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DVRs – Digital Video Recorders

Safety, Security, & Storage

Personal and public safety is always a top priority. Recent events have shown us that, whether planned or spontaneous, violent attacks can be extremely tragic and devastating. These also remind us that improving our security and surveillance systems is vital and show us what needs to be addressed and how we can safeguard against future threats.

Border & Airport Security
While border security is a controversial subject, in terms of security, the border or perimeter is essentially a vulnerable point of entry. Because of this, governments are looking to improve surveillance and secure boundaries. One way they are stepping up security is by employing remote video surveillance and analytics.

For example, the Department of Homeland Security have strategically placed towers to provide remote video surveillance along the southwestern and northern borders of the United States. The U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agency believe more towers would help to expand surveillance and provide more protection in remote areas.

Airports act in a similar fashion, as they represent a type of boundary and serve as a key point of entry for international travelers. With that said, airports must be monitored and secured carefully to protect not only passengers and visitors, but also aircraft, terminals, parking facilities, fuel facilities, airline buildings and power supply facilities. In addition, airports are often a prime target for terrorists since large, diverse crowds congregate, making security both critical and a major challenge.

Thus, video surveillance is crucial to airport security systems. Security cameras are placed throughout the various facilities to monitor crowd activity, perimeter gates and fencing, and other high traffic areas (ex. security checkpoints, baggage handling, hallways, seating areas, entrances/exits). Live streams are monitored continuously with the aid of video analytics and facial recognition is used for staff as well as guests. This technology quickly identifies who has authorized access to certain areas and can spot known suspects and criminals. Furthermore, virtual tripwires help to secure certain boundaries, and behavioral analytics algorithms help to detect any unusual behaviors, including left-behind packages.

To maintain optimal security and protection at borders and airports, security systems must monitor suspicious activity over time, track movements of watch-list suspects and share said information among agencies. It is a complicated process which depends on the sufficient work of real-time and archival video surveillance footage. And while advances in security camera technology (ex. higher-resolution capability, panoramic viewing, onboard analytics and integrated audio) are incredible, they also increase the need for sufficient storage capacity.

Before you make the decision on video surveillance storage, here are some factors to consider:

Retention Time
This can have a dramatic impact on the amount of storage necessary. Due to regulations and litigation issues, retention time is increasing, thus more storage capacity is necessary.

For example, HB 976 was passed in Georgia in 2016, requiring law enforcement to retain video from body-worn cameras and vehicle-mounted devices for a minimum of 180 days. In addition, any video recording related to a criminal investigation or pending litigation must be retained for 30 months.

Aside from complying with regulations, the value of video may increase in regards to analyzing people and patterns are observed over longer periods of time. It is important to consider long-term storage needs when making retention policy decisions.

Access
When it comes to storage, options include enterprise digital video recorders, boxed appliance network video recorders, PC-based network video recorders, enterprise storage platforms, tape, and cloud storage. Some make it easier than others to retrieve and share archived footage.

Before deciding on a storage solution, take into account the individuals who may need to access to the footage, how quickly they will need it and whether or not video files will be shared with other agencies.

Cost
Storage accounts for a good chunk of video surveillance budget since many opt for high-performance disks over tape (a more cost-effective solution). In order to minimize costs while still maintaining quality performance, you may want to size disk storage to meet ingest performance requirements, and then build long-term retention capacity using tape or cloud.

Video surveillance is a vital tool for law enforcement and other government officials, and the expanded use of more powerful cameras along with new video analytics greatly improves security. However, as mentioned, new capabilities have a significant impact on video storage as well.

Not all storage solutions are the same, thus, taking the time to understand how each solution works and finding a balance between retention time, accessibility, and cost is crucial to making the best decision.

If you need security camera systems and storage for your home or business, visit SecurityCamExpert.com to browse our stock. To schedule a site survey or request a free quote, please call 888-203-6294. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Yelp!

Video Surveillance History

To better understand the current surveillance industry, you should know a little history. Without going into great detail, here are some important milestones of the video surveillance industry from the past decade.

Ten years ago, SD analog cameras and DVRs reigned supreme. While video management software and IP cameras were available, they had yet to become a mainstream solution.

Also around this time, some megapixel cameras were offered. They only supported MJPEG encoding (which made storage and transmission of these more expensive), but they boasted better quality than analog cameras.

And still in the early stages, but a topic of interest, were analytics, which had limited deployment during this time.

Around 2008-2012, IP cameras got a boost from the adoption of H.264 for megapixel cameras. Because IP camera usage was up, VMS software followed suit. The benefits of this upgrade were clear, making it easier for consumers to understand and accept the price increase.

As megapixel and IP cameras grew in popularity, interest in connecting cameras to the cloud was rising. While the dream was to eliminate any on-site recording and maintenance, bandwidth limitations and poor cloud VMS killed the dream.

In 2011, video analytics remained off the radar thanks to performance problems, unhappy customers, and ObjectVideo suing the industry. Even today, analytics are still slowly crawling out of the hole.

In the next few years, edge storage promised the elimination of NVRs and recorder appliances since the storage and software would be housed within the IP camera. Unfortunately, reliability issues deterred early adopters, and the introduction of inexpensive recorder appliances pushed edge storage to the back burner. Rather than becoming a main solution, edge storage was more commonly employed to provide redundancy for higher-end applications.

WDR & Low Light Conditions
Over time, surveillance camera technology has improved to better accommodate low light environments. Before, WDR (wide dynamic range) cameras, which automatically adjusted to harsh lighting conditions, were expensive and limited in availability. Low light performance was generally poor, and even worse in MP cameras (WDR in these were relatively non-existent). Today, the enhancements in quality are evident.

Smart CODECs
Smart CODECs dynamically adapt compression and I frame interval to scene conditions, which ultimately reduces bandwidth requirements and offsets the need to move to H.265. Within recent years, we have seen a rise in this technology. Moving forward, broad support of Smart CODECs will eventually drive down storage costs and remote network challenges.

HD Analog
For more than a decade, IP was the only practical way to deliver MP/HD, however the introduction of HD Analog has successfully killed off SD analog. HD analog uses coaxial cable for transmissions and has dominated sales for homes and small businesses. Some argue that it is just a temporary fix, while others say it will expand features and options to become a mainstay.

Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity has only recently become a major topic in video surveillance, however, many still brush it off. Though recent events have spurred concerns (ex. Sony hacking, Hikvision hacks, Axis’ major exploit), most users perceive a low risk of cybersecurity. As our systems become more connected, we can only hope that cybersecurity is better addressed and taken seriously among manufacturers and consumers alike.

Chinese Manufacturers
Chinese manufacturers have grown as contenders, with their earlier deployments showing poor quality and performance. However, over time, their products have improved and yet still maintain relatively low pricing. These manufacturers were originally OEM suppliers to Western brands, but recent years have shown their branded sales increase in the West.

Drive Down Costs
It seems manufacturers are in a current race to offer the lowest prices (whether to gain share or stay afloat) and consumers seem to be driving this shift. With numerous DIY and simple home solutions, we will see where the video surveillance industry is headed next.

What are your predictions for the future of video surveillance? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

To shop our selection of security camera equipment and packages, please visit SecurityCamExpert.com. For questions about our products and installation services, or to schedule a free* site survey, please call 1-888-203-6294.

The Importance Of Video Surveillance Storage

The presence of security cameras often deters people from behaving badly and provides evidence if and when a crime occurs. Most businesses employ video surveillance for loss prevention purposes. However, as surveillance technologies get smarter, video surveillance can play a larger role.

Surveillance data can provide a wealth of information for different industries. For example, in retail, not only do security cameras help loss prevention, but surveillance footage can hold the key to increase sales and improve the shopping experience. Video surveillance data can replace “mystery shoppers” as a more effective avenue of collecting consumer data. For the transportation and shipping industry, surveillance analytics combined with RFID tags can help track cargo, lower operational costs and improve traffic flow.

To achieve such excellent benefits, businesses must seriously consider an effective storage solution. In order to get substantial results, studies must evaluate data over long periods of time, forcing business to get smarter about video surveillance data storage. When choosing the appropriate storage method, the main components to consider are performance, access, and cost.

Because high quality equipment can be costly, considering proper surveillance storage often goes by the wayside. This should not be the case if business analytics are your focus. For an effective system, your means for storage must be able to handle high traffic and high bandwidth without dropping data. If your cameras have high definition, the bandwidth load will only increase from there. For effective performance, your storage should be able to upload, process, and allow access as quickly as possible.

While you need a strong performing system, you must balance your cost. You can spend your entire budget on a storage system that can perform appropriately, but may lack functional organizational. On the other hand, you can cut costs by implementing more affordable means of storage, but again, organizing and accessing this data can become a nightmare.

Your best bet when it comes to storage would be to employ a high-performance, tiered-storage infrastructure that can be managed as a single system. A tiered structure allows data to be stored as a cost-effective medium. The files will be stored based on user defined policies, allowing you to be in total control of your data. Costs are lowered and data is analyzed more effectively.

Business analytics of surveillance data can afford your business with a multitude of benefits. But you can only capitalize on these benefits with an effective storage system. Pay close attention to your options and evaluate your needs before making a final decision.

Are you considering or currently implementing business analytics to your surveillance data? Share your experiences with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Want to estimate how much storage you will need for you system? Looking for affordable security cameras and equipment? Visit us online at SecurityCamExpert.com or give us a call at 1-888-203-6294.

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