Do Surveillance Systems Really Work?

Surveillance-Jonathan McIntoshAs a business owner you want to do everything in your power to protect what you’ve worked so hard for, right?  So how do you do that?  Some might hire security personnel to stand guard and keep an eye on their facility, which can get expensive.  Others may opt for reinforced locks on their entrances.  But the best solution to truly protecting your business is a comprehensive security system that includes a surveillance system.  Surveillance is a key component in defending your facility.  If you have a security system that has a burglar alarm but no camera system, what happens when someone breaks-in, gets away, and there’s no footage of the incident to help catch the perpetrator?  A surveillance system can help prevent not only burglary, but employee theft, workplace violence, and vandalism.

You might think that camera footage is useless, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth.  Camera footage isn’t as grainy and unreadable as it may have been in the past.  According to Hank Monaco who is the vice president of marketing for a video surveillance system provider, “today’s cameras are infinitely better than what was being offered 10 to 20 years ago.”  Thanks to advancing technological improvements there are a wide variety of cameras including high-definition which offers clear readable images.

As experts in the security system industry, our team at Perfect Connections, Inc. understands the importance of protecting a business from criminal activity, and how surveillance equipment can play an integral part in that protection.  Our team has been providing comprehensive security systems to business facilities throughout central and northern New Jersey for the past 23 years.  Our belief is that a comprehensive security system should be customized to each individual business and should include surveillance, access control, fire and burglar alarms, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and alarm monitoring.

So how effective can a surveillance system really be?  If over half of United States employers utilize some form of surveillance in the workplace, it must be working.  Having a surveillance system isn’t always about crime prevention either, it can provide business insight that you can’t get anywhere else.  From keeping an eye on inventory to observing your employees behavior, you can get a grasp on the inner workings of your business without feeling like you have to hover.  Employees that are aware they are being recorded can actually make them more productive and enhance their performance.  Video surveillance can help prevent employee theft and outside burglary; the chances of being caught increase and generally people don’t want to take that risk if they don’t have to.  Aside from keeping an eye on your employees, video surveillance can actually help protect them and your customers by tracking suspicious visitors and behaviors.  Depending on your system, you could also have remote monitoring capabilities added.  This would allow you to access your cameras through an app on your mobile device from virtually anywhere.  Knowing you can check in on your business when you can’t be there adds a peace of mind you can’t attain from anything else.

How do you know what types of cameras and how many your business needs?  This is a question for your security system specialist.  Never fall for a provider that offers you pricing and equipment without ever having stepped foot on your facility.  To be adequately covered an initial security assessment should be performed in person by a professional.  Some basics to be conscious of are the different types of cameras and how footage is stored.  Two widely used camera types are Analog and IP (Internet Protocol).  Analog cameras require a monitor or TV to view footage which is stored in a DVR (Digital Video Recorder).  IP cameras work much like our computers do sending data over a LAN (Local Area Network).  There is a wider range of resolution options for IP cameras than there are for Analog.  Footage from IP cameras is often recorded and stored in a cloud system.  An added benefit of an IP camera is the ability to remotely access each individual camera which you can’t do with an Analog system.  With Analog you would have to log into the DVR system to access recorded footage.

While there is no fool proof system, having video surveillance as part of your comprehensive security system can help prevent catastrophic loss and assist in the aftermath of an unfortunate event.  For example, look at the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013.  The suspects were caught on surveillance cameras and the surviving suspect is now facing trial.  Without video footage police would have had to rely on eye witness accounts which aren’t always as clear.  Criminal behavior is an unfortunate reality but we can be better prepared by implementing security technologies in our daily lives.  As camera technology advances the demand for more surveillance will rise.  Especially with progressive technology like “smart” surveillance that would provide more analytical insight into human behaviors, crowd counting, and even body heat recognition.  According to a ReportsNReports analysis the size of the global market for “smart” surveillance was around $13.5 billion in 2012 and is estimated to reach $39 billion in 2020.

Most business facilities will likely not require “smart” surveillance equipment yet, but who knows what the future will bring.  With the vast array of cameras available in today’s market your security systems expert will be able to find the type that suits your business best.  At Perfect Connections Inc. our experts have been providing comprehensive business security solutions throughout northern and central New Jersey since 1992.  We are committed to customizing a system specific to your company’s needs.

If you live or run a business in Central or Northern New Jersey and would like information on any of the topics discussed above, please call 800-369-3962 or simply CLICK HERE.

Image Credit: Image by Jonathan McIntosh-Flickr-Creative Commons

Video Surveillance: Benefits & Trends

Video Surveillance-Christian SchnettelkerThe key components to a comprehensive business security system includes fire alarms, burglar alarms, access control, alarm monitoring, and last but not least video surveillance.  That’s what this post will be focusing on.  The development of video surveillance, its benefits, and where is it going in the near future.  At Perfect Connections, Inc. we provide comprehensive security systems to businesses in Northern and Central New Jersey.  Our experts understand the benefits of solid surveillance equipment, and always keep abreast the technological advancements being made in that arena.

Where did it all start?

It may not be on everyone’s mind on a daily basis, but in today’s society video surveillance is actually an integral part of our everyday lives.  From ATM machines, to traffic lights, to drones, cameras seem to be everywhere.  To understand where the concept for video surveillance came from, we have to look at the history and development of video cameras.  Traveling back in time the first movie cameras were developed in 1880 by Thomas Edison and William Dickson.  As a result the first motion picture demonstration took place in 1893.  Into the 20th century camera development continues to move swiftly with Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) in Germany used for bomb monitoring in 1942.  Charge-coupled device (CCD) technology in 1976 allowed for 24 hour surveillance because of its ability to work in low light.  Skip forward to 1996 and you have the birth of the Internet Protocol (IP) camera.  The IP cameras allow the sending and receiving of information across computer networks.

This ever-changing technology and various historic events, such as 9/11, have made video surveillance in public and private spaces ubiquitous worldwide.  As pervasive and helpful as it can be in a protective sense it remains a controversial topic for some.  The idea that government drones can stealthily record information on American citizens is a surveillance technique that does not sit well with some.  What are your thoughts?

What are the benefits of video surveillance?

By installing a surveillance system you are adding a layer of protection for your business you can’t get anywhere else.  We know you can’t be in more than one place at a time, but a surveillance system gives you eyes throughout your entire facility at all times.  This helps curb issues such as employee theft.  If employees know they’re being recorded, they’re less likely to misbehave.  An economical benefit to a security system with surveillance is potentially saving money on your insurance.  Many companies offer a discount for having a comprehensive security system (to figure out if you qualify contact your insurance provider directly).  If you own a retail business you know shoplifting is an ongoing issue.  The benefit of having recorded footage in retail is even if it doesn’t prevent the act of shoplifting, it can help catch the perpetrators.  Surveillance can help prevent workplace violence by monitoring employee/customer behavior.  Lastly, it’ll provide you with added peace of mind knowing you’re employees and business are being monitored.

Where is surveillance going?

As we’ve seen throughout history, technology has been a driving force in the development and advancement of video surveillance.  Moving forward some industry professionals believe the next drive for security cameras is making their integration and functions easier for the end users.  Some believe it’s all about upping the resolution factor.  While higher megapixels would offer better and clearer images, it seems to be slow on the uptake because of the associated cost.  Lastly, analytics is an emerging trend in surveillance systems, yet some still question it’s viability due to not only its cost but effectiveness.  Aside from analytics that can people-count there is technology in the works that can supposedly detect individual aggression.  How effective this feature can be is still up for debate among industry professionals.  As technology pushes forward, camera development and integration will no doubt continue to change; how it will change us as a society, nobody knows.

If you own a business in Central or Northern New Jersey and are in need of a security system, looking to update your current situation, or unsure of where to begin do not hesitate to call on our team of professionals at Perfect Connections, Inc..  As security systems experts, our team has been providing service since 1992.  We believe in providing comprehensive security systems that include video surveillance, access control, fire alarms, burglar alarms, and alarm monitoring. We are always keeping up with technology that is beneficial to our customers.  System maintenance and installation should be seamless, as should updates and integration.

If you live in Central or Northern New Jersey and would like information on any of the topics discussed above, please call 800-369-3962 or simply CLICK HERE.

Image Credit: Image By Christian Schnettelker-Flickr-Creative Commons


More and more people are adding surveillance cameras to their home and businesses. They have always been good for security but people are now catching on that they are a great management tool as well. Prices today are surprisingly affordable and the types of systems and features vary greatly.

First let’s talk about the two basic types of cameras available. Analog and IP. Analog cameras are the older technology and require a monitor or TV to view them and are recorded on a digital video recorder (DVR). They are also limited to the same standard resolution you see on your TV set. In order to remotely view analog cameras, your DVR would have to be connected to the internet and you would log into the DVR and see the cameras through it.  You could also see what the DVR recorded.

IP Cameras transmit their signal in the same manner that computers do and their resolution is not limited like analog cameras are. That said there are IP cameras that transmit the signal via IP but are standard resolution cameras. IP cameras go up to 10 megapixel and can give a superb High Definition picture. IP cameras do not need a recorder to be viewed. You can log into each camera directly and if you do not want recording capability, that is all you need. Taking that a step further is cloud recording. Whenever the camera detects motion in front of it, the scene is recorded in the cloud for viewing at a later time. You can also receive text messages and/or emails informing you that the camera detected motion and you can even receive via email the video clip that was recorded. For cloud recording there is a monthly charge, starting around $10 per month depending on how many cameras and how much storage space you will require.

IP cameras can also be recorded locally, on a Network Video Recorder.  This device can be reached remotely from anywhere in the world and you can watch your cameras live or see what they recorded.

Having recording capabilities on site is a plus because if your internet is down, the cameras can’t transmit to the cloud recorder. To solve this problem, many people install a network recording appliance that will record all the video from the cameras for later access while still giving you the convenience of cloud service.

All these camera types come in indoor and outdoor models. IP cameras can even come in 360, where one camera mounted on the ceiling will cover the entire room.

With video surveillance today, you can watch your home or business from anywhere in the world on your computer, smart phone, or tablet. All you need is an internet connection.

If you live in Central or Northern New Jersey and would like information on any of the topics discussed above, please call 800-369-3962 or simply click the link below.

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Can Surveillance Cameras Really Help Catch Criminals?

We have all seen the TV shows.   A crime of some kind occurs and from some office some law enforcement agency logs on to every surveillance system in the area, and they all have high quality video, and in a matter or minutes identifies the criminal that committed the act.

Well, reality is quite different. Here is what usually happens. The police look around and see if any of the buildings in the vicinity have surveillance systems.  They then contact the building owner and ask them for the footage from a specific time. They then look at the footage and determine whether the cameras saw the event. If so they have to determine if the quality is high enough to ensure an identification. Often times, it isn’t.

If the footage is decent, there are some techniques and software available to improve the quality, but no where near the scope that TV shows make you believe.  You can’t take a fuzzy image of a car and end up with a sharp picture of the license plate.

The quality of the surveillance system has a lot to do with this. Many analog systems just don’t have the lines of resolution to produce a sharp, clear picture. Over time, the camera loses focus and the overall picture quality can deteriorate.

The new IP systems, with megapixel cameras, can greatly improve this but focus is can still be an issue. It is also very important that all settings are correct, like motion detection and white balance, so you get the image you need.

Below the image on the left is analog and the image on the right is a 1.2 megapixel camera.





The difference is striking.

So the answer is yes, surveillance cameras do help catch criminals.  But, it requires a lot of legwork to get the job done. Megapixel cameras are helping to up the odds of capture.

If you live in Central or Northern New Jersey and would like information on any of the topics discussed above, or if you would like us to perform a Home Safety and Security Audit, absolutely free, please call 800-369-3962 or simply click the link below.

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