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Why is Security Camera Footage Low Quality?

  • Bravis
  • 09 Oct 2023

In the age of ultra-high-definition video and crystal-clear screens, it seems curious that surveillance and security footage is still grainy and low quality. Surprisingly, there are several reasons why CCTV footage looks this way, some of which can be fixed while others are a feature of the technology itself. Below are a few reasons why your CCTV footage quality is so low.

Outdated Equipment

Many CCTV systems use old, outdated equipment which simply does not have the resolution required for high quality footage. Many systems use 1MP cameras and while there are higher mega pixel camera options, they also require much greater data storage which can be expensive.


CCTV cameras are not designed for incredible picture quality because they are often recording 24/7, which requires a tremendous amount of data storage. This requirement only multiplies as more cameras are added to the space being monitored. However, modern innovations in CCTV data storage use external hard drives and DVR’s to handle higher quality footage easily.


A simple way to improve the quality of your CCTV footage is to pay attention to the lighting in the space. Improper lighting can impact picture quality negatively and leave your premises exposed. An effective way to ensure proper lighting is to light up the area the camera needs to cover with floodlights or install an outdoor IR illuminator to extend the range of IR capable cameras. IR devices are fascinating because they illuminate an area with infrared light which benefits the camera but is invisible to the human eye.


Sometimes, improving image quality is all about focusing on the simplest aspects of your surveillance and security system. Data from the cameras is collected and run through cables and wires which start to show their age over time. Cheap wiring can become damaged over time and cause image quality to suffer. A good security service provider will ensure that your cables are of the highest quality and make sure that data transmission is optimised using the right length of cable.

Internet Connection

A good, stable internet connection plays an important role in image quality. Weak, spotty internet can cause footage to lose quality and certain cameras like the IP kind are particularly vulnerable to poor internet connections since they lose bandwidth when more devices are added.


Another simple way to find out why image quality isn’t what it used to be is to check the lens for moisture and dirt. Most cameras come with properly sealed, weatherproof lenses but extreme weather can be problematic for even the best cameras. Ensure that your camera’s varifocal zoom is properly calibrated. For fixed lens cameras, check to see whether the lens size is appropriate for camera placement.

Advanced CCTV and Video Monitoring Systems

The perfect CCTV security system is a fine balance of image quality, fast data transmission and adequate data storage capabilities. At Bravis, our 15 years of experience providing creative security solutions to a range of industries and organisations gives us a unique insight into security considerations for every kind of space. Visit our website for more information on CCTV systems, or contact us today to organise a call back for your surveillance and security needs.

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