How to Design an Effective Video Surveillance System

Designing an effective video surveillance solution is key to providing the best possible security for your building. Whether it is for a small building or a large building requiring an expansive automation system, the same fundamental questions must be answered. Here are some of the most important:

1.      Cameras – the most essential tool, installing cameras requires multiple-criteria decision making. The first decision that must be made is in regards to deployment. There are two principals of deployment – the first is to identify the chokepoints (where the most human traffic occurs) and assets (specific objects of value that require constant observation) of the area. Once these are determined, one can choose the appropriate type of camera for their needs. The options are fixed vs. PTZ; fixed cameras are widely used because they are far more affordable than PTZ. Next is the choice of color, infrared or thermal functionalities. Both infrared and thermal can be costly and require specific conditions in order to operate correctly. Next is an option of standard definition or mega pixel, which the industry is moving more towards (much like the high definition trend with personal entertainment). Last is a choice of IP or analog, the largest movement in surveillance technology today. Nearly 20% of all cameras sold are now IP.

2.      Connectivity– Cameras are connected to a video management system. There are two main types of connectivity – analog or IP. IP can directly connect to an IP network. Though wired connections are still around, most are used to transmit video. Most systems use wireless systems today. The progression towards wireless has many benefits, particularly in parking lots and remote locations.

3.      Video Management System– the central component of video surveillance solutions. These systems collect, store and manage the distribution of video. There are four options available: DVR is the most commonly used system today, but has limited flexibility in expansion and hardware changes. HDVR is a hybrid DVR that supports IP cameras and essentially functions like a DVR, but with added perks like a low migration cost. NVR are like DVRs but exclusively support IP cameras, not analog. Last, there is IP video surveillance software, the hottest trend in video management systems. This software application must be downloaded on a server, and provides certain freedoms, but comes with a complex setup process.

To learn more about building automation or integrated building solutions, visit our website or call 954.491.6660. Advanced Control Corporation of South Florida has been designing, installing, and servicing building systems for years. Let us show you how we can save you money on your building’s energy costs today!