As the cost of CCTV surveillance equipment is dropping, home owners are seeing the many added benefits such a system can offer. Security is probably the main application for the home owner where, for example home owners are able to view the outside perimeter of the premise whilst they are still in the safety of their home. Safety is also a useful application for the home surveillance system where for instance a pool area can be monitored and if a child should enter this area the surveillance system is able to give an audible alarm and a live viewing image. However, the issue of privacy needs to be addressed as to the positioning of the cameras especially when they are placed inside the house.

With the decreasing costs of broadband connectivity such as ADSL and 3G an attractive option is to have the capability of off site remote monitoring of the premises such as from work, or while on holiday. Although still quite costly from a 24 hour monitoring perspective checking once a day for a few minutes is still viable. The setup complexity of different DVR’s varies from relatively easy to difficult. When setting up a DVR for remote monitoring two steps are normally required. The first is to register a dynamic dns address which can track the changing Wide Area Network (WAN) IP address of the broadband connection. This can be done at sites such as or at no charge for non-commercial use. Secondly, it is necessary to set up port forwarding in the router which will allow the request for the video streaming to pass to the DVR and in turn allow the video stream to reach the remote computer. Although some home owners may be able to set this up themselves, it is recommended to get an IT professional in to do this configuration which will save hours of frustration.

DVRs can typically be purchased in 4, 8 or 16 camera versions. When buying a DVR it is important to take future upgradeability into account. So if a home owner is looking at initially putting in a 4 camera system but may want to put additional cameras up in the future it is advisable to go for an 8 or 16 channel DVR as the units are not upgradeable in the amount of channels.

The range of Hikvision DVR’s supplied by Regal all have the above capabilities including motion detection recording, privacy masking, alarm inputs and outputs and off site remote monitoring capability using Internet Explorer or the included Client Software. The Hikvision DVR’s use the latest h.264 compression that allows for longer historical recordings on the hard drive. The 4 channel DVR comes standard with a 160GB hard drive; the 8 channel comes standard with a 250 GB hard drive and DVD Writer whilst the 16 channel comes standard with a 500 GB hard drive and a DVD Writer. The Hikvision range of DVR’s supplied by Regal are embedded stand-alone units which once configured can be left to do their function 24 hours a day.