Before You Buy an NVR System
Some Precaustions To Consider
There are a few really good reasons to buy an NVR and IP
/ network cameras, and there are many reasons not to. Since our goal is to
educate you so that you can make and informed decision, let's begin our
IP / Network Cameras Can Be Costly In Four Ways
The initial cost of a network based IP / network camera is
significantly higher than the initial cost of an analog CCTV camera. A
simple 1.0 megapixel "box or brick" CCTV camera, for instance, will run you
north of $400 plus the cost of the lens, housings, mounting brackets, etc.
Compare that with a $125 to $185 cost of today's 480 to 550 TVL analog
surveillance cameras, and you begin to see the problem. Sixteen - 1.0 megapixel
CCTV cameras would cost you at least $6,400 plus lenses, etc. while a high end
550 TVL analog surveillance camera would only set you back $2,960. That's more
than twice as much...and you can buy a lot of equipment for the difference.
Let's look at some basic math. 16 - 1.0 IP /
network cameras, streaming at 30 FPS, will require just over 8 terabytes of
storage for one week. And that's if you are using an H.264 Camera. If you're
using a MPEG4 camera, the number is even worse - 12.5 TB! Similarly, 16 - 550
TVL analog security cameras at 30 FPS running 4CIF, will only require 2.5 TB of
storage for the same week. Today, a TB of DVR grade storage space, runs about
$150. Plus, you have to have the system that can accommodate that storage. At a
minimum, you'll save well over $800 just in storage space, by using an analog
This is the worst culprit. If you plan to deploy, say 16 IP /
network cameras on your existing 10/100 or 100/1000 network, along with
your existing data flow, plan on kissing your network bandwidth goodbye. You
will shut it down and your business will come to a halt because you simply can
not support that kind of bandwidth. Anymore much more than 6 to 8 cameras must
be on their own network. How much will that cost? It depends on where you live
but it can run from $600 up depending on labor costs, materials cost, etc. Let's
look again at some math: 16 Analog CCTV cameras, running 30 FPS at 4 CIF will
need 16.48 Mbps of bandwidth only if it is streaming the video out to a client
user. If you are not streaming, then it will require zero bandwidth. The 16 1.0
megapixel surveillance cameras, 30 FPS will require 83.20 Mbps plus another 83.2
Mbps if you desire to stream it out to a client application. Think that will
cause a problem on your network? Just wait until your sales, accounting,
purchasing etc. staff can't process orders and paperwork, and we'll see how
happy you are with your megapixel CCTV cameras. Now, if that wasn't enough,
consider this; the equipment you purchase to make this all happen, is going to
cost you even more...and think about how much you'll pay in additional ISP costs
to stream that video.
Power Over Ethernet (POE)
This is the much heralded solution to power and it is the devil in
disguise. Take a look at the average four port Ethernet injector - it has at
best, a 45 watt power supply. Now it's no secret that it takes about 15 watts to
run the router itself...and about 10-12 watts for the average megapixel security
camera. See the problem? There is simply not enough power. You have to purchase
high end units, single units or only run two surveillance cameras on the
expensive four port POE injector to make it run properly...there goes your
savings right down the drain.
Moral of the story - IP / network cameras are nice, but they
are very expensive and you'd better be sure you know what you're doing, or
you're going to be very unhappy.
I Want IP Cameras Because I Can Use CAT5e Or CAT 6 Instead Of
Expensive Siamese Cable
Well, somebody's been lying to you. First off, we use CAT5 &
CAT6 cable in analog installations every day...in fact, if you're running more
than 1000' runs, you must use it for an analog install. Whoever told you that
you HAD to use Siamese or "coax" didn't have a clue or has a hidden agenda. Get
the facts before you spend your way into IP hell.
The Brand Name Companies Have Been In Business For Years - They
Know What They're Doing
Yeah, right. And if you believe that, we've got some land in
Florida we'd like to discuss. Anybody who thinks you can throw a 10/100 card in
a stand alone system and turn it into an NVR should have their head examined.
You need (see above) storage capability, power and bandwidth. This means you
need to be able to scale out to multiple TB of storage, you need multiple
gigabit lan connectivity and you need an internal system that's capable of
keeping up with the data flow. The system is only as good as it's weakest link
so it had better be good or welcome to your nightmare.
IP / Network Cameras Are The Only Way To Capture License
Well, if only this were true. Sadly, not only is it not true, it's
not even close to the truth. First off, capturing a moving license plate is not
rocket science, but it IS a specialized application. If you believe your state
highway is using a 420 TVL box camera in an enclosure, you're wrong too.
Capturing high speed license plates, is even harder. Some of those cameras run
well into the thousands of dollars. For most of us, we need to capture a plate
either coming into or out of our garage, gas station, driveway or parking lot.
Each one of these are somewhat specialized but we rely on the same concept:
The camera must be aimed correctly and pointed directly where
the license plate is going to appear.
The camera must be of sufficient resolution to be able to make
out the plate when it see's it.
Lighting conditions will be of as much if not more importance
than anything else.
Let's think about this logically for a moment or
First, if you are trying to capture the front plate of a vehicle,
we have to deal with headlight glare at night, and on the newer cars, even in
the daytime because many are now equipped with daytime running lights. This
presents some interesting possibilities. There is no auto iris lens that going
to overcome and oncoming headlight beam aimed straight at it. You need to deal
with that light. Today, we use a technology called "Eclipse" which takes the
light, and refracts it back toward the vehicle. What we actually do is to use
the light itself, to illuminate the license plate. A camera with this
technology, of sufficient resolution, runs right about $200.00 without the lens,
mounting bracket, housing, etc.
Now that we've got the lighting problem solved, we have to know a
couple of things:
What is the normal traffic pattern of vehicles in and out? How far
away from the actual plate is the camera? We want to be sure that the camera is
pointed AT the point where the license plate would enter the picture. Further,
we have to be sure the cameras lens is capable of "reaching out" and "seeing"
the plate, from wherever it is mounted. Typically, we use an Eclipse camera with
a 6-60mm Auto Iris Lens in a Housing with a bracket. This is going to run right
at 300.00 or so for the complete camera. Still a far cry from the IP /
network camera cost, and we've not used any bandwidth, etc.
Now, a Ip / network camera can make is easier - if you've got the
lighting figured out, etc. While it IS true that you can blow up the mp shot
without distortion, it will do you zero good if you don't have the basics
The truth is simple. There is really no such thing as never and
always. Each individual situation is unique, and must be dealt with. That is
precisely why you need an expert. Someone who understands the uniqueness of your
problem, and can design a solution to it. The really good news is, if you do it
right the first time, you'll save a pile of money, headaches, heartaches, grief
and aggravation. Give us a call today and let us find the right NVR solution for
I've Already Bought A Bunch Of IP / Network Cameras, They'll Work
With Any NVR Right?
Wrong! Every NVR works with a certain type, brand or model of
camera and no they will not work with all IP cameras. Our NUUO systems will work
with hundreds of models and makes, but even NUUO won't work with them all. Make
sure that the camera you are buying, or are thinking of buying, will work with
the NVR you want. We recently had a Military application where the installer had
purchased one of the biggest names in the business. He bought the NVR AND the IP
cameras from the same manufacturer. Surprise - the IP camera would not work with
the NVR that the same manufacturer had built. And then it got really confusing.
Double check everything.
My IP / Netowork Cameras Came With Software...
Bought An HP Desktop Computer So I'm All Set To Go!
He he. Man if I had a nickel every time I've heard that one. I
tell them all the same thing. Have fun, and call me when you discover your
mistake. With any luck it won't be very costly. No, it won't work, no you won't
be happy and yes, you are going to hate HP, Dell or whomever built your desktop
computer, and you are going want to kill whoever sold you those cameras with
that fancy "software" that doesn't do anything other than let you see the camera
online, Maybe. Remember this and remember it well...if it sounds too good to be
true, it is. If you've already gone down this road, we'll be talking soon....in
fact, that's' probably exactly why you're reading this now.
My Local Wholesale Club Has A Great Buy On A Pre-packaged
Well, you don't need to be talking to us for sure. If you think
that Costco or Sam's or Wal-Mart or Best Buy have the NVR / DVR solution for
you, that's exactly where you should buy it. Now I'm not trying to really
confuse you or make you mad. But I will tell you this, and it's a
fact...prepackaged junk is the worst possible investment you can make. If you
think that your surveillance needs are the same as everyone else's' then why not
K-Mart? There are very few situations that are exactly alike, there's a tree
where it shouldn't be, you've got glare in the wrong spot, whatever.
You need to know the answers before you can engineer a
solution...and I guarantee you that no one at Wal-Mart has that answer for you.
(Go ahead some Saturday, and ask the fellow at Wal-Mart to explain the
difference between JPEG2000, M-JPEG, MPEG-2, MPEG-4 and H.264 Compression) Want
to buy an IPOD, talk to those guys. If you've already bought a system then you
already know what a bad decision it was, That's why you are here.
Are You Trying To Scare Me?
Yes, and no. What we want is for you to make an informed decision.
We'd like to sell you an NVR, we'd even like to sell you megapixel CCTV cameras
- but only if it's the right decision and only if it's done properly.
Talk to a professional. Find out what the pitfalls are so you can
avoid them, then make a decision that will solve the problem you have and make
sure that in the end, you're a happy camper. If that is a bad thing, we don't
Ok, So Why In The World Would I Want To Buy A Network DVR or IP
Cameras After All You've Told Me?
When IP / network cameras and NVRs are carefully thought out,
designed and deployed, there is nothing in the world is like them. They are
great! They're not for everyone, but if you've got the budget and you execute it
properly, you are going to love them. You can put an IP / network camera
virtually anywhere and the clarity of the captured result is astonishing.
If you'd like to hear more, give us a call today. We can help you
decide if and IP / netowkr camera system and NVR are right for