We’ve come a long way from sliding tapes in and out of our CCTV systems and keeping a giant cabinet full of recordings – at least, most of us have. Many businesses out there are still using a CCTV system that’s old enough to vote, skipping revolutionary advances in how they can protect their premises.
Let’s start with DVR (digital video recording). This is the most essential upgrade you can make to your CCTV if you haven’t already, and it can be implemented into your system whether you’re using analogue or digital cameras, as it can simply convert the analogue feed into digital video files. This gives you many of the benefits of a modern CCTV system without having to replace your cameras.
Record keeping and data retrieval is made far easier with DVR. The camera records straight to video files which are stored on a hard drive and automatically overwritten when space runs out. Then, when you want to view a specific date and time, all you have to do is open the file and scrub to the moment you want to see.
The minimum recording period you should maintain is 31 days but at Magenta we recommend having video stored for six months. In the days of analogue cameras and VHS tapes, 31 days was a reasonable amount to expect from everyone but a large scale business, but now the amount you can store is only limited by your hard drive space, which becomes cheaper by the day.
One of the most incredible technological advancements that modern CCTV has enabled is the ability to have the feed from any camera in your system transmitted to your computer, tablet or phone no matter where you are in the world (as long as you have internet access).
This technology is called IP CCTV, and it works by connecting your CCTV system to the Internet so that it can be accessed remotely. For Magenta, this is vital for our remote monitoring service where we monitor our clients’ CCTV feeds on their behalf.
IP CCTV is also gaining popularity outside of the business world, with our high-end private clients finding it to be particularly valuable. If your line of work regularly takes you away from home for extended periods, being able to keep an eye on your property or be alerted if an alarm is triggered is a tremendous reassurance.
The feed from IP CCTV systems can also be stored on servers rather than hard drives, making your recordings even more secure than they are on a DVR.
While it is possible to transmit the feed from an analogue camera over IP using an analogue to digital converter, most IP CCTV systems use digital cameras that are designed specifically for such purpose. It’s recommended that if you do upgrade to IP CCTV, that you replace your existing system entirely to maximise compatibility and reliability.
If you’re not sure what CCTV technology is right for your business or property, feel free to get in touch with us on 0800 772 3786 with any questions or book a risk assessment.
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