I recently had the pleasure of speaking with a client that point blank asked: Would you consider your systems Plug and Play or Plug and Pray? I will admit his inquiry garnered a laugh as I had never before heard that question! It was a legitimate question though which caused me to think of what a perspective video surveillance owner looks for when choosing a particular system.
Here are a few questions to ask oneself during the planning stages of such a project:
- Do I want video coverage outdoors only, indoors, or a combination of the two?
- What are my lighting conditions like at night (there is usually light during the day, so night time is the critical time for which to plan)?
- How many days/weeks of recording do I want?
- What method of video backup is best for me (DVD, flash drive, etc)?
- How many areas do I want to cover (front door, back door only, or total perimeter)?
- Do I want remote access (ie – Is it important to be able to view my cameras while at work, travelling, or anywhere other than onsite).
- Similarly, do I need to be able to remotely move the cameras to adjust my view, or will a fixed view suffice? (Remember: Suffice and Price need to meet at some point. Having clear expectations of what you want for your application is more than half the battle!)
- What is my budget for this project? Skimping on the cheapest of the cheap equipment to save a buck generally results in a poor image quality, unrecognizable video, and only clear frustration.
Take the time to plan – measure twice and cut once – as you begin your video surveillance project. Being able to answer the above questions will give you a head start as you embark on your journey towards a more secure premises, as well as give you the flexibility and results you are after when it comes to your video surveillance needs.