What is Cloud CCTV and how does it work?

The Background

Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) is something we are all familiar with. It has been around for some time now. It is a series of video recording cameras which by capture imagery to assist in securing buildings. The concept gives owners an overview of footfall and activity, as well as helps to deter criminal activity and can be used as evidence to prosecute should that be necessary.

Despite being such a useful resource in helping with the security of business premises, CCTV has in the past, been out of reach of many organisations. It was too costly to be widely available and those that could afford it argued it was cumbersome. Recordings had to be stored on an on-site DVR, a massive and expensive piece of equipment and also a burden for multi-site enterprises as it had to be present on every site. Moreover, if the DVR reached capacity, footage would automatically be overwritten and the process for moving key footage from the DVR to another location was fiddly and had to be performed manually.

Yet again, the cloud has proven to be a major leveller and has shaken up the CCTV market. The advancements in Cloud Computing have presented us with an exciting new prospect: Cloud CCTV.

What is Cloud CCTV?

Put simply, Cloud CCTV is traditional CCTV augmented with Cloud technology.

At your site, you still use a network of cameras, you still have an area to store your video surveillance, you can still use it to monitor footfall and movement, and you can still use it to protect your building(s). The difference is, rather than requiring a complicated DVR on-site that you need to maintain, your camera footage is securely stored in a Cloud portal and can be accessed via the internet.

This is a cricual advantage. One of the biggest gripes of the ‘traditional’ legacy CCTV systems was that only the DVR could display the recordings. That meant you had to be on-site with your DVR to access your camera recordings and the footage you got was only helpful to catching the criminals after they made off with your valuable things.

With Cloud CCTV you can view a live feed of your premises remotely, meaning wherever someone is in the world, they can still keep a watchful eye on their business. Moreover, Cloud CCTV has a feature which activates when it detects movement. You will be notified should a criminal enter your building and can track their movements in real-time, giving the police a real chance of apprehending the criminal before they get away.

How does it work?

Traditional CCTV can often be very complicated so you could be forgiven for thinking that Cloud CCTV too would be an incredibly complex piece of kit to be installed in your building. Luckily, by comparison, Cloud CCTV is simple. All you need is enough IP cameras (internet-based cameras) to cover the main areas of your building(s), connect them up to your internet and purchase a subscription from Serval IT Systems – then you are set to go.

Recordings and live camera footage can be viewed in Serval’s internet portal. Alternatively, you can use a smartphone application which works on both iOS and Android devices. The feed can be viewed in real-time or you can view your recordings at a later date remotely. There is no need for a DVR as everything is hosted in the cloud. Removing that piece of equipment from setup saves you a sunk cost and also gives you more flexibility

What about the cost?

Affordability is another important element when considering Cloud CCTV. Depending on your needs, your camera hardware will differ in price – the high-definition waterproof cameras will always be costly. This being said, if your requirements are more modest, there are plenty of great options available to you. We suggest cameras from Axis, Y-Cam, or Hikvision, but there are many other choices.

Once you have your cameras, all you need is a monthly subscription to the Serval Cloud CCTV service. Pricing is dependent on the amount of time you want to store your recordings in the Cloud for. By visiting our Cloud CCTV webpage and downloading our CCTV product sheet, you will be able to learn more about pricing – but you should be happily surprised at its affordability. If your business grows and changes, you can also scale up/down monthly so you are never paying for something you do not need.

What is the next step?

If you are interested in learning a little more about Cloud CCTV, visit the Serval IT Systems Cloud CCTV page. We have a number of excellent resources to keep you updated.

The team at Serval IT Systems will be able to handle the whole process for you. We can either make recommendations on the best cameras for you to purchase or we can procure them for you. Our technicians will visit your site to conduct a survey and plan where to best place the cameras. In order to decipher whether your internet connection will cause you problems down the road, we will also perform a network assessment and install your cameras for you to ensure that they function properly.

Once your cameras are installed you will receive access to our online portal and smartphone applications – this is where you view your camera footage. You will also receive ongoing support from the Serval IT Systems Service Team who will manage any problems related to your CCTV system.

Please get in contact for more information.