CCTV installation is much more than just running a few wires and attaching video surveillance cameras to walls. CCTV installers offer a depth of knowledge and expertise that could make the difference between having the evidence for an incident and looking at a blank screen. The following are some of the key things our installers advise their clients:
1. All CCTV systems are not created equal: Most think that all CCTV systems are same and that any one will do the job. However, CCTV system vary greatly in terms of ease of use, reliability, capabilities, budgets and maintenance costs. Choose the one that is most appropriate for your needs. Taking time to consider your requirements and perhaps spending a little more may make the difference between having the evidence for an incident and looking at a blank screen.
2. Cameras: High crime/vandalism area? You'll want a vandal proof camera. Need to see what happens at night? Choose an IR camera. Large are? Go for wide angle. Want to focus on a door or a cash register? A 60-degree angle will do. There's more to consider such as budget, indoor/outdoor, existing cameras, etc. A cameras' security is equally important. Are they susceptible to hackers? Did the manufacturer put proper infrastructure into place to help mitigate threats?
3. NVR/DVR: An NVR/DVR records and holds your camera footage. However, NVR/DVR technology is archaic and is not too dissimilar from a VCR. One of the many problems with using NVR/DVRs is that it takes a long time to find footage. You have to rewind/fast forwarding for hours to review footage (just for awareness). To find a specific incident, you have to do the same. Security and reliability are also significant issues with traditional NVRs/DVRs.
4. Security: Numerous stories about CCTV hacking and abuse have come to light in the last several years. Sometimes an intruder finds their way into your cameras via the internet or local network access. Sometimes, a foreign entity gets ahold of IDs/passwords of authorised systems users. Sometimes an authorised user misuses their system access privileges. Most often, no one knows about it.
5. Footage Backup: NVRs/DVRs store footage from your cameras on the hard drive that is built into them. Burglars often either take the NVR/DVR with them, or damage the hard drive to destroy the evidence. Sometimes hard drives fail on their own. Therefore, it is advisable to consider a system that lets you back up your footage in a remote cloud location. While this does have certain cost implications, there are some budget-friendly options. Click here to find out about Xanview's budget friendly CCTV cloud backup service.
6. System Reliability: Most don't look at CCTV footage until something happens. Too often, they discover that the footage isn't there because something was wrong with their CCTV system. A camera stopped working, someone unplugged the NVR/DVR, something went offline. The trouble is that no one knows about these things until it's too late. Make sure you choose a self-monitoring system with error notifications.
7. Maintenance Fees: When something goes wrong with your CCTV system, you may need to call an engineer to fix it. Call out fees tend to range from £150-£250. Make sure you get a system that gives the engineer the ability to troubleshoot remotely so that he doesn't need to charge you a full call out fee. Also, consider a maintenance contract that includes a couple of site visits.
8. User Access: If you're installing in a commercial setting, you'll want to limit who sees which footage. For example, for a chain of stores, a local manager will only see his local store, while the regional manager will see some, or possibly all of the stores. A local employee can be given access to just a few of the local cameras. Make sure you choose a system that lets you limit and monitor what each user sees.
9. Technological Evolution: Technology should evolve with the times. However, most CCTV system you buy today will be outdated a year from now. This could compromise your security and force you to purchase a new system earlier than you expected. A prime example of this is hacking. Hackers constantly devise new ways to access information, so your system can become vulnerable very quickly. Choose a system that is either easily updatable or better yet, updates itself.
10. Legal requirements: Are your cameras recording the general public? Is your system usage compliant with regulations? How do you deal with "grey areas" such as sound recording? A professional security installer can advise you on local legal requirements and recommend appropriate actions, systems and camera positioning. Government authorities can impose hefty fines for violations and it is well worth the extra expense to seek professional advice.
Xanview, a British video surveillance system provider, offers a more reliable, secure, cost effective system. It sends notifications when something isn't working properly and automatically receives over the air software updates. Xanview lets you manage usage permissions and monitor access for every user.
Xanview’s hybrid cloud CCTV system provides reliable remote access to all site and offsite recording backup to as few or as many cameras as needed. The system is highly bandwidth efficient and importantly, remains completely functioning during network disruption.
Additionally, Xanview’s system integrates with the majority of cameras (both IP & analogue) on the market, allowing for seamless installations with none of the high costs. Our hybrid system also carries a host of analytics built-in and allows for the addition of a wide range of features such as licence plate recognition, face-detection and many others.
Xanview’s dedication to practical application without compromising on features has developed a reliable, cutting-edge and cost-effective solution. Click here to request a demo.