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Analog CCTV vs IP surveillance

DSC-CCTVWhen you make the choice to set up a security system for your home or business, surveillance cameras are an essential part of the equation. Having a reliable camera set up will not only see any trespassers in the act it will also record their actions; they may also act as an effective deterrent.

The two main types of cameras used in the security industry today are Analog Systems and Mega-Pixel (IP) camera) systems. Analog and IP cameras store the video in a very different way. Here are some of the main differences between the two.

Function

The primary difference between IP and Analog cameras is in how they function. Basically, an Analog camera is designed to send video using coax Cable that transmits the video using an Analog signal, The disadvantage of analog signals is noise – i.e., random unwanted variation. As the signal is copied and re-copied, or transmitted over long distances, or electronically processed, the unavoidable noise introduced by each step in the signal path is additive, progressively degrading the signal-to-noise ratio, until in extreme cases the signal can be overwhelmed. Noise can show up as “snow” in video signals. This degradation is impossible to recover, since there is no sure way to distinguish the noise from the signal; amplifying the signal to recover attenuated parts of the signal amplifies the noise (distortion/interference) as well.

An IP camera is capable of sending digital data over the internet or a computer network storing the data on harddrives. Digital signals can be transmitted, stored and processed without introducing noise. Most of the cameras that are able to perform this function are known as mega pixel or high definition cameras in the surveillance industry, the term IP camera is commonly used. The quality of the video is increased due to the amount of data that can be collected and stored. This allows the recorded result to see more detail and transmit the compressed data digitally and recreate the image at a higher resolution. The video recording does not degrade much like an analog signal.

Analog cameras have been a staple of security systems for years, but many would argue they are being phased out by technology. This becomes more evident as some of the differences between the two cameras are explored.

The ‘Remote’ Aspect

Remote viewing and recording are two big differences between analog and IP cameras. With IP cameras, you can see live video from any location around the world using just the tools that are built in to the camera. Think of each camera as having its own phone number that is unique to only that component. You can use that number to access the camera. It is possible to see images on the internet from an analog camera, but you must add extra software and hardware components to do so.

And while analog cameras do enable remote recording, the fact that this technology has been around for many years and can degrade over time. The IP camera data can be stored on new technology in different locations and can be protected for longer periods of time.

In the end, it’s up to you the business owner or homeowner to decide which type of camera you want to use for your security system. The wisest course of action is to sit down with your security company and listen to their suggestions. Any reputable company will make suggestion based on your needs and not just what will result in a higher cost. Shop around, ask questions, and you’ll find the camera and system that is best for your situation.

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