Understanding CCTV Storage And Footage

Closed Circuit Television Surveillance 

Technology has seen the rise of surveillance technology over the years. Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) is commonly used for video surveillance. Lately, they come with both audio and video components to it. CCTV is mostly used for security purposes and is monitored for private use.

Therefore, CCTV footage are not for public consumption but private security monitoring. Initially, surveillance data were not stored digitally, and therefore, not much thought was put into investing in large storage facilities.

With the audio and video data in digital format, it then calls for proper investment in the storage of the data. Technology is also growing to more High Definition (HD) quality of pictures. With every increase in the picture data, one needs to invest in proper storage facilities for their data. 

How long can I keep a CCTV footage?

The length of time that one can record a CCTV footage is dependent on some features in the camera itself. This means that you need to be sure of some variables when choosing a CCTV camera and its specifics. The first thing you need to check is the camera resolution. The general rule of thumb is that the higher the resolution of the camera, the shorter the time it will record.

This is because, with every additional pixel, the recording needs more storage than one with a lower resolution. A higher bit rate will also result in lower recording time. 

The number of cameras used for surveillance needs more storage space thus significantly reduce the recording time. A feature like video compression can help in increasing the recording time since it reduces the magnitude of the original video this requiring less storage. You also need to check the storage space available.

A larger storage space gives room for longer recording time for your CCTV footage thus increasing the security of your surveillance systems. 

What to check for when choosing CCTV surveillance systems

As much as your choice of a CCTV camera may be dependent on the recording time, it would be a futile attempt if the camera does not capture the data that is important for surveillance purposes. You, therefore, need to consider further details in the camera system to ensure that they capture the data that will be helpful when playing back the videos.

It is important to ensure that your cameras capture the details in the videos. It would be counterproductive when you do playback your videos and all you can see are blurred figures of people and cars in the footage.

It is said that for you to be able to see clear details in your recordings, you need at least 2 Mega Pixels (MP). A Higher Definition (HD) camera will give better picture quality that will increase the clarity of your footage. You can choose to go for 4 -8 MP cameras as a way of getting better quality data.

Some full HD cameras with higher definitions also come with extra features like zoom that would help you to zoom in of objects that are far which in turn improves your footage. Footage with clear details come in handy when there is a criminal investigation that will require the footage. 

It is also important to ensure that there is no loss of video footage of your CCTV surveillance camera. It would be very traumatic is there is a break-in at your premises, only to check the CCTV footage and find that the videos were lost.

You can curb this by ensuring your camera settings are properly done especially for motion detection. You would want the camera to record in good time which means that you need to properly set it not to have delays in its recordings. 

The type of storage used in data storage also determines the availability of data when it is needed. Some of the types of storage are: 

Short-term storage

This type of storage, as the name indicates, the storage drives store data for a short period. This period can be like 2 weeks or 14 days. This type of storage is also known as short-term storage retention. The storage space is usually recycled with new data overwritten on top of the existing data. This means that the recordings of footage can only be retrieved for data recorded within the 14 days. This then means that data that is older than that period will not be available for retrieval or usage since it will have been discarded and new data recorded in its place. 

The system operators need to know the storage capacity of the drives so that information that is needed can be properly stored for use at a later stage. The period of data retention can be extended simply by adding more drives at the installation stage. The number of drives added can extend the retention period to about 6 -12 months.

This may have its disadvantages of extra space needed and the extra cost that will be incurred at the installation but it is well worth the incurred costs since data will be retained for longer periods and surveillance processes improved. It is also good

Long-term storage

This refers to the storage of information for an indefinite period. This can be done by backing up data that was in the short-term storage to another media without allowing it to be overwritten, recycled, or erased. This preserves the data for a longer time and is normally known as archived storage. 

Long-term storage is not indefinite since the data may no longer be readable since the media will be losing its properties with time. The inability to read data after a long period may be attributed to technological advancement.

Technology that had been designed to read certain types of data may become obsolete for example the use of floppy disks that have since been phased out by technological advancement and yet they were the ones that were used to back up data.

Therefore, the length of time the data will be available will be dependent on the length of time the technology will be in existence. You can find a comparison of Ring Versus Simplisafe CCTV cameras here.