Wouldn't it be nice to check on your business while you're at home or away on vacation?

The alarm company calls you at home to inform you that the alarm at your business is going off. You go to your computer, or use your iPhone or Smartphone and pull up the cameras. You see that it's just the cleaning crew, so you call them to make sure everything is OK. You just saved a call to the police!

There are many options here and we can help you make sense out of it all. Call or email us today for a free quote or read on for more information:

Overview

Cameras around your business have a variety of applications. Want to see what employees are doing when you're not there? Want to check on your business while you are away? Want to record the cameras so you can see what happened yesterday? These scenarios and others are all possible. Basically you would use some cameras, and some type of device to convert the video in to a web based stream or to get the video on to a TV or touch screen controller screen. You can also view the cameras from your iPhone/iTouch/iPad or Android Smartphone!

Cameras

There are many options here. The first thing to consider is do you want a Web Camera or a standard camera with video output?

  • Web CameraThe web camera is a single camera that has a Web Server built in. Once you give it an IP address, you can point your browser at the device and you will see the image on your computer. Some web cameras have pan/tilt/zoom capabilities. There are also wired (via Ethernet) and wireless (802.11) models. The down side is that if you need multiple cameras, you will have to point your browser at multiple IP addresses to see each camera. Most newer web cameras allow you to see multiple cameras in a single web browser window, but they are more expensive.
  • Standard Camera with Video outIn this case, you would have several wired cameras around your business. These cameras have a composite video output that can easily connect to a single TV, all TVs in the home (via video distribution) or to a color touch screen controller. Cameras are available in color, B/W, and with or without night vision. Night vision cameras allow you to see images even in low or no light situations. The down side is that typically you can't get pan/tilt/zoom capabilities and you need another device to get these cameras on the Web (see below).
  • IP Based CameraIP cameras connect directly in to your Computer Network. Then a server appliance installed on the network would allow you to record and view the cameras remotely.
  • 360 Degree Camera--A new option is able to look in all directions in a room at once without moving! So instead of the old cameras that would rotate around to cover the whole room, the new digital versions don't move and can see in all directions at once!
  • HD Cameras--HD cameras have much better resolution and are useful in some situations where you need to see more detail.

Video Server

A video server device will take in a standard composite video signal from one or more cameras and convert it to some format as follows:

  • Web serversA web server from companies like Axis will take in four or eight video cameras and allow you to view them from anywhere via the Internet. It could also have DVR capabilities so you can record the cameras (see below).
  • DVRA DVR (Digital Video Recorder) from companies like Dedicated Micros will take in 4, 8, 16 or more cameras and allows you to record and watch the live or recorded image on a TV. It could also have a Web Server built in (see above). Some of the options will be number of cameras supported, size of the hard drive (which equals how many days of video it can store) and does it have a web server or not.
  • Video ServerA video server is a server that can store and serve up video and is typically used in a system with IP cameras.

Internet Connectivity

In order to be able to view your video cameras remotely, you will have to have some form of high speed Internet connectivity like DSL, Cable Modem, ISDN, T1 or higher, ETC.

Internet Router/Firewall 

You will need to configure your Router or Firewall to allow in-bound connections to the camera server. Firewalls by default will only allow out-bound connections. Most Firewalls (but not all) will allow you to configure it to allow in-bound connections. Check the documentation that came with your Firewall or call us and we can take a look for you.