Security Video: The Payoff is in the Planning


It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words.  So how much is a video worth?  Well, if it doesn’t show what you need, with sufficient clarity to answer key questions, then our answer is worthless.

At Butchko, we are often asked to help companies sort through the capabilities and hype surrounding security technologies, and video is a frequent topic in those discussions. Video systems and the data they generate can be extremely costly. Even a $100 IP camera can generate a great deal of data to transport, store, organize, and view – and each step in that process comes with a price tag.  If you pick the wrong camera (too cheap, too few features, or even too many features) you may end up with high costs and disappointing results.

If, on the other hand, the video system is tailored to the need and properly designed, installed, and managed, the payback can be great.

Benefits of a well-planned video system:

  • Rapid and effective alarm assessment
  • Strong evidence in a criminal or civil defense case
  • Video that can be used for safety and operations improvement programs
  • Improved communications with the media, executives, and first responders
  • Investigative tools

With the addition of analytics, user training, and integration with other technologies, the benefits derived from a video system can grow exponentially.

So what makes the difference between Great Disappointment and Great Payback? Keep the focus on value and avoid the feature glitz.  Before making any purchase or beginning a detailed design process, address the following questions frankly and honestly.

Remember the Mission & Purpose

  • Does the image show what’s needed?
  • How uniform is the light?
  • Are there enough pixels on the target to meet the objective?
  • Does the video presentation meet the need?
  • Does the solution provide adequate camera angles, coverage, and views?
  • How is the video displayed? Can an operator use it effectively?
  • Is the solution compatible with other critical systems?

Remember the Basics

  • A great design used in the wrong application yields disappointing results
  • Field & Angle of View are critical
  • Lighting has to be sufficient and adequately positioned
  • Fast motion requires fast image rate
  • Operators must have the right information to correctly interpret video
  • Video can’t do it all – integration with other systems enhances the effectiveness
  • Big video requires big data infrastructure

Video design and installation experts can take your answers to these questions and tailor a solution that fits your needs at a manageable cost.  High quality designers will look at both up-front costs and long-term operating costs to achieve the best balance of performance vs. cost.  Equipping these experts with a clear view of your expectations is key in getting the final solution you want and ensuring that the video picture is worth a thousand words and then some .