The CSI investigator flips a switch, waves his hand, pulls up an online camera at a city intersection and the grainy image instantly clears up identifying the license plate number of the suspect’s car that passed the camera 6 months ago.
Unfortunately, that’s not how this works; that’s not how any of this works…
Cameras are everywhere. You can purchase an online camera system, a big box store system, a system from a local business…but in the end, you want to get the most for your money. Having a plan of attack, will save you time, money and most of all…frustration!
First, figure out why and how you will be using your cameras. The only thing worse than a theft at your business is not being able to use the camera footage. Here are some questions you need to ask before you waste any money.
Will you use them: for detection, recognition or identification?
This is the single MOST important question to ask.
Detection – Most inexpensive, online camera systems on the market today will detect the presence of a person. However, if the camera catches a crime in progress, the footage may be dark, grainy and discolored, rendering the footage useless. These cameras work well for businesses that hire security guards to watch cameras or for a professionally monitored security system.
Recognition – If you have a business, you probably wish you could clone yourself at different times. The truth is you can’t be everywhere…but with cameras you can at least watch. With these cameras, the faces aren’t crystal clear. But these cameras allow the owner to recognize employees, vendors and customers.
Identification – If you plan on using your security camera footage protect your assets after business hours you probably want to spend the extra money and invest in these cameras. These high definition cameras provide a clear picture in situations where you need to see faces and license plates to help apprehend a criminal and get your property returned to you.
What are you watching?
Definition of frustration – investing in a camera system, having a crime happen on your property, and it’s just two feet OUTSIDE the view of the cameras. Field of view is everything. You may need to only see down an ally, where you can use a 70 degree angle camera and save some money. If you’re watching the entire parking lot, you might need a 180 degree view. If you’re watching an entire city block, invest in a 360 degree camera.
Last but EXTREMELY important to your purchase – customer service
So you spend your hard earned money on an online camera system. You invest a couple days putting up the cameras, flip the switch and it’s black! You retrace your steps, follow each wire, push every button, flip the switch and it’s black! <insert bad words here> You find the toll free number on the back of the box, make a call, answered by 45 minutes of elevator music, and “George” answers the phone, reads a script, which includes: flip the switch. And it’s black. <insert more bad words here> You can be the best do-it-yourselfer in the world, but what if there is a problem with the equipment that a professional needs to trouble shoot? Calling a trusted company that not only helps you design your perfect camera system but stands behind their product is invaluable! They can even install it for you and let you run your business. If a problem arises with time, having that direct phone number to connect you with a knowledgeable representative will save you time, money and frustration!
For more information on building your perfect camera system for the least amount of money, contact one of our knowledgeable representative.