4 Things You Need To Know Before Buying A CCTV Camera For Your Business

For all the deterrent value of a CCTV camera, most commercial CCTV installations are surprisingly ineffective at preventing and detecting crime. In a high-risk commercial environment, such as a casino or night-time entertainment venue, a high quality CCTV network can make the crucial difference between preventing fraud, theft, or antisocial behaviour, and your business becoming a focused victim of crime. With a wide range of CCTV equipment currently available to meet every budget, here are the main things you need to know before selecting a new system for your premises.

1) CCTV Camera Technology Has Changed In The Past 10 Years

A CCTV camera network is an expensive capital investment, so it’s natural that most businesses don’t change their hardware too often. Many casinos use camera hardware that is at least 10 years old, and often a lot older. The maxim that if it’s not broken, don’t fix it applies to a lot of hardware, but with CCTV cameras a lot has changed over the past 10 years, to the extent that older camera models lack many of the advanced capabilities that make modern cameras such a potent security asset.

In fact, CCTV cameras have evolved substantially in the past decade, with modern cameras coming with a wide range of CCTV technologies, features, and integration capabilities that can be intimidating for buyers. These include advanced facial and number plate recognition software, video analytics, integrated alarms and alerts, and superior image quality – all of which improve the effectiveness and capabilities of your security system.

2) Commercial CCTV Cameras Have A Wide Range Of Inbuilt Tools And Accessories

Gone are the days where most CCTV cameras did more or less the same thing. Earlier generations of cameras simply recorded or streamed visual data, and often relied on on-the-spot analysis by security personnel in a control centre. Often this resulted in security incidents being missed entirely or picked up too late for anything to be done about them. Modern CCTV cameras, on the other hand, come with a very wide range of accessories and inbuilt features, so there is a lot of practical difference between commercial brands.

The first thing to do when assessing a CCTV camera model is to check its accessories against your security requirements. In particular, make a note of the number of infrared LEDs in the camera, as this will affect its low light visibility, accuracy, and its maximum outdoor range. Cameras intended for use outdoors and in low ambient light indoor areas (e.g. bars and nightclubs) must be configured for those specific conditions – general retail CCTV cameras may not give you the required image quality. Additionally, many modern cameras have inbuilt audio as well as motion sensors, which may be useful in detecting antisocial behaviour in quiet areas (where criminals may be hiding in poorly lit recesses or deliberately evading cameras) or for identifying specific phrases and forms of speech (e.g. angry tones of voice) against ambient background noise in busier areas.

3) Modern CCTV Cameras Are Part Of The Internet Of Things – Consider Your Connectivity And Network Requirements

Most modern CCTV cameras are designed to be used as part of an integrated network, and are often connected to alarms, access control systems, and video analytics software. Connectivity is therefore of central importance when choosing new CCTV technology. In particular, does the camera require an Internet connection to work, or does it work off-line in certain circumstances? Some independent cameras have an inbuilt Internet hotspot that guarantees wireless connectivity and prevents outages, whereas some require a wired connection at all times. Check these networking requirements carefully, especially when installing outdoor CCTV cameras, and consider whether your current Internet infrastructure is sufficient to support your new hardware, or whether you need to upgrade certain areas of your network.

4) Modern CCTV Cameras Can Be Complex To Install

Modern CCTV technology is both easier and more complex to install than previous CCTV iterations. It’s easier in the sense that most networks, once implemented, have a plug and play architecture that allows cameras to be upgraded or swapped out with minimal fuss, and new cameras added to the network as required. However, the initial implementation stage can require some planning, and it’s best to work with an experienced CCTV company with a familiarity with your industry and the layout of your premises.

Download Our Free Commercial Security Checklist To Find Out More

If you’re interested in finding out more about commercial CCTV systems and how to choose the best hardware for your premises, please download a free copy of our new Commercial Security Checklist: How Secure Are Our Premises? today. You can also call us directly if you would like to discuss your requirements in person, and one of our security specialists will be happy to help you.

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