Home' The Franchise Review : June 2017 Contents THE FRANCHISE REVIEW
matter of putting some cameras up, and away you go -- but this is
rarely the case, as there are many variables to consider.
Firstly, you will need a system that records at evidence grade
quality, which means that if you get a great recording of a crime,
you will need to consider whether the police will accept it, if the
courts will accept it and if it clearly shows what the event was.
Resolution is not the issue, as many cameras on the market have
great resolution, but poor colour reproduction due to certain
lighting conditions may turn a red jumper purple. Other set ups
may have a great camera that is simply in the wrong position; or,
worst of all, one that doesn't stack up or has a recorder that skips
sections, like many IP systems on the market.
You will also need to decide on the focus: is it to catch or deter
criminals and would be thieves? A system built to deter crime
can be very different to a system designed to catch a particular
person or persons. You may decide you want both, which is
fine; however, your security consultant may recommend a
blend of overt cameras for general deterrence and a couple of
covert cameras to deal with an ongoing problem. Quite often,
the covert cameras will be movable so that you can use them to
deal with issues as they move around.
So, now that you have decided what you want to achieve, next
comes all the jargon associated with selecting the technology
base, like AHD, TVI, CVI, HD SDI, IP and CVBS. I simply don't
have the space to clearly explain all the finer details here;
however, there are some basics I can cover.
CVBS is outdated analog technology -- they now use this
acronym, and it has somehow distanced the technology from
the fact that it will never produce what you need. Another easy
technology base to put aside is HD SDI: developed for the film
industry, it's a great performer picture wise, but it is expensive,
less stable and more difficult to find spares for.
Now, for IP: IP systems are built on network protocols. Several
years ago, they were the go to technology, as there was simply
no other way to get a megapixel image. The problem with IP,
however, is that if too much movement happens at once over
several cameras, the recorder simply deletes the footage to
'catch up'. This makes IP a very disappointing technology for
many business owners, as they will be missing segments of a
few seconds here and there when the cameras get too busy.
IP, however, is the best technology for complex installations
such as warehouses, as it allows for wireless bridging and
larger expandable systems. IP also has the best analytics, like
facial recognition, people counting and various other analytical
business add ons.
Last are the frontrunners for small to medium sized
businesses, and are what we at OzSpy use in most of our
jobs assisting franchise systems and businesses in general.
They are AHD, TVI and CVI, all of which can produce two
megapixels over coax, which allows for old analog (CVBS)
installations to be upgraded to megapixel quality at a very low
price, as the old cable is re used. There is little difference in
the picture quality; however, AHD is an open source product,
so it develops faster and can also have cable runs of up to
500 metres or more. Currently, AHD is at five megapixel
clarity, while the others have just become stable at
Now that you have decided on your cameras and the purpose
of your system, what other features or technology do you
need? Make no mistake: the heart of any great CCTV system
is the digital video recorder (DVR) or, for IP, the network video
recorder (NVR), as this is where it all comes together.
You should look at the graphical user interface (GUI) and see
if it is intuitive, simple to use and makes sense to you. If it
looks complicated, you may never actually learn how to use
Take on the responsibility of learning the system; ask your installers to train you
and your key team members; ask for any quick guides they have, and provide them
to the team or leave them next to the recorder. In a mission-critical event, you do
not want to be calling your provider and asking them how to operate the unit
The OzSpy team
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