Here are my questions that I am thinking of, mostly because my HOA has asked me to work up a plan for my neighborhood:
- Where are the cameras needed
- Where are you placing recorders
- Who has access to video/recordings
- Who maintains and runs the system
- Who pays for the system
- Do you charge per incident to retrieve video
Do they expect cameras all over? Do they just want coverage in main areas? Or simply just at the main entrance? My HOA expected all street areas covered. That would be quite a few cameras, which lead to a lot of constant power connections. Not plausable here.
In my scenario, we don't have a central, shared space. Each building has four independently owned condos, but no common space indoors. We would have to appoint one homeowner as the "guardian" of the recorder. What happens if this homeowner moves/dies/changes his mind etc?
We never got this far, but it was something that needed hashed out. You simply can't have everyone in the neighborhood accessing the system at once. It isn't feasible. Most of the residents of my HOA are too old to even possibly use the system on their own anyways.
Next issue is who installs, configures, maintains, etc the system? Do you hire a company to do this? Do you appoint a tech-friendly home owner to maintain the system as much as they can? Who has admin credentials?
Is the system being paid for by the HOA general fund? Do they assess the members on top of normal association fees to get the funds? Do they have an opt in fund raiser, where people buying into the system have exclusive access?
Or, do you charge per incident for retrieval of evidence? This would cut down on the lady who needs help finding out what animal is eating her flowbeds. There will be excessive requests for video unless you attach a fee, or make it so simple that anyone can access themselves, but then you have everyone using it at once, making the system unresponsive.
To be brutally honest, choosing the hardware is THE LEAST of my worries. I can quickly whip up a proposal with correct cameras, switches, recording PC, wireless backhaul radios, etc. The hardware part is probably the easiest part of the whole scenario, for me anyways. It's the politics involved that are the real issue.
If you want help with the hardware part, I am happy to help, but will need a map or address of the property in order to help further. There is no cookie cutter solution for every site.