CCTV: How quickly should you be able to access your CCTV recordings?

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One of our clients approached us for a new CCTV system. We went to their sites to check the system they have in place. We don’t like to disregard the existing technology in place without a good reason as it may still be fit-for-purpose.

Our client told us that it was painfully slow to retrieve their recordings, find the right location and time frame to see if they can see the issue. Let’s say if someone takes a few things, they just wrote it off because it would take nearly a whole day just to access and sit and go through them, frame by frame.

We understand the reason why they wrote off the goods but it essentially undermines what a CCTV system is supposed to do.

How long should it take to access your CCTV recordings?

Trying to find a particular event? 15-20 mins.

Real-time? 30 seconds – 1 minute.

How did we speed up our client's search time?

They did need a new CCTV system because it was an analogue system, although we utilised some of their existing cameras.

We installed an IP (Dahua) CCTV system. When they want to access a recording, they log in, enter a date and time then select the camera. The system identifies “events” (any type of movement) and you can move through those, swiftly.

They can take it further and use the smart-search function by highlighting a specific area within the frame. So, if you know you put a case of beers on the floor, you could highlight where it would have been put. Smart search will then identify any “events” that take place in that area. It’s quite an intuitive piece of kit.

Another key thing was that this system came with an easy-to-use app, too. This is ideal for the Facilities Manager and the Health and Safety Manager because they can view all sites, whenever they want at a push of a button.


There are various types of CCTV systems that can be installed, with the two main choices being IP and Analogue. Analogue is fast becoming outdated and IP CCTV is the most reliable type of CCTV system.

Learn more about IP CCTV

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