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Security Camera Quick Guide

By: Claudemir Martins

For electrician, installers and DIYers

who want to learn how CCTV works

Security Camera Quick Guide
By Claudemir Martins

This guide is for beginners or experienced CCTV professionals who need a quick
reference on analog technology. Here you will find valuable information explained
in a simple and objective way. For more information visit:

About the author

My name is Claudemir Martins, I started
my career in Brazil working in the
electrical industry, and with computer
networks where I became Cisco CCNA
and CCNP certified. Later I moved to the
CCTV industry, where I dedicated myself
to attend high-level training in several
countries. My career advancement has
allowed me to work in the United States
and visit 17 countries to train
professionals in 3 different languages.

About the copyright

All information contained in this guide should be used only for learning purposes
by the person who purchased it.
The texts and images contained in this material should not be used on websites,
magazines or blogs without the prior written authorization of the author.
This guide must not be copied, sent or distributed to third parties.
Noncompliance with these terms may lead to legal proceedings punishable by
fines and penalties under copyright laws.
UPDATE: I’m proud to announce that the Ultimate Security Camera Guide
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About the Security Camera Quick Guide

This guide was elaborated with great dedication for teaching you in a simple way
the fundamental and principles of security cameras.
For those who want to learn more, I created the Ultimate Security Camera Guide
collection with much more details about security cameras.
The Ultimate Security Camera Guide collection have been divided into
different volumes that teach security camera technology and allow the reader to
advance step-by-step.

Future volumes of this series will be available with the same quality and affordable
prices for professionals who wish to invest in their own careers.

Volume 1 Volume 2 Volume 3

Analog Systems Cameras Remote View Digital Systems (IP)

For more information visit:

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To my dear wife Valdirene and my daughter Amanda who believed in my dream

and accompanied me in my adventure of living and working in the United States of
America, where we are very happy.

I am very grateful for the support I receive from both and will continue to devote
myself to students who also believe in progression through knowledge.

I am very proud of every professional who learns with everything I let available on
my website. I am sure they are on their way to success.

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Closed Circuit Television 7
Analog CCTV fundamentals 8
Infrastructure for CCTV 9
Coaxial cables 10
Bipolar coaxial cables 11
Power supply 12
Types of cameras 14
Analog resolution 16
Digital resolution 18
Digital Video Recorder (DVR) 20
Analog camera technologies 22
Example of CCTV project 24

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Closed Circuit Television

Recording to have evidence

Analog CCTV fundamentals

A simple analog CCTV system consists of cameras connected to a recording

equipment known as DVR (Digital Video Recorder) that converts the signals
from analog to digital format for recording and monitoring over the network.
Once the signal is digital, it can be stored on a hard drive or sent over the
network. See the diagram below:

cable Monitoring station
box dome


PTZ bullet

Analog cameras
Analog Monitor

In the first block, it is possible to see analog cameras of different types such as
box, dome, PTZ, and bullet. They are connected to the DVR using coaxial cables
The analog signals are converted to digital video and recorded on the DVR. The
digital video is also displayed on a computer’s monitor (monitoring station).
A UTP (Unshielded Twisted Pair) cable also know as “network cable” or “cat5
cable” is used to connect the DVR and the monitoring station

Traditional analog CCTV cameras have their resolution measured in TVL (TV
lines) which are converted by the DVR into digital information (known as pixel).

analog camera Monitoring station

analog DVR digital

TVL Pixel

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Infrastructure for CCTV

Cables and connectors

for analog CCTV
Coaxial cables

For the installation of analog CCTV cameras it is necessary to use coaxial

cables that can vary according to the need of the project, basically the larger
the gauge of the cable, the better the transmission over long distances. Below
is a diagram of a coaxial cable:

Role of each component

Conductor: Transports the video signal
Dielectric: Electric insulation
Braid: Protects against interference
Dielectric Outer jacket: Plastic protection

Types of coaxial cables

RG-59: Can transmit black and white

images at 750 feet (228m) and color
images up to 650 feet (198m) away.

RG-11: Can transmit black and white

images at 1968 feet (600m) and color
images up to 1312 feet (400m) away.

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Bipolar coaxial cables

Bipolar coaxial cables can transmit images and power at the same time. They are
widely used in small CCTV systems installations.

Central conductor

Braid Power

Outer jacket

Component Role

Central conductor Used to transport the video signal from the camera to
the monitor, or digital video recorder (DVR).

Insulation material separating the conductor from the


It is used to protect the cable from electromagnetic


Power Carries power to the camera

Outer jacket Protective plastic

Always ground your system correctly, so the electromagnetic interference

received by the coaxial cable can be discharged to earth.

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Power supply

How to Power the

CCTV Cameras
Power supply

To connect the CCTV cameras it is necessary to use a power supply that

provides the voltage and the proper current according to the project.
In most modern installations with analog cameras, the power supply is
centralized and distribute power to all installed cameras.

Below is an example of a centralized power supply, this type of power supply

can be used to connect multiple cameras according to their maximum current.


127/220 VAC
12 VDC --- 10A


The connection is extremely simple because the power has labels on each of
the connectors, the power supply must connected to an electrical outlet using
the hot and neutral connectors, and the positive and negative connectors are
connected to the cameras. There is also a connector for grounding.

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Type of cameras

Micro camera
Box, Dome, Bullet and PTZ
Type of cameras

There are different types of cameras on the market for all kinds of projects, from
the most basic, where the customer wants to monitor their residence or small
office, to more advanced projects with thousands of cameras.

Fixed cameras
Fixed cameras are installed in a location for specific areas monitoring, they are
installed and have the lenses adjusted for a specific viewing angle

Micro camera Box Bullet Mini Dome Dome

PTZ cameras and positioning systems

PTZ cameras and positioning systems can be moved even after installation
through a system with motors that can be controlled remotely.

Speed Dome (PTZ) Positioning system Positioning system

(explosion proof) (with infrared)

Mobile cameras are a combination of the optical part that are inside protective
boxes that move by motorized mechanical systems.

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Analog resolution

For cameras and monitors

Analog cameras resolution

The resolution of a camera defines how much detail we can see in the image.
The higher the resolution, the better the level of detail we will have and more
information will be available for analysis.
In traditional analog systems we measure the resolution through the amount of
available lines that are displayed on a monitor.

Analog monitor
TV lines (TVL)


By connecting a 600 TVL lines CCTV camera directly to a monitor via a coaxial
cable, these lines will be displayed on the monitor as long as it also has at least
600 TVL lines resolution.

+ =
600 TVL
Coaxial cable

600 TVL

TVL (stands for TV Lines) is the number of the lines displayed on an analog
The system must be compatible to display the lines properly, if you connect a
CCTV camera with 600 TVL to a monitor that has for only 400TVL, the quality will
not be satisfactory.

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Digital resolution


Cameras and monitors

with digital resolution
Digital resolution (pixel)

Digital resolution is measured in pixels, which are the small elements in a image.
In the picture below, you will see a 2MP megapixel camera connected to a monitor
which shows 1920 pixels horizontally and 1080 pixels vertically.

By multiplying the amount of

pixels of the image we get a
total of 2,073,600 pixels.

1 Mega is used to represent

the 1 million, in the image
there are more than 2
million pixels, so the image
has 2 Megapixel.

2 Mega Pixel The higher the amount of

2,073,600 pixels pixels in the image, the
higher the resolution and
the better the digital zoom
to see important details.

The digital resolution on a monitor or TV is related to the amount of pixels that

they are able to display, as shown in the image below:

720 x 480 = 480p

1280 x 720 = 720p
1920 x 1080 = 1080p
3840 x 2160 = 4K

720p also known as HD


1080p also known as Full

HD resolution

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Digital Video Recorder (DVR)

Converts analog camera

signals to digital format
and records everything
Digital Video Recorder (DVR)

In the image below you can see the back of a DVR with 8 inputs for audio and video


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Audio output HDMI Network Power conn
and USB
Audio input Video input VGA Alarm I/O

See below a description for the connectors on the back of a DVR

1. In the audio inputs you can connect preamplified microphones to record the
sound of the environment and associate it with the corresponding video channel.

2. Audio output can be used to connect an amplified speaker

3. Video inputs include cameras with conventional analog signal or new

technologies (HD-TVI, HD-CVI and AHD) depending on the model of the DVR.

4. HDMI output is used to connect monitors at distances up to 15 meters, for

longer distances, an appropriate repeaters is required.

5. The VGA output is used to connect monitors at distances of 7 to 30 meters

(depending on the resolution used from 800x600 to 1920x1200) for longer
distances it is necessary to use appropriate repeaters.
6. The network connector allows the DVR to be connected to a switch or router for
monitoring, backup and remote operation via a computer.

7. The alarm input allows the connection of sensors and the alarm output allows
connection with signaling and control devices.

8. A connector for the power supply cable is available on the DVR.

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Analog camera technologies


Analog camera technologies

When purchasing an analog camera it is important to keep in mind that there are
different technology used to transmit the signals to a DVR, encoder or monitor.

In the market it is very common to find different manufacturers offering these

technologies with certain nomenclatures. Although some variations appear, in
general the technologies are summarized in:


Basically all those technologies use analog signals. CVBS (Composite Video
Broadcast Signal) is the oldest and traditional that does not offer high resolution
images compared to newer ones AHD, HD-TVI and HD-CVI.

Below is an example of cameras from different manufacturers with the

technologies mentioned before.

Bosch Samsung Hikvison Dahua


It is possible to find cameras and recorders with hybrid technology, which accept
both CVBS and other types of signals, most manufacturers, such as those
mentioned above, have these types of products.

Attention: In the market you can find different vendors talking about the
advantages and disadvantages of these systems, be careful to listen to this
information, learn and draw your own conclusions.

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Small CCTV design example
C2 C3

C1 C4

Simple and fast design

for an office
Small CCTV design example

Here we will see an example of simple CCTV design for a small office.

Recording and monitoring a small office

A businessman wants to monitor the workplace with two cubicles for tech support,
a desk and a waiting room.
He wants to record everything that happens in the office and have remote view to
the cameras from his computer at home.

The image below shows the example of the office that he wants to monitor.

For this example the installer will install 4 analog cameras and 1 recorder (DVR),
he will also need to buy cables, connectors, power supply and any other
necessary materials to be used in the installation.

Let’s assume that the installer already has the necessary tools for installation
such as hammers, screw drivers, pliers, etc.

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Small CCTV design example

Step 1: Discuss project with the customer

In this step you should talk to the client to verify what he/she wants and what
his/her expectations and budget available for the project is.
Be aware that the client does not have the same knowledge as a CCTV installer,
sometimes he/she asks for things that are not possible or that does not make
sense, or is too expensive. Just listen to him/her and let him/her know what the
options are.
Do not be alarmed by certain situations, if the client asks you to design a system
to record video for an entire year, explain to him/her that this is possible, however
most of CCTV projects are designed to record up to 30 days.
A questionnaire may vary according to the type of customer, see a template below
that should work in most cases:

Basic Questions for a Customer:

How many cameras do you think is necessary for your office?

Which device do you want to use for remote view? (computer, tablet, mobile)
Does anyone come into the office at night ?
What are the working hours ?
Do you want to know only if there are people hanging around or recognize their
How many people need to have access to the monitoring system?
Want to prevent something before it happens or watch recordings later?
Want to have redundancy if somebody stoles the recorder (DVR) ?
Are there any problems with lack of electricity in the office?
Do you want people to know that there's a security camera in the office?
Are the office lights on during the night ?
For how many days do you want to record the videos ?

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Small CCTV design example

Step 2: Sketch the project diagram on a paper

When visiting the customer to have a conversation about the project, you must
bring your agenda or a drawing board. You don’t have to be an artist, but just
sketch something to help you understand the project.

Here is an example of a simple, but very handy, sketch:

Note how simple it is to sketch a diagram depicting 4 dome-type cameras on the

left side, connected with cables to a DVR, which in turn connects to a router (R)
that connects to a laptop and also to the Internet. And from the Internet we have
a tablet and cell phone.

This sketch helps to have a general idea about what will be necessary for design
and installation, from here you already know that you need things like:

• 4 Dome camera with 3mm fixed lenses

• 1 DVR with hard drive for 30 days recording
• Coaxial cables to connect the cameras to the DVR
• Network cable (UTP cable) to connect the DVR to the router
• Monitor to connect to the DVR and see live video/configuration
• Installation material such as racks, screws, tapes, etc

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Small CCTV design example

Step 3: Decide where to install the cameras

See below a sketch that shows the positions of the cameras

The four black dots represent the cameras, just make a sketch to indicate where
the cameras will be installed and add some notes, later you can use a software
to design everything in a computer.

With this draft is possible to know that the camera behind the desk (SEC) will
point to the entrance, the cameras located in the cubicles (C1 and C2) will point
to their respective entrances and the camera in the waiting room will monitor the

It is then necessary to decide where the recorder (DVR) will be installed and to
have a measurements of the site to estimate the amount of cables needed, this
is done with a site survey and analysis of where the cables will run.

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Small CCTV design example

Step 4: Generate the list of equipment and materials needed

After creating the drafts, and writing down the details, you will have enough
information to generate a list of material for the project
Below is an example of a list for this fictitious project

Qty Material Location

HD-TVI Dome camera with 3mm fixed lens 1080p

resolution with infrared and WDR.
HD-TVI Dome camera with 3mm fixed lens 1080p
3 C1, C2, SE
resolution with infrared.
1 4 channel HD-TVI DVR with 1TB hard drive C2

50m RG59 siamese coaxial cable with 90% braid All

8 Coaxial cable BNC connector All

4 P4 Connector used for the power supply All

2 2.5m patch cord (UTP cat5e) cable SEC

12 Screws for camera mounting All

1 3 Us Rack for the DVR SEC

1 5A Power supply SEC

1 UPS for the DVR SEC

The list have different cameras because one of them will point to the entrance
where a backlight compensation is needed, so the camera must have WDR.

Extra materials such as RG59 BNC, nylon cable clamps, silicone, etc, should be
part of an installer's tool kit.

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Small CCTV design example

Step 5: Customer proposal

With a list in hand, visit a store that sells CCTV cameras and ask for a quotation,
this also can be done over the Internet.
It is important to have more than one quotation at first to have an idea of what
products are available in the market and what are the prices of different suppliers.

For your first quotation you may notice a big difference in prices, but this is
perfectly normal, because the technology and quality of each product varies
according to several factors such as: brand, equipment features, warranty,
manufacturer technical support, training team availability, etc.

Beware of products that don’t have an installation manual or a person you can
contact for technical support. Below is a list of manufacturers (analog cameras).

Example of well-know brands that manufacture CCTV cameras

Chinese manufacturers which have good quality products

Example of others manufacturers of analog CCTV cameras

There are also lot of different Chinese manufacturers out there, just keep in mind
that some of them will not have any local support or warranty, so take everything in
consideration before decide to use cheap equipment, quality has its price.

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Small CCTV design example

Step 6: Installation

After the customer proposal approval, buy the equipment and begin the
installation, for this quick example let’s consider the use of a 1A (ampere) power
supply with 1TB hard drive.
Install the cameras by attaching them to the wall with the appropriate screws.

Attach the camera mount Install the camera Close the camera

Insert the BNC into the coaxial cable Use the crimp tool

Install the power supply connector Connect to the power supply

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Small CCTV design example

Connect the cables to the camera Connect the cables to the DVR

Open the DVR main menu Adjust the date and timezone

Configure the camera resolution Ajust the recording settings

In this example, the menu shows the screens of a 4 channel Hikvision DVR, but
the configuration method is similar for other brands. It is essential to first set the
correct date and time, and at least adjust the resolution and recording mode.

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Small CCTV design example

Step 7: Train people and generate final documentation

Once the installation is complete, request a meeting with your client to show him
that everything is working properly according to the initial design.
The sketch used in the beginning of the project is now a nice drawing just like the
one in the picture below. You can use software such as Autocad, CCTV Design
or even a power point to have a nice diagram for your customer.


Recorder (DVR)

Tablet / Mobile Laptop Tablet / Mobile

C2 C3

C1 C4

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Final consideration

I hope you have taken advantage of the information contained in this guide, they
are the basis for a bright future in a CCTV career.
In this market there is a lot to learn and it is necessary to always update your
skills, that’s the reason why there are new versions of the courses and videos on
the website

If you want to acquire more knowledge that will make a significant difference in
your professional career, consider acquiring the entire CCTV collection.

Volume 1 Volume 2 Volume 3

Analog Systems Cameras Remote View Digital Systems (IP)

For more information visit:

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