Best Features to look for in a Video Surveillance System - i3 International
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Best Features to look for in a Video Surveillance System

Video surveillance systems are a great way to keep an eye on your business and ensure everything runs smoothly. With technological advances, these systems offer businesses many features, such as better decision-making power or even more security against potential intruders! Read further to learn about features you should not miss when buying a new video system for your business.

As technology advances, video surveillance systems for businesses are becoming more and more sophisticated. While this is good news for organizations that want to:

  • review video
  • prevent/deter theft
  • analyze business operations
  • track speed-of-service

Or are just generally unsure of the full capabilities of modern video surveillance, it can be tricky to know which features to look for when upgrading or installing a new system.

Before diving into the latest features that the video technology industry offers, we need to understand the basis of these cameras.

I.P. Cameras VS Analog Cameras

When it comes to commercial surveillance, there are two main types of CCTV cameras: I.P. cameras and analog cameras. Both have pros and cons, but which is the best fit for your business?

i3 ip cameras and analog cameras

I.P. Cameras

I.P. cameras, or Internet Protocol cameras, are one of the latest innovations in the world of surveillance. Unlike analog cameras, I.P. cameras send and receive data over a network, which means they can be placed in an area with access to the web. I.P. cameras offer several other advantages, including high-definition video, two-way audio, and remote viewing.

As a result, they are increasingly being used in various settings, from homes and businesses to public spaces. With their many benefits, it's no wonder that I.P. cameras are becoming the go-to choice for security and monitoring.

Analog CCTV cameras

Analog CCTV cameras are the traditional type of camera used in commercial surveillance. They work by sending footage to a DVR (Digital Video Recorder), which then records it. Analog cameras tend to be less expensive than I.P. cameras, but one significant drawback is their lower resolutions.

Additionally, since the footage from an analog camera needs to be recorded on a DVR, you'll need to have enough storage space to save the footage locally. If you don't have enough storage space, you'll need to delete the old footage to make room for new footage, which means you might not be able to go back and review older footage if you need to.

There is no clear winner when choosing between I.P. Cameras and Analog Cameras. It depends on your specific needs and your budget. Suppose you're looking for higher resolution footage or the ability to easily view footage from anywhere. In that case, I.P. Cameras may be your best choice. Analog CCTV Cameras might be a better choice for you if you have existing infrastructure and are looking for a more affordable option.

DVRs and NVRs: What works and when?

To keep it simple, NVR, or network video recording, is the future. DVR, or Digital Video Recorder, is of the past, with the significant difference being the resolution. DVR provides a very basic or standard video resolution of 720 X 480 pixels, which is not something you want to spend time looking at unless you enjoy migraines. While on the other hand, NVRs record in high definition of 1920 X 1080 pixels resulting in something similar to the youtube video you watch daily.

Now that we've established an understanding of I.P. Cameras vs. Analog Cameras and DVRs vs. NVRs let's look at what features you should look for in a surveillance system when shopping for your business.

Learn how i3's Video surveillance systems can help to grow and secure your business

Reduce Capex

As a business owner, you're always looking for ways to reduce expenses and improve your bottom line. One area where you can make a significant impact is your choice of video solutions. Traditionally achieving your surveillance needs would result in hefty up-front capital expenditure. Still, there's a more beneficial and cost-effective way. A subscription-based managed services approach provides a host of benefits not present in the traditional model, some of which are:

Saving on Up-Front Costs: 

When you subscribe to a monthly video solutions service, you eliminate the need for a significant up-front investment and replace it with a predictable operational expense. This will put less pressure on your cash flow, giving you more budget flexibility for other essential business expenses.

Getting the Latest and Greatest Technology: 

With a monthly subscription, you'll always have access to the latest and greatest CCTV technology. This means you'll be able to take advantage of new features and capabilities as they become available without having to pay for a new system every time new technology becomes available.

Having Peace of Mind: 

Knowing that your security system is being monitored by professionals 24X7 can give you peace of mind and allow resources to be used on other aspects of the business. With a managed monthly service, you can rest assured that there is always an eye on things.

Remote Viewing

One of the essential features of a video surveillance system is remote viewing. This means you should be able to securely access your cameras from anywhere in the world using a laptop, smartphone, or tablet.

remote viewing

Here are some of the benefits of having Remote Viewing access:

  • You can keep an eye on your business even when you're not there: Suppose you have a video system with remote viewing. In that case, you can check in on your business locations from one centralized portal. This is especially useful if you have multiple premises and frequently travel but still want to check in on your site. All you need is an internet connection, and you can log in to your CCTV system from anywhere in the world.
  • You can respond quickly to incidents: If something happens at your premises when you're not there, you can access your system, assess the situation, and take appropriate action remotely & quickly.
  • You can deter criminals: The mere knowledge that your premises are being monitored remotely can be enough to deter criminals. If they know, they might be caught on camera. They are less likely to try to break in or commit other crimes. This is especially effective if you publicize that you're using remote viewing to protect your business.


A lot has changed since the days of the old closed-circuit television (CCTV) systems. Modern video surveillance systems are much more sophisticated and offer a variety of features that make them more effective at deterring crime and catching criminals.

Here are four reasons why scalability is essential.

  • More cameras can be added per your security needs: One of the main advantages of a scalable video surveillance system is that it can grow with your needs. As your business expands, you can add additional cameras to your system without replacing everything. The more cameras you have, the more likely someone will be caught on camera if they commit a crime.
  • Easier to manage: A scalable video surveillance system is also more accessible because all cameras are connected to a central system. This makes it easy to view live footage from all cameras and review recordings.
  • Lower costs: Adding additional cameras to a scalable video surveillance system is typically less expensive than buying an entirely new system. This is because you only need to purchase the extra cameras and any necessary equipment, such as wiring and mounts.
  • Easy to install: Scalable video surveillance systems are easier to install than traditional CCTV systems because they use I.P. cameras that can be connected directly to your network. This eliminates the need for complicated wiring installations.

Artificial Intelligence

The security industry is no stranger to artificial intelligence (A.I.). In fact, A.I. has been a part of the security industry for quite some time. But only recently has A.I. truly transformed security surveillance and monitoring as we know it. Here is a look at how smart video is changing the game.

Ai-enabled Security Systems

Faster Response Times

One of the most critical ways A.I. is transforming the security industry is by helping us respond to incidents more quickly. Having Ai and object detection integrated into your video surveillance is like having someone constantly reviewing your footage for any potentially high-risk activity.

Ai has progressed further into the future with predictive analytics, using machine learning and computer vision. This technology can now predict the likelihood or possibility of harmful events before they happen.

For example, let's say a suspicious person is loitering outside your building late at night. A traditional security system would generally notify you after the person had already entered your premises. But with an AI-enabled system, you can be alerted as soon as the person enters a particular area or if they are lingering longer than you think is necessary.

Ai is flexible, allowing you to proactively take action and customize your security system. Since A.I. can track and analyze patterns, it can also help us predict future incidents and help us take steps to prevent them from happening.

Improved Accuracy

Another way that A.I. is transforming the security industry is by improving accuracy. With traditional security systems, false alarms are all too common.

This wastes law enforcement resources and desensitizes people to real alarms, which may lead to a lack of reaction to actual security incidents. With the use of A.I., false alarms are becoming a thing of the past.

That's because AI-enabled security systems go beyond motion detection and can differentiate a cat from a human. Identifying objects and not relying on pixel change significantly reduces false notifications.

Reduced Costs

Perhaps one of the most transformative ways that A.I. is changing the security industry is by reducing costs. Thanks to technological advances, AI-enabled security systems are becoming more and more affordable for businesses of all sizes. And because these systems are so effective at deterring crime, they often pay for themselves within just a few months of installation.

These cost savings come in various ways, including internal theft from employees, reduced staffed security, reduced labor hours on investigation times, and even saving on operational activities by improving efficiencies.

Cloud Storage

Have you ever lost something important? Maybe it was your phone, wallet, or keys. Regardless of what it was, losing something can be really frustrating.

Now imagine losing footage of a break-in at your business. It is frustrating and could prove extremely costly if you need that footage for insurance or law enforcement purposes. This is one of the many situations where cloud storage can help.

Cloud storage is a service that allows you to save data to a secure remote server instead of or alongside your local hard drive. This has several advantages over traditional storage methods.

First, there is typically no limit to the amount of storage you can have or the amount of time it is stored for. The storage limit can be customized to the users' requirements.

Second, it's more reliable since the data isn't subject to the same physical risks as local storage (e.g., fire, flood, etc.).

Third, it's more convenient since you can access your data anywhere with an internet connection. Finally, it's more scalable since you can easily add or remove storage.

For these reasons, cloud storage has become increasingly popular in recent years. In fact, it's now considered an essential component of most video surveillance systems.

Video Analytics

Here's a look at how video analytics can benefit your business

Like many business owners, you understand the importance of security. After all, keeping your employees, your customers, and your property safe is paramount.

But what you may not realize is that video security systems are no longer limited to just surveillance. With the advent of video analytics, you can use video not only as a security tool but as an operational tool. Here's a look at how video analytics can benefit your business.

Heat Mapping

One of the most popular applications of video analytics is heat mapping. This technology allows you to identify high-traffic areas of your store.

heatmap and region count

This information can be used for various purposes, such as improving customer service or reducing shrinkage.

For example, suppose you see customers spending more time in one area than another. In that case, you can move employees to that area to provide better service. Or you can take the data from your store's heat map and use it for effective product placement.

People Counting

People counting is another popular application of video analytics. This technology allows you to track the number of people who enter and exit your business. This information can be used for various purposes, such as marketing or capacity planning.

For example, suppose you see customer traffic increasing on certain days or during certain times. In that case, you can adjust your staffing levels accordingly. Or you can use the data to learn more about your customers or use this information for optimizing labor.

Till Manipulation

Till manipulation is fraud when an employee voids a transaction or gives themselves a false discount. This can be a costly problem for businesses, but it can be effectively addressed with video analytics.

Video analytics can monitor transactions at tills and flag any suspicious activity. This information can then investigate the incident and take appropriate action.

Video analytics is a powerful tool that can be used for various purposes. By understanding the benefits of this technology, you can take your business to the next level.

In short, your CCTV acts as a data collection point, using which you can optimize your day-to-day operations and use that data to become more effective and efficient.


Last but not least, you'll need to find a video surveillance system that fits within your budget. There are plenty of high-quality, affordable options on the market—you need to do your research to find them. Don't be afraid to shop around and compare prices until you find a system that meets all of your needs without breaking the bank.

Protecting your business should be one of your top priorities. Investing in a high-quality video surveillance system is one of the best ways. Keep an eye out for these must-have features when shopping for a system. With so many options in the market, it's essential to research and find a system that meets all your needs.

Want to learn more? Contact us today

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