Managing Client Expectations for Internet Surveillance Video – Part Two

Joe Loucks

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On August 22nd In IP Tech Tips, Networking, Video Surveillance
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Surveillance video is different from other IP communications such as emails and file transfers in that the video stream is supposed to be “real-time” or just slightly delayed. Any packets lost will result in choppy video, missing sections of the image, etc. So the client who wants to watch their cameras using typical “smart” devices may not reliably receive large bandwidth video streams. The quality of their viewing experience will depend on the available bandwidth and packet loss through the particular 3/4G connection they are using. The video will be better some times and worse in others.

Here’s what security dealers can do to manage their clients’ expectations:

  • Demo camera – in their office or home security dealers should set up the brand and type of IP camera that they are selling to their residential customers. This camera should be connected to the Internet and be available to all of the salespeople for demonstration purposes. This camera should be set for five frames per second, medium resolution, and H.264 compression if available. These settings will provide a reasonably good viewing experience over standard Internet connections and 3-4G wireless receivers. It helps if the camera is aimed outside so clients can view people walking, cars going by, etc. Demonstrating the viewing of objects or people in motion is important.
  • Internet Testing – when visiting the client’s home the salespeople should be trained to perform a quick test of the client’s ISP bandwidth and packet loss. Every Internet connection isn’t the same and if the customer’s Internet pathway is of low quality, it will be difficult to reliably transmit quality video.
  • Reality Check – while Internet-connected cameras can provide your client with remote viewing capabilities, the client needs to understand that there will be periods of time when the video images may be choppy or even unavailable if the client’s home Internet connection becomes flaky and/or they are using a 3-4G smart device for viewing. This can be explained by reminding the client how often they have to redial cellular telephone calls when a conversation is suddenly stopped.

Once security system salespeople and technicians accept the limitations of surveillance video transmitted over the Internet they can manage clients’ expectations about IP surveillance video which will reduce callbacks and client dissatisfaction.

From the ADI Expo Training Series to local branch events, ADI offers numerous training opportunities throughout the year to help dealers learn about the latest technologies, and get installation tips. Click here to get more information on the ADI events taking place near you.