Live Video Monitoring Usage Statistics

By: John Honovich, Published on Aug 19, 2015

What percentage of video surveillance users have humans (guards, operators, monitors) watching live video? What schedules do they use? And what verticals most commonly have live monitoring?

IPVM conducted a survey of 120+ integrators to determine answers to these questions inside.

Key Findings

Here are the key findings from the results:

  • 1 out of 3 non-residential video surveillance users has some form of ongoing live monitoring.
  • However, more than half of integrators have less than 20% of their customers using live monitoring. By contrast, a small number of integrators specialize in larger customers that almost always have live monitoring.
  • Live monitoring schedules were split among 3 common types: 24/7, business hours, and after business hours.
  • Most cameras are not watched even when someone is watching, given the far greater camera number of cameras compared to those watching.
  • Many watchers have other responsibilities beyond watching cameras, which detract from live monitoring.
  • The common claim that less 1% of all surveillance video is watched live is supported by these results, once factoring in scheduling and watcher limits (e.g., 33% have live monitoring, but many only monitor part time, plus most only watch just a fraction of cameras recorded and generally do not watch constantly)

Verticals for Live Monitoring

The most common verticals where live monitoring was done 24/7 was government related (military, prison, city, police), higher education and hospitals. By contrast, corporate sites and retail more commonly were monitored during business hours only while those with high-value outdoor assets, like car dealership and industrial sites were more typically only monitored after hours, when no one was on premises.

Limits on Camera Live Monitored

Even for the 1/3rd of users who have some form of ongoing live monitoring, rarely is it 24/7 and almost never is someone even attempting to watch all cameras. For example, integrators noted:

  • "Cameras are all monitored 24X7. In saying that, not all cameras are constantly monitored by operators. Perimeter cameras and low risk cameras are monitored using guard tours. All the cameras are recorded constantly."
  • "Staff in supermarkets monitor when they suspect a shoplifter is in the supermarket"
  • "Command Center has access to all 2,300 cameras but just spot checks. Maybe 16 at a time."
  • "Command Centers view and record between 75 to 500 cameras 24/7 Multiple viewing clients with large LED viewing Screens. Operators responsible for viewing specific cameras and areas depending on time of day and situation priorities."
  • "24/7 on a rotation. I've found this to more effective than simple 24/7 viewing."
  • "quasi-24/7 monitoring (where an attendant has other duties including the monitoring of cameras, such as an entry/exit guard who might be distracted from viewing the cameras to perform other tasks."
  • "One manufacturing plant does live monitoring, but only if a zone is triggered, then they log in to view live."
  • "CStore, education and industrial customers may have a screen up showing the cameras, but seldom people looking at them."

99%+ Not Watched

Though a third of professional end users have some form of live monitoring, this number alone overstates how commonly an individual camera is watched.

The three key limiting factors were:

  • Not watching all cameras: Most systems that have live monitoring are larger ones with hundreds or thousands of cameras. Those applications rarely even try to display all cameras, typically only putting the highest traffic or highest risk cameras on screen.
  • Watching too many cameras to be effective: Even for those that try to watch many cameras, this is often done via 9 or 16 cameras on a single monitor, which makes it quite hard for an operator to see / recognize all activities across those cameras.
  • Not watching any during certain time periods: Finally, many organizations that do live monitoring only do it for roughly half the day.

The net/net is then that less than 1% of all cameras are ever really monitored live. We arrive at that by taking the 1/3rd overall live monitoring rate, factor out the times when no video is being monitored, factor out the cameras that are not being watched at all and recognizing when too many cameras are being shown to effectively allow an operator to monitor each individual camera.

Comments (5) : Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Video Analytics 101 on Mar 16, 2020
This guide teaches the fundamentals of video surveillance...
Fever Camera Sales From Integrators Surveyed on Jun 01, 2020
Fever cameras are the hottest trend in video surveillance currently but how...
Dynamic vs Static IP Addresses Tutorial on Apr 16, 2020
While many cameras default to DHCP out of the box, that does not mean you...
Camera Resolution Usage Statistics 2020 on Mar 12, 2020
The average resolution used, for new cameras, is now 4MP, according to new...
Integrators Avoiding Coronavirus Air Travel on May 29, 2020
IPVM asked integrators if air travel is part of their 2020 plans to see how...
Last Chance - Spring 2020 IP Networking Course - Register Now on May 06, 2020
This is the last chance to register for the only networking course designed...
VSaaS 101 on Mar 25, 2020
Video Surveillance as a Service (VSaaS) is the common industry term for cloud...
Video Surveillance Cameras 101 on Feb 25, 2020
Cameras come in many shapes, sizes and specifications. This 101 examines the...
Meditherm Medical Thermal Cameras Examined on May 07, 2020
US-based Meditherm emphasized to IPVM its 20+ year development history and...
NetApp Presents Hybrid Cloud Video Archive on May 11, 2020
NetApp presented its hybrid S3 cloud video archive at the April 2020 IPVM New...
Milestone Presents XProtect On AWS on May 04, 2020
Milestone presented its XProtect on AWS offering at the April 2020 IPVM New...
Injes Tiny Temperature Terminal Tested on Jul 17, 2020
While temperature terminals have trended bigger, the Injes DFace801 is...
Uniview Deep Learning Camera Tested on Jul 14, 2020
Uniview's intrusion analytics have performed poorly in our shootouts. Now,...
Facial Recognition: Weak Sales, Anti Regulation, No Favorite, Says Security Integrators on Jul 07, 2020
While facial recognition has gained greater prominence, a new IPVM study of...
Cisco Acquiring Fluidmesh on Apr 09, 2020
Cisco announced it is acquiring niche wireless manufacturer...

Recent Reports

Genetec CEO Declares "We Don't Negotiate Payment With Patent Trolls" on Aug 11, 2020
Are patent trolls like terrorists? Genetec's CEO is coming out strongly...
Hanwha AI Analytics Camera Tested on Aug 11, 2020
Hanwha has released their Wisenet P AI camera, adding person and vehicle...
Alabama Schools Million Dollar Hikvision Fever Camera Deal on Aug 11, 2020
The Baldwin County, Alabama public schools purchased a $1 million, 144-camera...
Dahua Taunts Australian Government, Continues To Sell Illegal Fever Cameras on Aug 10, 2020
Dahua is effectively taunting the Australian government by continuing to sell...
HID Releases VertX Replacement Aero on Aug 10, 2020
HID is replacing two established and broadly supported types of access...
NDAA Compliant Video Surveillance Whitelist on Aug 10, 2020
This report aggregates video surveillance products that manufacturers have...
Telpo China Temperature Tablets Tested on Aug 10, 2020
The provider for overseas companies ranging from Canon Singapore to US'...
Dangerous Hikvision Fever Camera Showcased by Chilean City on Aug 07, 2020
Deploying a fever camera outdoors, in the rain, with no black body, is...
"Grand Slam" For Pelco's PE Firm, A Risk For Motorola on Aug 07, 2020
The word "Pelco" and "grand slam" have not been said together for many years....
FLIR Stock Falls, Admits 'Decelerating' Demand For Temperature Screening on Aug 07, 2020
Is the boom going to bust for temperature screening? FLIR disappointed...
VSaaS Will Hurt Integrators on Aug 06, 2020
VSaaS will hurt integrators, there is no question about that. How much...
Dogs For Coronavirus Screening Examined on Aug 06, 2020
While thermal temperature screening is the surveillance industry's most...
ADT Slides Back, Disappointing Results, Poor Commercial Performance on Aug 06, 2020
While ADT had an incredible start to the week, driven by the Google...
AHJ / Authority Having Jurisdiction Tutorial on Aug 06, 2020
One of the most powerful yet often underappreciated characters in all...
SIA Coaches Sellers on NDAA 889B Blacklist Workarounds on Aug 05, 2020
Last month SIA demanded that NDAA 899B "must be delayed". Now that they have...