Magazine Article | January 22, 2008

Five Reasons For Network Video

Source: Innovative Retail Technologies

 IP (Internet Protocol) surveillance reduces shrink, enhances security, guarantees ROI.

Integrated Solutions For Retailers, February 2008

Network video surveillance is the smartest and most cost-effective solution that tackles many of the issues facing retailers, including monitoring dishonest employees, having the capability to automatically detect and alert staff to potential thefts, and/or having clear images that help prosecute wrongdoers. Here are five of the top reasons why IP is the answer:
1.  Network video is cheaper.
Contrary to popular belief, the TCO (total cost of ownership) for a network video system is always lower than analog video systems.  Reasons include:
n lower installation costs — only one network cable using PoE (Power over Ethernet) is needed rather than using coax and power. There is no need for a separate DC power infrastructure. If a network infrastructure already exists, then the savings are even greater.
n commercial off-the-shelf hardware like servers can get volume discounts, since IT departments buy those for the corporation
n lower service and maintenance costs — network systems are easier to manage and maintain, since they are based on open standards and have standard IT components.
2.  Network video cameras have superior image quality.
Network video cameras have significantly better image quality than analog cameras.  Analog cameras are only capable of video resolutions equivalent to 0.4 megapixels, whereas network cameras can deliver up to 16 times greater resolution.  Network cameras incorporate intelligence that further improves image quality — examples are antijitter and backlight compensation. Superior image quality is essential in identification of individuals for apprehending suspects and presenting evidence.
3. Network video is easy to integrate with other store systems.
Network video systems are easy to integrate into other store systems such as POS and EAS (electronic article surveillance). Video can be integrated with the POS system, making it possible to attach video clips to suspicious transactions; this makes it easier to detect POS theft. The higher video quality from network video systems also makes it easier to detect sweet-hearting. 
4. Network video is suited to remote monitoring and management.
Network video systems can be easily accessed over the network, making it possible to:
n access information easily on the network — for instance, video clips of exceptional POS transactions could be effortlessly sent to HQ for review
n log in to store systems to retrieve video of incidents
n do remote video verification of alarms
n manage store systems remotely — e.g., do software upgrades.
5. Network video is scalable.
Network video systems are much more scalable than analog systems, both in terms of numbers of cameras within the stores and adding systems as the number of stores increases. For example, within a store with a traditional 16-input DVR system, adding a 17th camera means you have to buy another DVR. With network video systems, you just add another camera to the network. Also, storage and server components can be added incrementally as the system scales. 
Network video systems are 'future-proof.' Since network systems are based on open standards, retailers have flexibility in their choice of system components. In other words, it is easy to upgrade a particular part of the system — e.g. cameras or software — without changing the entire system.
With advanced features, scalability, flexibility, and reliability, IP surveillance is well poised to help recoup the billions of dollars stolen from retailers annually. Network video offers the greatest return on investment and goes well beyond loss prevention to protect employees and customers, boost company productivity, and optimize store layouts. For these reasons, IP surveillance is the right choice for retailers.