Surveillance Infographic

What is an IP Surveillance System?


A reliable video surveillance system is important for any business. Protecting your assets helps protect your profits. Video surveillance goes by many names, including but not limited to, CCTV, security cameras, network video, video management systems and IP surveillance system.

Video surveillance goes beyond fixed security cameras. New technology allows your system to perform as miniature computers. Some of the new features include motion sensors, mobile notifications and automatically contacting law enforcement. Managing and storing recordings have become more efficient, allowing business owners easy access to past videos.

Small business owners can now procure powerful video management systems at an affordable price. On average, business systems costs start at $1500. Prices vary depending on the type of system, number of cameras based on building size and other custom features.

Once you’ve made the decision to buy and implement a new video surveillance system for your business, most vendors can accommodate tailoring your system to fit your business needs. For example, if you need to cover multiple buildings or just a couple of cameras, there’s solution fit for you


An IP surveillance system can deter criminals and also assist law enforcement in catching any potential thieves quickly. It can also keep your employees accountable and help monitor their productivity, thus positively affecting your bottom line and reducing liability.

IP vs. Analog Cameras:

The two typical camera types that can be wired into a network video system are internet protocol (IP) and traditional analog cameras. IP cameras tend to be more expensive than analog cameras, but they have many features that analog does not.

Here is a comparison of features of the two camera types.

Remote Monitoring:

IP cameras allow users to view live network camera feeds in real-time. This can be viewed from any computer or mobile device with Internet access.


IP cameras traditionally shoot footage of 1MP- 5MP (megapixels). This offers clearer image quality when compared to the grainy footage from an analog camera, which offer one-half of a megapixel. IP cameras also offer a larger field of vision than that of an analog camera.

Video Analytics:

Video Analytics, only offered in IP cameras, allow mobile notifications and automatic recording when triggered by motion within it’s field of vision. This helps protect your property outside of business hours against intruders in or around your building. This system offers the user the ability to configure the system to flag and send notification directly to your mobile device and additionally record the event. Some systems can also contact local law enforcement with one-touch.

Network Video Recorders:

IP cameras are compatible with network video recorders (NVRs). Analog cameras use the older digital video recorders (DVRs). NVRs provide higher quality and allow for ease in system scale up than DVRs.

PoE Switches:

IP cameras have the ability to connect over a power-over-Ethernet (PoE) switch. This sends data from the camera and keeps it powered. PoE switches are traditionally more secure in the transmission of data.

Analog cameras require a switch to run the signal from the camera and a separate power source. This requires more wiring and complex installation.


Although IP cameras are typically more expensive than their analog counterpart, their wider field of vision allows for fewer cameras required. Therefore, reducing the overall cost of your full video surveillance system.

Analog vs. Network Video Recorders

A central video recorder is required in all systems, to transmit and for archival of the footage.

We’ve seen the evolution from VCR to DVRs and now NVRs are the latest step in the evolution of recording technology.

Software is a key component of any surveillance system. The software provides the tools for recording, monitoring and analyzing video footage. A standard web browser allows for remote viewing, but video management software is required for viewing and managing advanced features.

Basic NVR software provides live viewing, recording, and retrieving of video footage. More advanced NVR software platforms offer simultaneous viewing of multiple cameras, and multiple recording modes (continuous, scheduled, and triggered). Other features may include the ability to handle high frame rates, fast search capabilities, pan-tilt-zoom control, audio support, and remote access. Some software programs also support intelligent surveillance including facial recognition and advanced motion detection.

Here is the comparison between NVRs and DVRs.


While DVR’s offer D1 resolution, NVRs can record in 1080p or high definition.

D1 resolution is the traditional video quality commonly used in closed-circuit television (CCTV) systems with standard resolution of 720 x 480 pixels.

1080p is a significant improvement as it’s resolution is 1920 x 1080 pixels, therefore, resulting in a clearer image.

Camera Connections

Analog cameras require connection directly to the DVR. To scale up your system by adding more cameras, could require not only additional cables, but an entirely new DVR to accommodate additional cabling. Proximity to the recorder can also be an issue as video quality begins to degrade the further the camera is from the recorder.

The NVR directly connects to a network, so many of these issues are eliminated. IP cameras which are connected to the same network are able to transmit footage to the NVR directly. Scaling up your NVR system is easy, the system can accept a new camera once it’s added to the network. There is no need to upgrade the NVR, but you may need to add an additional PoE switch.

Hybrid Video Recorders (HVR)

HVR are video surveillance systems that run both IP and analog cameras. The versatility of these systems is desirable. If you’re upgrading an old system and don’t want to do away with all of your old analog cameras, for example, an HVR can help you make the transition and prepare for a fully IP system in the future.

What to Look for When Choosing a Video Surveillance System

Your Cameras


This is probably the most important consideration in choosing your system. You will want a camera that can shoot at least 720p high definition, which would mean you’ll want an IP camera. Although higher in price, you don’t want to be budget conscience when choosing your cameras.

Frame rate:

The higher the frame rate, the smoother the video. The lower the frame rate, the choppier the footage. “Real time” is usually 30 frames per second (fps).


There are several types of security cameras on the market. Careful consideration should be taken based on your security requirements.

  • Bullet cameras are the rectangular or round boxes that are commonly seen mounted on a wall.
  • Dome cameras are usually attached to a ceiling and housed in a tinted cover.
  • Built-in Infrared (IR) gives you clear images in low light or darkness.
  • Thermal imaging cameras detects people, vehicles and objects regardless of light conditions or attempts at camouflage.
  • Vandal resistant cameras guard against tampering or destruction.


Some security cameras are made specifically for the indoors so if you plan to use cameras outside, make sure you purchase weatherproof models. Water or dirt could interfere with the quality of your video feeds or, worse, break your camera. Some security cameras are minimally resistant to weather, while others are completely weatherproof. Be sure to determine what level of protection from natural conditions your security camera needs.


Audio recording is an option depending on the camera and the manufacturer.

Some cameras can record audio and store it. Some even enable two-way audio, so a person watching the camera can communicate with a subject in the camera’s field of vision.

Video Recorder

Storage capacity:

When choosing a video recorder, the first question you must ask yourself is how much storage you will need.

  • This will depend on a couple of factors including, the number of cameras in your system, resolution, the amount of archived footage you need to store and how long you require to keep it.
  • Many cameras shooting in high resolution will require a large amount of storage space. You have the capability to overwrite the oldest footage, but you want to make sure you’re running a large enough system so as not to overwrite archived footage that you still need.
  • If you find yourself in the position of requiring the planning of or scaling up your existing system, call your netRelevance professional for assistance.

Cloud storage:

  • Recorded video can be stored in the cloud as well as on your video recorder. The advantage of cloud storage includes higher storage capability as well as remote access to your recordings. Uploads to the cloud can be scheduled outside of business hours to avoid eating up all your bandwidth and slowing down your network.
  • Keep in mind that many cloud services charge a subscription fee. Although there is a possibility of additional costs, in the case that your hardware is damaged, stolen or tampered with, you’ll maintain access to your video archives in the cloud. Always ensure that the company has proper cybersecurity measures in place to protect your data.

We are proud to partner with Axis and Milestone Systems for video surveillance systems, contact a netRelevance professional for assistance in design, pricing and installation.