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Remote Security Camera & Surveillance DVR Questions

Chat TranscriptThe following transcript includes questions from a customer regarding how to replace an existing VHS tape CCTV recorder with a digital network recorder so that he could view his cameras remotely over the Internet.  The customer's goal was to leverage as much of his existing system as possible so he would not have to spend too much money.  He wanted to be able to access his security cameras remotely over the Internet, which his current recorder would not let him do.

Support Transcript:
Customer: Hi. I have a some questions about cctv cameras  and remote access online. Can you please help?

Sales Engineer:  Hi. I am finishing up a support phone call.  Can you please hold a minute or can I call you back?

Customer: I can hold for a sec.

Sales Engineer: OK sorry about the delay, how can I help?

Customer: Not a problem.  Actually , My friend has  a problem. He has 3 different gas stations and all are equipped with CCTV Cameras which does not have ability to watch through internet.  But he wants to watch his store from home.  Do we have anything to help him?

Sales Engineer: Does he want to replace his existing recorders?

Customer: no, he is looking for some cost effective way.  If there is some box like thing to buy and attach to the existing system.

Sales Engineer: Replacing the recorder will be about the same price.  These are his options:
  1. He can add IP video servers to his existing cameras like these:  which make his existing CCTV cameras accessible over IP as if they were IP security cameras.  Each of those Geovision video servers can make 2 cameras accessible over the internet.
  2. He can replace his existing DVR with a network surveillance DVR like this one:
Sales Engineer: Here is an existing gas station with one of our surveillance DVRs. The are screen shots taken remotely of the system over the internet using the DVR viewer software:

Customer: For example if we can buy this 8 channel DVR,does it support any brand cctv cameras?

Sales Engineer: yes as long as the cameras have BNC outputs which is industry standard for CCTV cameras.

Customer: What is this BNC output?  and how come we can know it?

Sales Engineer: do you know what type of video cable has been used for the existing system?

Customer: its co-axial cable for ne store

Sales Engineer: then it is compatible.  CCTV cameras us coax cable and BNC connectors.

Customer: another store looks like thinner co axial cable

Sales Engineer: If the ends on the coax cable are BNC, then it will be very easy to drop in replace your old recorders.  You should be able to use the existing coax cable runs.

Customer: Oh ok.  so these dvrs,  we can connect directly instead of old control box and VHS recorder right?

Sales Engineer: these can replace the existing VHS CCTV recorder. Yes

Customer: ok
Customer: If we go for a new IP CAMERA SYSTEM for 4 Indoor and 4 Outdoor with recording system, what is the best solution.  We also want  two monitors.

Sales Engineer:  Here is another idea for you.  You can install a Geovision PC based DVR.  The Geovision surveillance systems are a hybrid system that can use both CCTV / Analog cameras and IP security cameras.  So for now, you could leverage the existing CCTV cameras that you have and add IP camera from Geovision as you want to or as your old cameras go bad over time.  IP cameras are still pretty expensive and the outdoor options are somewhat more limited than CCTV cameras.  Prices will likely come down in the coming years and more options will be available.

Customer: ok

Sales Engineer: We have sold many PC based DVR systems to gas stations.  Geovision is a very popular solution.

Customer: so for our purpose, what is your final suggestion which is cost effective in servers, dvrs, or new ip system?

Sales Engineer: The least expensive is going to be a stand alone surveillance DVR. This is a very good and professional system.  If you are serious about IP cameras in the future, the PC system is the way to go because the system is a hybrid meaning it can use both types of security cameras.  does it make sense?

Customer: yeah, If we spend 1200 $ for DVRs, we need not change the existing equipment in anyway.  We can just replace the vhs recorder with new dvr and use the same cameras to watch remotely right?

Sales Engineer: correct

Customer: thats the easy way. not much set up work needed.  Does our previous software support all these?  or do we need to buy any software with this?

Sales Engineer: Both the stand alone as well as the PC based surveillance DVRs that we supply come with the remote viewing software.  You would use new software.

Customer: ok.  just i will put this dvr some area and i will connect  two monitors to my PC and position it

Sales Engineer: Yes, you can position the remote viewing software on one of your computer monitors and have the rest of your computer applications running on the other monitor as long as the graphics card in your PC supports dual monitors.

Customer: And one more thing, If I want to watch it from home, do I need to install the software at home again  or the software comes with dvr will enable browser access?

Sales Engineer: For the stand alone DVR, the software needs to be installed on any PC that will access remotely or you can also access through Internet Explorer from a website.

Customer: When we have the chance to access through a browser we need not install any software right.  Maybe from my computer or laptop or office laptop I can access it?

Sales Engineer: Internet explorer will require some active X software to be installed and prompt you to install the first time you log on.  This goes for any system that you access from a web browser which uses active x.

Customer: That I will take care.  Final Confirmation, After buying this DVR from you, we can remove  all of our systems out except the cameras?  We just need to connect the cameras to this dvr and you will give some software  where we can configure everything and watch our cameras online?

Sales Engineer: that is correct.  It will replace the existing recorders and video processors that you have.  The software is included and also available on our  website for download.

Customer: Thats cool. and software supports for all co axial cable ends, cameras.

Sales Engineer: correct. the DVR accepts the COAX connections and the DVR is networked to your internet connection.  The remote access internet instructions can be found here:

Customer: YEP
Customer: Thank you very much.

Sales Engineer:  Your very welcome.  Let is know if you have any other questions.

Customer: I have one small question: for this DVR , do we have to change the DVR tape everyday right?

Sales Engineer:  No.  The DVR has a hard drive.  The video is stored digitally (not on a tape) and can be set to automatically record over the oldest video.  There are no tapes to change.

Customer: so oldest automatically deletes right

Sales Engineer: correct

Customer: so how many days data can be stored in 8 channel?

Sales Engineer: it really depends on how the DVR is setup. For example if it will record 24 hours a day, on a schedule, or on motion activation.  Also the frame rate determines how much space is used also.  With the standard hard drive, you can get between 2 and 10 days depending on setup.

Customer: So before installing it, we cannot know how many days back up it gives to us right... If we want to see three days back video, what would be the way?

Sales Engineer: you can perform a video search by time and date or you can browse through the video using fast forward and rewind functions.  Also if you use motion detection recording, you can access by event.

Customer: cool what is the storage formula? How come we can know before buying it how many days of recording it supports.

Sales Engineer: You can download the hard drive space calculator here:

Customer: ok then i will do the research in these links now you can go ahead with other customers work thanks a lot for all the help.

Sales Engineer: Your welcome.  Let us know if you need anything else and have a good night.

Customer: You too.