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HD Analog CCTV vs. IP Video Surveillance

IP cameras (commonly referred to as Network cameras, or Megapixel cameras) feature an embedded video server that converts images into a digital format inside of the camera. Because IP cameras are embedded devices and do not need to output an analog signal, they are capable of capturing far higher resolutions than traditional analog cameras.

IP cameras connect to a local network via a single Ethernet cable, which transmits power, video and data to and from the camera. Additionally, IP cameras have a unique IP address, and can be accessed directly via the network – providing remote access and storage flexibility.

Without question, the primary benefits of IP security cameras are resolution and image quality – allowing users to capture forensic level detail, and to digitally zoom in on any image without losing clarity. This results in more effective identification, and provides greater accuracy for automated analysis, alarms and notifications.

Most common IP solutions range from 1.3 megapixel (1280 x 1024 pixels) to 5.0 megapixel (2592 x 1944 pixels), and some manufacturers offer IP cameras that deliver 20+ megapixel resolutions. However, the resolution and frame rate captured for a specific application are typically limited by storage and bandwidth constraints, and higher megapixel models can be cost prohibitive.

IP video surveillance solutions have experienced a dramatic increase in popularity, driven by the capability to capture higher-resolution megapixel video, an overall increase in adaption and understanding of IP-based technologies, simplification and increasing compatibility of IP security technology, and reductions in cost as demand (and production volume) continues to grow.

Benefits of IP

  • Capable of higher resolutions than traditional analog solutions
  • Transmit power, video and data over single Ethernet cable
  • IP camera can operate as a standalone network device, capable of functioning without a network video recorder

Limitations of IP

  • Require a complex network infrastructure
  • Offer limited transmission distance
  • Commonly experience video latency
  • Require considerable network bandwidth
  • Can be extremely costly compared to traditional analog and comparable Analog HD systems

The Advantages of HD Analog

HD Analog systems are capable of delivering up to 1080p HD video – addressing the primary shortcoming of traditional analog solutions. 1080p (or 2.1 megapixel) cameras capture more than 4x the resolution of the most powerful analog cameras – allowing users to effectively zoom in to view the level of detail required for most common security applications.

Additionally, HD analog systems are capable of transmitting video over standard coaxial cabling (new or existing) – dramatically reducing the time, cost and complexity associated with a comparable IP solution. HD cameras can transmit video up to 1600’ – over 5x the distance of an IP system, and transmits with zero latency – a very common issue with most IP installations.

HD Analog systems are as simple to install and maintain as traditional analog solutions – not requiring the networking equipment and knowledge associated with IP solutions. And because HD Analog lives off the network, they don’t interfere with other network-related activities, or consume valuable network bandwidth required by other devices.

There are no licensing or recurring fees associated with HD Analog solutions, and all channels come completely enabled – for the life of your product. Comparable IP solutions commonly require the purchase of a license for every channel used, and a recurring annual fee to maintain that license. This is an important consideration from a perspective of both management complexity and total cost of ownership.

And importantly, HD technology has become increasingly accessible. With the growing demand for higher definition video and the recent emergence of more cost-effective technologies, the market price for HD Analog solutions has reduced dramatically – almost to Analog levels. HD Analog equipment is now available for less than half the price of a comparable IP solution.

Max Resolution 5.0 Megapixel*2592 x 1944 px*20+ megapixel models available 1080p1920 x 1080 px 1080p*1920 x 1080 px*expected EOY 2014 1080p1920 x 1080 px 1080p1920 x 1080 px
Video Output Quality Best picture qualitySharper images
at higher res
True colors
Very good in daylightImages not as crisp
in low light conditions
GoodImages not
as crisp
Colors not as accurate
Very goodSharp images up to 1080p
True colors
Very goodSharp images up to 1080p
True colors
Transmission Distance Coaxial Cable
Requires media converter 1600’ (720p)
1300’ (1080p)
1600’ 492’ 1600’
Twisted Pair
328’ 650’ 492’ 350’(digital converter required) 700’
DVR Input Compatibility Analog N/A All analog cameras, limited channels, limited configurations All analog cameras, limited channels, limited configurations Limited models, limited channels, limited configurations All analog cameras, on any channel, in any configuration
HD Analog N/A Like-branded HD-CVI cameras, on any channel, in any configuration Like-branded AHD cameras, on any channel, in any configuration Select HD-SDI cameras, on any channel, in any configuration Any HD-TVI camera, on any channel, in any configuration
IP Supported IP cameras, on any channel, in any configuration Supported IP cameras, on select channels, in select configurations N/A N/A Supported IP cameras, on 2 channels, in any configuration
DVR Hybrid Capabilities Select models offer hybrid capabilities Limited
Limited configurability Limited configurability Yes, unlimited configurability
Format Compatibility Open standard, countless manufacturers, cross- compatibility limited to like-brands or ONVIF Proprietary technology, only produced by 1 manufacturer, Dahua - out of China. Concern is limited supply options, limited technology options, and lack of competitive pricing Open standard, limited manufacturers Open standard, multiple manufacturers - are currently exiting the market as alternative HD formats outpace SDI Open standard, over 100 manufacturers have launched or are developing solutions using TVI technology
  Learn About HD‑CVI Learn About AHD Learn About HD‑SDI Learn About HD‑TVI

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