Digital vs Analog HD Security Camera Technology

by BeemTech | Tuesday, Aug 19, 2014 | 3701 views

Surveillance: Analog High-Definition Versus Digital Security Cameras 

With the introduction of high definition analog security cameras, the gap is being closed in terms of quality differences between these two types of surveillance cameras. Which of these two types of closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras you choose will depend upon your needs, since both options have pros and cons. Read on to discover their main differences.

Digital vs Analog HD Security Camera TechnologyAnalog High-Definition Cameras 

Analog cameras capture analog video signals which are digitized and recorded on a digital video recorder (DVR). Video monitors for viewing the system are plugged into the DVR. Alternatively, they can be set up to publish over an internal network and be viewed on a computer. The DVR is one of the most important components to the surveillance system (check out this helpful video explaining a 16 channel HD DVR) because without it you wouldn’t be able to playback any of the footage that you are recording throughout your security system.

In the past, analog cameras did not provide the clarity and detail that the new high definition cameras permit. New analog HD cameras can zoom in and record details and have easy installation with one cable for both audio and video. These newer cameras have 33 percent more resolution than older analog cameras. You can now review remotely with a computer, tablet or cellphone. Camera positioning during installation is also much easier thanks to a mobile app that allows you to see what the camera sees. Analog cameras are ideal when covering a relatively small space, in private homes, and when there are budget constraints.

Analog Pros 

  • Less expensive to install
  • More choices of sizes from very small to large
  • Greater compatibility between different brands
  • Failsafe option in event of network outage
  • New HD technology yielding higher resolution

Analog Cons 

  • Signal interference
  • Does not work well on wireless
  • Cannot cover very large or distant areas
  • Lacks some technologically advanced features
  • Signals cannot be encrypted for security

Digital Internet Protocol Cameras 

Digital or IP (Internet protocol) cameras use the Ethernet, and each camera has its own address. These cameras make use of the newest technology of high resolution megapixels. Since the cameras are network-based, and not dependent upon cables, they do not need to be located near the NVR (network video recorder), making them ideal for surveillance of large areas or multiple locations.

Digital Pros 

  • Newest technology of megapixels
  • Broader range of coverage
  • Encryption security built-in
  • Can use existing wiring
  • Wireless
  • Can store up to a month’s recordings
  • No signal interference

Digital Cons 

  • Significantly higher cost
  • Can require high-bandwidth
  • Cameras can stop recording if network coverage is interrupted

Things to Consider When Choosing 

Even though advances in technology have narrowed the resolution gap that used to exist between these two cameras, there are still times when one system is clearly a better option. Of primary consideration is the size of the area that needs to be covered and whether multiple locations are involved. Analog cameras are better for small areas, home use and where there are budgetary constraints. Digital cameras allow broad coverage and remote locations, but need bandwidth and are more expensive.

If security encryption is desired, digital cameras are the clear choice. If the potential of Web interruption would create serious security issues, then analog cameras might be the right choice, or a hybrid of the two. By using multiple DVR’s and cameras, broader analog coverage can be provided.

In summary, both analog HD cameras and digital security cameras can provide excellent surveillance. The choice of which to use depends on the budget and needs of the company or individual.

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