When it comes to safeguarding your property (or in some of our more recent projects for Newham Council, traffic monitoring and public safeguarding) the cabling you choose to connect can make a world of difference. While the types of cameras and security systems are often the focal point of consideration, the choice of CCTV cabling can significantly impact the overall performance of your surveillance setup. In this guide, we’ll explore three primary options in cables for CCTV: fibre, copper, and coax. We’ll delve into their advantages and disadvantages to help you make an informed decision.

Fibre, copper and Coax cable





Fibre, Copper and Coax cables for CCTV cameras

1. Fibre Optic Cables for CCTV

Fibre optic cables use light signals to transmit data and are known for their high-speed and long-distance capabilities.


  • Long Range: Fibre optic cables can transmit data over several miles without signal loss.
  • Interference Resistance: They are immune to electromagnetic interference, ensuring clear and consistent video quality.
  • Security: Difficult to tap, providing a higher level of security.


  • Cost: Generally more expensive to purchase and install.
  • Specialised Skills: Requires specific tools and expertise for installation and maintenance.

2. Copper Cables (UTP) for CCTV

Copper cables, often in the form of Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) like Cat5e or Cat6, are popular for IP-based CCTV systems.


  • Versatility: Capable of carrying video, power, and data over a single cable.
  • Affordability: Less expensive compared to fibre optic cabling.
  • Ease of Installation: Familiar and easy to work with for most installers.


  • Distance Limitations: Effective range is often up to 1000 feet, shorter compared to fibre.
  • Potential Interference: Can be affected by electromagnetic interference if not installed correctly.

3. Coaxial CCTV Cables (Coax)

Coaxial or coax cables have been the standard in CCTV cabling for many years, particularly for analogue systems.


  • Proven Track Record: Well-established and proven to be effective for CCTV systems.
  • Combined Power and Video Transmission: Siamese coax cables offer both power and video in one, simplifying installation.
  • Cost-Effective: Generally more affordable than fibre optic cabling.


  • Distance Constraints: Limited to distances around 500-600 feet for standard installations.
  • Potential Quality Loss: Signal degradation can occur over longer distances or with subpar cable quality.

CCTV Cabling from PSS Installations

Selecting the right CCTV cabling option involves weighing factors such as distance, cost, and the specific requirements of your CCTV setup. Fibre optic offers high performance over long distances but comes at a higher cost. Copper cabling is versatile and affordable but may have range and interference issues. Coaxial cables offer a tried-and-true solution but may have distance and quality limitations.

By understanding the differences in these cables for CCTV, you will be in a better position to make an informed decision on optimising your security system to provide clear, continuous surveillance tailored to your needs and budget. Whether you are upgrading an existing system or implementing a new one, PSS Installations are on hand to offer advice and can visit your site to discuss your options and complete a survey at no cost.

Have questions? Contact us today to find out about what solutions we could offer your CCTV project.

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