The other day I went to a home with several CCTV problems.
First off they had 6 cameras but two of them were out of focus. In other words useless for identification of anyone.
Second they were all low resolution analog cameras ( effectively about 0.3 megapixels at best ) but they were all mounted at the top level of a large 2 storey house. The owners thought they'd be able to recognise people using them, but that was impossible.
Third they hadn't been able to view recordings for at least a year! A quick inspection revealed that the hard drive had failed. The scandalous thing was that they remember a beeping noise from around that time which they got their installer to deal with ( the DVR was by their bedroom so they couldn't let it keep going ). Obviously the beeping was the alarm on the DVR telling the world that its hard drive had failed, but what did the installer do?
He disabled the alarm! Unbelievable.
Fourth they had never been able to see their cameras on their mobile phones, despite the installer telling them that this would be done. Several conversations over several weeks - each time one excuse or another why he couldn't do it that day.
My inspection quickly revealed why they couldn't see their system on their phones. I saw the network cable connected to the rear of the DVR so I asked the owner where is this run to? No sooner had the words left my mouth than I saw wher ethe cable ran to - nowhere. The other end was waving in the breeze because their installer had never run the cable to their router!
I was starting to like this guy, because he was making me look so good.
Fifth the video intercom ( also installed by our hero ) didn't work ( surprise surprise ).
And so on and so on.
In talking with the owners though it was apparent that there was one thing that was really good about the guy. You guessed it. He was really cheap.
Don't use low resolution analog cameras. There's no need because you can now get high resolution ( 2 megapixel ) analog cameras that'll give you a much clearer picture.
Get your system monitored for storage failures.
Get your system monitored so it stays connected to your network.
Most importantly remember you can have 2 out of 3 - best quality, best service, cheapest price - but not all 3. That's a rule of business. You choose.