Camera Brand Suggestions for School Project

Our company looks like it may be winning a bid for a camera solution for a school. What brands would you guys consider going with? or at least considering. We’ve been using Lorex until now. The solution has to be HD video(2k or better), IP, Outdoor/In. I should note that I’m outside of the US, so one with good customer support is a need.

Lorex by Flir is a GREAT and solid product. Not to mention, their support is decent.

I am sure there are others, but Lorex is awesome all around.

First, need to found out what there budget that they’re willing to spend. That will point you in what company to spend your money will.

Stay away from the “Surveillance in a box” setups or analog systems. As for make/model, we use Hikvision (Making sure firmware is updated) 4 MP IP based camera’s and NVR for small businesses. Easy enough to run network cabling where needed and ever expandable/interchangeable camera setups.

Be sure to get a NVR twice the capacity needed (They will always want more camera’s, even after seeing how well they work. Also check recording abilities as using a 12 channel NVR does not mean recording 12 camera’s at the highest resolution.) and solid surveillance rated drives. (WD Purple anyone?)

Working for a large county school district we use Exaqvision. Their pricing model can be expensive but their system integrates well with AC/BMS/BAS systems . A lot of schools are getting these projects done under grants to improve security so definitely check what the budget is.

We use Hikvision cameras connected to a Synology NAS as we found the Synology software was a lot more intuitive then the Hikvision iVMS Station

I have used Vivotek with great success. I haven’t had to call their support so I can’t speak to that effect. I haven’t had any problems with them that has required me to reach out their support either. Their free NVR software that will support up to 16 cameras is pretty decent, just make sure you build a NVR that has plenty of resources and a very good graphics card.

I have also used these cameras with the BlueIris NVR software when I needed more than 16 cameras (for a school district) and have had very little issues that were all very easy to solve. Again, make sure you have a NVR that is well built with good hardware. BlueIris will max out your CPU usage if you are trying to capture too much at once.

How did you come up with numbers for the bid without figuring out what you were going to use? I would have been really scared to throw out a number before I figured out what gear it was going to take.

I’m using HikVision for the smaller systems. I’ve been running the 4MP cameras, but the NVRs don’t all support those resolutions. I’ve been installing those cameras because swapping out cameras is expensive, but swapping out the NVR isn’t so bad. I figure in a couple years the 4MP cameras will still be good and a higher res NVR will come down in price.

If the RFQ only calls for a 2MP camera, you would be losing money to put in 4MP cameras so I don’t know why you would do that unless the owner going to write a change order.