How Do You Prevent Crime?
Video Surveillance systems are one of the most effective ways to deter crime. Video surveillance systems are extremely valuable in protecting both businesses and residences. Why? If you think like a thief, you’ll realize that they want to ‘hit’ easy targets. Premises that they can quickly and quietly enter without detection. They look for windows or doors that are unlocked, often at the back or side of the building where they are out of sight. Video Surveillance cameras, if placed correctly, eliminate those ‘blind spots’. When criminals see security cameras, they most often move on to an easier target.
When evaluating video surveillance systems, there are many things to consider. Following are some things to consider when you are shopping for Video Surveillance Systems that will help you save time and money.
First, you need to determine exactly what you want to see with the security cameras on your video surveillance systems. Do you want to see vehicles or people that are in a parking lot several feet away? Are you more concerned about seeing who is entering your business or on your property? Do you need to clearly see cashiers handling money at the cash registers? How important is having a color image, even at night? Do you want to see a wide view of a specific area or do you need to focus on a very narrow area? Do you need the highest quality image possible or will a lower resolution suffice?
The answers to these and other questions will help determine the types of cameras that needed on your video surveillance systems to meet your specific needs. You may need a wide-angle camera, or a long-range lens, or a true day/night color camera, or you may need a combination of many camera types.
Once you determine what is important from the camera perspective, you’ll have a clearer idea of what type of recording technology you will need. There are three (3) types of technology available, analog, HD-SDI and IP. Each technology has its own capabilities, advantages and limitation.
Analog technology is very affordable, provides good image quality and offers a wide variety of camera and lens options. HD-SDI is affordable, provides high-resolution images (1080P, just like HD LED TV’s), offer a wide range of camera and lens options. IP is expensive, provides high-resolution images (1080P), offer many types of cameras and lenses. The primary advantage of IP is that you can wirelessly transmit images from a remote location, i.e. a camera in a parking lot or a detached building, to the recording devise.
Next is determining the size of the recording device and the amount of storage space you’ll need. Analog and HD-SDI security systems use a DVR (Digital Video Recorder) while IP systems use an NVR (Network Video Recorder). Both recording devices have channels; one channel for each camera, as well as hard-drives for recording and saving the video images. Regardless of the recording device, you want to select a unit that has enough channels for your current needs and provides room to grow or add cameras in the future, without having to change out the unit. Recording devices usually come in 4, 8, 16 or 32 channels.
In determining your specific needs, it is possible that several analog cameras and a few HD-SDI cameras are the perfect solution. What do you do then? Fortunately, several manufacturers provide hybrid-recording devices. However, there are limitations to how many of the different devices a recorder supports.
Deciding on the capacity of the hard-drive is important. Remember, the higher the image resolution, the more storage space each image will require. In addition, you will need to decide how long you want to save the recorded images on the hard-drive before they are erased. All recording devices have a method to export some or all of the images, depending on what you need to safe. Usually the export is done to a flash drive. The images can be saved on the drive or downloaded to a computer or other external drive.
Recording devices usually are equipped with a 500GB, 1TB or 2TB hard-drive. Some manufacturers have the ability to add multiple hard-drives in the same recording devices. Small analog systems with a need to save images on the DVR for short periods of time can get away with a 500GB hard-drive. Requirements for HD-SDI and IP cameras will usually require a minimum of 2TB.
There are many aspects to consider when deciding on the proper video surveillance systems. A video surveillance expert can help you clearly understand the options available and help guide you to selecting the best video surveillance system to meet your specific needs, concerns and budget.