Video Surveillance Storage
If you aren’t going to have an employee monitoring your camera system, a much more effective solution is video recording. Video recording devices are the backbone of your security system. You have a lot of purchasing decisions with your security system, but you also must decide which type of storage best fits your needs.
Up until the early 2000’s, the universal recording solution was VCR tape. VCR tape only captured at most 10 hours of footage and is now considered a bulky, expensive recording. DVR works by writing incoming data to a hard drive, similar to a computer. It makes financial sense for many people to purchase DVRs.
Advantages of DVR
• Immediately access any point within the video.
• Higher quality video
• Remote monitoring solutions
A major determinant of your storage price is the hard drive space on your DVR. Hard drive technology has progressed at such a rapid rate that it no longer will cost you thousands of dollars for only a few hours of footage. Typically a 750 GB hard drive will record full footage for about 45-60 days. Larger storage options are available as well, with many some systems running on hard drives as large as 2 terabytes.
DVRs range in the quantity of inputs available. If you are going to operate multiple cameras, make sure that your DVR has enough inputs to service every camera. Ultimately, the choice on which recording device to use is made by assessing cost, quality and duration of recording.
The storage solution you ultimately need may also be based on your camera type.
IP vs. Analog- This is potentially one of the hardest decisions you will make with your video surveillance system. An IP camera can connect to your home’s Internet allowing users to access the camera by simply typing in the camera’s URL address. IP solutions work well with wireless technology, which can lower installation costs. However, IP solutions rely heavily on your home or business bandwidth and may not be as reliable as analog systems.
Analog options are still popular for many businesses and homes. For one they are cheaper, and with the implementation of a DVR, each camera can record virtually endless hours of footage. Analog DVRs are not the same as IP camera DVRs and they work to convert the analog signal to digital before processing the footage. DVRs are now able to broadcast over the Internet and allow you virtually the same access as IP cameras.
Overall, IP cameras are great for larger enterprises with high bandwidth capabilities and the need for multiple cameras spread out from one another (wireless camera systems). Getting multiple price quotes from video surveillance vendors will help you determine if investing analog cameras and numerous DVRs is a better purchase decision than buying multiple IP cameras.