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CCTV Surveillance System Guidance?

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  • #16
    Not to complicate things, but a few other things come to mind:

    1. Since expansibility seems to be a consideration, I'd consider incorporating that in the initial cable/wiring plan. In other words, go ahead and pull both what you need now and what you will foreseeably need for expansion. There are both cost and design advantages that pay off down the road (i.e., it forces you to think about power needs, etc. so that your current system doesn't wind up limiting your future options, and it makes expansion much easier and cheaper as well). It's also amazing how often it happens that the company that does the initial pull is no longer in business two years later, and no one can figure out what they did.

    2. The system should provide for observation of employee activity in areas like the stock room, etc. as well as the activities of customers. For most retail businesses, employees (not robbers or shoplifters) represent the largest single threat of many different types of loss and most systems should not - repeat not - be designed around the purpose of providing evidence in the event of a robbery. Most retailers continue to lose money (which they often mis-attribute to shoplifting, etc.) despite these systems for the simple reason that they're watching the wrong people. You could get robbed four times a year with an SLE of $500 per, and still be losing five times that or more out the back door.

    3. Be sure to have a good plan for media backup, off-site storage and rotation - including the loss of media if it gets tied up as evidence (potentially for years).

    4. Remember that in terms of robbery loss prevention, CCTV has little or no value. Ski masks are cheap, and addicts don't care. Much more important are secure cash-handling procedures, limiting the amounts allowed to accumulate in cash drawers, high-bill limits, slot safes that employees can't open (with prominent signage to that effect) and are properly anchored, frequent but randomly-timed deposits, etc. And if the store has an ATM machine, for crying out loud don't put it next to the front plate glass window or door - cameras or no cameras. Put it well inside the store instead...for both good security and even better retail reasons (you want people to have to walk past those tempting Baby Ruth bars and chips, right?)

    5. 30 fps (1/1) recording sounds too high to me on practical grounds, and is not necessary to capture an acceptable level of action - which is different from recognition. You're not producing a TV show. Remember that a face (for recognition purposes) can be captured with a good digital camera still shot - we do it at picnics and weddings with our little digitals all the time, right? Recording speed adds nothing to that. So, if anything, I'd put the best-res camera on the "bottleneck" or "funnel" point, and then use lower resolution for the "action" capture, but not at more than 1/3 or 1/4 speed, and perhaps even less than that.

    Check out this page with a DVR requirement calculator (scroll down). For 1/1 at 720 x 240 res, normal (not even "enhanced" or "fine") picture quality gives you 158 GB in just one full day. (The same page has a lens calculator, incidentally).
    Last edited by SecTrainer; 08-08-2008, 10:56 AM.
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    • #17
      SecTrainer beat me to it, but is right on the 30 fps. Unless you're watched card dealers, you probably don't need it. I'll upload some demos when I get to the office, that show the same scene in 4 speeds. I personally like 10 for most applications.
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      • #18
        Originally posted by cat View Post
        Rooney, those look fantastic for my purposes.
        Any leads on where to get them?
        I see Honeywell has a set they are proud of.. the retail price at around $400 seems little steep.
        There are other manufacturers that make them as well. The prices vary from around $300-$400. I know it may seem steep but the higher the resolution the better off you will be. And they do give great pictures of persons entering and leaving. As well as a wide view of inside the store if mounted on the inside door frame. Most of them have the camera mounted at about 5 ft. so even if the person is trying to avoid the camera and holds thier head down you will still probably get a good shot of them. I also mounted a camera next to the door about 5-10' away on the opposite side of the height strip facing generally towards a direction of the door but getting the interior so they don't even think of the height strip and ussualy face it when they exit.

        Keep in mind that sometimes it is better to use a combination of covert as well as very visible cameras. Placed in a way that the person trying to avoid being on camera will face one of the covert cameras. Use high resolution for the covert cams (520tvl +).

        Hope that helps you.

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        • #19
          Here's my link for the frame rate demos. It's 1, 5, 10 & 30 fps (frame per second). As you will see, not a whole lot is lost by dropping to 10 fps, but you gain 3 times as long in storage, or you can up the quality.

          It's a 13 MB zip file.
          http://rapidshare.com/files/13594253...rate_demos.zip

          Side note. When we used time lapse recorders (video tape) for ATM's, we ran them on 240 hour mode and changed the tape weekly. That's 1 picture every 4 seconds. (Not 4 pictures per second). But that's 15 pictures a minute, which wasn't bad for an ATM, cause it takes that long to do a transaction.
          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.

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          • #20
            Frame rate and resolution of DVR

            Cat,
            I definitely agree with the other members advising you regarding the frame rate for your application. The most important task for a security dealer or integrator is the selection of the right equipment for each application. In your case, I would say that a lower frame rate and higher resolution is the way to go. Many standalone DVRs will offer 704x480 resolution at a slower frame rate. Be careful when reviewing the specifications of the DVR you are considering. Most DVRs advertise 704x480 resolution, but there is a big difference between the display resolution and the recorded or playback resolution. You want to be sure that the DVR records in 704x480, D1 or 4CIF. Most standalone DVRs that do offer recording at 704x480 do so at 7.5 fps on every channel. 7.5fps video should be more than adequate for your application. In addition, you will want to consider the storage needed for high resolution recording at increased frame rates. There are a couple of DVRs out there that offer both Realtime (30fps) recording and 704x480 resolution at the same time, but I don't think you need to spend the money on such an upgrade.
            As far as storage goes, some DVRs will allow for as much as 4.5 terabytes of internal storage. On a 16 camera system recording motion only at 7.5 fps at 704x480 resolution using H.264 compression, this could give you as much as 4-5 months of storage. Your other options would be to add additional external storage or back the video up to DVDs, Flash Drives or external storage drives.

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            • #21
              DVR Selection

              Lastly, in regards to a recommendation of a DVR. I will normally attempt not to use a forum to advertise our products, but in this case I think that our EX Series 16 channel DVR http://www.techvisiondvrs.com will provide you with all the specifications you are looking for and will save you a lot of money. Unfortunately we are a distributor and only sell to security/CCTV dealers, resellers and installers so you might want to contact one of the forum members you've been in contact with to quote you pricing.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by integrator97 View Post
                We use exit cameras from Honeywell (formerly Silent Witness) called Exitview, and also from Camden Controls. These are in the form of a height strip.
                Does Honeywell Exitview cameras are really good to use. What about its specifications and technical aspects.

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