what are the components needed for a basic CCTV camera?


Aug 16, 2016
Good morning. I have a 3 storied home that I live in here in Kolkata, India. I want to know what are the basic components needed for setting up a CCTV equipment here in my city. What is the camera quality type that records both at night and during the day time too? I need to install a total of 4 cameras. What is the cost of the DVR, the hard drive, power supply,cat6 cable and what to expect? For outdoors are 360 dome cameras essentials that come with anti dust and rain waterproof I want to have a basic idea. People in here are much more experienced than me and I am here to learn so enlighten me on this subject. Any help or advice is welcome. Thanks in advance have a nice day.


I'm really not that experienced, but I did recently setup a 3 camera setup with room for a fourth when i decide to buy a fourth camera. I bought the Dahua Starlight cameras that have excellent night vision. If you really want to find people who are much more experienced you will find them at https://ipcamtalk.com/
I'd recommend going with IP cameras. Most of them follow the same standard (I forget the name), so will be compatible with most DVRs. But instead of a DVR, I'd suggest just getting a used laptop (preferably an i7 quad core) and buying a copy of Blue Iris. It's pretty cheap, and has been mostly bulletproof (only crashed once in 5 years).


So you basically need

  • ■A laptop (or desktop, but the laptop will use significantly less power, and has a battery to keep it going through power failures)
    ■Blue Iris software
    ■IP cameras
    ■Ethernet cables
    ■If the cameras don't come with PoE adapters, a PoE switch rated for the proper voltage and wattage for your cameras
    ■(Optional) A UPS to keep the cameras powered during a power failure
The IP cameras have built-in hardware to encode a h.264 stream, which is sent over Ethernet to the computer. You can have the computer record the streams raw if it has a weak processor. Or you can have it re-encode the streams in real-time to a different format. Blue Iris opts for the latter, although I think it has an option for the former. So a quad core i7 really helps. I run 8 cameras (1080p to 4k) and it keeps a 3.4 GHz i7 at about 70%-80% CPU load all the time. The day's videos are written to the laptop's drive. Once a night the videos are moved to an external 12 TB drive for long-term storage (holds nearly 3 months of videos).

PoE is power over Ethernet. 100 Mbps Ethernet (more than enough for h.264 video) only needs 2 of the 4 wire pairs in an Ethernet cable. PoE uses one of the extra pairs for DC power. That way the camera only needs an Ethernet cable plugged in for power and data.

The night vision is accomplished by infrared emitters on the camera which light up at night, creating the equivalent of an invisible flashlight to light up the scene. Pretty much every camera has these. You'll have a hard time finding one which doesn't. The only thing you have to be careful of is that some cameras have stronger/more IR emitters which will light the night scene further away. Buy one with the range you need at night.

Pretty much all external security cameras are dust and waterproof. The dome mounting is more for ceiling mounts, and to hide from people which direction the camera is pointed. Some of the dome cameras also have motors that allow you to control the direction they're pointed.