At its simplest, a conventional analogue CCTV system is a video surveillance system in which a camera sends a signal (video/audio) to a DVR (Digital Video Recorder) via a coax cable, where it is then digitized and stored on hard drives. DVR is often connected to the LAN which makes it possible to access video footage remotely, in a similar way as IP CCTV system, which we will look at in the next post.
Why Choose an Analog System?
The short answer is – “cost”. Analogue CCTV systems have traditionally been cheaper than its more technologically advanced IP counterpart. Whilst the costs of the installation of a new CCTV system from scratch may be roughly the same whether you choose an IP CCTV or analogue, for those who already have an existing analogue CCTV system, the cost of upgrading it to IP may be significant.
The other potential advantage is that, vis-à-vis IP cameras which transmit signals via an IP protocol and therefore require a connection to the Internet, for analogue cameras to work all that is required is a power source.
Why Choose an IP System? There are quite a few reasons why you should probably think twice before buying an analogue system, to name just a few:
• Local. A traditional analogue system is local, which means that you cannot access your camera remotely, say, from your smartphone.
• Resolution. A conventional analogue camera has the max resolution of 0.4 megapixel after being digitised (vis-à-vis 12 megapixels offered by top IP cameras).
• Security. IP video streams can be encrypted making them difficult to intercept. In contrast, analogue signals can be intercepted and/or viewed by anyone with access to the cabling infrastructure
• Flexibility. Analogue cameras use radio frequencies to transmit video wirelessly and are limited to about a dozen cameras before it reaches capacity in the unlicensed spectrum; after this you would have to look at purchasing a radio license.
• Scalability. Analogue cameras are hard-wired and difficult to scale – CCTV DVRs have a fixed number of camera inputs, and on most DVRs, there’s no way to scale beyond this limit, which means you would have to install additional CCTV systems. In contrast, IP surveillance allows you to easily scale any installation as your needs and budget grows.
Next time we will consider IP camera systems.
If you have any questions, please let us know :)