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What is 4K CCTV and why would I want it?

This year has been super exciting for us at SpyCameraCCTV and for the whole CCTV market! We’ve seen the launch of some cracking new products, like our HD-TVI range and the World’s first HD-IP bird box camera. Now we are ready to start discussing the future and the next level of CCTV.

What is the Future of Video technology?

As some of you may know, big manufacturers like Samsung and Sony have been producing UltraHD or 4K TV’s for some time, but what does it actually mean? 4K is a new higher resolution imaging technology, it’s called 4K because it provides a resolution of 4096 x 2160. This is 4 times the resolution of traditional 1080p (1920 x 1080). This means that you can get 4 times the detail on your screen. Some manufacturers have been calling this technology UltraHD or UHD. UltraHD is actually a slightly different resolution which works at 3840 x 2160, sometimes it is also known as 2160p. So now we have the tech jargon out of the way let us continue! Think of 4K or UltraHD like we did when Full HD or 1080p was launched, it is a much high quality video format that will allow much great detail.

How does 4K/UHD Compare to Full HD 1080p & standard definition?

4k image size comparison

4K/UHD is often called 8 MegaPixel or 8MP as this is how may actual pixels are in the image. In the above chart you can easily see that there is a much larger area for the 4K image. 1080p or Full HD is only 2 MegaPixel, this gives you a lot less detail when compared side by side. You can also see that old school standard definition is a tiny image size. The quality of 4K really is that much higher.

What does it mean for CCTV?

CCTV manufacturers have only recently started marketing 4K. This has mainly been down to storage constraints. 4K footage uses a lot of hard drive capacity, this made systems very expensive when you factored in needing more than 8 terabytes of hard drive capacity for even 2 cameras. New technologies have emerged that have compressed the footage to a much more sensible level, now manufacturers are able to offer 4K recording solutions for 4 and even 8 cameras without needing huge storage. With the advent of 4K CCTV we will now see a big shift in how cameras could be positioned, with higher resolution you may not need 4 cameras to cover the front of your building, for example. UHD will also open up much greater ANPR (Automatic Number Plate recognition) facial detection and even remote zoom options.

hikvision 4k uhd 8mp cctv camera with night vision
One of our range of cutting edge 4K CCTV cameras from Hikvision

Why would I want a 4K CCTV System?

If you already own a shiny new 4K UltraHD TV or monitor then you already have all the technology you would need to benefit from the higher image quality. So from a perspective of pure quality then 4K CCTV will be excellent. However, this would not be the main reason for making the jump to 4K in our opinion. We think that the main benefit of 4K is lowering the total number of cameras you would need. Let’s take a look at a basic home camera setup, usually you would put 1 camera on each corner of the house. With a 4K system you might only put 1 camera on the front and one camera on the rear.

You can find our full range of 4K CCTV cameras here, along with compatible recorders

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