By now you would have heard of SPOTBOT, AI super-bot engineered here in South Africa in response to our specific security threats. SPOTBOT optimises the monitoring of your CCTV cameras via their feeds and cuts out 99% of false alarms.
Here, the engineers who invented SPOTBOT share their recommendations for buying the best compatible CCTV system.
Note that the recommended cameras are not the only ones which work with SPOTBOT. If you are worried about the compatibility of your existing system, see here.
A short intro to SPOTBOT
SPOTBOT achieves its impressive results by using software that identifies the perpetrator – a human form or, in the case of cattle theft, a vehicle. This cuts out the vast majority of false alarms common to ordinary motion sensors. Most motion sensors pick up movement from pets, insects and leaves. These cause so many false alarms that CCTV owners often turn off their systems. SPOTBOT solves the problem of this waste of costly equipment and keeps owners safe.
SPOTBOT’s inventors have gained thousands of hours of experience installing SPOTBOT, and would like to pass on their hard-earned knowledge about compatibility of various CCTV systems with SPOTBOT. Of all the CCTV systems available in South Africa, they would like to focus on two brands that integrate best with SPOTBOT, and explain why.
The two main recommended CCTV brands to work with SPOTBOT
The two brands that they would most recommend to work with are Hikvision and Dahua. Both are Chinese based companies. Even though they are not South African, both are good products, as well as readily available with good after sales service in South Africa.
Why these brands? They create great feeds even in low light.
The main goal in selecting the best compatible system is to ensure that SPOTBOT is supplied with the best video streams in environments where the ambient light is low. The better quality (clearer) videos SPOTBOT receives, the better it can differentiate between what is a human and what is not.
MORE ABOUT HIKVISION AND DAHUA
Within the Hikvision systems, Cordier and Botha would most highly recommend the Hikvision Colorvu range. Hilook is also good. It is a Hikvision equivalent, but a bit cheaper.
Dahua’s most compatible CCTV system is the Starlight range. The Starlight range has some excellent camera options, from which customers can choose depending on their budget. The best are Basic Starlight, Enhanced Starlight, Starlight+, and Night Color Technology.
Part 1: New installations
These CCTV systems are SPOTBOT’s recommendations for new installations. These are all systems with 8 cameras, which is the norm and also the maximum number of feeds SPOTBOT can work with. If your property requires more than 8 cameras, you need to buy an additional SPOTBOT device.
Although IP systems are creating a buzz at the moment, SPOTBOT is designed to work just as well with analogue feeds. IP is more expensive. However if the customer prefers IP, there is a second list below for recommended IP systems.
All products below link through to the relevant product page on Takealot.com.
If the customer has an IP System, they can add additional IP cameras.
Part 3: Background information
Why does SPOTBOT use CCTV?
Many security-conscious South Africans have already installed CCTV to protect their properties, so SPOTBOT is working to make an existing system much more efficient. CCTV cameras are widely used as South Africans need all the help they can get with keeping watch over their properties. CCTV camera systems keep watch over most big businesses, farms, estates and even large homes. SPOTBOT is a specialised motion sensor that plugs into an existing CCTV system, to scan footage and eliminate false alarms.
What is CCTV and what does it do?
CCTV stands for Closed-Circuit Television. It cannot be viewed by the public, but instead sends its feed to one place to be monitored for security purposes. It works like the updated, automated AI version of a night watchman.
There are usually 8 cameras positioned around a building to keep watch. The footage from each camera is fed to a screen. Thus, somewhere inside the property will be 8 screens which can be watched by a human being, or watched remotely by a security service. By using AI, SPOTBOT eliminates the problem of human error.
What is the main drawback of CCTV?
Monitoring the screens takes a lot of effort. Turning away to have a coffee, or going to sleep at night, will leave the screens unmonitored. Many owners will pay a security firm to monitor their footage remotely. This is not only expensive but also subject to human error if the security guards need a break or are watching a lot of properties at the same time.
What is a motion sensor device?
Many owners install a motion sensor device that triggers an alarm when a CCTV feed identifies movement. The aim of a motion sensor device is to save on the effort and expense of constantly watching the screens, or hiring someone else to watch them.
What is the main drawback of motion sensor devices?
The main problem is false alarms. Motion sensors can get set off by the movement of leaves, insects, birds or pets. We have all experienced the drama of a security service like ADT arriving with guns when we accidentally set off the alarm. We have to explain that we are the owner, not a thief, and instantly give them the correct password to be believed. Motion sensor devices can trigger so many false alarms that owners become exhausted with the effort, and often switch off their CCTV system altogether, wasting a lot of money and leaving themselves as vulnerable as before.
How does SPOTBOT “monitor” your CCTV footage?
SPOTBOT software constantly runs thousands of digital scans, which enable it to accurately identify humans and / or vehicles. Thus, AI very effectively replaces the work that would otherwise have to be done by a human being to constantly scan all 8 feeds coming in from your cameras.
How does SPOTBOT provide peace of mind?
Instead of you sitting up staring at the screens, or hiring someone else to do it, you can switch on the AI and have a peaceful rest knowing that SPOTBOT will send an alert to your phone if a human being approaches your home. What’s more, the alert will send a picture from the CCTV feed, with the human form in a red circle. You will thus be instantly able to identify whether the figure is an intruder, or just your son coming home late from a party.
How does SPOTBOT provide privacy?
To some of us, it means a great deal to know that we are not being watched by strangers monitoring CCTV footage at a security company. Imagine a scenario where women and girls are having a pool party. They would want to know they are safe from intruders and also have privacy from the gaze of strangers.
What are the main types of CCTV cameras?
There are two main types of CCTV-camera systems. Analogue (DVR with analogue cameras) and IP systems (IP cameras and NVR). Both these types of systems are supported by SPOTBOT.
Can SPOTBOT integrate with all CCTV cameras?
Analogue or IP-camera systems can be linked to a SPOTBOT.
SPOTBOT supports most mainstream camera brands like Hikvision, Provision and Dahua. Less well-known camera brands have also been successfully added to and supported by SPOTBOT.
Does SPOTBOT only work with high res CCTV cameras?
SPOTBOT does not need very high-resolution cameras. The resolution you need will depend on the application and the level of detail required. For SPOTBOT, 720p HD cameras will be sufficient and it will still perform well on an even lower resolution. Even low-resolution camera feeds (352×240 pixels) delivered good detection results. SPOTBOT will not affect the normal application and use of the CCTV system.
What cameras don’t work with SPOTBOT?
Any camera or device that does not support Real Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP) can’t be added to a SPOTBOT device.
What range/area does SPOTBOT cover?
SPOTBOT covers whatever area your CCTV footage covers. A human figure does, however, need to be greater than 15% of the height of the video frame for SPOTBOT to start identifying an object as a human.
What is the optimum number of CCTV cameras you can use?
SPOTBOT is designed to work with a standard CCTV system, which usually includes 8 cameras. Thus, any number of CCTV cameras between one and eight will work with SPOTBOT. If your property requires more than eight cameras, you will need to buy a second SPOTBOT device.
What are the best positions for cameras?
See this guide for the best positioning of CCTV cameras.