How to start a big video surveillance project ?

Large scale video surveillance installations involving around 500-1000 or more cameras are becoming more common nowadays. City or public surveillance networks, city or municipal traffic monitoring networks, transportation and transit line networks, large education campuses, large retail malls, airports, large scale business parts are some of the best examples of such large scale surveillance installations.

But do you think that designing and installing such large scale video surveillance networks is easy?

Well, practically speaking, it’s not tough, when proper planning, initiative and budget are sincerely involved.

To start with, managers who are in-charge of large scale installations should begin by putting answers to the following 8 fundamental questions on paper.

  • What type of cameras should they use?
  • How should the cameras be connected to video management systems?
  • What type of video managements system should they use?
  • What type of storage should they use?
  • How should they record videos?
  • What type of video analytics should they use?
  • How should the surveillance video be viewed?
  • How should they integrate video with other systems?

What type of cameras should they use?

Going with the trend, large scale installations should always involve IP cameras, as they offer flexibility and help in simplifying things from managing point of view. The cameras which are in use should be deployed at choke points and should be able to cover assets.

Note- Chokepoints are areas where people and vehicles pass to enter a certain area. Like corridors, entrance and exit points, gates, parking lots and hallways. By placing security cameras at chokepoints, one can document who entered the facility and left the place at a particular point of time, day or week. Assets are the objects or areas that need security. They can be movable or immovable assets such as cars, and houses.

Depending on a site survey, objective of installing a security camera and other needs, a security cameras selection like Fix or PTZ, thermal or day/night camera, standard or megapixel should be made.

How should the cameras be connected to video management systems?

In professional video surveillance environments, cameras are always connected to video management systems for the purpose of recording, managing, storing and retrieving footage related to video evidence. If you can run cable on the premises and have power on hand, then installing a wired video surveillance system makes full sense. But if power and web connectivity are issues, then running the cameras on battery and using wireless signals for connectivity can prove as best alternates. But signal in-consistency is seen in such wireless installations and so users may loose footage while transferring it from camera to video management system. So, do keep this mind as it can also influence camera selection issue as well. Using de-centralized cameras makes complete sense in such circumstances.

What type of video managements system should they use?

In general, Video management systems act as hub to video surveillance solutions; as they accept video from cameras, store the videos and help in managing & distributing videos to viewers. So, go for network video recorders and integrate all of them to a video server. Use a bunch of video management engines and connect them to a couple of servers for easier management and flexibility as well as scalability. This provides much greater freedom and potentially lowers the cost than using NVR appliances.

What type of video storage should they use and how to record the videos?

This fundamental plays a vital role while architecting and deploying large scale video surveillance systems. Surveillance video is almost always stored for later retrieval and review. The average storage duration is around 30 to 90 days. And the two most important drivers for determining storage duration is the cost of storage and the security threats an organization faces. So, having a scalable and performance oriented storage in such environments make true sense. Frame rate of recording cameras, continuous or motion based recording and at what resolution are the cameras recording also influences the decision making skills of a surveillance manager while selecting a video storage for mission critical surveillance environments.

What type of video analytics should they use?

Video analytics such as facial recognizing, License plate recognition software are on great demand in surveillance environments these days. They can help in devising proactive surveillance systems as well. So, always ensure that the deployed surveillance can support video analytics.

How should the surveillance video be viewed?

Generally, most of the large scale environments employ live monitoring operators to view live content. This helps in proactive surveillance environments, where threat can be identified in advance and necessary action can be taken in time in order to deter, stop or nullify a criminal event. Video wall viewing, where LEDs screens are set up and live video is displayed from the video management systems is seen in live monitoring environments. But nowadays, remote PC viewing and mobile viewing is on great demand  as it helps an organizations head keep a watch on the activities taking place in other branches of his/her office.

How should they integrate video with other systems?

Most organizations in big surveillance installations prefer integrating the cameras with other security applications like Access Control and Physical security information management software with which only instances where only few authorized personnel are allowed to enter a premise. By doing so integration of multiple unconnected security applications and devices can be achieved and this allows controlling all of them through one comprehensive user interface.

If you are in a dilemma of how to start or proceed with such large scale installations, please do not worry.

Approach DNF Corporation, as Dynamic Network Factory, Inc. has deep experience in closed and networked IP video solutions for diverse surveillance platform needs. DNF solutions are backed by powerful security brands, such as Avigilon and Genetic, and DNF-branded NAS and SAS storage platforms are flexible, fast, and capable.

Therefore, whatever are your needs, DNF provides a full host of IT Services and Consulting, along with integrated, reliable, future-ready technology, backed by satisfied clients throughout the world

Call 510.265.1616 or click on to DNF Corporation website link to know more

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