Security Systems : Why Choose IP Over Analog?

When choosing which type of cameras you’ll need for your security system, there are many questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is my overall budget?
  2. How much video footage (how many days or weeks) do I want to be able to store?
  3. Am I replacing or upgrading a current system?
  4. Does the current system already have existing wiring? If so, what type?
  5. How important is it to clearly see detail if the image is magnified (i.e. denomination of currency coming out of a cash register)?
  6. Do I require the ability to manipulate the image later?
  7. Do you want a large variety of cameras to choose from?
  8. Do you need offsite recording?

Vivotek FD8361L IP CameraIP cameras have increased in popularity over the years, but sometimes analog can be sufficient for your needs. IP camera systems can get pricey for several reasons. First, the cameras themselves generally cost more. Also, you need to have a more robust DVR because IP cameras require much more bandwidth to operate, and they require much larger hard drive storage, a faster operating system, and more RAM, which can increase the price of the system. Since video clips for IP cameras are larger files, the amount of hard drive space must be increased to handle your particular storage needs (depending on how far back you want to archive).

The benefits of the IP system may outweigh the difference in cost. An investment in an IP camera system will carry you into the next generation of cameras. You can do things with IP cameras that are virtually impossible with analog. One of the many benefits is that digital images are compressed and allow you to zoom in (or blow up) a picture without degrading the image, as compared to analog cameras. With a high enough Megapixel camera, you can electronically zoom on an image that was recorded well away from the camera and still get detailed information (what is the person typing?, what does the perpetrator look like?, etc). Don’t expect a level of detail seen in unrealistic TV shows, but the results are nonetheless impressive.

With an analog system, you can get detailed (blown up) images only in real time if you have someone to manually operate a PTZ (Pan Tilt Zoom) camera (common in casinos and parking lots), whereas with IP, you can go back to a past recording and do it anytime. Since IP cameras have not been around as long as analog, there is not as much variety in styles and types of cameras. It’s also important to note that if you’re replacing a current analog system, it may be easier to replace another analog system if the traditional RG59 wiring is already in place.

  1. FieldTechGuyMarch 13, 2012   

    I have to say, being in the industry as long as I have places such as: schools, retail stores, banks, police stations and court houses are some of the top canidates to need systems like this. The resolution is remarkable and the detail will really make the investment pay off.

  2. Adrian WaymireJune 26, 2012   

    Great post and right to the point. Your team has been immensely helpful with getting my install team off the ground. Thank you so much!

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