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What to Know About Your Video Surveillance System Footage

A person is looking at video surveillance camera footage.

These Are the Features You’ll Want for Video Monitoring

You are likely familiar with the myriad options available for home surveillance. There are still some older analog systems, often available at big-box retailers, that can record video footage from multiple cameras. But the products getting all the attention these days are digital network-connected (IP) cameras. If you missed it, check out the first part of this blog series, where we delve into modern security camera system features and benefits. 

In this second installment, we will discuss video monitoring and storage considerations in video surveillance systems. As we discussed with cameras, in the past few years, significant advances have been made with storage and footage search options. Keep reading to learn about the key surveillance features you’ll want in your Park City, UT home. 

How to Choose a Video Surveillance System 

Video Storage

One of the biggest differences between commercial-quality surveillance solutions (the type we install) versus consumer products you’ll find on Amazon and big-box retail is where video footage is stored. With consumer products, generally, you have two options. The first is on-camera storage. This is usually done with a storage card like SD in the camera or in a hub that connects to the camera with an SD card or USB drive. The second and perhaps most prevalent option in consumer products is cloud storage. 

Let’s touch on both of these options. On-board storage has the advantage of increased privacy, where the footage stays in your home. However, these storage options can often quickly run out of room. If you want to continuously monitor an area and store hours of footage, this is not the optimal way to go. With cloud storage, you have the advantage of theoretically limitless storage. The catch? These consumer products typically charge monthly subscription fees for this, and they often limit the amount of storage as well. Cloud storage also carries the risks of hacking and potential privacy concerns over how your footage is being used. 

With professionally installed surveillance systems, you get a local DVR, something conceptually similar to the recorder you might have for your cable or satellite TV. The DVR is local, and footage stays in your home without being stored in the cloud, increasing privacy. DVRs are outfitted with disk mass storage, which can store days of video footage. If you want full-time monitoring of any areas of your home where the camera records 24/7 – or even some subset of the day – this is the approach we recommend. 

Video Monitoring

What do you want to look for in monitoring? The first is intelligent monitoring of activity. For example, if you have a camera trained on your front yard, you don’t want to get a notification of movement for every car that passes by. Modern solutions offer the ability to monitor specific zones in the field of view, so if a car enters your driveway or a person walks up to your front door, then you’ll be notified. The best systems can also tell you that it’s a vehicle or a person detected, so if the vehicle is an expected delivery, you’re not likely to be concerned. 

Another intelligent feature is the ability to search hours of footage for specific things. For example, the best modern systems have the ability to search for a “red vehicle” that may have been on your property on a specific day or even a particular license plate. These features are enabled by artificial intelligence and high-resolution cameras that capture the level of detail necessary for smart video analytics. Of course, you also want the ability to look at your activity and footage from anywhere, whether at home or away. Most systems do this, and we’ll cover that in more detail in the third installment on integration. Stay tuned!


At Show & Tell AV solutions, we provide cutting-edge technology solutions that enhance our clients’ everyday lives. To learn more about video surveillance or to schedule a complimentary consultation, contact Show & Tell AV Solutions today. 

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