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Not All CCTV’s Are the Same

CCTV Systems

There are many different types of surveillance equipment used to protect and defend properties, families, employees, vendors, customers and visitors, but none are as successful as a monitoring system that employees a video surveillance camera. Sometimes called CCTV (closed circuit television) or video camera/recorder, this equipment should provide video footage of any surveillance areas. Whether your goal is to record evidence when a crime is committed or to just employ this type of security shield, the mere appearance of which can thwart or prevent a crime from happening, video surveillance is your best choice. Recording evidence of a crime can help identify criminal suspects enabling captured, and hopefully, prosecution. This can only be made possible but the use of a commercial grade video camera that can provide a good, clean photographic record or image of the suspect(s), clothing, facial features, conduct etc. and accomplish this all within the lighting limitation range. Many retail outlets sell different types of video surveillance cameras but not all are advanced enough to record in all types of settings such as night-time, low light, no light or for long fields of view. This can only be accomplished by choosing the right camera and lighting for the specific application and in most cases recommended by a qualified security technician. There is nothing worse than purchasing a video surveillance system that is not capable of making a video record of events, especially after a crime has been committed.

You Ask, what can go Wrong?

At ESI, Emergency Systems Inc. a leader in the commercial security field, we hear it all the time. Complaints range from I can’t make out the person, see what they are carrying or identify the make and model of the vehicle used, thus making identification impossible with the video camera/recorder they purchased. Can you help me? Users of these types of inferior video surveillance equipment are quite upset to learn that for a few dollars more they could have purchased a commercial grade video surveillance system that, if properly installed, would have preserved the evidence they needed.

Problems related to the quality of a recorded image can usually be attributed to one of the following:

  • Utilization of too few cameras with too wide a field-of-view: Cameras have limitations and can view a wide area, or provide a high-level of detail, but cannot do both at the same time. Many cameras are set to view an excessively large area, which makes it impossible to positively identify people at most points within the scene. A study by the FBI suggested that, in order for a person’s face to be positively identified, the person must equal approximately 120% of the vertical height of the video image. To get this type of video image requires an extremely narrow field of view, allowing each surveillance camera to cover only a very small area.
  • The challenge of an improper viewing angle: To best identify a person a camera needs to have a relatively straight-on shot of the person’s face and features. Many cameras are installed at too high a level, or at the wrong angle, or pointed down so that they only see the side of the face or the back of the head. For example, at building entrances it is common to only have one camera inside pointing out towards the door. While this camera does provide a good view of someone entering the building, it can only see the back side of a person exiting the building.
  • Having blind spots in the coverage area: There can be lots of obstructions in any given settings such as in parking garages, utility lots or warehouses. Cameras unfortunately cannot see through structural columns, parked trucks or stacks of equipment or pallets. These obstructions often creating conditions where large portions of the facility cannot be seen by video surveillance cameras.
  • The issue of improper, or insufficient lighting conditions: Cameras need to have an adequate amount of light in order to see and record. More importantly the lighting needs to be uniform throughout the viewing area providing a clear resolution of events or actions. Too little light or the combination of bright areas and dark areas within the viewing area will usually produce a very poor-quality image.
  • Improper recording resolution setting: There is a trade-off between the video resolution used for recording and the amount of time that images can be stored on the recording device. The higher the resolution, the less recording time. In many cases, the resolution setting has been set to an unacceptably low rate in an attempt to maximize recording time. A qualified video security technician will identify the recording needs and make allowances for the surveillance to be effective.

 ESI, Emergency Systems Inc. to the Rescue.

Who can solve these and other problems associated with video surveillance equipment, ESI of course. While all of these problems mentioned above are solvable, there is a cost associated with the type and amount of equipment needed to be used in most security shield applications. It is relatively easy to get good quality recorded video in small, confined areas such as building entrances or at a teller’s windows, but it can be much more challenging and expensive to cover large open areas such as parking garages and warehouses. Some property owners don’t spend the money that it takes to properly provide evidentiary quality video coverage throughout their facilities. This is problematic and can require many more cameras and more recording equipment than they originally planned on installing. Some property and facility managers, rely on installing fewer cameras than they actually need. Often times they are aided and abetted by salesmen who are not properly trained to recommend the optimum security shield that should be employed. The net result is an ineffective video surveillance system that fails to meet the owner’s needs and is also incapable of providing a recorded video that is useful as evidence if a crime is committed.

This is where ESI, Emergency Systems Inc. comes in with factory trained security technicians that can design the right CCTV or video surveillance system for any application. We will survey your facility and determine your needs and create a cost-effective solution. We also repair and maintain your video system, so that if ever the time comes when its operation is needed, it is online providing you with clear images which is exactly what the system was designed to provide in the first place.  Give ESI a call today to speak with a security specialist. Call (904) 388-3975. Visit our website @ GetEsi.Com for a complete list of our services and credentials. We’ve be providing commercial and high-end residential security for almost 40 years, servicing the North Central and North Florida areas.