A concerned Malaysian writes about Malaysian affairs. "You are the Change you Seek" Barack Obama
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
How Cheap are CCTVs?
That is the fashion for this month with people like local council and schools clamouring to install a CCTV system to eliminate crime; never mind if the people watching the screens will also be playing games on their handphones or chatting online - the crooks will not know that and the sign "Area Under CCTV Protection" will deter most petty criminals.
I read that a council will be spending RM3.9m for a system with 34 cameras. Doing a rough calculation, the cost of each camera plus all related equipment comes to an average of RM114,706.
Now that looks like a camera that is encrusted with precious stones and gold-plated as gold has reached its all-time high.
So I decided to take a look at CCTV systems and you can learn a lot from this site.
For really cheap solutions, one can purchase a 4-camera wireless set-up for less than RM1000 so that means each camera integrated into the system comes at RM250.
Now one cannot imagine that such a system would be suitable for outdoors and the reliability would also be suspect but nowadays, such technology is becoming cheaper and even industrial high quality systems do not cost an arm and a leg.
So what do you think a quality system should cost?
TEN Times the home system?
How about FIFTY Times?
This site has a price indication of the products used to set up a CCTV system so anyone can develop a reasonable estimate.
That looks reasonable.
50 x RM250 = RM12,500 for each camera as part of the integrated system.
So it looks like we are paying 10 times more than what would be obtained with a proper tender system. Somehow it looks similar to the horrors reported in the Auditor-General's annual reports.
In the haste to award such generous contracts I wonder if anyone has pondered of the benefits of all these systems being able to communicate with each other without other special equipment?
Graphics: Thanks to http://www.boschsecurity.us/index.html