IP CCTV vs Analogue: Pros & Cons
By Data Installations & Supplies ltd
Whether you’ve experienced a security breach, or you need to monitor industrial processes, or you just want to be careful; you may be considering installing a CCTV system in your premises. However, there is a range of camera types that can be installed to protect your business or home, so which one is right for you?
This blog will cover two of the most popular options, IP and Analogue CCTV, as well as their pros and cons.
This type of system tends to be found in older businesses and locations but is considered a legacy technology, often replaced by IP CCTV cameras. Analogue systems transmit their footage by recording images to a digital recorder, which then converts the video into a digital format (usually at a lower resolution) that can be viewed using a connected monitor. Alternatively, the recorder can be hooked up to a router for remote access and viewing. Whilst this type of system does work, advancements in the CCTV surveillance field have generally superseded that of a traditional analogue system.
- Cost: If you have an existing analogue CCTV system then switching to an IP CCTV version will, of course, cost you money. However, the pros and cons of this swap need to be weighed up (which is probably why you’re reading this blog, right?!).
- Variety: This form of security camera has been available for a lot longer than their IP-based counterparts, meaning that more models and styles are available on the market.
- More cables: Analogue cameras require two cables (power and DVR), whereas IP cameras only require the one cable.
- Vulnerabilities: This type of camera cannot be encrypted, meaning that a hacker could potentially access your system and cause untold damage. This can be worked around with proper network security protocols, but is still an entry point that doesn’t need to be there.
- Coverage: One IP camera can cover the same area as multiple analogue cameras thanks to their multiple sensors.
- Image quality: Whilst it’s true that HD analogue CCTV systems exist, the quality, frame rate and resolution of the footage they capture is still outclassed by what modern IP cameras can record.
The modern solution to security cameras, an IP CCTV system can re-invent how you monitor your premises. These systems transmit their footage in a digital format, with no need for conversion, allowing you to easily view the footage in real-time from several places at once. A lot of camera kits now include a partnered mobile phone app, which can alert you to movement or noises, and allow you to view your camera feeds remotely from the comfort of your own home or even on holiday! Far evolved from the traditional camera system, IP cameras are constantly evolving in terms of reliability and extra features.
- Image quality: Briefly mentioned in the disadvantages of analogue, IP cameras are capable of capturing and transmitting much higher quality images. On top of this, you can also zoom in on the footage without sacrificing image quality. This is an incredibly valuable feature if you need to identify a person or number plate, for example.
- Coverage: Due to these cameras having multiple sensors within them, they can monitor an area that may require three or four analogue cameras. Whilst IP cameras may be more expensive, the fact that less of them are needed in comparison to analogue ones can reduce the pricing gap between the systems
- Wireless transmission: Whilst you can still have a traditional set up with a recording device and monitors, this type of camera can transmit its video wirelessly. Meaning that it can be accessed in real-time from multiple places at once if it’s connected to a reliable wireless network (which most workplaces already feature).
- Cabling: Power over Ethernet switches eliminate the need for two cables for these cameras as the signal cables can transmit the power to support the camera.
- Security: Most IP cameras feature built-in encryption, which helps to keep your data safer from when it is first captured to when it’s transmitted and stored. Combine this with security on your wireless network to minimise the risk of a cyberattack or breach.
- Storage requirements: Higher quality and frames per second mean that your video files will be larger. Even if transmitted directly to a Cloud storage solution, they can take up a lot of space. This means you’ll either require a device with large amounts of physical storage or a large amount of cloud storage that you can access.
- Higher initial cost: As the technology in IP CCTV cameras is a lot more advanced than their analogue counterparts, it makes sense for them to cost more. However, as previously mentioned, you may need fewer IP cameras to cover the same amount of space as analogue cameras so there’s a chance the costs could balance out or at least get closer.
- Setup complications: If you don’t know what you’re doing, it can be harder to set up an IP CCTV system properly. That’s exactly why we offer a bespoke IP CCTV installation service – to make your life easier!
- Higher bandwidth requirements: Despite compression occurring, the larger files created by your cameras constantly mean that more bandwidth is needed to transmit them effectively. This may mean your current network is unsuitable and needs upgrading.
Which one is best for you?
Whilst an analogue CCTV system certainly does the job, there could be a lot of discussion on whether it does the job effectively, especially when compared to high-tech IP cameras. The sheer amount of additional features and ease of use that an IP system can bring your business makes it a highly effective method of securing your premises. There may be some situations where an old-school solution is best, but we always consider the business needs before always recommending investing in an IP CCTV system.
If you’d like to find out what route we’d recommend going for your business, don’t hesitate to get in touch for more information or a free quote.