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How to Choose a Cloud-Based Video Surveillance System
Choosing a new cloud-based video surveillance system can be a daunting task due to the sheer number of options on the market today. There a many different types of cameras, resolutions, models, audio, motion sensors, and even environmental capabilities to choose from. Here we will discuss some of the top things you need to consider when choosing a cloud-based surveillance system for your business.
Your Business Environment
This seems obvious but knowing your business environment and what it requires from a video surveillance perspective is the first step in the decision-making process. For example, a video surveillance system that is highly renowned in the restaurant and hospitality industry may not be a great fit for a business in the financial industry. Even within the same industry there are variations in what a business may need. You need to factor in your geographical location to ensure that the solution you are considering will align with the climate, codes or standards, and incident statistics. Here are a few examples of questions to ask yourself and potential providers before settling on a video surveillance system:
- Is my business located in a climate with extreme temperatures, high precipitation or humidity, or storm zones?
- Does my state or city have specific guidelines or standards on video or audio recording?
- Does my business location have specific fire codes to adhere to with low or high voltage powered devices?
- What are the crime or incident statistics in my area? Do I need full time recording or motion detection-based recording?
- Do I have dark or low light areas in or around my business?
These questions will help you narrow down which types of cameras you may need and how they will function for you. The good news is that there are cameras specifically designed to function in almost any environment.
Where will you be installing your new cameras? Indoor cameras and outdoor cameras are built differently for their environments. Outdoor cameras are typically weatherproof so that they will not be impaired by rain, hail, or dust particles. You will want to create a map of where you need cameras to be placed to ensure that the cameras you install are adequate for their placement and will not be damaged or rendered useless.
Audio sensors can do more than simply record audio in video surveillance systems. They can be used to turn cameras on or off, rotate the camera to capture footage of a person speaking, or to close in on a subject. If you decide that it is important to incorporate audio into your video surveillance system, be sure to research your local laws and regulations. In some states/municipalities it is illegal to record audio.
Motion Detection & Analytics
Motion detection sensors are a common and standard capability with any video surveillance system. However, there are some highly sophisticated security cameras that can include analytics capable of classifying people, vehicles, and objects. These systems can be programmed to elicit a response when it identifies a specific person, object, or vehicle – such as automatic police dispatch, alarms, or notifications to security personnel. Some states utilize these functionalities at traffic lights to monitor vehicle speeds and speeding citations.
We have talked about the difference between indoor and outdoor cameras but there are a lot of different camera models to choose from such as dome cameras, bullet cameras, thermal cameras, pant-tilt-zoom cameras, and panoramic cameras. It may seem daunting to figure out which types of cameras you need, but if you have your requirements ironed out it will be simple to narrow down the best fit for your business. Always ask providers which camera models they would recommend for your individual spaces.
Bandwidth and Connectivity
Cloud-based video surveillance systems require strong and consistent connection to the internet to store your recorded video or audio. Before you select a solution, a wireless site survey from a reputable provider is a great idea. This simple step can prevent issues with your video surveillance system down the road and reduce unnecessary costs. Reactive fixes always cost more than proactive planning.
At Matrix-NDI we can take on your video surveillance project from start to finish including any cabling that needs to be done before installation. We partner with top-of-the-line manufacturers to bring the newest physical security solutions to our customers. If you have any questions about cloud-based video surveillance systems, reach out to us at ContactUs@Matrix-NDI.com or call 763-475-5500.