A good surveillance (CCTV) system can make your business safer, more efficient, and less prone to theft and fraudulent accident claims. Remote access via your network or the Internet allows you to see what's going on even when you can't be there. In short, CCTV can provide many benefits, including:
- Reduce shrinkage by deterring or catching shoplifters
- Deter potential thieves
- Monitor cash registers
- Record evidence to refute bogus accident claims
- Identify visitors and employees
- Monitor hazardous work areas
- Increase security in and around business premises and parking lots
- Meet insurance requirements
While the price you pay will be a factor in your decision-making process, it should not be the only or most important one or your system is not likely to perform as you might hope. The price that's too good to be true may very well be just that.
“Plug and Play” systems offered by some 'big box' stores or on the internet can work out okay for do-it-yourselfers, but there are significant limitations that you should be aware of. The main issue is the proprietary nature of each different manufacturer's equipment. Professional grade equipment uses standard connectors allowing for greater serviceability and easy component replacement in addition to many more choices of cameras to really fit your needs. In addition to all this, if you install your own system, you fully accept the responsibility and liability for its performance or failure.
Recording Devices & Peripherals
The recording device used will have a big impact on how much you spend. DVRs, ( Digital Video Recorders), are now very affordable .These devices vary widely depending on hard drive space, required resolution, network connectivity, or number of camera inputs available. We can design a system to suit any budget .We also offer the latest NVRs (Network Video Recorders) These machines are real powerhouses and offer a complete network connectivity utilizing the latest IP based cameras.
These days most clients prefer flat screen monitors over the old “box-monitor” due to space savings, the quality of the picture, and the fact that prices for monitors have come way down from a few years ago. We welcome clients to provide their own monitors for viewing if they wish to. In some cases they may choose not to even install a permanent monitor and only view their systems remotely, though for servicing, a monitor should always be available in case your network connection fails at a time when you need to verify system operation or retrieve stored video.
Color or Black & White
Years ago, there was quite a difference between the costs of color or black and white systems, but since prices have dropped significantly on good quality color equipment, most businesses today opt for color surveillance cameras which may make it easier to identify vehicles or individuals. This great clarity is the reason color is usually preferred but there are applications where this might not be the case; namely in very low light applications or if bare-bones low budget protection is all that's desired.
Many high quality color cameras today are considered “Day/Night” cameras which actually are more like a black & white and a color camera in one. These cameras can provide nice bright color images by day and then switch to black and white mode as it gets darker, allowing for greater sensitivity or even the use of infrared illumination so the camera can actually “see”, even in total darkness.
Resolution will also have an impact both on price & picture quality. In very small areas or situations where the camera will be mounted fairly close to its “target”, lower resolution may save money and provide adequate video quality. Resolution is typically rated in TVL or T.V. Lines. Entry level cameras may be in the three hundreds or lower while very high-res cameras may have a rating of 700-800 TVL.
IP or Analog?
IP or Internet Protocol cameras offer even more options than the more common analog cameras discussed so far. Modern “Mega-Pixel” technology allows resolutions that are unheard of for analog cameras. These cameras are significantly more costly but they can in some cases allow one camera to not only take the place of several analog cameras, but offer amazing resolution that allow, for example, an over-view of a parking lot, but with the ability to display nearly every license plate there when the recordings are reviewed and blown up.
We also offer more basic stand-alone IP based cameras that allow clients to just get a simple view of their business or home when they are not there. This approach works for clients that are not looking to record and save video over an extended period because they will not have to purchase the single most expensive part of a tradition surveillance system, the recorder.
EverFocus Electronics Corp. is our standard residential and smaller-business DVR manufacturer that we use to provide our clients surveillance solutions.
Exacq Technologies, Inc., is a leading developer of open architecture, Video Management System (VMS) solutions for video surveillance and security. ExacqVision VMS solutions are scalable from a single camera applications to large, scalable and distributed corporate or campus systems with thousands of cameras. Real-time and recorded video can be viewed, managed and configured from any location on the network.
Pelco is a world leader in the design, development and manufacture of video security systems and supporting equipment. With a long and prestigious history of offering high-quality products and exceptional customer service, Pelco has become the most sought after product supplier in the industry.