Surveillance cameras have been an integral part of many businesses from the time they were first introduced. But they are not only limited to business use. Individuals can also take advantage of this technology. Below is just a sampling of different uses:
The changing needs of customers have helped to shape the technology to what it is today. This is rightfully so because without these changes, many would not be able to benefit from the advanced features that have allowed many organizations to properly serve internal staff and customers alike.
- Employees can be monitored
- Can be used to better understand customers.
- Assists managers in managing proper quality of service.
- For marketing purposes.
- Ability to view locations that are not easy to get to.
- To monitor high traffic areas like highways.
CCTV systems that used VCR technology
These were the first ones to come out. Cameras were connected to a Quad/Multiplexer box. A user could then view the video through a monitor and/or record the event using a VCR. This setup worked well and achieved its purpose; however the downside to implementing this technology was the constant need to change the tapes manually. The quality of the video was not very high and was only initially available in black and white.
Surveillance cameras that used DVR technology
The setup was very similar to the one outlined for the VCR-based technology. However, with this setup, instead of connecting to a multiplexer, the system connected to a DVR. This had eliminated the need for tapes, since everything was being stored on hard drives. It was also possible to compress the video files which allowed users to store many days of video. The quality of the recordings was of higher quality. Users could also quickly scan through the video files.
Though this technology was a definite improvement from the last one, it still had its share of weaknesses. Though the need to manually replace tapes disappeared, other new tasks were created. Users had to compress the video, digitize videos, perform recordings and other networking tasks. The hardware was patented which meant that if parts broke or upgrades were needed, a company would be forced to pay the high prices.
CCTV systems that are video encoded
This change in security camera systems eliminated the need to digitize and compress the video files. The encoder would connect to a network switch and route the information through an IP network. It could then be accessed using a simple computer and monitor. The system could easily be managed through designated video management software and also provided for better scalability. It also used the resources found on a company's network and administrators could make recordings remotely. This technology provided ease of expansion. Different variations of this technology were made available.
Security systems using a Network Camera
This setup eliminated the need for video encoders altogether. When video is captured with the camera network, it directly transfers it over to the network switch and then to the PC with the video management software. This setup is truly digital mainly because no analog components are needed. Once the images are recorded, the video feed is immediately digitized and sent over the network. Minimum work is required with this setup.
Companies should not feel bad for improvements that need to be made to any product or service. The need for: ease of use, high quality images, reasonable prices, improved remote-handling capabilities and built-in intelligence is what has driven many companies offering CCTV kits to think outside the box. CCTV DVR was the first step taken which would eventually cause companies to rethink their strategies. CCTV cameras have come a long way and will continue to improve as long as customers keep thinking of ways to take it to different levels.