Surveillance Monitoring Station Best Practices

Author: John Honovich, Published on Feb 03, 2011

We examine key considerations in the design and use of video surveillance monitoring stations. All too often, the tendency is to hang multiple large monitors (42” or larger) on the wall, see how impressive it looks and be happy. Not only is that often not the best solution, it regularly wastes money and decreases the efficiency of surveillance monitoring.

Monitor Selection and Location

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  1. Purchase ************-***** ********: End users are often tempted to purchase COTS displays, or in some cases, TV’s, instead of paying more for surveillance displays. What is typically lost when this happens are reliability and picture quality. Consumer displays are not designed to be turned on 24/7/365. As a result, their failure rate increases dramatically, sometimes lasting under a year. Consumer LCD’s also are prone to image retention or “sticking”, which is a phenomenon similar to burn-in of CRT’s, in which a faint outline of a previous image remains on the screen when the image changes. Menus and other GUI elements commonly stick. Surveillance displays are designed to run 24/7 without failure or image retention. We have seen too many end users purchase displays for their surveillance system at the local electronic store for $600, only to be dissatisfied in a matter of months. Expect to pay $1,500-3,000 for a professional-grade surveillance display.
  2. Ensure *** ***** **** ****** ** *** *******: We recommend .5 to .75 inches tall for each foot of distance between the operator and the display. For example, an operator located 12’ away from a display should be viewing camera frames approximately 6” tall. On a 42” monitor, this equates to a 3x3 tile layout of nine cameras at that distance. Width will vary, given the different aspect ratios of SD and HD cameras. This also assumes full frame, and does not allow for image cropping or special views such as Axis’ corridor format. This ratio typically provides adequate detail to an operator so they may enlarge a camera view or send it to a spot monitor for further inspection.
  3. Avoid ******** ***** ***** ******** *** ****. Many think the best monitor placement is up and out of the way, as monitors are very large and protrude from walls several inches. However, height increases the distance from the operator’s eye to the display, reducing the monitor’s usefulness, and forcing an operator to look above horizontal for extended periods of time results in discomfort, which reduces effectiveness. Monitors should ideally not be mounted above 15 degrees above level, based on the operator’s eye.
  4. Avoid *** **** ********: Following the guidelines for sizing images, if you end up with a video wall that causes any given operator to physically turn their head more than a few degrees from center to view them, the display is too large. Steps should be taken to create camera sequences to reduce the size of the required display, or reduce the number of cameras a single operator must watch and bring that display closer to them.

Determining ********** ********

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Cameras **** ***********

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** ******* **** ** *****, **** ***** *** **** ****** is ** **** *** ******* ** * ***** ******* ** displays. ** ***** *** ******** *******, ************** *** ******* ** often ******* ******* ******** *********, ** ******** #* ******* **** cameras **** **** **** ** ******* #*, *** ******** #* watches * ********* **** ** ******* #*. ** ***** ** not ****** ****** **** ****** ********* ** **** *** ******* at ****, ****** ********* *** ** *******. ***** ********* ******* one ** **** ******* ** *****, ********* ***** * ****** of ****. **** ******* ***** ***** *** ********-**** *********, ** different ****-**-**** ****** ***** *** ** ***** ** ******** ******* of ****** *******. ********* ******** ******** **** ******* ********* * random ******** ** ******* ******** ********** ***********, ** ******** **** of *** ******* **** *** ****.

Cameras **** **********

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*** ** ***** *** **** ******** ** **** ** ****** the ****** ** ***** ** ******** **** *****, *** ******* maintenance *** ******** **********, ******** ****** *** ******** *** ********** staff **** ***** ** ****** ******, ********* ** ******* ****** effectiveness. ** ** ****** ********** ****’* *******-**-**** *** ** **************, for *******, ****** **** ****** *** ****** *******, ********* *** operator ** ****** *** ****** ** **** ****. *********, ** not ******** ********* *** ********, *** ******* ******** ***** *********, causing ** ******** ** ****** *** ******. ** ** ********* imperative **** ***** ************ ** **********, ** ******** ***** ********* risk *** ********* ***.

***********

**** ********** ******* **** **** * ****** ******** ******** *******. In **** ****** ****, *** ****** **** ****** ** ******* monitoring **** *** ***********, ** ********** ***** ** ****** ******** possible. ** ****** ** *** ******** ****** ** ***** ** hours **** ***** ** *****. ***** ****** **********, *** ***** could ******** ** ************* **** ********* ** ******* (*** ***** guard ****), **** ****** ******* *** ** *** ********* **** his *******. ** ****** ******** ******, ***** *** ******** ***** display *******, ** ** ****** ******** **** **** ** **** to ******* **** **** ***** ** ****.

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