How to Install CCTV Cables (6 Step Guide)

Understanding how to install CCTV cables will give you a better idea of whether this is a job you can do yourself or will require external help for. 

By the end of this blog, you should have a much better understanding of the importance of CCTV cables, and choosing the right one for you.

Installing CCTV Cameras can be a little tricky if you do not know what you are doing, and there are a range of factors to consider before starting to do it manually.

How To Install CCTV Cables

In this guide, we will quickly be running through how to install CCTV cables, what you will need, and some important information on the process.

  • CCTV Cables Basics
  • Things You Will Need to Install CCTV Cables
  • How to Install CCTV Cables
  • CCTV Cables Installation Summary

What You Need to Know About CCTV Cables

The world of CCTV has evolved from a basic means of surveillance to an advanced security multi-layer security system with a range of features that can benefit any size company. 

In terms of cables, there are quite a lot of nuances between the different types and how they are used in the industry today. The next section will give a brief overview of 6 of the top CCTV cable tyes.

CCTV Cable Types

You would be in the majority if you think there is only one type of CCTV cable, but in fact, there are a wide range of different cables, each with their own benefits and usages. We are going to look at some of the most frequently used ones below. 

Coaxial Cables – Often used by TV and telecom companies to connect their devices to the end-users. These are one of the most common in the security industry and are durable, versatile, and reliable over large distances. These are also called Coax Cables.

Siamese Cables – These are Coax cables with the addition of power wires. As the name suggests, they are connected to a certain point and then can split off. This allows the CCTV camera to be further away from the power source.

Twisted Pair Cables – this is when two copper wires are twisted around each other, which improves the reliability of the connection. This type of cable is often used by telephone companies but can be used in CCTV systems too.

Optical Fiber Cables – you have probably heard of these being used by your internet provider, this an advanced high-speed cable that transfers light and data rapidly via its pure glass design. Typically fibers work in pairs, one receives and one transmits the data.

Power Over Ethernet Cables – Commonly referred to as POE cables these provide both a power supply and the video feed via one cable. They have become very popular in recent years, and you will find a lot of more contemporary cameras have these.

Tips About CCTV Cables

Cheapest is Not Always Best – in other areas of your business, shaving off costs may be a great choice, but in the security area of your company, never take shortcuts.

Understand the Differences – working out which cable will work best for business and be a viable solution for you will help you determine what setup you will need. For instance, certain cables might not compatible with your cameras or power sources.

Do Not Overestimate Your Ability – anything involving electronics and cables can be tricky to get right. So, if you have any doubt do not try to sort it out, you may create more problems.

Know When to Hire an Expert – each company will have its own set-up and in some situations, CCTV will be a lot easier to install, but as a rule of thumb, look for expert help.

Do Your Research – depending on where you plan to install your CCTV cameras you might need a specific type of cable or to avoid them entirely and go for a wireless CCTV device, such as an IP CCTV Camera.

Supplies You’ll Need to Install CCTV Cables

CCTV Cameras – Needless to say, having the actual cameras to install the cables into is vital to set up your system. There are a lot of different CCTV types, so make sure you have picked the right ones for your business.

Cables – To install your cables it would be a good idea to actually have them to hand, ensure you have picked compatible ones for your CCTV system and building.

Time – There is no set amount of time this will take as it depends on the location, number of cameras, your expertise, and even weather conditions. But regardless, you will generally need to set aside a good few hours.

Video Recorder – Most CCTV systems will run through a Video Recorder this is effectively what connects the cameras, cables, and monitors.

Monitor or Screen – Without one of these, you will not be able to actually see your video recordings, rendering your security system useless.

Tools – You will need a pretty extensive toolkit for installing CCTV cables, including a drill, wire pliers, wire cutters, crimping, and stripping tools, amongst others.

An Expert – If all this seems a little overwhelming you can hire an expert to install your CCTV for you, to ensure it is fitted correctly and does not compromise your safety, or security.

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How to Install CCTV Cables

Step 1: Decide Where You Want Your Cameras

Knowing where you want to place your cameras is incredibly important, and sometimes is limited by where they can actually be wired. This is the first step as it will determine where you need to cable to.

Consider the line of sight, access to wiring, and the number of cameras you are installing when choosing your wired CCTV choices.

Step 2: Prepare the Area 

Once you have decided where you will set up the cameras you need to prep your area. Depending on if you have purchased a full kit or separate pieces for your CCTV system you may even have a template sticker for drilling.

Ensure you have easy access to all the areas you need to reach to set up your CCTV cameras, from the device location to the cables, to the monitor on the other end.

Step 3: Run the Cables 

This step varies a lot depending on where you are installing your cameras, your current wiring, and cabling situation, and the components you are using. 

This is where having some experience working with electronics and other similar work will come in handy, so ensure you have someone on hand who knows what they are doing.

If cables are installed incorrectly, they will cause you a lot of problems down the line, and obviously will limit your CCTV availability in the short term. If you are unsure, do not proceed with the job yourself.

Step 4: Connect the Cables to Your NVR or DVR

In the majority of CCTV systems, you will be connecting to a Video Recorder, this will be either a Network Video Recorder or Digital Video Recorder. The basic premise of both is the same, they act as the middle ground between your cameras and your monitor.

This should not be too complex, just remember you want this to be near your monitor, so ideally on the same desk or close by.

CCTV Cables Fact

Step 5: Install the Cameras

Once all of the cables are installed you can connect your camera to them. The cable installation is by far the hardest step in this guide, so this next part should be a breeze.

Connect your camera to the power source and cable, making sure to feed the excess wiring back into the drilled hole.

Mount the camera in the position you want it to be facing, and screw it in. Once it is mounted you can do your adjustments, you may need to unscrew it if you are not happy with its field of view.

Step 6: Connect the Video Recorder to a Monitor 

Selecting the right CCTV monitor may not seem important, but it is something you should consider when setting up your security system.

There are a lot of different connection types for Video Recorders to Monitors so you want to make sure you have the correct cables (such as HDMI).

Now you should be all set, check that your video feed looks clear, and you can micro-adjust your camera’s position to get the best angles and coverage

Installing CCTV Cables Summary 

Hopefully, you will now have a better understanding of not only how to install CCTV cables, but the different types, and which is best for your business.

CCTV is a lot more complex than people realise, but arming yourself with the knowledge and understanding of its different elements will put you in a better position for improving your security.

There are a plethora of reasons why CCTV is still so important in a modern security setting, it may be adapting, but it is not going away any time soon. If you are interested in learning more about the security industry in bite-size chunks, check out our security blogs and guides

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Steve White

Steve White

Steve is an experienced security professional with over 20 years in security installation and consulting. He's here to help you answer your security questions.

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Steve White

Steve White

Steve is an experienced security professional with over 20 years in security installation and consulting. He's here to help you answer your security questions.

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