How To Build a CCTV System

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Designing, building, and buying a new CCTV system for your home or business can be confusing. In this article we’ll cover the most important sections of your new system and the choices you need to make.

What type of system are you looking for?

Analogue – RG59/Twin Shotgun Cabling

This is a cable with 2 plugs on each end. One is the BNC video cable and one is the power cable, as the BNC cable cannot carry power.

IP POE – CAT5 Cabling

This is a cable with 1 plug on each end that you may recognise from your internet cabling. It only needs 1 plug as it can carry power.

Where will the cameras be installed?

Soffit – Dome camera

Dome cameras are the more popular option. They are better suited to being mounted on the underside of surfaces as they can be angled down more effectively than a bullet camera.

As well as this, they are harder for would-be criminals to move or damage so they’re a great choice for mounting that may be in reach.

Wall – Bullet type

If you’re looking for a camera that can be angled more outwards than downwards, a bullet camera might be the right choice. They are great for wall mounting, but should be out of reach of people.

What distance do you need to cover?


If you only have a short distance that you need to cover, you will only need a 3.6mm fixed lens. This means you can’t zoom in or out, so you should ensure the details you would need (for example faces or registration plates) are visible.

Longer distance/wide angles

If you have a long distance or wide angle to cover, you’ll need a camera with zooming capabilities. For a wide, close angle you should choose a 2.8-12mm vari focal camera. However, for a long distance, a 5-50mm vari focal camera will work better.

How many cameras are needed?

2-4 cameras

We stock a number of CCTV ‘starter kits’ that include a multi-channel system and a number of cameras, both bullet and dome.

The most popular options are a 4 channel system with 4 cameras, but we also stock 2 channel systems with 2 cameras and 8 channel systems with 4 cameras.

5-8 cameras

The biggest ‘starter kit’ we stock is an 8 channel system with 4 cameras, so if you want to use all channels you will need to purchase additional cameras.

9+ cameras

The size up from an 8 channel system is a 16 channel system, so if you wanted 9 – 16 cameras you would need to buy the system and cameras separately as we don’t stock kits this big.

If you want more than 16 cameras, you will need to buy more than one system.

<16 cameras & <32 cameras

The number of cameras you want also effects what type of cabling you can use. An analogue system can only support a maximum of 16 cameras whereas a POE system can support a maximum of 32 cameras.

Still confused?

If you’re still stuck or need some further information, our customer services team can help! Email us at or give us a call on 0800 043 8975.