Live Video Monitoring Usage Statistics

Author: 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) : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

ISC East 2018 Mini-Show Report on Nov 15, 2018
ISC East, by its own admission, is not a national or international show, billed as the "Largest Annual Northeast U.S. Security...
Magos Radar Company Profile on Nov 12, 2018
Magos America General Manager Yaron Zussman admits when he first came across Magos, he asked himself: "What's innovative about radar?" Be that as...
Video Surveillance Hard Drive Size Statistics 2018 on Nov 08, 2018
What is the most common hard drive size for video surveillance? 150+ integrators answered: What size hard drive do you most commonly use? What...
Favorite Video Surveillance Hard Drive Manufacturer 2018 on Nov 06, 2018
Who is the favorite hard drive for video surveillance use? 150+ integrators answered: What is your preferred brand/model of hard drive for...
Worst Products on Nov 03, 2018
Security integrators periodically report on their favorite and worst products to IPVM. These are known integrators who IPVM pays to answer surveys....
Solar-Powered, Smart-Phone-Based Access Kit (VIZPin) Examined on Nov 02, 2018
Cloud-based access control company VIZPin is releasing a solar-powered and smart phone based access control system for gates and other remote...
Video Surveillance Hard Drive Failure Statistics 2018 on Nov 02, 2018
Hard drive failures can be significant service problems but how common of an issue are they in video surveillance? How long do drives last when...
Cloud Video Storage Usage 2018 on Oct 31, 2018
Storing email and documents in the cloud have long been common, with on-site email or file servers increasingly eliminated. However, what about...
Directory of Access Control and Intrusion Startups on Oct 30, 2018
This directory catalogs access control and intrusion detection startups IPVM has found noteworthy. The directory is provided for your review to...
ADT Acquires Red Hawk, Becomes Billion Dollar Commercial Business on Oct 25, 2018
With its ~7th commercial acquisition in the past year, ADT is transforming itself from a residential provider to a commercial player with now more...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Throughtek P2P/Cloud Solution Profile on Nov 15, 2018
Many IoT manufacturers either do not have the capabilities or the interest to develop their own cloud management software for their devices....
ASIS Offering Custom Research For Manufacturers on Nov 15, 2018
Manufacturers often want to know what industry people think about trends and, in particular, the segments and product they offer.  ASIS and its...
ISC East 2018 Mini-Show Report on Nov 15, 2018
ISC East, by its own admission, is not a national or international show, billed as the "Largest Annual Northeast U.S. Security...
Hikvision Silent on "Bad Architectural Practices" Cybersecurity Report on Nov 14, 2018
A 'significant vulnerability was found in Hikvision cameras' by VDOO, a startup cybersecurity specialist. Hikvision has fixed the specific...
French Government Threatens School with $1.7M Fine For “Excessive Video Surveillance” on Nov 14, 2018
The French government has notified a high-profile Paris coding academy that it risks a fine of up to 1.5 million euros (about $1.7m) if it...
Integrator Credit Card Alternative Divvy on Nov 13, 2018
Most security integrators are small businesses but large enough that they have various employees that need to be able to expense various charges as...
Directory of Video Intercoms on Nov 13, 2018
Video Intercoms, also known as Video Door-Phones or Video Entry Systems, have been growing in the past decade as more and more IP camera...
Beware Amazon Go Store Hype (Tested) on Nov 13, 2018
IPVM's trip to and testing of Amazon Go's San Francisco store shows a number of significant operational and economic issues that undermine the...
Magos Radar Company Profile on Nov 12, 2018
Magos America General Manager Yaron Zussman admits when he first came across Magos, he asked himself: "What's innovative about radar?" Be that as...
Genetec Privacy Protector Tested on Nov 12, 2018
Genetec has built Kiwi Security's Privacy Protector into Security Center, an analytic which anonymizes individuals in cameras' fields of view...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact