The MYTHS About CCTV Products and Prices

The majority of homeowners, business owners, managers, CEOs, Loss Prevention and security personnel or just people in general don’t know the difference between a good video security system, a great system or junk.

Many people want to buy their 1st system now because you can buy them everywhere and they’re cheap, too. And, if you’re a do-it-yourselfer, you can install a system at your home or business and have instant protection and security, right? I get it.

One of the biggest problems with these low-price (JUNK) systems is the cameras. CCTV cameras are very complex devices. For starters, you have to consider the optics: the lenses, lens material, aperture, shutter speed, iris and lens sizes.

You also have to consider features like lux (low-light rating), backlighting, Gain Control (automatic or manual), OSD (on-screen display), White Balance, DNR (2D or 3D noise reduction), the chip (CCD or CMOS), the quality and size of the chip, the camera’s resolution (is it true or marketing B.S.) and MP (mega pixel) ratings.

Also, there is the type of camera. Dome, bullet or “box” cameras (need to add a lens), IR (infrared), indoor/outdoor (and the associated ratings), day/night, housings, vandal-proof and vari-focal (manual and motorized).

And who is making this stuff and where is it coming from? What is the R&D behind a particular camera, the manufacturing process, a company’s quality control, engineering staff and investment, warranty (length and quality) and support?

And what about camera resolution? You DO know about that, right? Do you want analog, digital, D1, 960H, 720p, 1080p, 2MP, 2.4MP, 4MP, etc?

Now start all over with the DVR. And the hard drives. And the cable. And the… (trust me, you’re getting off easy-I could go on and on).

Are You Literally Buying Into the
Low-price CCTV (cheap crap technology victim) MYTH?

So, you’re going to rid yourself of all your worries, fears and problems, have greater peace of mind, more success, protect your home, family and property, transform your business, end employee theft, stop crime and catch crooks with, what, some $500.00 16 camera system you found online or from Sam’s Club or Ebay? Really? Or, how about, “I know this guy that can do this for me real cheap.” You’re gonna do all this with ”that guy?”

Unfortunately, most people are falling for this low-cost MYTH pushed online and by large retailers. These “CCTV Systems” are nothing more than cheap toys and unless you know where to look and what to look for, you’ll only end up unhappy, angry and confused.

The ONE SECRET That Will Change the Way You
Look at CCTV Products Forever

I am going to share something with you that that nobody in the CCTV industry (online, retailers or installers) wants me to tell you. NOBODY. If you think all DVRs, NVRs and cameras are the same and you want a “CCTV system in a box” because the price is “so good”, your buddy has one or you saw something online, here’s a little secret: I get more daily emails from overseas CCTV companies than you will ever know. And they are all, without exception, pushing their $8 cameras and $54 DVRs. They search the Internet all day long looking for U.S. companies (big and small) so we’ll buy their cheap products. Why? So we can sell them to YOU.

That’s it. That’s all there is to it and how all this works and that’s why you’re able to find so may “good deals” online or at Costco or Sam’s. And many low-price companies have really just copied the work from an established, respected company that has put in years and spent millions on research and just passed it off as their own. They boast about all kinds of claims when it is nothing more than a cheap imitation or just plain low-quality junk. Worse yet, some companies may purchase similar products in China, install bootleg software and nice user menus and export it to the U.S.

The “Flip Side” of Low-Cost CCTV Products and Prices

By the way, there’s a flip side to all this as well. There’s a misconception about hi-cost CCTV products, too. I’ve dealt with several Loss Prevention Managers, Purchasing Directors and corporate big shots that believe (and have the systems to prove it) that if it costs a lot, it must be good!

Expensive systems and products are pretty much always better than cheap systems and there are some incredible CCTV products out there (lately with cameras), but where does the price-performance ratio max out? $20,000.00? $50,000.00? A lot of these hi-price systems are the result of years and years of Madison Ave. style advertising, branding and huge re-seller and installer mark ups. That’s it and in most cases that’s exactly what you’re paying for. There’s nothing wrong with these products and they’re great except…they cost too much!

There’s a Lot of Low-Quality Products Sold
Online, in the Biggest Stores and by Installers

Low price, high price. If everything is cheap or too expensive, what are your choices? The real trick in all of this is to find the middle ground: a CCTV product that is affordable and high-quality. There are a few quality CCTV companies that do just that.

How do you find one of these companies? Who are the big players? The reality today is that everything is manufactured overseas. Check the stock market. Do online searches. Make some phone calls, check online reviews, send some emails. Check the BBB. See what YOU can find out about the brand you saw at Lowe’s or Sam’s Club or online. You won’t like what you find.

When you narrow down your choices find out what their quality control is. What is their International reputation? At what locations throughout the world-airports, government facilities, landmarks, tourism, transportation, museums, major casinos, banks and hotels-are their products installed?

Another area to consider is a company’s R&D philosophy. How big is their engineering staff? A few people or a few thousand? How big is their yearly R&D budget? A few bucks or millions? Is the company’s R&D on the cutting edge of new CCTV technology? Are they consistently contributing to the future of CCTV for new and better hi-def solutions?

If everything is coming in from overseas, how big is the U.S. distribution network? Are the products available from every big box store and every online site (remember all the emails I mentioned) or only from authorized re-sellers and installers? Find out who IS authorized from the manufacturer themselves. What are the firmware, tech support and warranty guarantees? Who’s gonna take care of you down the road? How reliable is the system you want to buy and how long will it last?

Tip: Online CCTV forums will tell you a lot about a particular company and their products because all the members are (1) end-users and (2) installers. They know.

These are just a few of things that you should research and not just buy a system because some big retailer or website carries them.

Do NOT Buy From ANY CCTV Company Unless
They Meet These 6 Criteria

Listen, there’s a lot of “hype” and confusion surrounding CCTV products, systems and services. It’s impossible to know whom to trust and it has become increasingly important to find a reliable manufacturer for security recorders, cameras, and accessories. So, I want to give you 6 criteria or elements that absolutely, positively must be met before you invest in any CCTV system.

One: Do they have actual experience in the field? This should be pretty straight-forward, but if you think about it, how many people/companies selling video surveillance products have actually installed them in real-world situations (and for how long)? That’s “real-world” experience. I only say this because many CCTV companies have no real experience protecting home and business owners, providing peace of mind and stopping crime and catching crooks.

Two: Outstanding R&D investment. How much does this company or that company invest in research and development creating new CCTV technology? How large is their engineering staff (12 people or 2000)? Are they leading the way or just “borrowing” from those that do?

Three: Warranty/Guarantee. Do the products you just paid for or wanna buy have any type of long term, quality guarantee (90 days doesn’t count)? What is the return, replacement or repair policy? Is there one?

Four: Tech Support. Is there U.S. based phone or email support? If there is, what are the response times? How about firmware updates (all non-PC based DVRs may need firmware updates)? How are tech issues handled?

Five: Personal investment in your success and safety. Do they just “churn ’em and burn ’em” or do they care about you, your home, business, success and safety?

Six: Set-up/Programming. What type of set-up or training do you get after your install or purchase? Most CCTV products will come with a user manual but do you want to figure out 200 pages of a CCTV technical manual? What about free “how-to’s” and “quick start guides” and videos?

If You Buy One of These “Low-Price” Systems You’ll Never
Know You Got Cheated Until it’s Too Late

Remember Yugo? The Yugo GV (GV meant “great value”…really) cost $3,995.00, listed carpet as a “standard item”, the motors didn’t last, the electrical system shorted out and burned up, parts fell off, the construction was shoddy and the big joke was that the car came with a rear defroster so your hands would stay warm while you pushed it! Yugo is low-cost CCTV.


  • inexpensive (cheap)
  • junk
  • motors didn’t last
  • electrical systems burned up
  • considered worst car ever

The Mercedes S-Class may be the best sedan in the world. The S550 has a twin-turbocharged 4.7-liter V-8 engine, seven-speed automatic with paddle shift controls, advanced suspension, incredible handling, choice of rear or all-wheel drive, a long-standing reputation for advanced safety features, seat coolers that suck air for 4 minutes before they blow cool air, a “hot-stone massage” seat feature, cameras and sensors for everything, a top speed of 130mph and starts at $93,000.00. Nice, right? Mercedes S-Class is hi-priced CCTV.

Mercedes S-Class

  • luxury item (not necessary)
  • reliable
  • not affordable for most people (expensive)
  • one of the best sedans ever
  • more car than most people will ever need

What about safety, reliability and affordability? How hard it is to do all 3. The Honda Accord has accessible safety technology, great fuel economy, affordable models are better deals than they’ve ever been, it’s long-lasting and reliable and in addition to acing some of the toughest crash tests, it offers some breakthrough safety items that you never see in a car at a starting price of $22,000.00. This car is the king and is so good, Nissan, Mazda and Ford have stepped up their games to de-throne it.

Honda Accord

  • affordable (great value)
  • reliable
  • long-lasting
  • safe
  • outstanding price-to-performance ratio
  • huge influence on other car makers
  • the perfect car for most people

There are only a few authorized re-sellers and installers in the U.S. that are like a Honda Accord. Catch a Crook CCTV is one. Everybody else is a Yugo or S-Class Mercedes.