Multiple Surveillance questions..How does your church do Video Surveillance backups?


I am looking at getting out security cameras for our church (we dont have any) and I was wanting to get a DVR system and do POE cameras and have everything ran CAT5/6.

When I am presenting the camera plan/option I have a drawn map of where the cameras should be mounted and an idea of the cover per camera that it will have (using a program for visuals).

Originally they wanted to go with Ring cameras and I immediately said would NOT recommend for many reasons (wireless, changing rechargable batteries, the solar panels needing to be attached, bandwidth issues, coverage issues for the cameras due to brick walls and only going off of 1 modem’s capability for wireless, not great quality compared to Reolink).

My plan is to suggest if you are going to put the money into a security system, do wired cameras because hardwired is always better vs wireless and you want it to be good quality not something you have to consistently maintain. Then list the pros/cons.

My question is, if we go w/a Reolink POE DVR system (Reolink has 2 POE DVR models) or similar DVR w/POE. Say we do NOT want it to backup to the cloud how simple is it to do a FTP?

How do other churches backup their DVR footage?

Do you have a rotation or rule of thumb/ how to/ strategy?

I am the only IT person so I plan on having someone assist me with running the cat5 cables and installing the cameras once the DVR is purchased VS having a monthly charge to a company like ADT.

Or is it better to do a company like ADT?

Anything I am missing or should be thinking about?

We do not necessarily have a budget or have even discussed price but when the suggestion of Ring cameras came up my immediate thought was cheapest possible security camera option which I am not a fan of cheapest security option if you are going to have security at least have it be decent.

I priced out the NVRs and I think with the cameras (4-8) it would be about $1500-$2000 total just for the camera/dvrs, not including the cabling and installation which if i do on my own and have someone assist would be maybe $200 for the persons assistance.

You definitely want a wire for power. If you’re going to pull a wire for power, you may as well use it for the data, too. PoE is a great option, especially if you already have PoE network switches.

We don’t keep footage beyond a few weeks. We figure that once it’s more than a few weeks old, it’s not really useful anyway. Besides, we don’t have a great way to find things within the footage.

I’m largely under the impression that you’ll get what you pay for. That can be in image quality, or maintenance, or ease of use. I think toward the upper end of that range is Verkada. I haven’t used it myself, but it seems like it’s both crazy impressive and crazy expensive. Moving down from there, you can get NVRs, or even roll your own if you have a PC that can handle the throughput for an application like BlueIris. If you have UniFi network gear, you should at least consider their camera solution, though I understand it’s not generally compatible with other manufacturers.

Thank you for the reply!! So to give more information which I didn’t initially think about before…I am in IT but I dont know everything about networking but flip side, I do not want to setup a PC and be responsible for swapping out the drives, etc. maintence if things break hence why im leaning toward a DVR from a reputable company. I like blue iris and have a little bit of use with it (started using it for my home camera project a few yrs ago but havent had an opportunity to put up cameras (bandwith cap issue) so im waiting on that). Getting back on track…our church has no network switches or honestly a network layout. We just got internet for the first time i think in 2021 we got internet and its only 1 router and a 100ft cable connected to our PC in the sound booth (that we do not use to stream because we are no there yet…we just got a website in 2022 i believe). All that being said, I want to keep it simple and with a company that I (or someone else) can call for support and questions if needed because I already have my hands full enough with other church stuff and knowing Im the only IT person. Making things easier to help facilitate in the future will be better then all of it weighing on me if I were to do my own setup and no one knows how to fix anything except just calling me if something happens (im all for my own setup at home but at home and in a production environment is a different story).

I agree you get what you pay for (as I had this conversation last year or two about video cameras and said if you really want a good camera and laptop look at spending 3-5k (originally the price was $300 for a camera) and once i went back over some things and shed more light on the products, and got other people involved (tech sales ppl) who could demo things in person w/equipment, things changed.
I’ve never heard of Verkada, I’ll have to check them out.

Luckily I have my camera captures from my Reolink planning/testing last yr/prior and will show those as part of the presentation for this Reolink DVR setup.

Since we do not have any switches (and i dont want to complicate things if im the only one who will be fixing them) I wanted to get a DVR that can support POE (to eliminate the switches). Reolink has 2 DVRs that support POE so I can just have the POE camera, plug in the cat5/6/7 and plug the other end into the DVR, then into the router. The more simple the better.

You mentioned you dont keep footage for more than a few weeks…so one thing i wanted to mention is, we have some things that get pushed over currently and its probably bored teenagers (our church is in a neighborhood), so maybe just watching it at night or maybe once a month fewing certain points of it…i mean if i can login from my PC at home and watch it i could always record or view it here and keep what i need and delete the rest.

We use Digital Watchdog software on a PC. We have 12TB of hard drive space with 32 POE Vivotek dome cameras. Each Vivotek camera costs $125 each and they require a Digital Watchdog license for each camera that cost about $100 each. With 12TB of storage we get about 15 days of recording. This system is nice because its local and can also be accessed over the internet with a Desktop or Mobile App. Pretty cheap system. Really you could probably install and run it on an existing PC if you only had a few cameras. You can run the software with 1 camera for free to try it out. You can use any POE camera you would like, but I would recommend a 1080p 2mp camera that can do 30fps with IR for the night.