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In a first-of-its kind whitepaper, VideoSurveillance has authored an 18 page guide to video surveillance systems for Information Technology professionals. Whether your department has been asked to design a system from scratch, to improve a current system, or take over data management, this guide has the information you need.
We cover a wide range of topics, including:
- Where to start if you've inherited a system
- Design tips & common mistakes to avoid
- How to avoid overwhelming your network's bandwidth
- Keeping your network secure with an IP system
- Steps for ongoing system maintenance
- Planning for future system expansion
IT departments commonly cite three challenges when managing a video surveillance system: how to search through and archive data, how to control the quickly growing amount of data your system can collect, and how to mitigate the impact on network bandwidth.
We'll ask you many questions to help you think through the design, implementation, and management process, using knowledge gained from years working with surveillance systems. You'll learn how to avoid the most common mistakes, how to keep your network secure while utilizing the benefits of IP systems, what to think about when creating your upgrade plan, and more.
Congratulations to all the students who entered this year's VideoSurveillance.com college scholarship - we had some amazing essays, and great ideas! However, only one student could win the $1,000 scholarship and this year's winner is Melissa from Pennsylvania State University.
Melissa's essay, "Video Surveillance: Revolutionizing the Future of College Campus Security" touched on her work as a graduate student strong Homeland Security, focusing on the challenges of 24/7 security.
This was the third year for the VideoSurveillance.com scholarship, which awards $1,000 for college tuition to an incoming college freshman or current university student. While the 2015 scholarship is now closed, check back soon for updates on the 2016 scholarship.
What exactly is tamper detection? Read below to have a better understanding of this built-in feature:
The tamper detection feature is designed to alert you when the camera's recording function has been affected. For example, if an intruder attempts to spray paint the camera lens or deliberately moves it, the camera will send you a notification, alerting you to the fact that your camera has been tampered with. The automatic tamper alerts let you stay connected to your system even when you're not on-site.
- The camera is moved or pushed around (keep in mind, that it might be moved by a falling branch or a gust of wind)
- An intruder tries to cut the power to the camera
- The camera is covered with spray paint, disabling the recording function
- An item or a piece of fabric is draped over the camera lens in an attempt to prevent recording
- The camera focus is obscured, resulting in a blurry image
The good news is that tamper detection is available from many leading IP camera manufacturers including Optica, Axis, and Vivotek. Make sure to enable this camera feature immediately for increased peace of mind when you're away from your office or building.
When researching video surveillance cameras, you will quickly realize that the lens a camera has is incredibly important for the type of video you want. When it comes to choosing the type of camera lens you want, do you know the most important factors to look at?
There are generally three types of lenses - normal, wide angle, and telephoto. A normal lens (one that isn't wide angle or telephoto) captures video that looks similar to what you would see looking at the scene.
A wide angle lens can capture a larger view of the same scene, a great option for when you want your surveillance camera to monitor general activity in a large area like a parking lot. A wide angle lens can't capture fine details, however, because it's not designed to focus in on small or close-up objects. One specialized type of wide-angle cameras is fisheye or panoramic.
For a close-up video, you'll want a telephoto lens. A telephoto lens is a long-focus lens, and will be able to focus on one specific area; this allows it to capture something, say a license plate, from a distance but will not provide an over-all view of the parking lot.
Another lens option to pay attention to are remote focus lenses - this will allow you to automatically focus the camera lens without physically adjusting it.
So how do you know what type of lens to choose? Before purchasing the camera, decide what you want to do with it. If you want a camera that can provide a view of the entire parking lot, you know to only look at wide angle cameras. If you want to capture fine details from a distance, limit your search to telephoto lens cameras. This will help you focus on only the cameras that will meet your surveillance goals.
Security on a construction job site can be a difficult task - vandalism is common, theft of materials is a growing concern, and the outdoor nature makes it hard to restrict access. Utilizing an outdoor video surveillance system can make it easier for you to manage your site's security while reducing workplace accidents and theft.
Your construction site will require specialized equipment, but working with an experienced surveillance partner can help you build the best system for your needs. Outdoor cameras can weather extreme temperatures, rain, and the dust from construction.
If you're worried about damage to the cameras (either from vandals or equipment), vandal-proof cameras have specialized domes that can withstand sharp blows and hits. Many of these cameras also have tamper alarms, which can notify you of an attack when you're off-site.
When installing your surveillance cameras, pay attention to two specific areas - the perimeter of the site, and the area you store tools and materials. Securing these spaces make it easier for you to monitor activity at the site after hours so you can respond quickly to trespassing, vandalism, or theft.
Remote monitoring makes it incredibly easy to stay connected to your job site. Available for Android and Apple smart phones and tablets, these apps allow you to see a live feed from your cameras, review recorded video, and manage alerts. This ability to monitor your job site at any time, from anywhere, can help deter theft and reduce workplace accidents.
Learn more about video surveillance for building site security.
Because a surveillance system runs intensive management software, and has to store large amounts of data, the hard drives you choose for your surveillance system are very important. While you cannot eliminate the chances of a hardware malfunction or failure, selecting hardware designed for professional video surveillance applications is your best option for the best system performance.
Traditional hard drives have spinning discs, while a solid state drive (SSD) uses different technology to remove the spinning parts. Because it has no moving parts, a SSD is believed to last longer; this is still relatively new technology, however, and has not been extensively tested in video surveillance systems.
Whichever style you choose, always look for professional-level hard drives. Some manufacturers will also have "surveillance-grade" or "server-rated" hard drives.
How much HHD space do you need? That depends on your system and how long you want to store data. It is always best to have too much space versus too little, so you won't lose important video files due to a lack of space. Speak with surveillance specialists with experience designing systems and can walk you through the decision process.
One thing we highly recommend for professional surveillance systems is a RAID (redundant array of independent disks) setup. This will help prevent the loss of important data if part of your system fails.
Want to learn more about designing your surveillance system? Contact us today!
VideoSurveillance.com has a lonstanding history helping facilities within the critical infrastructure market deploy high-resolution IP camera systems along their perimeters. Examples of ritical infrastructure projects that VideoSurveillance.com have worked with include electrical utilities and electrical substations.
Heightened security efforts are key to keeping critical infrastructure businesses protected against trespassers, theft, and vandalism. In addition, security cameras help ensure safety protocols are followed and that a live and recorded view of the facility is accessible 24-7 on a remote or mobile device. By monitoring the facility on a smartphone or tablet, manager(s) can catch incidents which might hinder operations. Most importantly, an IP video surveillance system will help reduce the threat of safety breaches.
Whether you represent a electrical power company or an electric substation, you can count on the critical infrastructure specialists at VideoSurveillance.com to design a professional security camera system customized to your facility's unique needs. Easily minimize threats and maximize building safety with strategically placed video surveillance cameras.
Construction and agriculture machinery is large and expensive, and not everyone who needs the equipment occasionally can afford to purchase and store it. Equipment rental businesses make it easy to access this equipment as needed, but how can you secure your business and products?
Video surveillance systems are extremely common and popular in retail businesses. Although it may be more difficult for a thief to steal a tractor versus a sweater, all retail businesses need to be aware of the damages from thieves. A surveillance camera can monitor your business around the clock, even when you are out of the office.
Additionally, a surveillance system can be used to monitor customer interactions, track money handling at the cash register, and ensure all your staff and customers are following safety standards around the equipment.
Learn more about video surveillance for equipment rental security.
IP-based surveillance systems give you incredible flexibility, but they can also have a negative impact on your bandwidth if you don't manage the system properly. How can you get all the benefits of IP without slowing down your network? By having different settings for live previews and saved files!
There are three areas you should focus on to reduce the bandwidth impact. First, take a look at your video compression settings. Your camera will probably give you several compression formats to choose from. You can have different settings for each type of compression, allowing you to find the best way to compress files into the smallest size (without a loss of quality) to minimize bandwidth impact when sending them.
You should also look at your camera's resolution settings. Higher resolution requites more bandwidth because the video files are larger, so make sure your resolution is set to match what you need from your system and no higher. You can also have two different resolution settings - stream live camera previews in a low resolution, but save your files at the higher resolution.
Finally, your camera's frames per second (FPS) can have an impact on file size and bandwidth. Similar to having two settings for resolution, you can also set up the live video to have fewer frames per second with the video file is at the full FPS.
If you are worried about the impact your surveillance system may be having on your bandwidth, or you aren't sure how to change these settings, contact us today for expert advice.
If you own an RV or boat dealership, then you know how critical it is to protect your lot against theft, vandalism, and trespassers. VideoSurveillance.com specailizes in helping boat dealers and RV dealerships heighten their security efforts with custom-designed security camera solutions. Designed with precision, our custom video surveillance systems provide a wealth of benefits to ensure your lot is well guarded and monitored around the clock, 24-7.
Pioneering advances in security camera technology have made it possible to capture video in full HD resolution, which gives business owners the ability to record exceptionally clean and detailed images of their property. VideoSurveillance.com highly recommends HD security camera systems for boat dealers and RV lots, since these types of businesses usually take up a vast area and require high-quality recorded images. Full HD video resolution is a sure-fire way to ensure that suspcious characters are recognizeable in images; the sterling quality of 1080p resolution certainly trumps analog video in terms of noise, detail and clarity.