How Does Video Surveillance Work?

A properly designed and installed WesTec Guardian CCTV/Video Surveillance system offers protection and 24/7 security for your Houston area business.

Five key areas to consider when designing your CCTV/Video Surveillance system:

Determining the purpose of your security system helps narrow down the functions you want and especially the price. From all-weather cameras to being able to record a years’ worth of video, finding the purpose of your system is most important. The first part of finding the purpose is to look at your location.

This is where your decision making process should start. How much do you have to spend? If for example you are trying to deter or prevent theft your budget must be balanced against the cost of a potential theft.

You need to “take” a mental picture of the area you are seeking to cover with your video surveillance system. Look at what structures are in the way; is the land flat or hilly, what are the access points. Also there are several practical considerations that need to be considered such as:

location

  • Power Source – some cameras need electrical power to operate. Where and how to get power to each camera.
  • Mounting – there are numerous types of mounting brackets available; what type of surface are the cameras going to be mounted on: brick, wood, metal, etc. Also do you need to protect it from lightning?
  • Environment – is it hot or cold? Day or night, or both; what kind of environment do the cameras need to operate in?

The price of an individual camera can range from $50.00 to $50,000.00, depending on how, when, where and what area you are trying to cover. Some of the issues you need to consider are:

  • Lighting – what kind of lighting does the area have when you want to cover it? Natural or artificial; daylight or nightlight; surrounding lights
  • Resolution – what kind of picture do you need? The clearer, more precise the view you need the more the camera will cost; the distance and width of the view you need to view also comes into play here

This is one area that you need to spend some time carefully considering. How long do you need to keep a record of the pictures you take? Also you need to decide if you need to have the system active 24/7 or want it to work only when it is triggered by an event. The longer you keep a record the more storage space you will need and the higher the cost of this component.

What are my options for a Houston Video Security System?

When searching for a Video Security System for your business, it comes down to two options.

CCTV or IP.

CCTV stands for Closed-Circuit Television. Its original intent is to send the video signal to a specific place, keeping it “closed”. Today, CCTV can point to multiple places, and can even be monitored through the web but still uses an analog signal.

IP camera systems use a digital signal, which allows them to connect to an existing network that sends them data through a computer network or the internet.

The only thing that differentiates between the two are price and quality. An IP camera system offers the highest quality and options, but it comes with a slightly higher price tag. Here is an example of how IP security cameras have an advantage over a CCTV security system.

Take a look at the camera view below. The picture on the left is an example of a CCTV video camera. The one on the right is an example of an IP video camera.

Virtual Surveillance Systems - Houston, Sugar Land, Spring
Virtual Surveillance Systems - Houston, Sugar Land, Spring

Bottom Line: IP cameras cost more (10%-15% more) but they give you a better, bigger picture. This can mean fewer cameras thus lower cost. Contact us today at (713) 682-4000 or send us a message and we can show you which view will work best for you!