High Definition CCTV (HD-CCTV) is a next progression from analog standard definition CCTV. The technology utilizes the same technology that is used in broadcast HD television and gives a much enhanced image over what you get with standard resolution hardware. Keep in mind, this should not be confused with HD-IP-CCTV which is an Internet Protocol CCTV system.
HD-CCTV is positioned between standard definition and mega pixel IP-CCTV. The primary advantage of HD is cost. One can reap the advantages of high definition for a minor increase in total equipment cost. Another major advantage is that the HD signal (HD-SDI) can be carried over conventional video coaxial cable (RG 59) meaning that a full re-cabling can be avoided. (With IP-CCTV all cabling must be replaced with CAT5e Network cable) HD-SDI is a standard developed for the TV industry and therefore has been tested and products (such as cameras, Digital Video Recorders (DVR’s) and distribution hardware) are being developed to be interchangeable with standard analog systems.
So what are the disadvantages of HD-CCTV if it is cheaper than IP and offers almost the same resolution? This technology has been developed about as far as one can go with the existing system it is not an investment that can be improved upon. It will be a closed system which can only be added to with the same technology. This is fine if the expectations of the user are met, but based on the massive improvements in image quality in the last 5 years, it is fair to assume that in 5 years the users expectations will have moved on. Another disadvantage is that all cabling has to be done using RG 59 coaxial cable and this means that a upgrade to IP-CCTV in the future will also require a re-cabling of the whole installation with Category 5 or 6 cabling.
Once again with today’s technology you are getting more and more options regarding CCTV. As I mentioned in the paragraph above it is very important to set your expectations when investing in a surveillance solution.