Plenty has been written about surveillance cameras. Today we are going to talk about the second piece of the surveillance puzzle, the video recorder. This can be a DVR, Digital Video Recorder or NVR, Network Video Recorder. The technical difference is that DVR’s support analog cameras and NVR’s support IP cameras. Regardless of which one you choose, always remember the business issues related to surveillance: Theft Prevention, Avoiding Litigation and Employee Productivity.
Recent technological advances have made video recorders less expensive and have added value such that the benefits far outweigh the initial investment. These advances are:
- Hybrid DVR’s: This is an NVR which will accommodate both analog and IP cameras. Combining both types of cameras on a single NVR is very cost effective when the solution warrants such a mix. Choose analog cameras for smaller areas when where objects are always in focus, like the front entrance, and IP cameras for longer focal lengths where you will need to zoom in and not lose resolution.
- View Anywhere, Anytime: All DVR’s/NVR’s have an IP address making them accessible from any computer connected to the internet or any smart phone. What’s an improvement is that most manufacturers have a free app for your iPhone or Droid allowing you to view all cameras, view a specific camera, zoom, export images and so on.
- NVR Software Enhancements: Like any computer, software enhancements create new applications and benefits. Here are some of the most noteworthy readily available:
- Motion Detecting Software. The NVR can be set to record motion only. This saves on hard drive space and makes playback a breeze. You can even designate certain areas as immune to motion detection. For example you may only want to record someone entering your property but want to dismiss street traffic or trees blowing in the wind. When you couple this feature with lower cost for hard drives, a 30 day storage of content can be cost effective.
- Alarm Notifications.Any designated event can trigger an e-mail alert to be sent. Let’s say for example you wished to be notified of anyone entering your company’s property after hours. You set the alarm notification to be active from 6:00 PM to 7:00 AM and all hours on the weekends. You define movement as 10 seconds continual in a defined area. You create a new e-mail for this notification; e.g. mypersonalalarm1234. Program your smart phone to play a specific tone when you receive the e-mail. Open your viewer app and see who or what has triggered this event. Call 911 or go back to watching TV as needed.
When technology meets affordability, you have this “tipping point” when that technology starts to be implemented at an accelerated rate. Past examples being the fax machine, personal PC’s and flat screen TV’s. Now is that time for video surveillance.
My goal is to educate and entertain. My philosophy is that technology is a tool to add to the bottom line, increase customer retention and implement profitable processes. Buzz words are the tool of those who have no interest in your business but want your money to get the “latest and greatest”, “cutting edge” etc.
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