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Video Surveillance

Some are against it, while others call for more of it: video surveillance. Whether in public spaces, on sensitive buildings or in private areas – video surveillance is omnipresent and always a controversial subject of discussion.

In industry and critical infrastructures, it’s become indispensable. However, video surveillance is not an end in itself and the differences are sometimes very great. Video surveillance, video image analysis, automatic focusing in the event of an alarm, thermal camera systems – the possibilities are manifold.

This is precisely why such a system must be well planned and neatly conceptualised for the relevant purpose. A well-planned video surveillance system not only fulfils its primary task, but also takes into account other aspects such as data protection, automatic alarm systems, etc.

Are you thinking of refurbishing or modernising your video surveillance system? Here’s our suggestion: at this point, you should also consider switching from analogue to digital technology! Video surveillance has proven its worth in many areas, but it’s not ideal as a protective measure in all cases. For example, when there are enough cameras monitoring a building complex, but not enough staff to evaluate the data material. And then there are the costs. Manufacturers’ offers may contain hidden costs, for example for laying the cables. Then there are the underestimated follow-up costs for maintaining and servicing the system. So, before making a final choice, you should take the time to do a comparison.

Once you’ve decided on a camera system, you need to determine exactly what the cameras are to monitor and analyse:

How you design and plan a video surveillance system depends on the strategic and operational protection goals:

  • Detection, identification and recording of hazardous situations
  • Detection of deviations from the rules
  • Identification of persons via image comparison and other means of identification in surveillance

Professional video surveillance systems can be centrally controlled and linked to external systems such as hazard detection systems, protection or building management systems. The decision as to which camera technology, whether thermal image, megapixel, 4K, HD or any other, is right for the individual application areas is best made after doing a field test under real environmental conditions.

However, video surveillance systems can do even more. They can count visitors/shoppers, track their paths or monitor the flow of goods: functions which, in addition to providing building protection, also offer great economic benefits.

Management and data compression are two of the key concepts in IP-based video surveillance. Depending on the number of cameras used, it can make sense to use a video management system. After all, even experienced staff in the control room are unable to evaluate different cameras in real time over several hours. This is where automatic video image analysis can help. Despite data compression, during the planning phase one should already be considering how to limit the enormous data volume to only what is necessary.


Peter Dupach
Security Consultant

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