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When Should I Upgrade My Existing Security Camera System?

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It doesn't matter if you run a large-scale retail store or a small specialty shop: asset protection is a must and security cameras are often the first line of defense against theft. Most businesses have some type of security camera system in place, but that doesn't necessarily mean that their camera system is performing the way it should. An out of date system makes it difficult to accurately identify thieves or moments of theft and bring your overall security setup down.

Some people decide not to upgrade their security camera system because they think it is unnecessary or that it isn't time to do so yet. But keeping your system up to date is important for your business, its products, and the safety of your customers and employees.

When to Upgrade Your Security Cameras

Much like any other appliance, a security camera is designed to function for only a certain amount of time. During the first few years, you may notice that all it takes to keep your security camera system in tip-top shape is basic and minimal inspections or maintenance. But over time, the system begins to falter, gradually requiring more and more effort to keep it running at even its base level.

It is entirely possible for a security camera system to run for 10 to 15 years, but that doesn't mean you should wait that long to replace or upgrade your system. A good time to start truly considering an upgrade is after about five to seven years. Besides the age of the system itself, there are other signs that let you know it is time for an upgrade. If you find that you are constantly having to repair your cameras, the response times are delayed, or the system keeps freezing, it might be time to upgrade your old security cameras.

Security Camera Upgrade

Camera technology is always improving and that has never been more evident than within the last few years. Ten years ago, getting an HD camera would have been difficult and expensive, but that is not the case today. Upgrading to an HD security camera system is easier and more affordable than ever. And making the switch to HD is well worth it, as it provides a clearer image and greater identification should the footage be needed in case of a crime.

It may seem daunting, but worry not! You don't need to upgrade all of your cameras at the same time, even if you're switching from an analog system to a digital one. There are several options for upgrading your security camera system, including:

  • HD-SDI: This type of security camera system allows you to upgrade your cameras and DVR while keeping your existing coax cabling and SD system. It is perhaps the cheapest option when upgrading your security camera system.
  • HD-TVI: This is another hybrid-type system that allows you to use the same cables and setup of your analog system, letting you keep any existing SD cameras running while still maintaining HD systems that run at 720p or 1080p. HD-TVI is incredibly versatile, as it does not require you to upgrade cameras or perform rewiring until you want to.
  • IP cameras: Different than either HD-SDI or HD-TVI, IP cameras do not need to be directly wired into a recording device. If your cameras and NVR are connected to your computer network, then everything will run without issue. IP systems can also communicate with other devices (lighting, POS systems, etc.) and connect to video analytic software providers. While it is the most unique security camera system, it is also the most expensive, as you have to purchase new cameras and hardware.

When it Comes to Security, Change Is Good

Upgrading your security camera system is a daunting process. There's research to be done, equipment to be repaired or swapped out, and money to be spent. But change is a good thing. When you upgrade your security camera system, you make your building safer.

Upgrades also bring new abilities and features. Moving from an analog system to an HD model that has the ability to connect to facial recognition software is a drastic improvement. A lot of this may seem unnecessary now, but if someone breaks into your building or tries to steal your products, you'll be glad you made the switch.

If nothing else, upgrading your security camera system means you no longer have to spend money on frequent maintenance or repairs. In the long run, upgrading your existing system at the proper time is the best choice for you, your building, and everyone inside.

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