR) are intended for analog cameras.

H.265+ compression allows longer recordings with smaller hard disk drive requirements. A powerful, reliable, multi-core CPU for high-quality CCTV streaming and recording from multiple sources. They are designed to secure both residential and commercial properties.

NVR

NVR's are designed for ultra-high-definition IP CCTV cameras that are connected with standard network CAT 5/6 cables. Power over Ethernet (PoE) NVRs with built-in PoE ports help simplify the hardware installation, and make it easier than ever before to simply plug and play.

DVR

DVR/XVR is a combined solution for both IP & analog CCTV cameras. These are ideal for expanding your existing analog setup by allowing you to connect to newer, ultra-HD IP cameras, and avoiding the need and expense to replace everything at once.

Full Size Recorder

Most modern recorders come packed with the latest tech. Powerful CPU and purpose-built operating systems allow you to record up to 4K 8-12MP resolution across every channel.

Onyx NVR

Explore the full range of Onyx Network Video Recorders here.

PoE 2MP 5MP 8MP 12MP
MN402PN > 4 16 14 10
MN902PN > 8 16 14 10
MN1608PN > 8 16 14 10
MN12A4K > 4 16 14 10
MN36R1G > 36 36 30 25

Onyx DVR

Explore the full range of Onyx Digital Video Recorders here.

2MP 5MP 8MP 12MP
MD402XVR > 4 4 4
MD802XVR > 8 8 8
MD8024K > 8 8 8
MD1602XVR > 16 16 16

Ultra Mini Recorder

This is by far, one of the best value CCTV solutions that is also incredibly lightweight. It has a modern, minimalist, and compact design. If you have a budget to meet, this is one of the most cost efficient pieced of kit. It’s easy to configure, quick to set-up, and great value for money.

Ultra Mini

Wired: 9CH 5MP

1 x 3.5" HDD Slot

-

-

Buy >

Ultra Mini

Wirelessly: 9CH 2MP or 4CH 5MP

1 x 3.5" HDD Slot

Wireless Connection

-

Buy >

Ultra Mini

Wirelessly: 4CH 8MP

1 x 2.5" HDD Slot

Wireless Connection

12- inch LCD Screen

Buy >

Find the Right HDD Size

Use the Quick Formula to see the HDD size.

What makes the CCTV cost more?

When you try to compare different CCTV systems, you might find that the product specifications may look very similar, but with seemingly huge price differentials. Before you commit, make sure you understand why the price is lower. Try checking out reviews and ratings to get a clearer picture of each product.

Local Brand Support

Trusted brands, such as Zxtech come with localised support. If you have any issues, it’s good to know that you can always find help locally in your country. With well-known brands, firmware upgrades and software is routinely maintained, updated, and downloadable from the manufacturers website.

Sensor and DSP makes a big difference on both price and quality.

Sensor+DSP is the number 1 component that can increase the price. Sensor is for image capturing and DSP is for image processing and conversion. They are just as important as a CPU for your computer or the engine for your car.

Sony Sensor (especially Starvis) are mainstream high-quality sensors which last considerably longer while capturing higher quality images. We strongly recommend CCTV cameras with a Sony chip, even it costs a little more money. In the long-term, you will get your return for this investment. For most of the ultra-high-resolution ranges, Sony is a must-have for longevity and quality. However, an OV branded sensor is also an affordable option.

Explore cameras with Sony Chip >

Bits and Bobs which adding on the cost

Cost Impact
Resolution High
Sensor/DSP High
Motorised High
Case size High
Wireless Module Moderate
Varifocal Lens > Moderate
Night Vision Range Moderate
Plastic or Metal Casing Moderate
Internal SD Slot > Light
Audio Extension > Light
Extenal Reset Button Light
IR Cut filter Light
H265+ Next to none

And more...