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Clear savings when it really matters

Counting the total ownership costs of your video security solution

Optimising use of resources is a priority for every organisation. And with plenty of video security suppliers to choose between, you may be tempted to pick lower-priced cameras with specifications that seem to fit your needs. But you could find that specifying a cheaper camera brand actually costs you significantly more in the long run. So what are the business benefits of choosing a higher quality camera?

Budget models are naturally designed and built to meet a price-point. But that can inevitably mean compromises are made in the key areas of quality, optical performance, signal processing or after sales support and warranty. Make sure you specify a manufacturer whose products score highly in all these areas. Even a camera that claims to be ‘Full HD’ will offer inferior real-world performance if it’s compromised by low quality optics and poor image processing. You’ll really see the difference with a premium camera, whose superior performance will help identify people, objects and suspicious activity with greater clarity, even in dim lighting or tricky conditions like the sun-drenched entrance to a dark underground carpark. So you’ll get more consistently reliable results in a wide range of operational environments – and that could make all the difference when it really matters.

Of course one of the most important trends in the security industry is 4K, where higher resolution is transforming a wide range of video surveillance and monitoring applications. Delivering four times the resolution of Full HD, 4K means lots more detail. And that’s a huge advantage when you need to see clearly what’s happening. A single 4K camera can accurately cover a far larger area than HD or Standard Definition – so you’ll need to invest in fewer cameras to survey a shopping mall, station concourse or busy road crossing.

And that’s only part of the picture. Today’s 4K cameras include powerful intelligent bandwidth management features to optimise load on corporate networks. This focuses the camera’s attention on key areas of interest in a scene, maximising image quality where it matters – like a doorway – while cutting data requirements where there’s little going on. Similarly, just one camera can provide a wide-area overview plus up to four cropped close-ups, like exit lanes at a busy motorway junction.

The larger image sensor in today’s best 4K cameras also sets a new benchmark for sensitivity. Specialist models use a bigger photosensitive chip that grabs more light, allowing the camera to capture crisp colour images in near-total darkness. And that means you can afford to spend less on expensive lighting in warehouses, industrial areas and public spaces providing cost effective, safe environments.

But let’s go back for a moment. The right camera will start saving you money before it’s even switched on. Look out for models that permit quick, easy installation, with clear instructions and simple set-up menus to get you in business faster. Motorised zoom and autofocus can shrink labour costs, helping you train each camera accurately on its intended viewpoint. Furthermore, smart functions like automatic scene recognition can optimise exposure to suit any situation with less manual fiddling. Remote configuration is another big time saver, simplifying the set-up and administration of hundreds of cameras and reducing the need to travel to site.

The true ownership costs of any security camera typically take into account around 10 years of operation before it’s replaced. During that time, maintenance bills can easily outstrip upfront capital costs of the unit itself. Less reliable cameras inevitably mean larger servicing and replacement bills. And if that camera’s situated in a hard-to-reach place – like a bridge or a pole above a motorway – you could be in for even bigger costs, from deploying expensive access cranes to shutting down highways. Also watch out for “advanced exchange” policies of your supplier, where you get a spare part before you send back the defect one – to avoid that you have to climb up the ladder twice.

A reliable camera will afford you significant savings in the long term, thanks to fewer hardware failures and expensive call-out trips to fix a problem. Additionally, the indirect expense of faulty or non-functioning security cameras can be just as painful. Theft and shoplifting from retail stores amounts to hundreds of millions of Euros annually. Can you afford not to have your premises covered at all times?

You’ll find a full analysis of lifetime ownership costs – and the benefits of Sony’s high-performance video security cameras – in our ‘Clear Savings’ whitepaper.

Download it here.