Difference between a proactive and reactive video surveillance system

Video Surveillance Systems are differentiated into two categories which are proactive and reactive systems. Proactive systems are those where security staff/teams are constantly monitoring the cameras. The main benefit of these systems is they immediately alert the security staff as soon as the incident occurs. In most cases, the system alerts the team via Email or SMS or an alarm in advance to an incident, before it occurs.

However, if the guard or the person in-charge fails to notice or act in time, then the system turns essentially reactive and the recorded video will be used only for evidence. Another main advantage of a proactive system is that it requires investment which has to be made on the security professionals monitoring an event.

Reactive systems do not rely on live monitoring which generally makes them less expensive. But the installer of these systems should have a greater emphasis on high detail from the cameras, as well as camera coverage and video storage retention. Unless these three requirements are met, the value of these systems is not sustainable. Therefore, when an incident occurs, the video surveillance footage may be reviewed shortly after or a few weeks later. Also one must make sure that the data written onto the system is not getting over-written.

In general, a reactive system relies purely on its recordings for information; however, it cannot prevent incidents from taking place as a proactive system may do.

Nowadays, due to the usage of video analytics in the world of video surveillance, many systems are starting to utilize remote video monitoring features. Essentially, the system is proactive either 24/7 or during a certain schedule. A security guard located in a remote location will be notified of suspicious activity and can then respond to a call or an event. This helps in cutting down the need for live monitoring staff and related expenses by 50% to 75%.

In early days of video analytics usage, false alarms were a menace. But now with technology advancement many benefits are being catered.

Even though, there is a bit of difference in the work functions of these systems, both proactive and reactive systems can prove successful if proper planning and care is put into their design.

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