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  • Sensormatic - anyone use them?

    Does anyone use Sensormatic? What do you think about them?

    They do good work when they come out but getting them to come out in a timely manner is the hard part. It takes them forever. Our CCTV system still uses VHS tapes and is rather dated (6 years old) and gave us an outrageous price quote to bring our system up to date (DVD or CD-R).
    "I am not a hero. I am a silent guardian, a watchful protector"

  • #2
    Originally posted by FireEMSPolice
    Does anyone use Sensormatic? What do you think about them?

    They do good work when they come out but getting them to come out in a timely manner is the hard part. It takes them forever. Our CCTV system still uses VHS tapes and is rather dated (6 years old) and gave us an outrageous price quote to bring our system up to date (DVD or CD-R).
    Every contract I ever had with Sensormatic included a minimum response time clause. They didn't like it, but my instance payed off.
    Retail Security Consultant / Expert Witness
    Co-Author - Effective Security Management 6th Edition

    Contributor to Retail Crime, Security and Loss Prevention: An Encyclopedic Reference

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Security Consultant
      Every contract I ever had with Sensormatic included a minimum response time clause. They didn't like it, but my instance payed off.
      I should ask my Security Manager if we have such a clause.

      Every year the CCTV contract comes up for bid but nobody will touch it because the stuff says Sensormatic all over it.
      "I am not a hero. I am a silent guardian, a watchful protector"

      Comment


      • #4
        I am not a fan of Sensormatic. Unfortunately, we have stores across the nation, and we got a national contract through them. We use them for CCTV, EAS and all repair.


        What exactly are you looking to do? Do you have still or PTZ cameras? How many cameras are you talking about? Who will be monitoring them? What is your storage capacity? Do you want new recording devices (DVR) or an entire new system? Are your cameras setup through a multiplexer? Where are your Jbox's located?(near the camera room or far away?) What kind of matrix are you using (this can be found in the camera room where all the lines run into before they come on the callup monitors? (Usually it is an American Dynamics MegaPower or something like that if it is Sensormatic)

        I can help as cameras are a big part of what I do. Ask away and I will try and help.


        If all you are looking for is to upgrade your storage capacity and make it digital, you can do it by yourself fairly cheap(er than Sensormatic) if the mall will allow it.


        Six years old is not that old. There are stores in my company which have black and white PTZ's from the '80's. The cameras are still good and the only thing we have had to replace are the JBox's, controllers and matrix. Sure they would like to have a new system, but to replace it would cost over $250K. You have to prove that it is a good ROI for the company to dish out the money for a new system. If you answer some of the above questions I can follow up and see if we can't get you squared away Good luck and I look forward to your reply.
        Last edited by LPCap; 03-19-2007, 01:49 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by LPCap
          I am not a fan of Sensormatic. Unfortunately, we have stores across the nation, and we got a national contract through them. We use them for CCTV, EAS and all repair.


          What exactly are you looking to do? Do you have still or PTZ cameras? How many cameras are you talking about? Who will be monitoring them? What is your storage capacity? Do you want new recording devices (DVR) or an entire new system? Are your cameras setup through a multiplexer? Where are your Jbox's located?(near the camera room or far away?) What kind of matrix are you using (this can be found in the camera room where all the lines run into before they come on the callup monitors? (Usually it is an American Dynamics MegaPower or something like that if it is Sensormatic)

          I can help as cameras are a big part of what I do. Ask away and I will try and help.


          If all you are looking for is to upgrade your storage capacity and make it digital, you can do it by yourself fairly cheap(er than Sensormatic) if the mall will allow it.


          Six years old is not that old. There are stores in my company which have black and white PTZ's from the '80's. The cameras are still good and the only thing we have had to replace are the JBox's, controllers and matrix. Sure they would like to have a new system, but to replace it would cost over $250K. You have to prove that it is a good ROI for the company to dish out the money for a new system. If you answer some of the above questions I can follow up and see if we can't get you squared away Good luck and I look forward to your reply.
          I was just seeing what other experiences there were with them.

          We have a combination of Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) and still cameras. The still cameras are typically in corridors and the PTZ's are in the common areas and in the parking lots. The current picture quality sucks. I cant get a good facial recognition if you were right under the camera and looking right at it unless the camera is a foot from your face. So that means if I need a tape review, I cant tell who is who unless I have definitive information. Its embarassing when the police need tapes for a case they are working on and our tape can make it or break it. I just hope they have some smart guys with knowledge to clear it up. Our cameras our monitored by our dispatcher, mall management and corporate headquarters. Its all recorded to VHS but with a little effort we can use software in my Security Managers office to burn it to a CD. Putting it on DVR would be great and will save space in our storage room. We are running them on a multiplexer and intellex's. The matrix is American Dynamics. We have approx 200 some combined cameras. The exterior ones are awful also. They fill with water and quit working or there is condensation all over the lens/dome. There are a few where the underground wiring has gone bad and unless the parking lot is torn up, it will never work again. Sensormatic also works on our emergency call boxes (mounted outside in the lots with a push button connection to our dispatcher). Some of those dont work either. Oh well. I hope this info helps as I dont know alot about this kind of stuff.
          "I am not a hero. I am a silent guardian, a watchful protector"

          Comment


          • #6
            Sounds like you need a re haul. The reason you can't get good shots is because of camera placement and you probably have crappy lenses. Also, when was the last time someone cleaned them?

            If you have 200 cameras, you will need 13 DVR boxes. Are the stills domed?

            Shoot me a PM and I can maybe get some specifics and we can look at what can be done to improve what you have now on a limited or no budget.

            Look forward to hearing from you.

            Comment


            • #7
              No, the still cameras are not domed. When was the last time they were cleaned? HA! Now you are making jokes. Some ofthe domes in the lots (even in the mall) you can see dead bugs in them or bird crap on them. Some of our domes have had a hole cut out at the bottom of the dome to try to take away the condensation but to no avail.
              "I am not a hero. I am a silent guardian, a watchful protector"

              Comment


              • #8
                We have Sensormatic as a corporate Contract as well. I agree they drag their feet getting to the service calls, and then to get the parts.....

                We had a recent event in which one of our intellex's was down, and we didnt have any video footage of the event, eventhough the guy had been out two times already and had to order parts. Having the evidence for the felony case would've likely for sure sealed the case, but now the case is going to trial.

                How is sensormatic's call boxes? We use a local company for ours, which is integrated with the sensormatic system.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Chadly
                  How is sensormatic's call boxes? We use a local company for ours, which is integrated with the sensormatic system.
                  The call boxes are made by Talk-A-Phone and serviced by Sensormatic. The call boxes are mounted on select light poles. You have to scream into some of them to get them to be heard. I can get the model number later of the exact call box.

                  For the 2 Interior call boxes we use the ETP-400C call boxes, even though they should be used outside. Not sure yet what we use for the 15 exterior call boxes.
                  Last edited by FireEMSPolice; 03-24-2007, 04:51 AM.
                  "I am not a hero. I am a silent guardian, a watchful protector"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I was a contractor for sensormatic a few years ago. I agree with the response time. That is one of the reasons we no longer sub for them. I would get to a clients location and find out the report was initially filed 2 months earlier. I will say however I have business associates that use them and they have said they have gotten alot better.

                    The camera problems that you are facing are "probably" due to:
                    1. dirty
                    2. should have heaters and blowers built in to illiminate condensation
                    3. lens not adjusted properly.

                    DVR's are now by far better than vhs. The quality is dependant however upon the camera, dvr settings, and cable quality.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      LPCap, I am still waiting to hear from you.


                      Rooney, we can not get DVR. Corporate will not swing for it. We just have to better whats already in place. I can only wish we could get new stuff.
                      "I am not a hero. I am a silent guardian, a watchful protector"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        LD,

                        If someone in your organization cannot persuade management based on ROI, you are stuck where you are. As stated above, clean those cameras up, re-adjust shots where possible and if a camera is dying have it replaced- that is why you have a maintenance agreement!

                        Regarding your TAPs, if you have broken phones on your property, bag them (cover them) so that someone in need is not running to a broken phone. Also you may want to look into Talk-A-Lert SW (it polls the phones and makes sure the connection is good (but not volume). Your post orders likely include daily tests of each phone. Again, if a phone is not working correctly and Sensormatic is on the hook for service and has been unable to repair it, have them replace the phone!!
                        "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." G. Orwell

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by john_harrington
                          LD,

                          If someone in your organization cannot persuade management based on ROI, you are stuck where you are. As stated above, clean those cameras up, re-adjust shots where possible and if a camera is dying have it replaced- that is why you have a maintenance agreement!

                          Regarding your TAPs, if you have broken phones on your property, bag them (cover them) so that someone in need is not running to a broken phone. Also you may want to look into Talk-A-Lert SW (it polls the phones and makes sure the connection is good (but not volume). Your post orders likely include daily tests of each phone. Again, if a phone is not working correctly and Sensormatic is on the hook for service and has been unable to repair it, have them replace the phone!!
                          John, your comments are right on target. I forget all the times I have asked who cleans the camera lens and monitor screens and who has the responsibility of making adjustments as necessary. The folks look dumbfounded and you find yourself delivering a soliloquy. There is a mentality out there in the security and maintenance communities that you can install and forget. There are in many instances no funding for equipment upkeep.
                          Enjoy the day,
                          Bill

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Sorry, I got busy, did you ever email me?

                            All of the above suggestions are good. Clean the cameras, make sure the housings are intact, and indoor cameras indoor/outdoor cameras outdoor.

                            The lenses may need to be adjusted, but also, you may have to reposition the cameras. Lower the cameras for face shots, and raise cameras to conceal them.

                            What kind of controllers are you using? How many cameras do you have again and how many are PTZ? Do the outside cameras have heaters and fans? Can anyone get up there to clean the domes?

                            If you have cameras which are rolling or the picture goes in and out, check the bnc connections on both ends of the camera. We had issues with rolling cameras (where you smack the desk to get it to stop rolling) and a $1 BNC connector fixed the issue.

                            Email me and I can address specifics and give you ideas (in picture form) so you can fix up your system.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by john_harrington
                              LD,

                              If someone in your organization cannot persuade management based on ROI, you are stuck where you are. As stated above, clean those cameras up, re-adjust shots where possible and if a camera is dying have it replaced- that is why you have a maintenance agreement!

                              Regarding your TAPs, if you have broken phones on your property, bag them (cover them) so that someone in need is not running to a broken phone. Also you may want to look into Talk-A-Lert SW (it polls the phones and makes sure the connection is good (but not volume). Your post orders likely include daily tests of each phone. Again, if a phone is not working correctly and Sensormatic is on the hook for service and has been unable to repair it, have them replace the phone!!
                              Asking Sensormatic to replace them requires an act of God. It also requires management to put fourth the money for the replacement. We do check the call boxes twice a day. If they dont work, the best we can do is wrap caution tape around them. Sometimes the tape will fly off or someone will rip it off.

                              LPCap, I PMed you the info once. Did you get it?
                              "I am not a hero. I am a silent guardian, a watchful protector"

                              Comment

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