Toy CCTV Cameras Vs. Professionals

CCTV Camera

Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) Cameras system have spread to all corners of our planet as the best known and hated electronic surveillance elements for crime.

At the end of the day, it is a highly dissuasive system, which prohibits people from carrying out illegal or prohibited acts. We also have the possibility of recording the scene and consulting it as many times as necessary to reconstruct the events and find the culprits. Finally, at present these digital images can be sent by modern transmission means and the scenes can be consulted remotely either live or from previously recorded videos.

They don’t do what we want

However, on several occasions, the results that video surveillance equipment gives us produce a huge feeling of frustration to end users and security guards. The companies acquire the various systems, making heavy investments, with the hope that the technology purchased is the one that really protects it and keeps it safe, but very quickly they discover that at the moment of reconstructing a fact the images obtained are not the desired ones …

The problem is more common than you might think. So, what was it bought for? Why do we feel cheated? As a first step, DO NOT expect miracles or expect  $ 40 cameras to do the same thing as the sophisticated human visual system. But there is another important factor that arises when explaining the aforementioned feeling of frustration. That is the lack of professionalism in the union.

Our Guild

Respectfully and responsibly, I must say that in the video surveillance sector, we find many incapables, inexperienced and unscrupulous people who are only content to sell boxes and equipment, without concentrating on the use and real need of each project. As in any commercial sector, there are bad and good companies.

In our case, good companies have engineers with more than 10 years of experience, represent good quality brands and have the infrastructure to provide good technical support with excellent customer service and spare parts stock. Its technicians are known for making very aesthetic installations that meet all the standards. Its engineers plan the systems, do risk analysis, design with professional calculations and drawings; and have procedures that ensure excellence with customer needs in mind. They are trained, they are permanently trained, and this generates good profits and a greater number of clients. Does it seem utopian that there are companies like this? The truth is there are few … but in Colombia there are more and more …

Companies to forget

On the opposite side, there are companies that think that selling en masse is their only goal, regardless of the quality of the product or the personnel it installs. They specialize in selling problems, they never invest time or money in training their people, they buy the cheapest and sell it with deception taking advantage of the ignorance of the end user. All the technical knowledge is in the phrases on the boxes of the equipment they sell. Your salespeople don’t analyze, they don’t think about customer needs, they just want to know how many you want and when you are going to pay for them. They are “foxes that dress up as little red riding hood” to perpetuate the deception.

Companies from other sectors

We also find companies that, without being bad (in fact I know some very successful ones), come from a different market: that of information technology and communications (ICT); where they sells boxes actually and what the user does with them does not concern them. This is what happens many times when computers, routers, cell phones, appliances and similar equipment are sold, whose market is massive.

These companies have seen how the video signals were transform into “ones and zeros”; that is to say data and therefore they consider that  video cameras or a video capture card is one more accessory than a PC. Therefore, they entered to sell them in the same way, in a showcase, without much technical knowledge; where the item that they sold the most is simply the cheapest.

They do what they can … they install in the worst way, because everything is very cheap, they sell the worst cameras because they believe that if it is not cheap it does not sell, they use the worst DVRs (digital video recorders), because otherwise people do not buy them. They live trading with deception, taking advantage of the ignorance of the end user, the lowest technological manufacture level in the East; which they discards for not meeting minimum standards in many markets.

Are you beginning to understand now, dear reader, the degree of dissatisfaction and frustration of many people, leaving their security in the wrong hands?

Crude reality

It is incredible that in the sector there are companies that sell complete CCTV Kits; which include 4 wireless IR (infrared light) CCTV cameras, with lens and bracket included, a capture card and the software on a CD, all for $ 350 dollars. With all due respect, these are nothing more than simple toys that you should NOT use in the security guild.

Cameras, lenses and accessories, as well as professional video image recording, management and viewing equipment, are vastly different and are rarely market in these “combos”. They are high performance systems, made to last 7×24 on for 10 years continuously. Robust, with the ability to make adjustments according to external conditions. They are almost never “plug and play” equipment, nor do they come pre-assembled with everything included.

Professional teams are assemble like a huge puzzle; where each part must carefully chose after a series of analyzes, calculations and recommendations resulting from experience.

So, in order to have professional systems, two things you do require: a) Acquire professional products, not toys. These of course are not the cheapest; and b) Perform an analysis, following a professional methodology that mathematically calculates many variables like:

  • risk,
  • attenuation,
  • lenses,
  • hard drive,
  • bandwidth,
  • resolution,
  • speed,
  • transmission,
  • protections,
  • among others

and select in detail the technical characteristics and the way to integrate all the professional devices purchased in point a.

Demand professionalism

You do not need to confuse, the vast majority of people in the guild can disguise themselves as true professionals; when in reality they are nothing more than simple apprentices. I recommend that every time you want to have a professional video surveillance installation make sure a thing; this is that installers have performed an analysis and followed a methodology. Ask for the written calculations, make sure that they have explained the criteria to you, request drawings and specifications.

If they charge you something for this stage, it is normal; in fact, my recommendation is that you seek the advice of an external professional who will guide you; and do not leave it at the expense of the seller’s ability. In the event that the selling company does not deliver anything to you, or leaves you long; I assure you that they are selling you, not what you need; but the equipment that that company has in the warehouse.

Learn to differentiate toys and choose your professional equipment supplier very well; because you are going to commit to a long-lasting relationship, when you buy or sell security.