Make the most of your CCTV solution with the right hard drive for the job

Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras have long been a core component of security solutions for retailers and businesses.

March 24, 2014

By Ruben Naicker, WD Product Specialist at Drive Control Corporation

Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras have long been a core component of security solutions for retailers and businesses. However, as security in the home has become more of a concern and technology evolution has made CCTV technology more affordable, many residential users have also begun making use of these cameras in addition to alarm systems. CCTV enables home owners to monitor every aspect of their household irrespective of whether they are at home or away. These days, the majority of CCTV solutions use digital cameras to capture footage, which requires a hard drive for storage. Choosing the right hard drive for your CCTV solution is thus paramount in deriving full value from camera monitoring systems.

Digital surveillance requires a hard drive on which to record video footage. This makes the CCTV solution’s hard drive the most important component after the camera itself – after all, what is the point in filming with CCTV if this footage is not being recorded for access at a later stage?

What residential users of CCTV solutions need to bear in mind is that not all hard drives are created equal, and not all hard drives are suitable for the purposes of CCTV. This environment is a highly demanding one, requiring 24x7x365 operation along with high reliability. Standard desktop or notebook computing hard drives simply will not live up to this demand as they are not designed to run constantly at high temperatures, which is often what a CCTV solution demands.

As a result, using the wrong hard drive can cause premature drive failure, often without the user even being aware of the failure, rendering the surveillance solution completely ineffective. In addition, because these drives have not been designed for video environments, the playback quality may be reduced, leading to substandard recorded footage that does not provide the clarity necessary to enhance home security.

In order to maximise the value of CCTV solutions and ensure that footage is available on demand whenever it is needed, it is crucial to use the right hard drive. Purpose-built CCTV hard drives that have been specifically designed and engineered for this demanding environment are recommended, and support an always-on operation, cool running temperatures and high levels of reliability required. AV drives are thermally optimised for always-on Audio/Video (AV) streaming environments, making them the ideal complement to a digital CCTV solution.

Purpose-designed AV drives also deliver a 24×7 quiet operation, high reliability, and optimised streaming, all requirements for intensive AV applications such as CCTV. Furthermore, these drives are tested for compatibility with a wide range of mainstream video surveillance solutions.

Users should look for an AV hard drive that features an average of one million hours Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) as these drives provide best-in-class reliability, reduced power consumption, improved reliability and reduced operating temperatures. These drives are also quiet, operating at a range that is virtually below the threshold of human hearing, so they will not disturb the peace in a home environment. Furthermore, they have been optimised for smooth, continuous digital video playback of up to twelve simultaneous High Definition (HD) streams, making them ideal for multi-camera surveillance solutions. Other intelligent features help to reduce noise and vibration, improve performance and maintain the highest levels of reliability.

When it comes to security, CCTV is fast becoming a must have technology, not only in the business space but in the home as well. The wrong hard drive can cause premature drive failure, halting recording and rendering CCTV systems virtually useless. Using the right hard drive with a digital surveillance solution will not only improve reliability and quality, but will ensure that footage is always available when needed, enhancing the value of residential CCTV systems.