Some customers may be confused about which security camera system is right for them. Usually we recognize CCTV Systems for Home and commercial CCTV Systems. There are many systems on the market that can qualify to both categories. But there are also systems specifically designed for home and CCTV Systems for commercial surveillance. So what are the differences? While surveillance systems designed for small business in many cases can be also used at home, there are some systems designed for commercial installations and you probably would not want to have them at home. The difference is usually not in quality or performance, but more in features.
Systems designed for home usually are smaller in size. DVR units used for home surveillance usually are pretty small and quiet, so they can easily be located in the bedroom, living room, home office etc. Smaller, doesn’t mean lower quality. Those DVR usually record at the same quality and are capable of the same recording framerate as any commercial class Digital Video Recorder. But due to small form factor, usually there is only room for one hard drive, so storage space is limited. Also those DVR units rarely have Loop Out connection. There is limited number of Audio Inputs, Monitor Connections and there is usually no room for DVD burner for backup. DVR may not also support some network features like network backup to a server. Commercial DVR units often support Central Monitoring Software, so you can view several systems from one location. On the other hand, home surveillance often supports smartphone access, so you can view your home from work. There are of course Digital Video Recorders for home and for business supporting both features. So DVR for home surveillance is stripped from all the unnecessary features. Other than that it is still good quality product designed for long time operation.
Cameras used for Home Surveillance are also usually just smaller. Not too many homeowners want to put big commercial cameras on their home. Same, as with DVR, Security Cameras for home surveillance are not necessarily lower quality. Usually it is the same resolution and quality, the only difference is in size, so if those are infrared cameras there will be limited range for night vision. For home surveillance we tend to use small bullet cameras or turret cameras. They are easy to install and blend into environment.
Another difference is with cables. For commercial installations we tend to use Siamese Coaxial cable. It is much thicker than pre-made CCTV cables, but it offers much better quality on long runs. For home surveillance, since most of the runs are within 200ft, we can use pre-made cables. They are a little more difficult to fish through the walls, because of the ends, but they are cheaper and thinner, so easier to conceal.
And this is about it. As you see there are some differences, but rarely in quality. Of course I am not talking here about cheap home surveillance systems with plastic cameras and low resolution digital recorders, which you can find on store shelves of big box stores. So again, when comparing professional home surveillance and professional commercial CCTV system, the difference is usually in the features not in quality.