Monday, August 4, 2008

The CCTV Reality

Failures of CCTV Systems to cut crimes and provide helpful evidences for police investigations are being reported on news; and are spreading over the web. This reality triggers the qualms on the reliability of CCTV Systems. Due to this fact, the concerned public can't help but ask and react.

Do CCTV Systems really help us protect our personal and professional assets and properties? Or are they just waste of money?

Do you believe it is a Win-Lose business offering from the CCTV Products manufacturers? That they are just making money out of the deals and not really taking the responsibility of providing the proper security solutions that customers deserve?

Do you agree that CCTV Systems don't really work as deterrent to potential thieves? And serve more like just decors to business and home facilities?

If it really isn't helpful then why are there more and more businesses and residential structures requiring CCTV Systems be installed on their sites? Why do some government sectors of different countries enforce the installation of such equipments to private and public places as a law?

A CCTV should work and perform the way it was designed. It should provide security and protection. As we all know, there isn't a single thing perfect in this world. A CCTV System may honestly fail at times but what's important is for us to know the factors contributing to its failure and how we are going to deal with it.


integrator97 said...

We'll start with systems failing: In my opinion this is often the clients fault. They insist on using the cheapest equipment. They rarely check playback until they need it. They often don't even check the cameras to see if the are functioning. Better equipment will last longer and be more reliable. You should verify playback regularly, at least once a week. Better DVR's can email or alert you when a hard drive gets too hot, or a camera fails, though not usually if it doesn't fail entirely (such as a washed out picture).

Sales people often take advantage of the lack of knowledge of the customer, to make the sale. "Sure you can record your 16 cameras for 60 days on this 80 gig machine" sales people and installers don't explain how to or the importance of verifying system operation and recording on a regular basis.

CCTV can work as a deterrrant, but often people use them instead of alarm systems. CCTV is evidence, not security in the same sense as an alarm system. Also, in reference to above, you can rarely identify someone whose picture doesn't fill a large portion of the screen, especially if it's someone you don't know. Covering large areas with one camera is good if watched live, or to see what happened, but not to determine who did it.

Basically, people generally expect too much from the systems they aren't willing to spend enough money on, or aren't willing to research. Rather than do a little due diligence themselves, or pay a consultant, they end up with the slickest talking salesman who convinces them that their cheaper product is just as good.

Yanieh said...

Thanks for the comment integrator97. I do believe a CCTV System can perform to its optimum efficiency and effectiveness if the raw materials and equipments will come from a quality and reliable CCTV Supplier. Failures of the system can be prevented if it is to be setup and maintained properly. Still, I think it all boils down to choosing the best Supplier and Installer for the CCTV System.

John said...

Here we are doing a great business as of now with CCTV its booming here greatly. I hope its is too in its peak time out there.

CCTV in Chennai

Kevin said...

I work tech support for a large manufacturer and I do agree with your points on end users buying junk equipment and not checking playback nor maintaining the equipment. I also have to put the blame squarely on the system designers and the technicians as well. I field calls all day from so called techs that have no clue what they are doing. Tech supports function is not to train you to do your job. I should not have to tell you how to back focus or aim a camera. I should not have to tell you how to ping a camera or how to change your IP address on your PC. Why would a tech call tech support and tell me "I don't have a picture on my DVR from a camera, Why?" Are you serious Mr. Tech? You don't know how to pull the BNC off of the DVR and go directly to a monitor to see if it's the camera or the dvr? You don't know how to use a voltmeter to check the camera voltage? Companies are just throwing people out in the field that should not be out there and relying on tech support to train them. We are not your trainers. Now that IP solutions are now becoming the norm we are swamped with calls from "techs" that have no clue what they are doing. I should not have to explain how to ping a camera or change the IP addy of your laptop. It is not fair to the few real techs left, that have to wait in the phone queue for the opportunity to ask a real question. Techs need to know the basics. They need to have the proper tools to do their jobs. I cannot fathom the end users paying hundreds of dollars per hour to a tech that has to immediately call tech support to be walked through how to troubleshoot a camera issue. You would not believe how many times a day I have to explain ohms law to a tech who doesn't have enough volts at the end of his one thousand foot of 22 ga wire trying to power 80 watts of heater in a housing. How many times that I have to explain how to back focus a camera or why does my camera go out of focus at night? I even have to explain cut and paste or how to download a file off of the internet. These "techs" can't even operate Windows for gosh sake. It's not only techs either. Sales people will call me and ask "How far can this camera see?" They don't get it when I tell them it can "see" several hundred light years if you point it up in the sky at a star. Have you ever heard of a lens calculator, sir? As a salesman of CCTV products you should know how to choose a lens. I should not have to do your job for you. This industry is going down the tubes as far as I am concerned. The saturation of the market with cheap junk has driven profit margins on the equipment into the single digits. Money is now made on the install labor and change orders. The lack of profit has made it so good techs can't make enough money to stay in the industry so they are leaving for greener pastures. This industry needs to wake up and come up with some kind of technician standards so the field does not continue to become watered down with substandard so called technicians. CCTV is not the answer to all of your security needs. It must be a part of an overall security solution. I hope this industry gets its act together before serious damage comes to it.

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