End users who have existing analog cameras often wonder if they need to scrap the existing cameras when they upgrade to IP.
Bringing Existing IP Cameras Into a New VMS Platform
End users who have existing IP cameras and want to move to a different video management system (VMS) need to consider ONVIF, SDK integration, dewarping, bitrates, firmware, etc.
Computer Hardware Considerations
End users who have existing surveillance systems and plan to upgrade are often faced with insufficient workstation and server computer hardware. Considerations include hardware capabilities, potential upgrade requirements, graphics cards vs CPU processing, H.264 vs H.265 impact in the future, and more.
Viewing Locations for Live and Playback Video
End users who need to view video streams live will need either a workstation or a dedicated IP monitor. What is an IP monitor and how does it differ from a VMS workstation? How does a decoder with a separate monitor compare? Why would an end user chose one over the other? What benefits does an IP monitor offer regarding VMS licensing?
Video Management System (VMS) Licensing Considerations
Enterprise class VMS system most often require software licenses. What must be considered when adding various devices such as decoders, IP cameras, multi-imager cameras, encoders, multi-channel encoders, work stations, etc. How does a Software Maintenance Agreement (SMA) work and do all VMS systems require an SMA? Are there “lite versions” that don’t require licenses? What about “all-in-one” appliances?
Centralized vs. Decentralized Recording
The IT department will often times determine where storage will be physically located. Some prefer one data center while others prefer to spread storage around to limit bandwidth or provide protection from everything being in one place. What about duplicate or redundant recording? What about if cameras are spread across an entire campus?
End users and IT departments must consider rack space as DVRs move out and servers and storage move in. What considerations are there as far as rack space, UPS, cooling, etc? How do you protect racks from unauthorized access by using alarm panels and cameras?
Connectivity: LAN, WAN, VLAN, Public Access
Corporate policies and IT infrastructure limit the options available for viewing video cameras. What are the general reasons people use one type of network over another? How do IT policies impact remote access? How can people make specific cameras available to the public using JPEG posting to a website? What about mobile app access?
Knowledge Leap from DVRs to IP Solutions
End users need to consider who will “own” and manage the new IP solution. Those moving from analog solutions need to anticipate the complexity of an IP solution from all-in-one appliances to server based systems to network infrastructure. Who will be responsible for Windows updates, firmware, software, etc? Will this be handled internally or on contract with a security dealer or IT dealer? What is Active Directory, why is it used, who will normally manage it? How will IT and security need to work together moving forward?
IP camera resolution is continuing to improve. The most common resolution options available today are 720p, 1080p, 5 megapixel, and 4K. Selection of the perfect resolution for your application depends on a few factors:
Images per Second (Frame Rate)
Considering how many images per second (IPS) are required for recording surveillance video in the event of the need for acceptable evidence is critical. IPS and "frame rate" are commonly interchangable terms.
Frame Rate + Resolution: Storage and Bandwidth Implications
Bit rates are directly reflective of the frame rate and resolution capabilities and settings in the cameras. There are several other factors that can be manually adjusted in cameras and encoders that can also change the bit rate output. This may have a direct reflection on the quality of the image if these manual settings limit the IP cameras output too significantly.
Using Panoramic 360 or 180 Cameras
We set up a few panoramic cameras to show the difference between a 180 degree cameras versus a 360 degree camera. More end users are demanding cameras with a very wide or 360 field of view.
Command Center and Workstation Live Video Streaming
End users will inevitably want to see as much live video as possible on their computer screen or on monitor walls. What is reasonable to view on the monitors? What must be considered as far as capability of PC hardware, IP monitors, decoders, or monitor walls? How is video analytics changing how many images must be viewed live? What about viewer attention span? What about the use of furniture to optimize viewing?
There is a calculation required to provide enough storage space. Our team will take much of the information you've provided in the Site Survey: Video Surveillance and use it to create an appropriate storage solution. End users may desire or be mandated to record and retain video footage for a specific number of days.
End users have the option to use "smart" cameras to help optimize live views and simplify forensic evidence investigation. What are some common rules for video analytics and how can they be applied to real-life scenarios? What is the difference between analytics in a camera vs centralized analytics? What is the cost involved for each type of deployment for hardware, software, SMA, etc?
Integration of Systems
End users now have many security systems running at the same time. What are the different types of systems used for security? What is the difference between component integration between cameras and VMS versus integration of video and access control or intrusion detection? How does integration occur on the partnership level? How do you define integration? Are there extra costs to integrate? Operationally, how are integrated systems commonly accessed? What about PSIM? How are maps becoming more useful? What kinds of maps can be created, i.e. static, dynamic, hyperlinked, active icons, etc.?
Camera Selection Worksheet
Knowing specific performance and field of view requirements for a security camera is critical when designing a solution. This worksheet is used building by building or location by location to determine ideal camera model selection.
Pixels on Target: DORI - What will my cameras see?
It's critical that all organizations, including commercial, industrial, healthcare, financial, education, critical infrastructure, and government, understand exactly what they will see and record with their security camera system BEFORE they buy it. These are big investments protecting people and securing assets. Stakeholders may have different expectations when it comes to camera system performance and seeing the performance first hand ensures that the entire team is satisfied with the plan.
Network Infrastructure Worksheet
Knowing existing and future network infrastructure requirements for a security camera solution is critical.
Command Center Worksheet
The MidChes Site Survey: Video Surveillance guide contains a Command Center Worksheet. Why is a console or rugged workstation ideal for 24x7 security operations? How do we use the information provided to help specifiers, end users, and integrators with planning? What is WELS? What is Autodesk and why is it important to the specifier when designing a command center?
This Site Survey guide will get you started. Inside you'll find questions about the overall expectations of the video surveillance system, camera types, mounting methods, cable infrastructure, IT network considerations, command center console logistics, and much more.
After you have completed the Site Survey, email it to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll get started on your project design and parts list immediately.
In the Site Survey: Video Surveillance guide, we seek to answer key questions about the proposed solution. These answers guide the component selection process. But before you can ask the questions, you should know a little more about each topic. Below we've accumulated brief videos to help you understand the key components of a Site Survey for video surveillance.