Ten “Deadly Sins” When Installing A Video Surveillance System
We are all humans, so we all make mistakes. However, there are such common cases that you should be aware of and avoid. Specialists of Partizan company have collected, systematized and listed them to say once and for all – it should not be like that!
1. DHCP remains enabled after adding to NVR
Most CCTV cameras have DHCP enabled by default. What does it mean? A static IP address does not work, but a dynamic IP address, on the contrary, is active. That is, the CCTV camera, after entering your local network, will find its own IP address. The plus is that you don’t need to input this address manually each time. And the minus is that these addresses can change every time the router is rebooted. The result is that after the reboot, the CCTV camera will get a completely different IP, the client will get a terrible black screen instead of an image, and you will receive urgent calls: “Hey, where did my CCTV camera go?”. Do you really need it?
2. Outdated firmware and password
There are also simple, trivial, but surprisingly widespread reasons for incorrect device operation. The thing is, even if you bought your device yesterday, it doesn’t mean that a new firmware didn’t appear while it was in stock. Always check its relevance and install the latest version. Ideally, you should check the firmware once every few months. Regarding the password — often users and even installers are too lazy to change passwords and sometimes leave it at the default: admin, 1111, etc. A good chance for a hacker!
3. Time synchronization is disabled. Incorrect playback time
A non-obvious mistake, but it can also cause pain and suffering. If we have a desynchronization in time, then even knowing when the alarming event occurred, it will be very difficult to find it in the archive. By the way, there is an easy way to synchronize the recorder (and therefore the CCTV camera) with real-time. Just add the NVR to Partizan Cloud and our service will do everything instantly and clearly.
4. Settings, connection and recording
It may seem obvious to some, but there is one simple thing. If you want the recording to be turned on only by alarms, motion detection or at certain intervals – no one will do it except you. Enter the settings yourself. Now about the connection. There are CCTV cameras that can be connected using the “native protocol”, and there are all others. With the native protocol, everything is finally clear: company’s cloud CCTV camera can be easily connected to its cloud recorder, the SH camera to the SH recorder. But if the connection takes place, for example, according to the Cloud-camera scheme to the SH-recorder (or vice versa), or in general a third-party CCTV camera is used, the Onvif protocol should be used.
5. Incorrect installation of your CCTV camera
The topic, of course, is very broad, moreover, there are many different opinions. So, at this point, we will try to derive a common “denominator” that is understandable even for a new installer. A good, professional installation of video equipment is when:
a) The correct branded accessories are used, including cable junction boxes.
b) The cables are not visible next to the CCTV camera and they do not stick out in all directions. They should be brought inside the building, or at least hidden in PVC pipes or corrugations.
Of course, budgets can be “cut”, but this does not mean that you have to compromise on quality.
6. Incorrect viewing angle or CCTV camera installation location
It is also a rather versatile field for discussion, so let’s highlight the most important points.
- There is a large object close to the CCTV camera – tree, wall, lamp post, etc.). Such proximity can lead to “reflection” of IR illumination, and at the same time to CCTV camera blindness.
- The CCTV camera is aimed at a glowing lantern or at a sunrise/sunset. This also results in CCTV camera blindness or image illumination.
- IR diodes in the dome CCTV camera are under its body. In this case, the backlight is reflected from the housing into the lens. The result is that the CCTV camera stops “seeing” at night.
- Dirty lens glass or dome CCTV camera sphere. A very simple, but surprisingly common cause of poor image quality.
- The CCTV camera is installed on a metal or conductive surface without grounding. This is trivially dangerous, because it causes the risk of short circuits and even the CCTV camera catching fire.
- The CCTV camera is at a low altitude. A real find for criminals and vandals!
- The dome CCTV camera is installed without proper protection from above. If the model does not have a high degree of resistance to dust and moisture (at least IP66), moisture form of rain or snow can get inside the equipment.
- The CCTV camera is installed in close proximity to high-voltage power lines. This causes not only a high risk of electric shock, but also provokes interference in image transmission.
7. Bad Internet
Probably everyone knows about such a problem, but not everyone is aware of its depth. By the expression “bad Internet” we primarily mean two points: low connection speed and changes in flow transmission. And if everything is clear with the first parameter, then in the second case, even at high speeds, sags and entire seconds of video may drop out. So make sure that the speed of your Internet is adequate for both input and output, and the connection is stable, without losing data packets.
8. Incorrect cable connection
It is not good if the cable of the installed CCTV camera is less than 30 cm from the power cable. It is a very bad idea to put the wires of the video surveillance system and the home electrical network in one box. This is especially true for analog CCTV cameras. Therefore, it is always worth laying the CCTV camera switching separately. So there will be no obstacles or unnecessary picture jumps in the image.
The second point is the considerable distance between the CCTV camera and the recorder. For a coaxial cable, problems with image transmission can begin as early as 500 meters. And the optimal distance is the “hundred meter” familiar to many. It is always better to work with the correct lengths of cable than to be faced with the fact that the video signal does not arrive normally, or the CCTV camera does not have enough power. If we are talking about IP CCTV cameras with a POE system, then the distance to the recorder should be 50-80 meters.
When dealing with an analog system, it is worth remembering that problems may also arise when connecting several CCTV cameras to one power supply unit. Imagine that we have two CCTV cameras. One is at a distance of 10 meters from the power supply unit, the other is at a distance of 50 meters. So, after six months, you can unexpectedly encounter, for example, the failure of the IR illumination of the remote CCTV camera. And the issue here is not the quality of the equipment. It is all about incorrect switching. Therefore, we advise using a separate power supply for each CCTV camera. Why? The CCTV camera must receive its “legal” 12 volts and the correct amperage. And a considerable distance can cause a drop in power supply.
And, of course, always and everywhere you should use the right cables. Trying to save money, some installers “throw away” aluminum or steel wires. But what may be OK for budget Internet in the entrance, will not work for the video surveillance system. Such cables simply will not transmit a normal video stream. Our minimum is copper twisted pair of category 5e. We will not emphasize the correct crimping of the twisted pair. This is an axiom!
9. Low-quality or inappropriate third-party equipment
Use quality routers! We usually recommend the following brands: MikroTik, Zyxel, Cisco, HP, Linksys. Everything will be fine with them. The same can be said about POE equipment. All the above mentioned brands make decent switches.
Hard drives! This is generally the key to success for a video surveillance system. Partizan is an authorized European dealer of Toshiba and we use HDDs of this brand for our recorders. We consider its products to be ideal in view of:
- Possibility of long-term stable work in 24/7 mode
- Simultaneous recording support from 32 CCTV cameras
- Ability to withstand multiple write/overwrite cycles
- Spindle rotation speed optimal for NVR
- Resistance to vibrations, high temperature, voltage drops
- Correct interface (Sata 3)
- High data transfer rate
10. Incorrect calculation of power and quality of components
You should not save money on third-party components of the video system! Let’s say, the cost of a high-quality power supply unit and a low-quality one will not differ that much. This is a matter of tens of dollars, not, say, hundreds or thousands. But you should always remember that a low-quality product can damage the equipment or cause the quality of the image to deteriorate (bands and waves in the picture, etc.).
We recommend using power supplies with an additional power reserve of at least 30% compared to the expected power consumption of the video surveillance system. It will definitely not be superfluous, and it will protect you and the client from unpleasant surprises.
Of course, these are far from all the mistakes that happen in our field. However, by keeping at least these simple points in mind, you can make life much easier for yourself and your customers. As they say, go and install quality, professional CCTV and do not make more mistakes.