What is a usually designed commercial-grade security camera system composed of? It seems that suppliers do not have an industry standard to define this. Here are some components to take notice of when planning a camera surveillance system for a business.
- Surveillance System DVRs
- Security Cameras
- Remote Viewing Apps and Software
- Siamese Cable
- Power Supply Boxes
- 12V DC vs 24VAC Power
- Service and Technical Support
Digital video recorders (DVRs) are the brain of the video surveillance systems. All of a systems security cameras transmit their video back to the DVR to be recorded centrally on the DVRs hard drive. The operating system (firmware) is where the recording schedules of the system are configured along with any other business rules for email alerts, alarm sensors, mobile push notifications, and more. It is important for any commercial grade DVR to be reliable/stable, easy to use, and include a high level of support from the supplier selling it.
Some businesses have early generation DVRs that have been working at their businesses for over ten years. They are very reliable and stable. When these DVRs lose power, they reliably reboot themselves when power is restored, run system checks, and resume the recording schedule that the customer has saved.
These DVRs are bestsellers because they are easy to use. Business owners don’t need to learn complicated technology to learn how to use DVRs. Functions such as reviewing recorded video footage, setting up a recording schedule, and exporting events from the hard drive should be simple to do.
Commercial grade security cameras are made from high-end materials than cheaper residential systems found in box stores like Best Buy and Costco. IP68 rated cameras fit into the category of high-end commercial-grade cameras. IP68 weatherproof rating is the highest rating that you can get before reaching explosion-proof cameras. It is recommended you use IP68 cameras in areas where weather is rainy and humid, coastal areas, and areas prone to vandalism. They are great for use on boats. Some IP68 dome cameras are also vandal-proof because of the rugged material they are made with. Not all commercial installations require IP68 cameras, especially indoors. IP66 cameras can be just as good for these installations.
Infrared Night Vision
If you need your cameras to record in low light and zero light conditions, then you should confirm that cameras IR night vision can meet your needs. The night vision performance depends on the cameras infrared LEDs, which switch on when the lights levels go below the sufficient level for normal light surveillance. Smart IR automatically adjusts for the intensity of the infrared illumination when people move near the camera. It also avoids overexposure that can white objects out.
Most business owners will want to be able to check in on their businesses while they are away. A commercial surveillance system should include remote camera viewing apps that are easy to use and reliable. Besides being able to see live video feeds of cameras, mobile apps should support recorded playback and video search. Just like DVRs, not all remote viewing apps are equal. The quality of software development depends on the manufacturer. They have apps for iPhone and Android. Also software for Mac and Windows computers.
Commercial Grade Cable
Most installations use RG59 Siamese coax cable for BNC security cameras (HD or analog). It is the industry standard. But if you use spools of RG59 cable, it requires you to cut the cable to length and install BNC connectors on the ends of the cable. Pre-made security cable is not as common in commercial installations for many reasons. The first is that most pre-made Siamese cable that is for sale is not true RG59 cable, so it doesn’t perform well. Second is that premade cables can not be trimmed to length, so you are left with extra cable.
Individual Power Transformers vs. Power Supply Box
Most security camera installations use multi-camera power supply boxes instead of power strips and individual power transformers. Power supply boxes come in 4 channel, 9 channel, and 18 channel models. If you use RG59 Siamese cable for the installation, the raw ends of the 18/2 power cable neatly connect to the screw terminals inside the power supply box. In addition to this, keeping your power source neat is important. Most power supply boxes also provide individually fused surge protection for each camera.