Surveillance cameras are smarter than ever and will only get smarter as artificial intelligence and other technologies evolve. But the brains behind even the best cameras can’t do much thinking if the eyesight is poor. Visual ‘dead spot’ problems are not uncommon but completely solvable. Here’s what Commenco technicians typically find when businesses call us to investigate.
Basic Blind Spots
Newer surveillance cameras push the limits of wide-angle capability. They are equipped with specialized lenses to see a large area. Some even rotate to capture an even wider view. However, cameras can’t be everywhere and choices must be made about the best locations inside a business.
“In the past, where exactly to locate surveillance cameras was a judgement call, but new software helps immensely with that decision,” says Ralph Aguilar, Commenco’s Director of Commercial Services. “You have to identify all the areas of your operation that you consider priorities and the best way to set up cameras to monitor those areas. It’s not as easy as you may think and initial assessments are not always perfect, especially in complicated environments.”
Identifying blind spots can take time after a surveillance system installation. Businesses may eventually realize that important spaces remain out of view or blocked from view by obstacles in the way of the camera. Relocating or repositioning cameras will usually do the trick, but additional cameras are needed in some cases.
“We’ve had situations where cameras are used to monitor employees and the employees figure out ways to hide from them, so we have to adjust for that. Other times it’s intruders who take note of the cameras and look for other ways to get into a building without being detected. It can be tough to fully eliminate blind spots until a system gets used for a while and we can pinpoint the gaps.”
Image Quality Concerns
No one wants to spend money on a commercial surveillance system only to be disappointed by image quality. Good cameras rarely disappoint but owners can get the wrong idea from performance that hasn’t been fine-tuned for specific purposes, environments and challenges. Commenco technicians account for a range of factors before installation and rigorously test systems during deployment, but full optimization of image quality may require a return visit.
“Just like any other camera, surveillance cameras can produce low quality images if they’re not configured exactly right for changing conditions and all the jobs they’re expected to do. For example, businesses call us with concerns about camera quality because they can’t make out details on license plates in their parking lot. Then they find a quick adjustment is all that’s needed.”
Some image quality ‘dead spots’ are a little more complex, but Aguilar says Commenco draws on powerful technology tools to bring solutions into focus. “We’ve had customers point their cameras toward areas that are both indoors and outdoors. Bright sunshine outdoors tends to turn indoor areas within the same picture completely dark. We have software that can balance that out and give a good view of both areas.”
In addition to resolution and lighting enhancements, advanced surveillance camera functions like heat and motion sensing can also benefit from more fine-turning after real-world conditions put a new system to the test.
Think you can save money by just stringing together a commercial surveillance system yourself? Beware. We see bad results over and over again. Problems begin materializing even before the cameras are turned on. Intuition about where to locate cameras turns out to be misguided and key areas of a property are overlooked, or incorrectly configured cameras fail to accurately detect faces, activities and other valuable information.
“There’s much more involved than hanging cameras and pushing a power button,” explains Aguilar. “Everything from where you put them and how you position them to how you calibrate settings is part of the calculation. All the pieces have to fit together to ensure visual clarity and optimize a system for peak performance. It’s really hard to even attempt if you don’t have experience.”
Opting for a consumer-level surveillance system right off the shelf or online is another shortcut to wasting time and money. Aguilar says there’s a strong chance you’ll end up having to call for professional help when you realize the system can’t deliver sufficient visual clarity, the basic image processing features you need, or expansion flexibility as your business grows.
“Plus, you’ll miss out on all the smart capabilities and that’s really the whole point anymore. Commercial surveillance cameras can do so much more to secure your business and help you do business better. Consumer systems don’t even come close.”
An Experienced Pro Keeps You in the Clear
Commenco technicians are not simply experts in how the technology works. We excel at making sure it solves specific problems and delivers the results you need. A surveillance system is an investment and we’re focused on helping you get the most for your money with every camera.
Blind spots and other ‘dead spots’ that hinder a system’s potential require experience and expertise to uncover and eliminate. We’re committed to working closely with our customers to give systems all the attention they need to get the job done both today and tomorrow.