Smart businesses aren’t built in a day and neither are their workspaces, unless your customer has deep pockets of course.
For budget minded companies and homeowners however, small steps can transform both work and home environments quickly. Automated systems help make workplaces safer, less expensive, more efficient and healthier for employees.
One of the easiest first steps to take when heading down this path is to use PoE video surveillance and install a door camera.
Let’s take a look at some of the technology you’ll want to be familiar with before you get started.
1. A High-Resolution Door Camera
High-resolution imaging allows for more precise facial recognition. Experts recommend a minimum resolution of 480 x 640. Anything less will produce grainy results that can even make recordings inadmissible in court!
What’s nice about models like this door phone/camera is the 1280 x 720 HD high-resolution images with speeds up to 20 frames per second (FPS).
Higher speeds are recommended. Lower speeds can leave out important activity and details.
Models like this one are a great fit for property complex visitor management, property protection, intercom, and message service.
Your customer can even compress images at this megapixel range that will still remain clear when sent over the Internet.
It has a camera range of 3-meters (roughly 10-feet). Let’s cover a few basics about placement to ensure you’re setup for success.
First, make sure it’s placed high enough to get a clear view of visitors’ faces. This is especially true if you have one at an exterior gate.
You’ll also want to ensure good lighting, though the aforementioned model has pretty strong night vision, allowing visibility at short distances in low light.
Native files for this model are MJPEG. Your customers will need to present video footage they plan to use in evidence in this format. Also be advised that changing the format will result in more serious image compression, potentially damaging the integrity of the image.
This camera is Power over Ethernet (PoE) enabled, and has an intercom, noise canceling audio function, and other useful features.
Cameras periodically record over old footage to conserve storage space. It’s therefore important to “pull” or retrieve footage as soon as possible after an incident occurs. Also, as mentioned earlier, you’ll want to make sure that your cameras are recording footage at a high enough speed (FPS) to be useful and clear.
2. Power Over Ethernet (PoE)
PoE is a cable and switch technology that delivers power and data via a single standard Ethernet cable to powered devices in remote locations that otherwise lack electrical circuitry.
The cabling for this is either Cat5e or Cat6 and is routed to an Ethernet hub, switch or injector.
These cables are quite robust, each length of cable containing 4 twisted pairs of copper wires. 2 pairs are used for receiving and transmitting data on fast Ethernet interfaces, and the other 2 unused pairs can be used for transmitting power. By applying power to the unused pairs of copper, both power and data are able to exist on the same cable. This completely eliminates the need to install a power outlet at the remote end for the Ethernet device!
It should thus be clear why PoE is perfect for digital surveillance cameras, and an installers dream for the coming IoT device boom. After all, you only have to pull a single cable per device!
3. A PoE Enabled Ethernet Switch
You’ll also need to employ either a PoE switch or Injector in order to complete your poe surveillance setup.
However, if you’re planning to set up multiple devices, you’d be better off looking for a simple 802.3af PoE Switch. Check out the FGSW-1828PS for a strong example of a PoE switch.
This is perhaps the easiest part of the installation. You simply plug each cable into one of the switch’s 8 PoE ports. Not only can you run your camera cable through this switch, but you can run all PoE enabled lights, motion sensors, and automation controllers as well.
Keep in mind, a major benefit to utilizing PoE for video surveillance (or any other compatible system) is that it consumes far less power than you would if you were running a traditional camera or light configuration. That’s not to mention the time-savings from having such a simple set up.
4. Energy Efficient LED Lighting
One problem unique to door cameras is their placement relative to the outdoors. Whenever you have movement of the sun, you have to work to offset lighting angles that obscure the ability to distinguish faces.
A few key questions installers need to ask:
- Will the subject be fully lit from the front?
- How is visibility at night?
- How about during the daytime?
- Are there any reflections obscuring visibility?
This is why installers must run tests throughout the 12-hour daylight period and after dark as well. Keep in mind that day-spans and night-spans are in a continuous state of flux throughout the year. Your client can address that with adaptive lighting software.
Some cameras emit infrared lighting, which can help at night. The model featured above uses LED. Regardless of the method, just be cognizant of supplying sufficient light to remove any need for video editing or enhancing.
Unaltered video footage is far more likely to pass authentication screens in the event that it needs to be entered as evidence.
NOTE: If you are setting up surveillance cameras in a large space like a retail store or warehouse, you’ll want to check lighting in relation to the camera at each camera location. Subjects lit from the back in low light conditions are hard to make out.
LED lighting solutions are ideal for these scenarios, and the possibilities are endless.
Use a floor plan or building plan to determine the best placement and gain the most coverage for each device. Remember, coverage overlap is a good thing.
5. Home Automation Controller
Camera-Based Security Systems and Lighting can be monitored from centralized controllers similar to this home automation controller.
These units offer quick access to every connected device on campus.
Keep in mind, this unit is more suited to small and mid-size operations. Campuses with multiple buildings may need a more expansive product solution.
Regardless of the complexity of their physical location, your customers will need the streamlined efficiency of a centralized automation system.
Securing your own (or your client’s) business with PoE video surveillance may seem like a daunting task. With the right equipment and the right information however, it can be a straightforward affair.
These technologies are simple to install and even easier to operate. Further, they’re dependable and energy efficient!
Your client may even have Cat5e and Cat6 cabling already in place, making installation of a reliable security system that much easier.
You just can’t beat the simplicity and peace of mind you’ll bring to your customers.
Be sure to check out our product catalogue to find even more examples of all of the PoE Video Surveillance products mentioned in this article.