7 Hidden Costs of a Video Surveillance System

An incident occurs at one of your locations, so you put in a request to have the video exported from the on-site DVR. Three days later, you get a phone call that the video you requested isn’t available, because the camera has been down for over a month.

The camera is old. The DVR is old. You’re looking into getting a new video surveillance system to replace the old one. You get the price of new cameras and a new DVR and you think all is good in the land of megapixels and recorders.

It’s not.

Other costs are lurking around the corner and the "nickel and dime" routine is about to start. Let’s talk about those hidden costs that no one wants to mention. 

1. Installation Costs


While not a “hidden” cost, installation is the single largest cost you’ll have after deciding your video solution. The vendor performing the installation is not the vendor who makes your cameras, and vice versa. Installation services may run to thousands of dollars per location and can take months to fully deploy.

The MultiSight Way:

Our project managers oversee the entire process for you, from planning the camera placements to scheduling installation to user on-boarding and beyond. Our installers are MultiSight-certified, and installation is included, so you don’t have to worry about any extra expenses. Your MultiSight Project Manager will have you up and running in no time.

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2. On-Boarding


Initial training, or on-boarding, is essential for understanding the in’s and out’s of your video surveillance system. The down side is that most video companies charge fees per user or per session for onboarding. These extra expenses are often represented as “set-up fees.”

The MultiSight Way:

On-boarding is always included at no additional charge. Our Customer Success Managers will host an on-boarding session tailored to your organization for as many users as you’d like. The MultiSight system is extremely simple to set up and our Success Managers will have you up and running in seconds.

3. Support


You’re sitting at your desk and you get a call that one of the cameras is down. You call the camera manufacturer and they tell you that it’s a problem with the installation. You call the installer and he tells you that you need new camera firmware from the manufacturer. You spend hours on the phone in a battle of he said / she said, costing you more money and time, while losing hours of video recording.

The MultiSight Way:

With MultiSight, support is included in your service. The MultiSight Support team is based in California and is available 24/7 to address any of your needs. This is the same support team that monitors the health of your system and contacts you about any system health issue requiring your attention.

4. Updates


Deploying updates to your cameras and DVRs is labor-intensive, time-consuming, and expensive, as your organization applies updates to each device at every location. Even worse, an update to one component may break the integration to another, as components and versions fall out of sync. This is a natural and often unavoidable result of "point-solutions" -- deployments that use cameras from one vendor and DVRs from another.

The MultiSight Way:

All MultiSight cameras and gateways are kept up to date via the MultiSight cloud services, requiring no intervention on your part. We eliminate the traditional, expensive burden of managing and applying individual updates to all your cameras and recorders across all of your locations. With our seamless, cloud-based upgrades, all your devices are in sync and have the latest version of software, and ultimately the latest features, at all times.Learn more about our solution

5. Storage


Adding more storage to a traditional video system is costly. Couple that with the traditional export and archival process and it’s very time-consuming as well.

The MultiSight Way:

MultiSight lets our users save an unlimited amount of video in the cloud for an entire year, or longer if required. Retrieving your video is simple and intuitive as well. Your video is stored in your personal library where you can share it with others or just download it for your own purposes. We don't charge fees per clip or per gigabyte -- "unlimited" really means you can save as many HD clips as you like. 

6. Infrastructure


When converting your infrastructure from analog to IP, it can be costly and time consuming to hire electricians to run CAT-5 cable across all of your locations and to purchase the necessary PoE switches to connect all your devices. Because this cost is so high, organizations are forced to use a phased approach, upgrading a certain number of stores every year.

The MultiSight Way:

With MultiSight, installation is included in your service and a MultiSight-certified installer completes your install quickly and efficiently. We even provide you with the necessary PoE switches to connect and power all the MultiSight devices in each location. This saves you the time and money associated with acquiring this infrastructure yourself.

7. Health Monitoring


When all of the hardware comes from different vendors it’s extremely difficult to monitor the health of your system components.   

The MultiSight Way:

As part of the MultiSight service, we display system health status on a simple and intuitive dashboard. More importantly, our support team continuously and proactively monitors your system health, so you can be confident your video will be there for you. If there is an issue, our support team will work with you to resolve it, or dispatch one of our technicians, if needed.


About the Author

Evan Garabedian

Evan Garabedian

I'm responsible for marketing, operations, sales and overall strategy for MultiSight. I've been with Schneider Electric / Pelco since 2003.

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