How to reduce the total cost of ownership of your video surveillance system
Video surveillance guides
While there is a growing respect for the importance of security and surveillance systems to other business analysis tools, budget managers and end users to work with are not always as flexible as they are. would like. And, while cheaper products may look appealing at first, they could end up costing more in the long run. Here, Uri Guterman of Hanwha Techwin Europe highlights the main issues to think about in order to reduce the total cost of ownership of video surveillance systems.
In tough economic times, when there is pressure to minimize expenses, there is always the risk that the return on investment (ROI) projections of a video surveillance system will only include the costs associated with immediate or immediate goals. short-term to end users, rather than the total cost of ownership over the lifetime of a system.
When calculating TCO, it is a good idea to take recurring charges into account, as well as one-off costs. This means that in addition to the initial cost of cameras, recorders, video management software (VMS), cabling, network devices and installation costs, other costs such as power output, maintenance , etc. must be taken into account.
The cost of future upgrades should also not be ignored if your needs are likely to change, either because you may want to extend the coverage of the system or perhaps increase its capabilities by running video analytics applications. specialized on cameras.
When all of the above are taken into consideration, what might at first glance appear to be the cheapest products, may subsequently turn out to be the opposite and “buyer’s remorse”, although being a reaction. late, could occur.
So here are some suggestions that we recommend that you take into consideration when deciding which CCTV products, in addition to meeting your immediate needs, will provide long-term value and will not surprise you in the future with unforeseen costs that were not budgeted.
- Are the cameras you are reviewing “open platforms” and do their chipsets have enough processing power to run any third-party edge-based video analytics that you might want to take advantage of immediately, now, or at the next? to come up ?
- Do cameras and recording devices support H.265, as well as other compression formats? Multipixel images can fill the capacity of an NVR or server too quickly when recorded at high frame rates and resolutions. It could become costly in terms of bandwidth and storage costs when it comes to recording and storing convincing quality images.
- Do the cameras have built-in IR lighting? The cost of installing additional lighting can be prohibitive and so if you want to capture high quality images 24/7 it will be important to know that a manufacturer’s cameras are effective regardless lighting conditions.
- Is a product scalable and future-proof in that it has been designed to be backward and forward compatible with third-party products with which it could be integrated?
- Do the cameras you are offering to purchase have firmware that can be updated as new features become available or when there is a need to introduce enhanced cybersecurity features as new threats arise? or emerging standards? The ability to do so will on its own justify paying a little more for the cameras than the ones that don’t, as the cost of a security breach could be huge. Check, however, that the manufacturer’s policy is to offer all upgrades free of charge.
- Does the manufacturer offer cameras with integrated video analysis? If so, is it unlicensed or how much will you have to pay for it?
- CCTV cameras equipped with video analysis are increasingly deployed to help detect intruders. Not all types of video analysis can distinguish between a stray animal and a human intruder or vehicle and what may be just video noise. In addition to frustrating control room operators, the cost of dealing with false alarms can be prohibitive. We recommend that you make any new CCTV system future-proof by using cameras that support deep learning-based artificial intelligence analysis.
- Has the manufacturer integrated their cameras and recording devices with platforms offered by major independent VMS development companies, such as Genetec and Milestone? Otherwise, it could impact the costs associated with expanding a system as requirements change.
- If you do not intend to use a third-party VMS, ask the camera manufacturer for a demonstration of its own brand video management software and / or user interface. An intuitive and therefore easy to use interface will minimize training costs.
- Is the manufacturer able to give an estimate of the life cycle of the specified products and can he prove their reliability? This will be especially important when there are moving parts like in PTZ cameras. To back up any claim of reliability, does the manufacturer offer advanced trouble-free replacement service for products under warranty and does their warranty extend for at least 3 years?
- What are the estimated energy costs of the different components of the system? You might be unpleasantly surprised to learn how much some devices cost and therefore we suggest that you specify IP network cameras that feature low Power of Ethernet (PoE) power consumption. It also helps reduce installation costs, as it removes the need to install power outlets for each camera and reduces the amount of wiring required. It should be noted that some manufacturers offer “expansion” PoE cameras which are a very cost effective method of installing a new dual camera system or adding a camera to an existing system.
- How long will it take to install the specified cameras, video recorders or other devices, and can they be remotely configured or reconfigured in the future without an engineer having to make a site visit?
- It is also beneficial to work with manufacturers who provide video management software (VMS) preinstalled on NVRs, as well as pre-loaded video analytics on their cameras. Both offer the added benefit of achieving seamless integration without the need to waste time and incur the cost of attending specialized training courses.
- Without a doubt, the most important factor is a product’s ability to resist a cyber attack. Whether they happen for criminal or malicious purposes, or simply viewed as a challenge by opportunistic hackers, cyber attacks pose a major threat to the ability of end users to protect their confidential information and can be costly to resolve. It is therefore strongly recommended that CCTV products be purchased only from manufacturers who support the goals of the Secure by Default standard which was introduced in 2019 by the Surveillance Camera Commissioner of the United Kingdom.
- Recording devices should also be equipped with GDPR-compliant features, allowing them to be programmed to automatically delete video evidence after a specified maximum number of days, unless the operator has bookmarked the images. to be kept for a longer period.
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