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Key Aspects of CCTV Systems Posted on 29th April 2013 by Terry Simmons

Key Aspects of CCTV Systems

With extensive experience in the setting up, designing and management of CCTV systems, I’ve built knowledge on the key aspects anyone who is considering in investing in video surveillance has to consider.

These key aspects are:

Cameras
Transmission
Management & Storage
Viewing
Integration

Cameras

The camera technology you choose and how you place them is vital in setting up a surveillance system that is suitable for your needs. Firstly you must decide which areas of your premises you want to cover, most likely, you will place cameras so that they cover entrances and exits as well as within view of valuable assets. 

You can then look at the different camera options, fixed cameras are cheaper although PTZ (Pan, Tilt, Zoom) cameras can be controlled, meaning they have a wider field of vision.
Resolution of the cameras should also be considered, particularly as high definition cameras are now becoming more affordable.
Colour cameras are probably the most cost effective option, but for low light conditions, I would recommend True Day night with Infrared or thermal technology.
Consider if you are happy to install cameras with standard video motion detection or does your installation require a more accurate detection with separate intrusion detection or analytics?
Finally you should consider whether to install IP or analogue cameras. IP is the more modern solution, and is rapidly becoming the standard for enterprise level systems.

Transmission

A debate within the industry exists at the moment surrounding wired and wireless systems. Wired solutions can be more robust and are more secure. There is a demand for wireless system within certain markets however, but for me the requirement to power each device and the security risks of standard wireless routers generally means hard wired solutions win through. 

There is however a range of point to point and mesh based secure wireless devices designed for networking and CCTV. Predominantly these are used on larger enterprise installations when it is more cost effective than installing ducts and cables.

Management & Storage

There are a number of video management options out there which can act as the hub of your system. The options include DVRs (Digital Video Recorders), HDVRs (Hybrid DVRs) and NVRs (Network Video Recorders). 

Naturally storing all of the video you capture is essential, particularly as a video surveillance system is likely to record gigabytes of data in just a day. Storage can be direct to the recording equipment, within the camera itself or network based. The amount of storage however is largely dependent upon individual needs, for instance, general day to day systems will require 14 – 31 days of storage, although credit cards transactions could need Sixty days, increasing the storage demands.

Viewing

Depending upon the application you may or may not need to view your video feed constantly, for example retail premises are more likely to need full time surveillance. In other cases however a PC is likely to be sufficient for checking recording intermittently. Increasingly, security personnel can even use smartphones and tablets to see a live feed and recorded images, making viewing much more convenient. 

Integration

Increasingly within the security industry there is a call for fully integrated systems that incorporate CCTV. As such, it is important to see how any surveillance system integrates with another, such as access control or physical security measures.

Whilst only covering the basics of CCTV, this blog has hoped to point out the key aspects that need to be considered. If you are interested in discussing CCTV surveillance options, or would like to see how SECOM could help you find the right system for your needs, why not get in touch?

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