How Much Does CCTV Cost?
If you were wondering how much CCTV costs, let this blog be a guide to you. In the article I will discuss and give information on many of the features that can affect your CCTV installation costs and quotes that you receive, this may help you if you have a budget in mind or if you’re collecting a few quotes, so you will be able to see the differences between the prices that you receive. Please be mindful, as this blog does it best to describe that CCTV is one of those things where prices can differ dramatically between installations, but this should help you decipher the quotes you receive.
Without any further ado, let’s begin.
The CCTV Cameras
The CCTV cameras that you choose can make a huge difference between your CCTV installation quotes. There are lots of specifications with cameras far too many, but I will cover the main ones here:
Indoor/ Outdoor CCTV Cameras
Indoor only cameras tend to be a little less expensive that outdoor equivalents. This is because no consideration needs to be made for weatherproofing as the indoor cameras will not be subjected to main fall and weathering. You should also consider that when a camera is installed externally on a building that you will usually need a junction box or camera base for where the CCTV cable connects that feeds your recording equipment to the camera itself to protect it from rainwater and weathering. This would normally add a little extra material cost to your CCTV installation.
Resolution/ Image Quality
The picture quality that the cameras are capable of displaying could potentially change the cost of your CCTV installation dramatically. Resolutions are typically given in megapixels (MP) or TVL for analogue cameras, however most analogue cameras we install these days are also represented in MP. In recent years there have been dramatic changes in the cost of CCTV cameras and many of the systems we install you can get a 5MP camera for not much more than a 3MP or 2MP.
For your reference full HD (1080p) is the equivalent of 2MP which would be very clear images, 4K which is crystal clear images is around 8MP. You should expect to pay more for CCTV cameras capable of 4K image.
The actual type of camera you choose will also affect your CCTV installation quotes. Here are some of the main camera types.
These are the most common CCTV cameras that we install. A dome camera will look like a semi sphere type shape. These are great for neat installations and when installed it can be difficult to see 100% which direction that they are pointing.
A bullet camera is perhaps the most universally recognisable of all CCTV cameras types. The camera lens itself is connected to a long body and a base. The equivalent bullet and domes models with similar resolutions,lens sizes etc will typically be very similar.
A PTZ camera, which stands for pan, tilt and zoom will cost substantially more than normal cameras. These is because there is much more to them. You will want to install a PTZ camera if you need to be able to rotate and move the camera image itself. Most PTZ cameras will allow you to zoom right into images to see things in the distance in more detail. Usually PTZ cameras are only generally installed in business locations like shopping centres &commercial property where security staff would operate the camera in a security room but recent years and the fall in CCTV installation prices has seen them come more affordable for domestic and home CCTV installations.
Convert CCTV Cameras
There are so many different types of covert cameras. You have some of the more obvious ones like Fisheye cameras we are not necessarily covert cameras but not instantly recognisable as CCTV cameras. There are other types likes models which are designed to look like PIR sensors at be installed in the corner of rooms and other models which are very different to distinguish at all. Covert cameras can vary hugely in terms of cost so you should consider this if you are interested in covert CCTV camera installation.
IP or Analogue CCTV
There are two main types of CCTV systems. These are IP CCTV systems which is digital system which connects to data cables and can be integrated with computer networks and analogue CCTV systems which have been around far longer and operate over coaxial cabling not dis-similar to cables used for TV systems. IP CCTV has many advantages over analogue systems like increase picture quality, security and ability to add large amounts of cameras.
However, most analogue systems will be HD-TVI these days which allows for almost similar picture resolutions. We can install a 12MP HD-TVI camera which is way beyond 4K. IP usually will cost more than analogue CCTV systems, this is because the cameras and the recording equipment both cost more.
DVR’s / NVR’s
The DVR’s and NVR’s are the recording equipment where the CCTV is usually configured, and recordings viewed and stored. Analogue CCTV systems use Digital Video Recorders (DVR) and IP systems use Network Video Recorders (NVR). There are lots of different types and here are some of the considerations that you should acknowledge when comparing CCTV quotes and CCTV estimates.
How Many Channels The DVR/ NVR Has
A channel on an NVR or DVR is the how many cameras can be added to that recording equipment. NVR’s can serve a far greater volume of cameras owing to the fact that the cameras only really need to connect to the network, whereas analogue cameras need to connect to the DVR. Some NVR’s will allow for ‘x’ number of cameras connected to the NVR direct, as many will also have an inbuilt POE switch that will allow for the cameras to be connected to the NVR and powered all of one Cat5 or Cat6 cable. DVR’s are generally available with of 4,8, 16,& 32 channels. If you need CCTV camera than this, you will either need to install a second DVR or install an IP CCTV system instead. Obviously, the more channels that your DVR or NVR has the more expensive your CCTV system will be.
Hard Drive Size/ Capacity
The greater your CCTV camera quality, the more cameras that you connect and the amount of days that you want to be able to go back and view will all affect the hard disk drive capacity that you require. The greater the camera resolution the more information that needs to be stored also. With our CCTV installations in Sussex we would would aim to provide the client with at least 30 days of CCTV footage with the system on continuous record.
If you wanted to try and save some money on your CCTV installation there are a few things that can be done to preserve your hard drive capacity resulting in a smaller hard drive being required. These are set your cameras to motion record only. This can really extend the recording time of your DVR/ NVR by only recording on your system when there is activity on the camera images. Changing the recording compression technique can also be used to preserve hard disk drive space. The latest version is H.265+ which can really save on the storage requirements from your CCTV cameras. Another option you have is to change the recording frame rate, the lower this is the less storage space will be required and this will affect the quality of your recorded images,so I recommend using the other techniques first.
Typically, we would install a 2TB hard drive on our domestic CCTV installations using a couple of 5MP cameras which typically adds around about £85+VAT for the DVR cost. To give you an idea of the cost of replacing atypical 3TB hard drive will add £105+VAT, A 4TB £135+VAT extra, A 6TB £200+VAT approx. and an 8TB about £250+VAT.
You can see here that this could affect the cost of your CCTV installation quotes quite a lot so I recommend when collecting CCTV prices that you check what size hard drive they have quoted you for, so you have a fair comparison.
Commercial or Residential CCTV
Whether you’re CCTV system will be installed in a commercial or residential property will almost certainly affect the price or you CCTV installation.This is because most commercial properties typically have higher expectations of the CCTV system and the installations also would typically be more difficult to complete. So, things already mentioned in this blog like higher resolution cameras, IP CCTV systems, large volume of cameras, specialist cameras like PTZ cameras and higher end recording DVR’s/ NVR’s will be a lot more common and affect the CCTV price.
The size of the buildings and difficultly of the installation on commercial buildings will also very greatly between commercial properties far more than that of domestic and residential properties. For large commercial properties it is also not unusual for owners to expect the CCTV installation to be completed outside of normal working hours, sometimes through the night. If you’re going to need your CCTV installers working out of hours,it fair to say that this is going to cost you a fair amount more. There is also the issue with far more paperwork needed to be provided with commercial CCTV installations, it’s not unusual to be expected to provide schematic drawings,risk and method statements etc which alone cane add a fair amount of time to the CCTV work.
There are also other reasons why commercial CCTV systems could cost a fair amount more, like where the cameras need to be installed. If your cameras need to be installed high and require the use of specialist access equipment like cherry pickers, something rarely required in domestic CCTV systems. This too will affect your CCTV quotes.
As domestic CCTV systems don’t tend to vary much between installations, we have our Home CCTV Installation packages based on the number of cameras that you require. We wouldn’t be able to do this with most commercial CCTV installations however.
Quality of CCTV Equipment
The quality of the materials will obviously affect your CCTV installation price and the CCTV quotes that you receive. There are lots of cheap CCTV DIY kits on the market these days which take any difficult terminations of cables and do not require any specialist tools. Although they make the installation far easier I have yet to come across one that I would consider “professional” quality. There is also lots of cheap Chinese equipment on the market that you would do well to avoid. When collecting your quotes ask your CCTV installer to specify the manufacturer of the equipment that they will be installing. A good brand that most CCTV installers and not just us use these days in called Hikvision and this a manufacturer that we are happy to recommend.The technical support from this company is also second to none and most of the equipment comes with a good warranty.
Monitor or Not
You don’t necessarily need a monitor to watch your CCTV on.On our domestic installations often for security we would install the DVR’s in a secure location like within the lofts that if an intruder ever did gain access to the property the chances of them leaving with the DVR and your recordings are subsequently reduced. In an ideal world a monitor would be installed together with the DVR, but this often is an unnecessary cost considering that people don’t often venture up into their lofts as the CCTV can be viewed on Smart phones, tablets and PC’s.
Also, a lot of people in a domestic like connecting the DVR to their TV so that can be used as a monitor. For this reason, we do not allow for monitors we our domestic CCTV installations and if one is required would charge more for this.
Commercial CCTV installations are different in this respect as we would typically price for a new monitor on all installations, we would also allow for a secure lockable enclosure which the DVR itself will be sited within to ensure that the installation is in line with data protection legislation which would add a couple of hundred pounds to the CCTV price. A lot of large CCTV systems also need more than one monitor, so these could all add up and make a dramatic difference to your CCTV cost.
VAT Registered CCTV Companies
You already be aware but not all traders charge VAT on their services. This is not that they are doing anything untoward or illegal it’s just that they are not VAT registered meaning that they do not have to charge their customers and clients VAT on top. This means that they have will have a price advantage over VAT registered companies that do charge VAT, currently an extra 20%.
You may be wondering why some CCTV companies charge VAT and others don’t. This is because until you when a company or trader reaches a certain turnover threshold they legally have to start charging their customers VAT. Currently around £80,000 per annum. This may seem that it’s a good idea to try and find a company that doesn’t charge VAT to save yourself some money but it’s worth acknowledging that with the cost of CCTV equipment, cameras, recording equipment and so on it doesn’t take much to reach the VAT threshold. Although I can’t comment on every CCTV installer but if they are not charging VAT on their sales it means that they can’t be completing many CCTV installations, so you be mindful of this before firing their services and using their quote as a comparison for any future quotes you receive which will most likely contain VAT.
CCTV Installation Prices – From £545+VAT
I’m sure now that you will understand that it is difficult for just tell you want CCTV is going to cost because of the number of variables. Simply choosing one camera instead of another could put hundreds of pounds onto the bill.
The following prices are for a domestic CCTV installation only. The cameras used are dome 5MP HD-TVI fixed lens CCTV cameras. All the following is based on our own CCTV installation packages which also includes connection the internet for remote streaming and viewing. If you want an idea of a more bespoke price put your specs into the comments and I will do my best to help you with an idea of a price. All the prices and packages are true as of the 14/10/18, we cannot guarantee these prices if you’re reading this at a later date.
1 Camera CCTV installation package - £545+VAT (£654)
Includes, 1 x 5MP camera, 4 ch DVR, 1TB hard drive, Camera base, cable.
2 Camera CCTV Installation package - £695+VAT (£834)
Includes 2x 5MP cameras, 4ch DVR, 2TB hard drive, 2x camera bases, cables x 2
3 camera CCTV installation package - £825+VAT (£990)
Includes 3x 5MP cameras, 4 ch DVR, 2TB hard drive, 3x camera bases, cables x 3
4 camera CCTV installation package - £945+VAT (£1134)
Includes 4x 5MP Cameras, 4 ch DVR, 2TB hard drive, 4x camera bases, cables x 4
5 Camera CCTV Installation package - £1195+VAT (£1434)
Includes 5x 5MP Cameras, 8 ch DVR, 3TB hard drive, 5x camera bases, cables x5
6 Camera CCTV Installation package - £1295+VAT (£1554)
Includes 6x 5MP cameras, 8 ch DVR, 4TB hard drive, 6x camera bases, cables x 6
If you required a monitor a 21” monitor would be an extra £125+VAT (£150)
I hoped that you liked this video as always please LEAVE A COMMENT if you have any questions. If you’re based in East Sussex or South Kent and would like to discuss your own CCTV installation, please do contact us and I will be delighted to assist you.
If you’re not in the South East of the UK and just require technical advice/support. Please note that we are unable to provide this over the phone or via e-mail. Please LEAVE A COMMENT in the blog comment section below in this scenario I will respond I the soonest.
Until next time,
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