Do you see what I see?
Surveillance has become one of the hottest technology areas for ComRes in the last year. Many of our customers want us to install or upgrade surveillance cameras for them. This technology has become increasingly sophisticated, however, and our customers are often confused by the many options available. Some of the questions customer face are:
Analog vs. IP
Traditional analog camera systems are still the biggest sellers – they work well, can offer HD-quality video, and are less expensive than IP. However, they use older, round coax cable, and do not integrate well with other technologies. Newer IP-based systems work on standard Ethernet cabling and can easily be managed by IT personnel.
– what quality do I need? We are bombarded by ads for inexpensive cameras that are flooding the market. Not all of them are very good quality. At the minimum, you need the equivalent of a 2 Megapixil camera for good recording. You also get what you pay for. Paying less than $100/camera generally does not get you very good quality.
NVR vs. DVR
DVR’s are the CPU/brain for older analog-based systems. They are ‘port-based’ and have physical ports for cameras (e.g. 4-port, or 8-port systems). To expand, you need to replace the entire DVR with a larger one. NVR’s are for IP-based cameras. They do not have physical ports, so they are easier to expand, but you may have to replace them as you add cameras to have more processing/recording power.
Brand name vs……
Most of what we are seeing on surveys are inexpensive no-name brand systems. The problem with this is there is little support for them. The most common issue is that remote viewing on mobile devices does not work well. Brand name manufacturers have good vendor/customer support, but will cost more.
– what kind of coverage do you need? Plan out what needs to be viewed, the quality you need, and how long you need to store recordings. If you must export recordings, how easy is it to retrieve them?
– are there other technologies you want to integrate? Some systems integrate with card readers so you can easily manage both with one tool, and be able see live pictures/videos of people as they use card readers for additional security.