Video Surveillance Workout: Securing a 24-Hour Gym

Security firm wins the job and keeps customers by supplying rugged, durable cameras and DVRs that meet customer requirements.

Ordering through distribution adds another level into the supply chain and may price you out of the running. Going through distribution, however, provides a wider selection of product, and your distributor may act on your behalf with warranty issues. Distributors are also broadening their range of product to meet the demand for lower price points.

While you can also obtain tech support from distributors, you are better off gaining in-house expertise so you can figure things out for yourself.

Another source of hardware is to buy direct from a domestic manufacturer.

The meaning of the word ‘manufacturer’ has changed over the last few decades, especially in the electronics industry. It is common knowledge that video equipment is virtually all manufactured offshore, but many companies have product built and tested to their own specifications and have their brand name applied. They also have sales and technical staff here which streamlines procurement and support.

With this project, I turned to one of my trusted vendors. I trust them because we’ve successfully completed every project we’ve worked on with them. I picked cameras and a DVR we knew would produce the kind of performance, features and reliability both the client and I required.

Some customers can self train themselves on new products, since this equipment is somewhat similar in many respects to the computers and entertainment products they use all the time. But even when you provide manuals, some customers are hesitant or too busy. We tell them we’ll get them up and running, so that is what we do. Our vendor is helpful in this regard.



This all-purpose camera looks good in commercial environments. It is suitable for indoors as well as outside and is vandal resistant. Being weatherproof means it will with stand rigors of most installation environments. Being vandal resistant means it will not only survive the trauma of being installed but it will hold up against deliberate or accidental physical abuse.

This camera has 620 line resolution, onscreen display for tweaking the image, and infrared LEDs so it sees in the dark.

The camera has a four-axis camera mount so it can be installed in just about any position. We generally use our cameras for wide angle, and this camera’s 2.8-12mm lens is as wide as you can get before the image goes fish-eyed.

My customers have all liked the images this camera produces and that’s really important. This camera is also competitively priced, which is also really important.

Features include:

  • 1/3” SONY Super HAD CCD
  • Day/Night Function
  • 620 TVL
  • 0.3 Lux @ F1.2 (Color)
  • Sens-up (x256)
  • 35 IR LED (0.0 Lux IR on), Viewing Distance 100ft
  • On Screen Display Menu
  • 3DDNR
  • Privacy Zone
  • Motion Detection
  • 4-Axis, true 160 degree viewing angle



The DVR is user-friendly and has a very compact footprint. It comes with a wireless remote and a hard-wired mouse, but you can use a wireless mouse if you are putting the DVR in place where a wired mouse would be inconvenient. On one job, we put the DVR in a metal enclosure and used an extender cable so the remote would work through the metal enclosure. This also works if the primary viewing area is in a room other than where the DVR is located.

I gave the customer a very attractive price by not supplying a DVD drive or a monitor. They can use the USB and offload video to either a flashdrive or through the network to a computer or other storage if they need forensics.

Most customers have a computer and a router, so they can use a networked computer to operate the DVR, and also can access the DVR from offsite.

They can also buy their own VGA monitor so I do not have to compete with big box stores and on-line retailers.

Even though most folks see video surveillance for sale in stores and so forth, most of them are intimidated enough to not undertake an installation themselves.

This gym application required full-time recording so I provided a 2 TB hard drive.

The club has a “members only” entrance. A valid credential is required to get in. A sensor is mounted to the opening which monitors for piggybacking and propped-open doors.

Piggybacking in this case is when a member allows a person without a credential (a non-payer) to come in with them. This sensor had been wired into the old DVR.

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