Security is critical for any business; after all, how can you make profits if you cannot protect your assets? Fortunately, thanks to advances in technology, modern video surveillance systems are more intelligent and effective than before. The best surveillance systems now come with automated functions and features, like automatic mobile notifications as well as motion sensors. Some surveillance systems even let you alert law enforcement immediately if need be. Advances in technology have also resulted in more efficient ways of managing recording and storage of incidents for future reference. This gives businesses access to highly powerful surveillance solutions at relatively cost-effective rates.
When it comes to investing in and implementing a new surveillance system, most vendors allow for a significant degree of customization, meaning you can customize the surveillance system to suit your business’ specific security needs. Whether you need an elaborate surveillance system that covers multiple locations or just a handful of cameras to watch your storefront, there is pretty much a solution for you. Not sure how to start? Here is a simple buyer’s guide to help you break down the key parts of a video surveillance system.
Why you need to invest in a surveillance system
Before getting into the details, it is important to look at the many benefits that come with investing in a video surveillance system. Not only can a surveillance system act as a deterrent to intruders and help law enforcement quickly catch would-be criminals, but these systems can also improve employee accountability, help you monitor productivity and also lower insurance premiums. While the upfront cost of investing in a video surveillance system may seem steep, the long-term payoff as well as the peace of mind that comes with this investment is certainly worth the expense.
IP Cameras vs. Analog Cameras
There are two primary types of surveillance cameras that you can wire into a video surveillance system: Internet Protocol (IP) cameras and the conventional analog cameras. IP cameras are the modern iteration of analog cameras, and while the individual cameras tend to be a bit costly, they come with a number of features that analog cameras do not have.
What to Look for When Choosing a System
This is certainly one of the most crucial considerations when selecting a camera. For better image quality, you should invest in a surveillance camera that can shoot at least 720p high definition, which means an IP camera. If you want to be certain that your camera will capture clear, identifiable images, you should not cut corners.
This yet another crucial component of the surveillance camera. Video is simply a series of still images knitted together to create a motion picture. The greater the frame rate, the smoother the captured footage. On the other hand, the lower the frame rate, the less frequently the still will be captured, resulting in choppier footage. It is important that you consider the frame rate of the camera you are purchasing before making the purchase. For reference, “real time” typically measures at 30 frames per second.
There are a number of different types of security cameras in the market. Some of the most common ones are the bullet cameras, which are rectangular and appear as protrusions from walls. Dome cameras are often attached to the ceiling while pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras come with remote control capabilities that adjusts to the field of vision. Depending on your specific security needs, you may want to determine which type of camera to use in outfitting your surveillance system.
Some surveillance cameras are specially designed for indoor use and thus are not able to stand up to the elements quite as well as their outdoor counterparts. If you plan to mount your surveillance system outdoors, be sure to invest in weather resistant cameras. Otherwise, dirt and water may interfere with the quality of your video feeds or, worse yet, damage your cameras.
Most security cameras are able to capture images in what is known as “low-light infrared,” enabling them to capture clear footage even when light is minimal. These cameras are equipped with infrared LED lights, which cover the darkened area in infrared light. Unlike humans, the camera is able to identify this infrared light, thus when those wavelengths reflect back, it appears as if the camera is recording footage in illuminated environment. The more IR LEDs the camera has, the better it is able to capture footage in darkness. Thus, if capturing images at night is a priority, be sure to invest in a surveillance camera with plenty of IR LEDs.
Whether audio recording is an option depends on the model of the particular surveillance camera as well as its manufacturer. Some cameras are capable of picking up audio while others do not. Some even enable two way audio capture, so the person watching the footage on the other end can communicate with the individual in the camera’s field of vision.
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