The Advantages of a Digital Video Surveillance System

Centralized Vision Digital Video Surveillance System High Definition Camera Wide Angle Lens Video surveillance systems have come a long way. The early analog systems were very inefficient and required massive amounts of storage space. Today’s new digital video surveillance systems are more versatile and efficient and have superior image quality.

Characteristics of an Analog Video Surveillance System

What is an Analog video surveillance system? Simply put, an analog video surveillance system collects video and transmits it over a traditional base band format to a Digital video recorder of some kind or DVR. Once it reaches the DVR it is converted to a digital format so it can be compressed and stored on hard drives.

Analog video surveillance systems have been around since the first CCTV system was installed at a test stand in Peenemünde, Germany in 1942, for observing the launch of V-2 rockets. At the time, it was an innovative, state of the art system. However, they had no way to record the footage. Thus creating the need for the first live monitored video surveillance system.

Analog surveillance systems require that each camera has its own dedicated coaxial cable and usually must be expanded by either 4 or 16 cameras at a time. The installation of an analog system requires massive amounts of coaxial cables for video and may require specialized cables for audio capabilities as well.

The amount of cables involved in the installation and maintenance of an analog system can boggle the mind. Each camera not only needs its own dedicated coaxial cable for video and possibly another cable for audio, they each need their own power supply. The need for power to each camera is solved with a digital system since digital surveillance system cameras can use POE which is a way to get their power from the Ethernet cable.

Each analog camera on a video surveillance network must be connected directly to the digital video recording device. This limits the number of cameras you can add to the number of ports you have on your recording device. With a digital video surveillance system, there are multiple ways in which you can expand your network using switches and other equipment.

One major drawback of analog surveillance cameras is that they have extremely low resolution which provide grainy, blurry, and unclear images. The maximum resolution available in an analog camera is equivalent to approximately .4 megapixels. In comparison, today’s most advanced digital video surveillance cameras are available in up to 11 megapixels.

Low resolution is not the only cause of analog video surveillance camera’s production of such blurry images. Analog cameras use a process called interlacing. This interlacing is what creates the jagged video and blurry images. The way interlacing works is by dividing the images.

The Interlacing process involves dividing images into two sets of lines, odd and even. These lines are then refreshed alternately. This alternate refreshing is what causes moving objects to appear jagged and or blurry and creates distortion in the video.

The reason it is so blurry is that only half of the lines are recording at any one time while the other half wait to be refreshed. Once both images are received by the DVR and put back Centralized Vision Digital Video Surveillance System Analogtogether, the images have moved slightly, and therefore create a blurry image.

Analog cameras also do not have the same digital zooming capabilities as digital video surveillance cameras do. The grainy pictures produced by an analog camera only become grainier and blurrier when you zoom in. The poor resolution and grainy picture make it difficult or even impossible to identify people and see what exactly is happening at any time.

Another characteristic of analog video surveillance cameras is their narrow field of view. With traditional analog cameras you had to install several cameras in order to watch a large area. A digital surveillance camera can cover three to four times as much area than an analog camera can.

Possibly one of the largest drawbacks to an analog video surveillance system is the fact that they do not work well as a wireless system. Analog signals must follow several government guidelines and are prohibited from being encrypted and are extremely susceptible to interference. In addition to interference, your system will be vulnerable to hackers. Florescent lighting can also be very problematic for wireless analog networks.

Benefits of A Digital Video Surveillance System

There are many benefits of a digital video surveillance system. Digital surveillance systems are superior to analog in their ease of installation, their ease of use, their superior image quality, their data requisition and transmission processes, and many other ways.

The main difference between an analog and a digital video surveillance system is the way they collect and transmit the video signal. Analog systems convert the information into a digital format after it reaches the recording device. With a digital video surveillance system, the information is gathered in a digital format to begin with. Thereby eliminating the need to convert and compress the information at a later time.Centralized Vision Digital Video Surveillance System

Collecting the information digitally from the start makes the whole process much more efficient. Digital information can be transmitted more quickly than an analog signal due to the fact that the information is compressed prior to its transmission.  Besides being faster, digital systems are superior because with a digital signal, there is no degradation of the image.

Since the video is collected digitally straight from the camera, there is more flexibility as to how and where you can record the video. In most cases, the DVR is replaced with an NVR (network video recorder), which can be simply software since the information does not need to be converted to a digital format.

As I mentioned earlier, digital video surveillance cameras have much higher image quality than their analog counter-parts. The most sophisticated analog cameras on the market today have a maximum of .4 megapixels. That is less than half of a megapixel. Even the cheapest digital cameras available today far exceed this in megapixels alone.

Sophisticated digital video surveillance systems have several capabilities other than transmitting video images. Today’s digital systems have the ability to control more than video. Apps can be downloaded to allow for remote access, access control systems, visitor management systems, and building management.

With remote access capabilities, it is far easier for a live video monitoring company such as Centralized Vision to monitor your property. With the right applications your video feed can be accessed anywhere with an internet connection which alleviates the need to have on-site monitors.

Access control systems allow you to remotely monitor and facilitate entry of guests to your facility. In addition to monitoring guests, you can set up alerts to inform you in the case of a door being left unlocked or propped open. With an analog system this would not be as easy to facilitate.

With a digital surveillance system, you can track your guests and visitors while they are on the property. In the event that a visitor is allowed only in certain areas of the building, you have the ability to control their flow. You can lock and unlock doors as needed to let them move freely about in  authorized areas. Thus not leaving any access points open, unlocked or vulnerable to unauthorized access.

In addition to digital video surveillance systems having superior image quality and sophisticated app capabilities, another advantage is the ease of use when installing or adding to the system. When installing the system, it requires much less wiring than a traditional analog system.

Remember, an analog system requires separate coaxial cables, audio cables, and power cables. That is not necessary with the POE (Power over Ethernet) option available with a digital system. The cameras can get their power directly from the Ethernet cables.

A digital video surveillance system is easier to expand than a traditional analog system as well. With an analog system, you are required to expand your network in multiples of 4, 8, or 16. That is not the case with a digital network. With a digital video system, you can add a camera any time and almost anywhere that you want.

With the use of switches to connect your digital cameras to each other without wires. You can add many more cameras to a network than you can with an analog network. Digital cameras can even be installed without wires which makes it even easier. This gives you the ability to place your cameras almost anywhere.

Digital video surveillance systems are superior to analog systems in their ability to transmit wirelessly without interference and distortion. With a traditional analog system, there are several federal regulations that must be followed when transmitting wirelessly. The most problematic is the fact that you are not able to encrypt or protect the information.

With a digital system, there are not the same government regulations to abide by, and therefore your information can be transmitted with encryption and without the same distortion. You are able transmit your information quickly, safely, and with high quality.

Digital video surveillance systems have many advantages over analog systems. They are easier to use with far superior image quality and ease of installation. They are more sophisticated, have a multitude of capabilities, can easily grow with your needs, and are remotely accessible from anywhere. If you have any questions about digital video surveillance systems or how we can help protect what matters most to you, please contact us.

How Can Remote Security Services Help Protect Your Business?

Centralized Vision Remote Security Services ArticleEvery business needs security of some type. On site security is useful, but remote security services can do more than your traditional on-site security guards. Virtually anything that can be done by on-site security can be handled remotely by a professional remote site monitoring company such as Centralized Vision as well as a plethora of other services.

There are many ways that remote security services can help protect your business. Remote security monitoring can solve many issues at the same time. With remote site monitoring, one technician is able to monitor several areas at once for any number of situations that might occur. Trained technicians are equipped with all the necessary skills and tools needed to protect you and your business, as well as your employees, tenants, and guests.

There are several services offered by remote security companies that cannot be provided by a traditional security company. No matter how remote or hostile your location may be, a remote security monitoring company will be on the job 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Remote monitoring and security services can help protect what matters most to you.

Remote Security Services Offer a Wide Variety of Services

The services offered by a remote security company reach far beyond preventing and stopping crimes with live monitored video surveillance. Everything from Intrusion and Access Control to Badge and Database Management as well as so much more can be performed remotely.

Live Video Camera Monitoring

When you think of live monitored video surveillance, you may think of crimes being caught on camera. Whereas catching criminals in the act and preventing crimes is an important part of live monitoring security cameras, there are a multitude of other services that can be performed using live video feeds.

HVAC Monitoring

One service besides crime fighting that can be provided by live video surveillance camera monitoring is Energy Management. Professionally trained technicians can monitor your HVAC system to ensure it is optimized and functioning properly.

Losing HVAC or other vital systems can be devastating to any business, and depending on the industry, the reliability of your HVAC systems can make all the difference in the world. In the case of a pharmaceutical company, vaccines and other specimens must be kept at certain temperatures to maintain their effectiveness.

Hospitals and Care Centers have unique HVAC requirements not found in other industries. They rely heavily on their HVAC systems in order to care for their patients and save lives. HVAC systems in hospitals can help defend against the spread of airborne diseases; they can also contribute to the spread if they are not properly monitored and maintained.

Hospital HVAC systems require specialized equipment like HEPA filters, re-circulating systems, filter fans, air mixing equipment and static cooling systems which provide cooling without moving any air. With remote monitoring, all these specialized pieces of equipment can be monitored 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to guarantee the system will be functioning at the highest level possible at all times.

Building and Vital Systems Monitoring

Another valuable service that can be provided by a remote security monitoring company is monitoring the building, its structure, and all its vital systems. You rely on your building to keep your business running and with a professionally trained staff of technicians monitoring your systems, you can be assured that your building will continue functioning up to its full potential.

Trained technicians monitor for things like structural issues which can include anything from roof leaks to foundation issues.  These issues can usually be repaired easily and for minimal cost if caught in the early stages of development. However, if the issues go unnoticed and are left in disrepair, they can cost more than money.  A roof leak can quickly lead to a roof collapse which can cost you time, materials, and possibly employees if the business is to be closed long-term for repairs.

Inclement Weather Monitoring

Centralized Vision Remote Security Services Article 3Remote security technicians can also monitor your business for weather related issues and developments. Many people are inured at work every year due to weather related problems and many of these could be avoided if the building occupants simply knew what was happening outside.

Earlier this year, a fitness center filled with unsuspecting patrons was hit by a tornado and the entire end of the building was sheared off. If the fitness center had had a remote security monitoring company in place, they could have been warned of the impending weather situation and evacuated the building.

Weather can be dangerous but it can also be a costly set back to your business if you are caught by surprise. A company that relies on its fleet of vehicles would be remiss to let their vehicles become snowed in. With cameras in the parking areas, trained technicians can notify the proper personnel in the event that the vehicles are in danger of becoming snowed in and who can then relocate the vehicles before the snow becomes an issue. The weather is becoming increasingly violent and difficult to predict. With security video surveillance live monitored by a professional company, you will never have to worry about being caught off guard by a pending weather situation.

Plumbing and Electrical Systems Monitoring

Plumbing and electrical systems are other vital areas that many of us don’t think about until there is a problem. Some problems develop in areas where people don’t usually go or cannot physically fit. These types of issues can become serious in a small amount of time. But with a remote security company keeping an eye on things, these types of potential problems never go unobserved.

A small plumbing leak in the wrong place or an electrical outlet that is sparking can easily escalate to a major problem if not discovered and rectified in a timely manner. With remote site monitoring, problems with your plumbing and electrical systems will not become an issue.

These are just a few of the services which can be provided remotely by a live video camera monitoring company.

Access Control

Access control is another area which can be handled with remote security services. Technicians can perform all the same duties as an in person concierge or receptionist plus a whole lot more. Not only can the doors be locked and unlocked remotely allowing access to authorized individuals at any time day or night, technicians can also alert you to forced entries.

One valuable service that can be provided by a remote concierge or access control system that cannot be easily offered by an in-person service is that all visitors, guests, vendors and service people can be monitored while they are on the property.

All areas that need to be accessed by vendors, maintenance or other persons can easily be unlocked remotely while keeping all others areas locked and off limits. Having someone watching will keep your property safe and sound.

Database Management and Visual Escort

Centralized Vision Remote Security Services Article 2With badge and database management services, you no longer need to have someone manning the front desk 24 hours a day. With remote services in place, our trained technicians can not only check all visitors against the facilities’ database of approved people. Remote technicians can also activate a deactivate access cards as needed to maintain a secure facility.

With our innovative Visual Escort and scout ahead services, your clients, tenants, guests, and visitors will feel safe as long as they are on the property. Trained technicians can watch over your guests as they make their way to their vehicles; with just one easy call to our professional staff we will watch over your guests until they reach their vehicles safely.

Or, if preferable, we can scout out the area ahead of your guests departure to ensure their safety before they ever leave the building. With trained security technicians watching over your guests as they come and go from the property, you can ensure they will never doubt your sincerity when it comes to safety and security.

Dispatch and Investigative Services

When you employ a remote security company to monitor your property and keep an eye on what matters most to you, professionally trained technicians have the ability to dispatch the proper personnel to handle any situation that may arise.

Technicians can dispatch private security to check on open doors, suspicious activity and the like, as well as dispatching local authorities in the event that a crime or dangerous situation unfolds. Building representatives and maintenance personnel can also be contacted and dispatched to the location if needed.

Investigative services are another specialized service that can be provided by a remote security company. One of the many benefits of hiring a professional monitoring company to handle your security needs is that you gain the knowledge, experience, and expertise of their entire staff. That is something it would cost you tens of thousands of dollars and countless hours of training to achieve and it all comes with the service.

Anytime an incident occurs, recorded footage or still images of the unauthorized motion/presence or incident will be recorded and sent to you or stored for your review according to your preference. This is a time saver as it allows you to quickly and easily review all security incidents without having to scour hours of footage.