Over the last 5 years Video Surveillance and Security Camera technology has changed drastically. Resolution, functionality, remote access, and analytics have gotten much better and costs of equipment and maintenance have come down. When determining the reasons for installing Security Cameras there are several considerations that should be taken into account.
Let’s drill down into these considerations:
Numbers 1 and 2 are closely related. The location determines the field of view for what you want to see and that can be from a 90 degree field of view to one of 360 degrees. Is the camera for viewing activity for a general area or do you want to be able to identify features of someone and at what distance? Do you want to see in darkness or is there sufficient lighting for that? Do you want to watch a specific area with something of great value? Are reading tag numbers on vehicles important?
These all seem like logical and simple reasons, but the more specific you can be with the person assessing it for you, the happier you will be with the result. Too often we think that what we see on TV with law enforcement or forensic IT people zooming in from 3 miles away is the way every Video Surveillance system performs. These systems do exist and are widely in use, but like everything else it’s about getting what you pay for. You can get all the things in the previous paragraph that you want at a good price, but every camera should be considered individually to make sure of that.
As for reason 3, if you have an existing camera system it’s possible that the cable in it can be used to upgrade to an HD system and save you a lot of money on cable and labor. Because of newer technology it’s possible to have from 2 megapixel cameras up to 4k cameras on coax cable that you already may be using. Most folks don’t realize that you can transmit quality of that nature further on coax than you can on most computer cable (cat5 0r cat6e) that’s used in IP camera systems. You can easily see from 35 feet to over 200 feet in total darkness with the use of infrared that’s built into most cameras now. It’s now possible to have a system that’s a combination of HD and IP allowing you to transmit wireless cameras thousands of feet to a Hybrid DVR, allowing you to slowly migrate from analog to HD and IP.
All new systems now have the capability to be viewed remotely on your PC, Laptop, Tablet, or Smart Phone. All you need is an internet connection to the system. With the right password protection and encryption it’s very safe to do. The only other consideration for remote viewing is having enough internet speed and bandwidth connected to the system. You can run the system and record without it or you can run the system on your network or parallel to your network on another. If you choose to view the cameras remotely you can view live or recorded video, save screenshots, transfer to a thumb drive or SD card, view video clips, and more.
Back-up power costs are determined by how much time you want to allow recording to continue after a power loss. The majority of power outages only last from a few seconds to a few minutes, but can last longer. The cost of battery back-up with a UPS (un-interruptable power supply) depends how long you want the back-up to last. You simply plug the UPS into the wall so it charges up and plug the Video system into it.
Complete professional IP Video Surveillance systems cost more because the components generally cost more and there are licensing costs that are associated with them that may or may not be involved and are sometimes renewable also. The bottom line is: What do you need the system to accomplish and what is your budget?
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