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Designing a Commercial CCTV Camera System

When laying out a camera system for your business or company, it is important to look at five factors that will give you a good quality system. Many camera systems are designed based on false assumptions or what people see on their favorite TV show. Knowing the facts about cameras and camera systems will give you a CCTV system that will provide you the most benefit for your money.

1. What problems are you looking to solve or prevent with the cameras? – You have to sit down and decide first why you want a CCTV system in the first place. Is this going to save you money, prevent a theft or burglary, catch a thief that has already stolen from you, etc…? You want to be able to clearly define what you want from the camera system. This will allow you to choose the right cameras and location of cameras to solve or prevent your problem.

2. Are you having problems at day or at night? – Most of the time problems occur at night, but when people are looking at cameras and their quality, the demonstration of the cameras take place during the day. Seeing how a camera performs in similar lighting conditions is crucial to deciding if a camera is right for you. Many cameras can provide great images during the day or under optimal lighting conditions; but what happens at night or even low light with the image? Does the camera still produce good quality video, and are the images still sharp? Most importantly, are you able to accomplish the goal you established in item #1?

3. Will the cameras be used for live, playback or both? – Most camera systems are used for playback to see what happened after an incident took place. In this case, make sure that you know what the quality of the video will look like in playback. Many systems may look good when you are watching the live video feed but what happens in playback mode? Many Digital Video Recorders have the ability to record in different quality modes. Look at all of the different modes and pick the quality that is right for you.

4. Are you looking for general surveillance or forensic detail? – Most people have seen the TV show where a person is able to view video from a convenience store and zoom in and enhance the video to see amazing facial recognition or a license plate. This is only TV fiction and is not CCTV fact. Zooming in on video and clicking an imaginary “enhance button” does not exist. Since this doesn’t exist, you have to decide where you need general surveillance or where you need forensic detail. General surveillance will allow you to see a parking lot with one or two cameras. You may be able to see the color and type of car but that’s about it. With forensic detail, you are looking for registration plates or very close up facial details of a person. The same camera may be able to provide you both of these but the field of view and the lens used, will determine which one you get.

5. How will you, your security staff, or others responsible for security access the system? – There are many ways with today’s technology to access your camera system. Are you going to use a PC, a MAC, wireless laptop, or a Blackberry or iPhone? Simply identify who will access the cameras and decide which of the above is going to be used. Then make certain that you select a camera system that will work for you.

After thoroughly considering all of these issues, you are ready to look at different CCTV camera systems. You can now base your decision on facts and on how the system is going to perform for you. Remember that each situation is unique and that the security products must meet your needs. Not all camera systems are designed equally, so ensure that the products you select are the right ones. Rustyice Solutions can advise you on the best product selection to match up to your requirements. Call us today.

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