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Ip vs Analogue - How Analogue is better

In an interview with CCTV Media Mike Newton discusses the IP vs Analogue debate for CCTV systems and questions the real ROI of pure IP only solutions.

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Comment by Chiranjeevi B on October 30, 2012 at 3:43am

OK, I would say that the fact differes from choice to choise. Peopel have their different view on analog or digital security cameras

Comment by Ascendent Technology Group on May 11, 2010 at 10:32am
I have been talking to a lot of dealers, distributors and integrators lately regarding IP Vs analog as we liek to design projects for our dealers and integrators.

The conversation usually starts of like This, Im looking for some IP cameras.

I say Ok why do you want IP?

After they explain to me there requirements about 90% of the time I quote them an analog system ( I do an IP option as well but since analog is cheaper, lower cost and offers better performance they usually opt for analog quote)

IP video is more about marketing then it is about performance as larger companies like Bosch pelco Honeywell axis can change for both hardware and software and once you use there cameras you have to keep using there cameras unlike universal analog you can use any camera on any DVR and they can have other companies develop software for the allowing them to get into niche markets without having to developing new product lines.

Also IP sounds great, plug and play, Better image quality, use existing infrastructure, who wouldn’t want that unfortunate;y this is often not the case.

IP is like wireless (in theory its perfect) if that was true there would be no wired cameras or analog cameras it would all be wireless IP.

IP cameras are based on CMOS
Analog cameras are based on CCD (usually)

CCD image sensors contain hundreds
of thousands picture elements, called pixels. Each pixel contains a light sensitive element and a capacitor.

A CMOS sensor is constructed using a array of pixels, but unlike CCD’s CMOS do not have a capacitor to store the charge for each pixel.The rows of pixels are activated sequentially rather then individually

This mean CMOS has some significant disadvantages compared to CCD, this means CMOS
have inferior ability to cope with ambient lighting such as back light, bright, deep shadows contrasts, low light and IR this is also known as the real word.

In short unless you have perfect lighting a good CCD camera will outperform an equivalent CMOS camera.

CMOS unless it implements progressive scan technology does not handle motion well you get dithering and streaking similar to mpeg4 when there is high amounts of motion.

File Size
File size is crucial whether its for remote viewing, storage or transmissions because most DVR’s on the market record at real time performance (30FPS per channel) so on a 4CH is trying to send 120, 8CH 240, and a 16CH 480 images per second which requires way to much bandwidth even for the most extreme internet connections.

The smaller the files size the more images that are able to be sent and the faster they can be processed improving both FPS and speed. File size is the heart of any DVR and goes far beyond just its streaming capabilities as it also determines the recoding storage time, how much you can back up at once, how fast it renders and searches video.

The file size of a DVR impacts the performance of the DVR in just about every aspect from speed to longevity and is often the most import spec of any DVR.

IP cameras have up to a 5X larger file size then analog cameras. (at same resolution) I have seen MP cameras that on 2MP resolution are over 300X (%3000) larger then our X3 DVR on a CIF image. This is an extreme case but generally speaking IP cameras have a much larger file size.

This is because mot IP cameras especially economical ones or 3MP+ uses old outdated compression technology such as J-peg and Mpeg 4 rather then H.264. This means that if you want to do over 9 IP cameras most existing infrastructures simply wont do the job and can even bog down the network to point that it affects other devices such as POS, storage and other peripherals located on the network.

So like analog you often ether have to put in new cabling infrastructure for the IP cameras or completely overhaul there existing one which is often more expensive then doing analog cameras using baluns and cat 5 cabling (not to mention lower cost of ownership and higher reliability .
Comment by Ascendent Technology Group on May 11, 2010 at 10:31am
IP does have applications and in some cases IP cameras are the only way to do a project but I would estimate that for 90% of applications analog is cheaper offers higher performance with a lower cost of ownership and higher reliability.

IP is a young and emerging technology and I have no doubt that in the future it will outperform analog cameras but its not a mature technology yet. Once we start to get standard IP platforms, get rid of license fees’ and existing networks have larger bandwidths then IP video will be a good solution, but until then analog is the way to go.

Unless you are using a 5MP+ and have a fiber optic backbone or just need one camera it is almost always better to go analog over IP video.


I personally suggest using Hybrid DVR’s and baluns in then you can use the Cat 5 for a network (just change the ends) and use the hybrid for the recording that way they can get a good system and have the ability to upgrade in the future using the same infrastructure.

another great way of gettign good performance on an IP infrastructure is the Use of IP video server I suggest using ones with internal HDD so if network goes down or a 40$ network hub fails you still have high quality high frame rate stored video.

I only use IP cameras for 4 applications

1) when need 3mp+ resolution and it is perfect lighting (this represents less then 2% of the total CCTV market yet drives most IP camera sales)

2)When I need to do large scale wireless projects and need encryption (even then I use IP servers)

3)Or for 1 or 2 camera installs

4) When there is a fiber optic backbone


Just about any other application Analog cameras will completely outperform there IP counterparts if using a good DVR at a cost saving up to 400%.

Notes: there are some CCD IP cameras but not if you need MP so your better off using an analog camera

IP cameras with progressive scan don't have motion blur problem but are quite expensive and often don't come in MP

This is just my opinion and my experience I suggest everyone test IP VS analog for themselves but please use good equipment when doing so and factor in file size, cost, and cost of ownership and reliability.
If you would like a copy of this and other white e papers you can subscribe to our email list or send an email to
info@ascendentgroup.com

If you would like a copy of this and other white papers you can subscribe to our email list or send an email to
info@ascendentgroup.com

http://www.ascendentgroup.com/
(email subscribe is to the left side)
Comment by Chris Sparks on January 18, 2010 at 8:49am
Thanks for putting this up
This Video was made by Security Media Publishing - formally CCTV Media
any comment on Mikes comments ?
Comment by Syed Maazuddin on July 14, 2009 at 10:29pm
Hey this is My CEO Mike Newton Of Dedicated Micros

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