“Should I buy a CCTV monitor or use my TV?” It’s a question we get asked often.
There’s no simple answer – there are so many different televisions and CCTV monitors out there it would be impossible to try to compare them all. So whether you have night vision CCTV, HD CCTV, wired or wireless, we’re going to run through a few of the pros and cons of each.
CCTV Monitor – Pros
Connectivity – CCTV monitors are built for the exact purpose of displaying your CCTV images. Therefore, there should be no connection issues with different cabling.
Image retention – They’re built to be on constantly while your average television is only made to be on a few hours a day. That being said, the standard of television being manufactured these days is pretty high and an LCD TV should have little trouble keeping up with the CCTV monitor.
Your Television – Pros
Low cost – Possibly the biggest key to this debate. As you probably already have a television it’s not going to cost you much, except perhaps in cabling if it’s not in a central location of your house.
Practicality -It’s in your living room, you know how to turn it on and you don’t have to find space for another monitor.
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CCTV monitor – Cons
Expense – You don’t want to shell out for something you potentially don’t need.
Placement – Your going to have to find somewhere to put the thing. Do you want to hide your CCTV system away in a cupboard or display it proudly? It’s something extra to think about.
Your Television – Cons
HDMI Connections – You may have connectivity issues depending on your television. If your TV has 3 HDMI ports and you’re already using them, then something will have to give. Or you can go down the HDMI splitter route, though they can be unreliable and if you’re not tech-minded, possibly quite confusing.
Arial Connections – If the CCTV system you’ve bought is an older model and your television is new (or the other way round) then you could have problems getting the image from the camera to appear on your TV. There’s a whole headache of different options available to you for this but it can be done, even if it is a bit tricky.
It’s the main telly – Unfortunately, if your other half’s favourite programme is on the telly, you’ll have to wait before you can watch a live stream or review your footage. Then, when you do get to watch the footage, it’s in your living room. What if you’re trying to find out which one of your neighbours is letting their dog relieve themselves on your lawn and they pop their head in the window?
A Third Option
If all of these different factors are giving you a headache then you could always opt to use your mobile phone or tablet to view your CCTV footage. It requires a compatible CCTV system, like the ones we install, and you can use your mobile device like a monitor from wherever you are.
You’ll see a screen similar to the one below.
The main problem with this option is that it requires you to have both a smart phone, a compatible CCTV system and access to the internet. So, if you’re on holiday, make sure you get yourself that internet add-on!
So What’s The Answer?
The final decision really comes down to which is the most convenient for you. Television, CCTV monitor or mobile phone, each solution has its merits.
Getting it wrong can be expensive though, which is why we recommend a professional site survey for a full CCTV system from the engineers here at Spy. It’s free, a member of our team can devise, quote and install a solution tailored to your specific needs.
Whether that’s with a TV or a CCTV monitor, they’ll help you make the best decision for you. Just fill in your details in the form below to request your free home survey.