What is Cloud CCTV and how does it work?

The Background

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

Despite being such a useful resource for organisations of all sizes and industries, CCTV has historically been out of reach of many. It was too expensive to be readily available and those that could afford it complained it was cumbersome. Recordings for CCTV would have to be saved to an on-site DVR, a large and expensive piece of hardware that has to be present on every site – a burden for multi-site businesses. Moreover, when a DVR reaches capacity, footage can get automatically overwritten. This isn’t helped by the fact that the process for moving key footage off a DVR to another location is fiddly and has to be done manually.

As has occurred so many times in the past, the cloud has proven to be a major leveller and has shaken the CCTV market up. The advances in cloud computing gave us 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 are still using a network of cameras, you still have an area to store your footage, you can still use it to track footfall and activity, and you can still use it to keep your building(s) secure. However, the camera recordings are stored safely in a cloud server and can be accessed via the internet rather than having a complex DVR on site that needs to be maintained.

That is a major advantage. One of the key issues surrounding ‘traditional’ legacy CCTV systems was that it was only possible to access the recordings from the DVR. That meant you had to be on-site with your DVR to access your cameras and the footage you got was only really useful to catch criminals after they made off with your precious things. You can access live feed from your premises from anywhere in the world with Cloud CCTV – meaning a business owner can keep a watchful eye on their premises whenever they want to. Moreover, Cloud CCTV can be set to activate when it detects movement and will send you a notification of that. If a criminal enters your building(s), you will be alerted and can monitor their movements in real time, giving the police a real chance to arrest the criminal before they make off with your valuable items.

How does it work?

You could be forgiven for assuming that Cloud CCTV is an extremely complex piece of kit to have installed in your workplace. Often legacy CCTV could be very complicated. Fortunately, by comparison, Cloud CCTV is far simpler. All that is required is enough IP cameras (internet-based cameras) to cover the key areas of your building(s), connect them up to your broadband connection and purchase a subscription from Serval IT Systems and you are ready to go.

Your recordings and live camera feed can be viewed in the Serval IT Systems internet portal or alternatively, you can use a smartphone application which works on iOS and Android devices. You can access the feed in real time, or view your footage/recordings remotely. There is no need for a DVR as it is all hosted in the cloud. Removing that piece of equipment from your set saves a sunk cost and allows you greater flexibility.

Smartphone CCTV

What about the cost?

Another important element when considering Cloud CCTV is its affordability. Camera hardware tends to range in price based on your needs. For instance, a high-definition waterproof camera will always be expensive. However, if your needs are more modest there are many great options available to you. We recommend cameras from Axis, Y-Cam, or Hikvision, but there are many options to choose from.

Once you have your cameras, all you need is a monthly subscription to the Serval IT Systems Cloud CCTV service. Pricing depends on how long you intend to keep your records stored in the cloud for. To learn more about the pricing of Cloud CCTV, visit our Cloud CCTV web page and download our CCTV product sheet – but you will be happily surprised at its affordability. As your company grows and changes, you can also scale up/down monthly, meaning you never have to pay for anything you do not need. never paying for anything you don’t 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 insightful resources to keep you informed.

The team at Serval IT Systems will handle the whole process for you. We can either make a recommendation of cameras for you to purchase or we can procure them for you. Our experienced engineers will visit your site to conduct a survey and can then plan where to best place the cameras. A network assessment will also be undertaken to decipher if your internet connection will cause you any issues down the line. We will then be able to install your cameras for you and ensure they are working correctly.

Once your cameras are installed and ready to go, you will receive access to our online portal and smartphone applications where you can view your camera feed. You will also receive ongoing support from the Serval IT Systems Service Team who will manage any issues related to your CCTV system.

If you would like to learn more, visit our Cloud CCTV webpage.