5 things to consider in a daycare camera system

Choosing a daycare camera system for your daycare center can be a daunting task. We will look at pros and cons of some aspects of deciding the best daycare camera for your center.

1. Clarity - Types of cameras

There are 2 types of cameras at a high level; Analog and digital. Analog camera costs less but has less clarity and coverage of area. HD cameras are slightly expensive however have higher resolution and covers more area. Don’t confuse these with closed circuit security cameras.

One category of HD cameras is IP cameras with power over ethernet (PoE) . They make installation easier by supplying power over the same cable that carries data.

Our Recommendations:

  • Pick at least 1080p HD cameras with PoE. We have 4K HD cameras. Ask about warranty. We provide 5 year warranty for our cameras.

  • HD can mean different things. Ask for Full HD 1080p resolution.

2. Security - How secure is the software?

Cameras can be accessed directly over the internet and a few users can view them at the same time. However exposing these devices can and will increase risk and threat to your network. Think of these as small computers on your network. Firmware for most IP cameras are dated and usage of outdated open source component which makes them vulnerable to attack.

Our Recommendations:

  • Don’t expose cameras or even DVR/NVR directly to the internet. Connect them behind a machine with robust machine with the latest patches for security.

  • Use a software that allows parents to signup and request access to classrooms. It will reduce time spent by your staff. Only thing they need to do is to approve access requests.

  • Look for a sofware that is built with childcare centers in mind.

  • Make sure that the application uses HTTPS security and all personal data and passwords are stored and transferred securely.

3. Latency - Streaming video technology used

Codecs are evolving to stream better quality video using lower bandwidth. However delivery method for live streaming video is still fragmented.

HLS is the standard used by Apple devices while there are other standards such as DASH, WEBRTC and RTMP. RTMP is a popular mechanism used. It is used for real time video streaming. HLS lacks real time video support though Apple proposed low latency HLS recently.

Our Recommendations:

Check real latecy or delay in seconds before making the decision.

4. Mobile Applications

Checkout the mobile applications by installing them on your mobile devices.

Our Recommendations:

  • Check the size of the applciation which can tell if they are native application. If the application size is beyond about 10MB most likely it’s not a native application.

  • Check the power and battery usage. See if the phone heats up while running the application.

  • Ask which technology is used for each device. Apple recommends HLS on iOS devices.

5. Pricing

Watch out for long term contracts and cancellation fees. You may be locked in for several years. You may or may not need bells and whistles such as internal video recording, Wall monitors etc. So ask for discounts for just the features you need.

Our Recommendations:

  • Get a quote from several companies and compare the points above to see how they fair.