Thursday, 30 November 2017 18:35

Future Proof Your Video Surveillance System

By Matt La Farr | Your Home
Future Proof Your Video Surveillance System

Everyone knows that technology becomes obsolete more rapidly than ever before. When it comes to video surveillance, many of you consider it an accomplishment just to get to the point of “current” with your system, and one could hardly blame you. For those of you in the process of considering an upgrade, you have to decide whether you want to upgrade for the sake of upgrading (which, of course, has its benefits), or whether you want to upgrade with “future-proofing” in mind. In either case, you need to make sure that the vendor can accommodate your needs. 

Why is it important to future proof? 

Video surveillance had a capstone about two years ago. The technology is such now that if you select the right system, you should be able to keep it around for the better part of ten years (or more). For surveillance vendors that aren’t rooted in IT, the latest technology can be quite a challenge. A seasoned technology company like Tech II has to be ahead of the curve, for obvious reasons. Engineering is critical to future proofing. 

One of the most import aspects of the engineering process is choosing the proper resolution for your cameras. Our passive video systems are often used in conjunction with traditional security and fire solutions (threat intrusion and monitoring systems). As a complement to the aforementioned monitoring system, they are invaluable when assembling information with regard to what exactly took place and by whom, able to show the event that took place, as well as the time of the occurrence. More and more, we implement systems for productivity, training and other uses unrelated to crime or protection. Because we often work with our clients (and appropriate agencies) to build cases when an incident does occur, we’re quite familiar with what law enforcement requires with regard to pixels and usable footage for the purpose of investigation. Unfortunately, all too often we see systems touted as “HD” (high definition), when, in fact, it’s actually a lower resolution, often not up to the task of facial recognition, license plate reading, or even getting a decent video capture at a short distance. More than likely, if your quote details cameras in TVL resolution or 1.3 MP or lower, you’re at risk of investing in older technology. Of course, we’ve seen plenty of systems engineered where the associated quote doesn’t even disclose the actual camera resolution, and simply says, “HD.” That’s certainly a red flag. We know that there’s nothing worse than getting a new system online only to have unusable footage when an incident occurs because the system wasn’t engineered properly. To ensure longevity in your system you need a team that knows cameras, networking, and can provide ongoing
support as needed. 

Many companies will sell you a system, give you a heartfelt “Thank you!” and then you’re on your own. A true technology partner can offer many levels of support after the sale. “We just had an event and discovered our cameras are offline. Can you come out here to service them?” Sadly, that’s when most small businesses with stand-alone passive systems discover their video surveillance is out- after an incident, when they need to review footage, and it’s nowhere to be found. IP cameras have their own processor chip and memory which essentially make them a small stand-alone computer. Like with any computer, the software that runs them needs updating and scheduled attention just like your computer needs patches. If you didn’t know that, or that the cameras themselves receive updates, don’t be too hard on yourself. Most people don’t realize that. At Tech II, that’s what we do across the board- ensure that software updates and security patches are installed and functioning properly on all your network gear. It’s been a natural progression- IT companies moving into the video surveillance arena. As an MSP (managed service provider) we help you manage the health of a camera system, and provide proactive maintenance, minimizing downtime and helping protect your investment long after the sale. Do you have a camera system now? Were you offered these long-term insurance policies from the vendor when you made the purchase? Or was it more like the aforementioned sale above, where they say, “Thank you,” never to be heard
from again? 

To finish up, let’s touch base on how critical it is to have the right platform and software to run your system. The platform we use is fully scalable and can all be linked and viewed on any device from any location. Full mobility! So, if you plan on adding more locations, or you have several locations right now, they can all be linked, even using customized views (for instance, all entrances on one screen, all cash registers on another screen, etc.). 

The old days of “just cover the main doors and elevator” are a thing of the past.  Thoughtful and comprehensive engineering is the key to future-proofing. Our goal at Tech II is to fully partner with you during every step of the project. If you would like more information don’t hesitate to reach out to us at 518-587-1565, or visit us online at www.tech-ii.com. 

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