How Often Does Your System Fail To Provide Needed Video?

Rough estimate. What's your 'number'? <1%, <5%, <10%, <25%, >25%

Rules: Counting only when no signal was recorded or no recording at all was made and customer needed footage, AND you thought it was/should be there. For whatever reason.

*Note to admin: This question is Poll-itically correct. ;)


Hard to say, mainly on account of it depends how far up a creek you are without it. :)

*It maybe PC and all but lotta folk won't wanna talk about failures, in particular it being a Friday and all...

I a reckon you are a right... :)

In my defense I have no one to blame, except Bill Douglas*, because when I first read:

In the majority of cases the end user discovers their central recording is not working when there is an incident.

I took it to mean that "when there is an incident, in the majority of cases the end user discovers their central recording is not working" as opposed to "the most likely time to find out that your central recording is not working, is when you have an incident". Which is a quite different. After realizing my error, though, I wondered though how often someone does need video but can't get it?

Forgetting it was Friday, I posted it...

*Only kidding, good post!

I doubt you're going to get solid numbers but hopefully some fun anecdotes. I'd love to know how often this happens because I've long believed it's a real pain point among consumers that can be easily solved with existing technology.

In today's interconnected world there's no reason recorders/cameras can't send continuous status info to manufacturers or service providers (i.e, integrators providing equpment monitoring and maintenance value add). Essentially, if some recorder or camera in the world stops working, there's no reason we can't know about it and get it fixed before its video becomes of critical importance. So why isn't this as standard a feature in video surveillance as is, say, HD?

Rukmini, this is an interesting topic for general discussion though, as Steve mentions, getting accurate numbers will be difficult.

I guess the numerator is number of incidents / failures to provide video. But what's the denominator? Days? Months? Years? Number of Cameras?

In addition, your AND condition is key - "no recording at all was made AND customer needed footage"

The former condition - no recording available / made happens far far more common than the combination of it being missed AND it being needed.

Overall, I think the pain of this is low BUT there are outliers where it is disastrous (e.g., Murder in Front of Broken Camera Missed).

I guess the numerator is number of incidents / failures to provide video. But what's the denominator? Days? Months? Years? Number of Cameras?

I was thinking just number of failed attempts/number of total attempts.

Though looking back at Bill's statement above, I guess I really was thinking of the guy who's system runs for months without any video review and then blam!, really needs it for LE purposes. So Carl's Six Sigma performance, though exemplary, is plausible because of the constant attempted retrieval and feedback, driving process improvements.

So I am thinking now that the critical slice for this question would be systems where there is no dedicated security infrastructure in place per se. Where the system was put in, 'just in case of', and often runs unattended for weeks at a time, continuously mulching old video as needed to make room for new... SOHO and a little bigger mainly.

With that in mind, I am thinking that most places like this probably need to have their installer help get video off the system for LE if needed. So a more precise question would be, what percent of the time that you need to extract video from a system for LE are you unable to because no recording was made, or a blank signal was recorded?

Or number of failed attempts/number of total attempts.

I would say almost never. I know that is not quantitative so I'll throw out less than 0.1%, possibly even orders of magnitude lower. Seriously, other than the rare total power failures that last so long even our UPS runs out of juice, we are truly running the "five nines".