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  • Need advice for upgrading CCTV system

    Hi everyone,

    I'm pretty new at CCTV systems but have been put in charge of upgrading our current system to a new system. We have 25 retail stores and one home office that needs upgrading.

    We currently have a multiplexer with 8 cameras, a video output, and a time-lapse VCR for recording in each store. The tapes are getting very hard to find and the powers that be want to upgrade to a DVR system.

    I've done a lot of research and it looks like we can get a fairly decent 8 channel DVR with a DVD+RW or a CD+RW for about $1,200-$1,400 (we will be using the cameras we already have).

    There are several DVRs that stand out to me but I would like someone with more experience to give me their opinion.

    The three that stand out to me are:

    Nuvico NVDV3-8250
    Art Real Time ATD785D
    VC-SYS-8CHWEBR


    Any opinions would be helpful or links to where I could go to learn more.

    TIA
    BJ

  • #2
    I have never heard of any of the three DVRs that you mention. I assume that these are available from online sellers of CCTV products. While you can get some great buys shopping on the internet, many of these sellers import products from off-shore manufacturers and private label them. There can sometimes be a lack of long-term service and technical support from this type of seller. This risk is usually acceptable for something like a mom and pop convenience store, but probably not something that would be acceptable for a larger organization that had multiple locations.

    You may want to look at some more "mainstream" DVRs available from some of the leading security CCTV manufacturers. These would include American Dynamics/Intellex, Bosch, Integral Technologies, and Pelco, just to name a few. These manufacturers make products that are widely used in commercial CCTV applications and these products are generally well supported for a long period of time after they are sold.

    http://www.americandynamics.net/products/products.aspx
    http://www.boschsecurity.us/index.html
    http://www.integraltech.com/
    http://www.pelco.com/

    It is difficult to compare DVRs "apples-to-apples" because there are so many variables between manufacturers. In addition to the number of cameras that the unit handles, some of the other things you want to look at include total frame rate (frames per second), available resolution settings, on-board hard drive capacity, and ability to be viewed/controlled over the network.

    Good luck with your project and feel free to ask any specific questions that you may have.
    Michael A. Silva
    Silva Consultants

    Comment


    • #3
      I have not heard of the systems you stated either. I agree with Silva Consultants. If you have sites away from the home office networking is a good option. If you have something happen at a site they can view and download the video information at the home office. The products Silva listed are good and do have excellent support.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thank you both very much for the quick replies and advice. I will definately check out the websites you provided.
        BJ

        Comment


        • #5
          The Nuvico system is crap. I haven't heard of the other systems either but I can't imagine they are much better.

          What you buy depends on your budget. If you are on a tight budget, buy Samsung's SHR series DVRs (http://www.gviss.com/), which give you the most bang for your buck. They look very good, they have models that have DVD burners on board, and you can pop them open and add more memory if you know even a little bit about computer hardware.

          Unfortuantly, my company doesn't sell that particular line.

          If you have a real budget (or a real need), you may want to go with Panasonic IP cameras with NVRs and a WAN (I assume the sites you mentioned are widely seperated). Very high quality, like what you see on TV shows like CSI, even casino quality stuff. They are also extremely expensive.

          If you go with a traditional, analog camera system, do not be fooled by prices. The lower the price, the worse the picture will be (for the most part). Go with Everfocus box cameras with Pentax lenses for the fixed cameras, and Samsung PTZs.

          Do not cheap out with memory. Figure on a maximum of 6gb per camera, per 24 hours, at best quality.

          If you have any other questions, send me a private message and I can give you my work phone#.
          The CCTV Blog.

          "Expert" is something like "leader". It's not a title that you can ever claim for yourself no matter what you might know or might have done. It's a title that others bestow on you based on their assessment of what you know and what you have done.

          -SecTrainer

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by BJ9 View Post
            Hi everyone,

            I'm pretty new at CCTV systems but have been put in charge of upgrading our current system to a new system. We have 25 retail stores and one home office that needs upgrading.

            We currently have a multiplexer with 8 cameras, a video output, and a time-lapse VCR for recording in each store. The tapes are getting very hard to find and the powers that be want to upgrade to a DVR system.

            I've done a lot of research and it looks like we can get a fairly decent 8 channel DVR with a DVD+RW or a CD+RW for about $1,200-$1,400 (we will be using the cameras we already have).

            There are several DVRs that stand out to me but I would like someone with more experience to give me their opinion.

            The three that stand out to me are:

            Nuvico NVDV3-8250
            Art Real Time ATD785D
            VC-SYS-8CHWEBR


            Any opinions would be helpful or links to where I could go to learn more.

            TIA
            TIA, I know 2 out of 3 of your choice DVRs.. Frankly speaking, none of these options will give you the piece of mind when you roll so many of them throughout your chain... The right solution that you are searching of course is cost effectiveness of the DVR, solid 3 years warranty, ease of use and ease of implementation... so that you can manage the entire chain without being a technical guru...

            Your price range actually provides some limited, yet available choices... thus it falls into what is called Embedded DVR solutions world... My recommendations will be to select Embedded system (this is a type of system that has all its functionality built into a flash memory, thus the hard drive space is used only for storing video clips)... They do not come with all the bells and whistles, but are excellent performers... easy to setup, easy to program and easy to operate...

            Here are some option that are available:

            1. CBC DR8NC-250 - This model is an Embedded system and comes with 250GB storage, CD burner and remote control (or manual control) device... Internet ready and with 3 years warranty... The pricing should be around $1,000... (The same model with 500GB storage space could run around $1,200.00)

            2. American Dynamics EDVR series - ADEDVR009008 - This model is their 9 channel solution, Embedded, starts with 80GB storage, CD burner, Internet ready and with 3 years warranty... The pricing should be around $1,100 and higher based on increase of the storage.

            Both of the above DVRs are manufactured from very reputable companies.. and both come with basic and simple solution that works. I am sure you can find these products in the market very easily...

            If you need any additional information, please let me know by PM..
            http://www.cctvshowroom.com
            http://www.everythingcctv.com

            Comment


            • #7
              Thank you MetzLyov and Cameraman. I appreciate your advice and will check into your recommendations.

              Thanks
              BJ
              BJ

              Comment


              • #8
                An important thing to know. Specs can be deceiving. For instance, it may look like this:
                640x480 (pixels)
                240 FPS (frames per second)

                But what they may really mean is
                240 FPS at 320x240 - hi frame rate, low quality
                120 FPS at 640x240
                60 FPS at 640x480 - low frame rate, high quality.

                These are just examples, but usually they tell you the max of each, but you won't get both. You have to dig a little deeper to find the details. They may use cif, 4cif & D1 instead of pixel count, but it still works out the same.
                sigpic
                Rocket Science
                Making everything else look simple, since 1958.


                http://my.opera.com/integrator/blog/
                One Man's Opinion

                The Future. It isn't what it used to be.

                Comment


                • #9
                  BJ, if at all possible, ensure you get a "turn-key" system. The contractor you choose does all the work and furnishes all the equipment. He does all the site survey work. If new luminary installation is required, he works with your facilities folks and contracting officer and he installs or supervises its installation. Have that person responsible operator training and maintenance for stipulated period of time. If he screws up any of it, he eats it, not you. The system must meet your current as well as projected needs. If he runs into power, noise, interference, ground loop or other operational difficulties that weren't foreseen, not your problem. It is his as he didn't conduct a thorough enough or an indepth enough site survey.
                  Enjoy the day,
                  Bill

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Bill Warnock View Post
                    BJ, if at all possible, ensure you get a "turn-key" system. The contractor you choose does all the work and furnishes all the equipment. He does all the site survey work. If new luminary installation is required, he works with your facilities folks and contracting officer and he installs or supervises its installation. Have that person responsible operator training and maintenance for stipulated period of time. If he screws up any of it, he eats it, not you. The system must meet your current as well as projected needs. If he runs into power, noise, interference, ground loop or other operational difficulties that weren't foreseen, not your problem. It is his as he didn't conduct a thorough enough or an indepth enough site survey.
                    Enjoy the day,
                    Bill
                    Bill, how do you expect my competitors who low ball it to stay in business with those requirements? If you don't allow change orders to meet codes or make a working system, they'll not be able to complete it without losing money.
                    sigpic
                    Rocket Science
                    Making everything else look simple, since 1958.


                    http://my.opera.com/integrator/blog/
                    One Man's Opinion

                    The Future. It isn't what it used to be.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by integrator97 View Post
                      Bill, how do you expect my competitors who low ball it to stay in business with those requirements? If you don't allow change orders to meet codes or make a working system, they'll not be able to complete it without losing money.
                      Integrator, the neat thing about turn-key systems, the contractor must ensure he meets all code requirements. Your Statement of Work or SOW is crafted with the input of all your players in your company to include but not limited to procurement, legal, facilities. Low ballers shy away from turn-key operations because many do not have the needed expertise to do that kind of work.
                      When your technical evaluation team review the submittals, you determine those who are technically qualified. Did they answer all the questions and propose the correct solutions. Then and only then do you look at the pricing. If you make pricing your single criterion, you might wind up with a horrible system.
                      You are interested in ROI which equates to a fully functional system. Lightning strikes, his problem not yours. Transformers and modems are marvelous things in that they faithfully reproduce what they are given. Noise bars or herringbone patterns on monitors of a fiber optic transmission system are not your problem, they're his.
                      Why spend you good money for a system that does not function as envisioned by your leadership and as advertised by the contractor.
                      Enjoy the day,
                      Bill

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Because the people who spend the money pick the lowest bid, that's why, no matter what the people who are expected to use the system have to say about it.

                        That's been my experience, anyway.

                        If you can make a good case that the product you are offering is not in the same class as the product the lowballing trunk slammer is offering, you can usually get a fair hairing- but not always.
                        The CCTV Blog.

                        "Expert" is something like "leader". It's not a title that you can ever claim for yourself no matter what you might know or might have done. It's a title that others bestow on you based on their assessment of what you know and what you have done.

                        -SecTrainer

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Bill Warnock View Post
                          BJ, if at all possible, ensure you get a "turn-key" system. The contractor you choose does all the work and furnishes all the equipment. He does all the site survey work. If new luminary installation is required, he works with your facilities folks and contracting officer and he installs or supervises its installation. Have that person responsible operator training and maintenance for stipulated period of time. If he screws up any of it, he eats it, not you. The system must meet your current as well as projected needs. If he runs into power, noise, interference, ground loop or other operational difficulties that weren't foreseen, not your problem. It is his as he didn't conduct a thorough enough or an indepth enough site survey.
                          Enjoy the day,
                          Bill
                          Bill, BJ asked for DVR only and if you read the original comments, they intend to keep their existing cameras... So, when you are describing above as a "turn-key" solution concept, pros and the cons and what not to do, this is not what BJ asked....

                          Just wanted to clarify the original request of this post...

                          If anyone is using Embedded system, it does not take a rocket scientist to make such hardware to work... It is a plug-in and play... Of course, you can have the cameras named or change the record specs from default, but most of the time it takes much less time to setup such system vs. PC based systems..

                          At least this is my two cents for this post...
                          http://www.cctvshowroom.com
                          http://www.everythingcctv.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by MetzLyov View Post
                            Bill, BJ asked for DVR only and if you read the original comments, they intend to keep their existing cameras... So, when you are describing above as a "turn-key" solution concept, pros and the cons and what not to do, this is not what BJ asked....

                            Just wanted to clarify the original request of this post...

                            If anyone is using Embedded system, it does not take a rocket scientist to make such hardware to work... It is a plug-in and play... Of course, you can have the cameras named or change the record specs from default, but most of the time it takes much less time to setup such system vs. PC based systems..

                            At least this is my two cents for this post...
                            MetzLyov, I guess the keyword for me was upgrade a system. But if he upgrades his system DVRs, will the switch from the current recording method be seamless or will changes to the headend gear be required?
                            A tape driven machine may function in the existing environment, but will digital function in a mere switch out of equipment?
                            Would it not be better to have a well written and staffed SOW sent to perspective vendors who will not only do the upgrade if required but install the DVRs and provide training? Why should BJ have to take on that responsibility all by himself?
                            Enjoy the day,
                            Bill

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Bill Warnock View Post
                              MetzLyov, I guess the keyword for me was upgrade a system. But if he upgrades his system DVRs, will the switch from the current recording method be seamless or will changes to the headend gear be required?
                              A tape driven machine may function in the existing environment, but will digital function in a mere switch out of equipment?
                              Would it not be better to have a well written and staffed SOW sent to perspective vendors who will not only do the upgrade if required but install the DVRs and provide training? Why should BJ have to take on that responsibility all by himself?
                              Enjoy the day,
                              Bill
                              Bill, I do concur with your assessment, however my take is somewhat different with the following reasons...

                              At the head-in, all BJ will require to get rid of the multiplexer/VCR combination and have all the cables connected to appropriate ports... and the output fed directly to his existing monitor... Not sure what other gear you may be referring to.

                              BJ has 25 stores and chances are very good that he could already have much needed corporate security procedures in place on how to tackle daily issues...

                              Switching multiplexer/VCR based systems to fully functional DVR are relatively simple... I will understand the training part that could take precedence in many cases, however a supplier could pre-program virtually everything in these DVRs prior of shipment... thus, reduce the necessary programing and the setup process at each store level.. Coupled with well written, or better yet, video based training program not only will help for immediate launch of the overall program, but also will assist in ongoing training requirements for the future..

                              In an ideal cases, yes, you will need well written and staffed SOW, my take however is that this chain of 25 stores must of already have something similar and functional.. excluding the DVR requirements, which will be very easy to add in such protocols... They must be doing something right to own and manage 25 stores right

                              Bill, I am not disputing your take on this matter, just inserting my experience in similar cases, where potential customer asks for conversion from analog to digital environment and simplicity of the conversion procedures that are commonly available through experienced integrators..

                              If BJ does not have the manpower nor the resources, then it is a totally different matter... but something tells me that this chain does have the skills and the resources to manage this simple conversion.
                              http://www.cctvshowroom.com
                              http://www.everythingcctv.com

                              Comment

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