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Security in education: Why IP video surveillance?




Threats to student and faculty safety are a cause of concern for many schools, which should be safe havens that harbor a comfortable environment for learning. Sadly, crimes such as vandalism, theft, sexual assault, and mass shootings are becoming more prevalent, causing most educational institutions to scale up their security systems and safety procedures. Additionally, there are some universities that are experiencing a growing number of students year over year, resulting in security that is not keeping pace with the rapid growth. Thankfully, new developments in video surveillance technology are making it possible for colleges and universities to enhance their security and improve operations by migrating to IP-based video surveillance to monitor parking areas, campus buildings and other facilities.

Internet protocol (IP) video surveillance systems employ network infrastructure rather than traditional video cables that analog video systems use. While legacy systems that utilize these video cables have been effective and sufficient for many organizations, there have always been drawbacks. For instance, analog cameras may only accept X, Y or Z type of cable, sometimes requiring cumbersome adapters to ensure proper video transmission. Also, many cable types have a limited distance at which they can transmit video signals and can cause image degradation if the limit is exceeded. And some cables cannot transmit power to the cameras, requiring the equipment to be separately powered.

IP-based video surveillance system installations for large campuses make more sense than analog systems because they have a relatively high-bandwidth network already installed on the premises, enabling easy installation of additional IP cameras and less time and money spent establishing a proprietary network. Of course, IP video surveillance provides other benefits such as:

  • Centralized operations: For a school with a large campus (or a network of multiple campuses), all the resources can effectively be housed in one facility, consolidating security personnel to a single command point for surveillance.
  • More video storage options: Video footage can be saved to on-camera SD cards, standard DVRs, computer servers, dedicated storage area network (SAN), or a cloud-based hosted storage solution.
  • Higher quality images: IP cameras often come in megapixel varieties that allow for clearer picture and better frame rates.

Looking beyond legacy analog systems with limited interoperability and proprietary hardware to an open platform IP video solution will help avoid rapid obsolescence of equipment by incorporating non-proprietary cameras, storage devices, and management software in the future. Video and other security options clearly help make schools, colleges, and universities safer by increasing the response time for security officials to react to emergencies and other incidents of violence.

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