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Six Fundamentals of Video Surveillance Systems

When it comes to video surveillance systems, Tampa-based Surveillance Technologies has more than 22 years of experience evaluating our customers’ businesses and their needs in order to recommend the right system. The below explains the most fundamental features that we discuss with our clients to help them achieve their video surveillance system goals.

One of the first things to determine is how clear you need the image to be when you zoom in digitally. Do you need to be able to register facial features? Read badge names? Or simply see if a person or vehicle is entering an area, without seeing pixelation or distortion. This may seem like an easy question because seeing a lot of detail can be helpful in every video surveillance system application. But, if you’re trying to stick to a lower-end budget, it’s important to evaluate how much detail you need and balance that with how much you’re willing to spend on a video surveillance system.

Infrared Distance
The infrared (IR) distance determines how far the cameras in your video surveillance system can see in very dark environments. If your business mainly operates during the day, you may not need as much visibility at night. Or, if your daytime business needs nighttime protection from theft, a video surveillance system with greater infrared distance may be necessary. This infrared or nighttime vision distance is not to be confused with the optical range of the lens on your camera, which is dictated by the resolution.

Weather Rating
There is an international standard for rating the weather protection of video surveillance systems. At Tampa-based Surveillance Technology, we pride ourself on being very knowledgeable on this topic because of the varying weather conditions in Tampa, St. Pete, Clearwater and surrounding areas. We use this scale to determine the type of environment in which our clients’ surveillance system will be installed and to make recommendations on the most durable technology for these environments.

The international standard is called an Ingress Protection rating, or IP rating and it indicates how much a video surveillance system is protected from the elements, and which elements it is protected from. An example rating might be IP65. The first number, the “6”, measures protection from dust and the second number, the “5”, measures protection from liquids. Here is more detail on the scale:

Protection from dust:
0 – No protection
1 – Protects from solid objects over 50mm
2 – Protects from solid objects over 12mm
3 – Protects from solid objects over 2.5mm
4 – Protects from solid objects over 1mm
5 – Limited protection from dust
6 – Complete protection from dust

Protection from liquids:
0 – No protection
1 – Protects from dripping water
2 – Protects from sprays of water up to an angle of 15 degrees
3 – Protects from sprays of water up to an angle of 60 degrees
4 – Protects from water sprayed from all directions
5 – Protects from low pressure jets of water from all directions
6 – Protects from strong jets of water from all directions
7 – Protects from temporary water immersion
8 – Protects from long-term water immersion

Tamper Resistance
Depending on where your video surveillance system’s cameras will be placed, you may need to evaluate the tamper resistance of your cameras. If your camera’s will be placed up high and out of reach, tamper resistance is less of a concern. Dome security cameras are the most tamper-resistant, followed by turret cameras and, lastly, bullet security cameras. If you’re evaluating a pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) camera, these are available in both dome and turret style, so you’ll want to consider the tamper resistance needed based on where you place it, in addition to the differences between dome and turret cameras.

Movement Along the Axis
If you’ll have a video surveillance system manned by an employee or security officer, you’ll want the ability for that person to control where the camera is looking and its ability to zoom in. Security cameras that can move along the x, y and z axis, known as PTZ cameras, will give you the most flexibility. If you pair that functionality with high resolution, you’ll also have the ability to zoom in to get very detailed surveillance videos.

Video Surveillance System Analytics
Today’s video surveillance systems can also incorporate various levels of analytics to help detect patterns. For example, traffic patterns in certain areas of either pedestrians and/or vehicles can help you determine unusual activity. Most video surveillance systems can also set up notifications to inform you if a person or vehicle has entered a designated area. If paired with a pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) camera, your video surveillance system can trigger the camera to follow the person or vehicle through the designated area, or it can be used for facial or license tag recognition when linked to certain databases.

At Surveillance Technology, we know how important it is for our customers to be able to achieve their security and surveillance needs. You can trust in our 22+ years of experience serving Tampa, St. Pete, Clearwater and surrounding areas. Contact us today for a free site survey to determine your video surveillance system needs.

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