In the previous post, we discussed why IP video surveillance is replacing closed-circuit television (CCTV) analog systems. IP video surveillance footage is transmitted as data over the network, where it can be monitored in real time, compressed, encoded, directed to specific servers for processing and directed to storage environments in any geographic location. It can then be retrieved and reviewed for investigation and retained for a period of time determined by company policy. All of these functions and rules are managed through software.

One of the primary benefits of shifting from CCTV analog systems to an IP system is the potential to expand the use cases and increase ROI from video surveillance. Today, video surveillance is used primarily for security, safety, compliance and loss prevention. However, video analytics makes it possible to use IP video surveillance as a tool for increasing operational efficiency, customer service and profits.

We touched on this in the previous post, using the example of how a retail store can reduce wait times at checkout. Video analytics can apply machine-learning algorithms to automatically identify and track people and objects and recognize certain scenarios. Whether you’re a retail store operator looking to better understand customer behavior, a municipality looking to optimize vehicle and foot traffic, or a manufacturer looking to reduce the cost of warehouse operations, IP video surveillance with analytics capabilities is extremely valuable.

There are number of factors to consider when choosing an IP video surveillance solution. Cameras with high resolution and frame rate will ensure a crisp, identifiable image without choppy footage. Thirty frames per second is typically considered real time. The location of each camera (in a corner, on a ceiling, indoor, outdoor, etc.) will determine what models and features you need. For example, some cameras might require infrared LED lights for low-light conditions, while others might require audio recording capabilities.

When choosing a video recorder, keep in mind that a network video recorder uses IP cameras, but not all recorders and cameras are compatible. Power-over-Ethernet switches, which allow you to transmit power and data through the same cable, should be chosen based on the number of cameras on the system, now and in the future. In many cases, a wireless camera is the preferred choice because of the flexibility it provides.

From an infrastructure standpoint, you need to look at bandwidth, Quality of Service (QoS), security, network services, virtualization and storage to ensure your IP network can support video surveillance. Bandwidth requirements for video surveillance are significant, and far higher than audio (VoIP). QoS will help you manage bandwidth constraints by prioritizing certain applications, such as video surveillance, that require little or no packet loss. Of course, all your video footage needs a place to live, and storage capacity requirements are high, even with advanced compression techniques. Be sure to account for storage, whether on-premises or in the cloud.

Access to an IP video surveillance system must be tightly controlled to ensure both physical and data security. IP cameras should be able to exchange data with certain network services to provide access to necessary resources and systems and facilitate troubleshooting. Virtualization makes it possible to configure routers and switches in a way that controls access to video feeds.

Before shopping for IP video surveillance solutions, you need to assess existing infrastructure and develop a strategic plan for implementation. Let us help you identify specific use cases for IP video surveillance within your organization and develop a strategy designed to achieve your desired security and business outcomes.