How to stop the No.1 reason for wasted callouts when NVRs and CCTV are reported as not functioning

The Murphy’s Law of CCTV & NVR installation
For a CCTV and video surveillance systems installer, nothing is worse than a customer having an incident, thinking they have everything on camera via the NVR which you supplied as a core part of their system, only to find out the NVR had a problem during that time and the total footage captured was a big round ZERO!

Many unexpected problems can occur in a NVR, however we would like to set out the claim that ironically the biggest failures are caused due to moving parts!

You may be thinking the only moving parts in NVRs are hard disk drives (HDD) which are prone to failures, but that can be mitigated by setting up a redundant array configuration (RAID). OK yes perhaps, but bear with us for a moment longer

Power fits into our analogy as another moving part in the form of electrons which can be protected within the NVR if it is a larger system that is fitted with a redundant N+1 PSU configuration, or of courseexternally through use of an uninterruptable power supply (UPS).

The next element within our ‘moving part’ abstraction here is the network connection. Loose or broken network cables account for a large majority of network failures and although they cannot be rectified remotely, they can in some instances be mitigated by Automatic Network Replenishment (ANR) Technology. Surveillance systems with ANR automatically store video data on an IP camera SD card when the network has failed. After recovery of the network, the NVR automatically retrieves and records the video data stored on the camera. Of course, network configuration is also a frequent problem… which leads us nicely to our final moving part

This is not only the largest moving part in the equation, but the hardest one to avoid and mitigate… HUMAN ERROR!

There are so many configuration options within an NVR that can bring video surveillance to its knees, that when combined with eager and uninformed users can become an installers nightmare
 

The good news is that this can now be easily avoided using the NVR configuration tracking feature of CameraMate within any Dahua NVR surveillance environment

CameraMate will poll the NVR at a frequency which can be configured to meet your requirements and take a snapshot of the entire NVR configuration. Any configuration changes made between each snapshot are reported so that an installer can clearly see if any changes have been made which may have caused video capture to have failed or become degraded

Camera settings – an area for capture failure which can also kill your Dahua IVS features!

Camera settings are a key area where users often attempt to make changes to ‘improve’ video capture, especially within installations that have personnel performing live stream monitoring. Certainly, the colour saturation, brightness or contrast of a particular camera feed may need adjustment, but the camera configuration section provides access to configuration parameters which can have an adverse impact on Intelligent Video Surveillance (IVS) features
Dahua SmartCodec and IVS – two Mutually Exclusive settings you need to look out for

IVS features are powerful AI driven features that provide ingenious new ways to monitor, detect and protect the surveillance environment. Check out the panel below for a recap on some of the IVS features available today with Dahua NVR and CCTV systems. However, there is a feature in the camera configuration section called SmartCodec which for many Dahua systems is a mutually exclusive setting that cannot be used at the same time as IVS features. SmartCodec can be enabled in the ‘Encode’ section of the ‘Camera’ configuration menu of the Dahua user interface, therefore, a user who is looking at the camera resolution, compression and frame rate settings may decide that enabling SmartCodec is a good idea, which could then exclude vital IVS features from working with potentially dire consequences. We are aware of an installation which was using a thermal imaging camera to monitor the temperature of a refuse pile. When the thermal camera was inadvertently disabled the pile caught fire causing extensive damage. There are of course many more ways in which a configuration change can render NVR capture useless. If you know of similar situations then do not fear, the CameraMate configuration tracking facility can help to stop user configuration errors such as this in their tracks.

Save expensive hours of unnecessary site visits for simple NVR configuration change errors which can now be traced through CameraMate

Contact the CameraMate team today for a demo of configuration tracking, and the additional features of CameraMate that will save you time and costs as a CCTV installer.

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