|A camera supervision system on sale in Hà Nội. — VNS File Photo|
HÀ NỘI — CCTV cameras vary in quality and often lack origin information, forcing customers to be careful when buying a system.
“A simple CCTV camera which can record video in the dark costs from VNĐ600,000 to 800,000 (US$30-40). A peephole camera’s price depends on the length of wire, normally from VNĐ300,00 to 400,000 ($15-20),” said Nguyễn Văn Đạt, an owner of an electronics shop on Hồ Tùng Mậu Street in Hà Nội.
Other stores on Lê Thanh Nghị, Giải Phóng, Hai Bà Trưng streets have an abundance of CCTV cameras. However, about the products’ origin, store owners said that the cheap appliances usually did not have information from manufacturers.
Meanwhile, CCTV installation is easier than ever, with plumbers and electricians up to the job.
Lê Ánh Tuyết of Thanh Xuân District had a plumber install his VNĐ1.2 million ($60) security camera system bought from a relative. Three months later, the camera broke. A few days after being fixed by the plumber, it stopped working again. Reacting to Tuyết’s confusion, the plumber said that “There’s no guarantee for these cheap products. Their quality is often unpredictable.”
Cheap CCTV systems carry several consequences.
According to Nguyễn Văn Thắng, an electronics shop owner in Bắc Từ Liêm District, cheap CCTV camera’s only record video. Therefore, if a thief cuts off its electricity, there will be no evidence for police to investigate.
Conversely, a good CCTV system includes an alarm system which uses an alternative video recorder, reports to a central management system and notifies users when electricity is cut off or a main recorder is stolen.
Nguyễn Xuân Trường from Hà Nội Vocational College of Technology said that cheap CCTV used narrow-angle shots and low image quality.
He also warned users about data loss. According to Trường, manufacturers receive and store all videos recorded, allowing them to easily steal customers’ information. Since cheap CCTV systems’ origin is usually unknown, it is difficult for forces to investigate in cases of data loss.
Trường recommended people buy CCTV systems from reliable distributors, saying genuine products have user guidance, serial numbers and information from the manufacturer and importer.
Since authentic CCTV systems offer guarantees of 12 to 24 months, a customer can avail of repair services, component replacement and maintenance. – VNS