Video Surveillance: Choosing Between IP or Analog
There are two main types of video surveillance modes: IP video surveillance or the more traditional analog video surveillance.
Here is a comparative table that will allow you to understand their differences, advantages and disadvantages.
IP Video Surveillance: Network Operation
IP (Internet Protocol) video surveillance complemented analog video surveillance, which still equips the majority of installations.
It works with the same components (cameras, monitor, recorder, cables) but is carried out via a computer network:
– IP cameras are installed on an IP network (Intranet, Internet, LAN (local area network), PLC (power line carrier, i.e. electrical outlets) or VPN, etc.) and connected to a central video surveillance server: they capture images and send them to the network;
– the video surveillance server is equipped with video surveillance software: it is the heart of the system, it retrieves the images and stores them on a hard disk.
IP Video Surveillance: Great Versatility
IP video surveillance has many advantages related to its functionalities. Through the network and via the Internet:
– images can be viewed in real-time and consulted at any time on any computer connected to the network;
– the cameras can be managed remotely: configuration, maintenance, zoom…
– the images are accessible on a PDA or mobile phone.
The IP cameras are very sophisticated and have a large number of functions: alarm system, motion sensors, heat sensors, counting, silhouette detection…
This technology also makes it possible to store a very large number of images without loss of quality.
IP Video Surveillance: For Whom?
This type of video surveillance is recommended in several cases:
– for small installations of one to three surveillance cameras;
– for companies or organizations that already have an organized and solid IT network and an IT department or IT specialist.
Cost of IP Video Surveillance: Not Always Economical
IP video surveillance systems are considered cheaper than analog video surveillance if they are installed on an existing computer network.
There is no need to replace all the hardware to access newer functionalities: just change the video surveillance software (this is the heart of the system).
On the other hand, they are much less economical if the network has to be installed.
In addition, they require the permanent services of a computer specialist or IT department.
Advantages and Disadvantages of IP Video Surveillance
Here is a summary table of the different aspects of this type of video surveillance.
|Accessibility||Benefits from all the functionalities of the Internet||Few choices of cameras (size, shape…)|
|Features||IP video surveillance can be integrated with other IP technologies (security system, video conferencing, etc.) through the use of network technology.||—|
|Installation||– Can be installed on an existing computer network (economy) – Compatible with all types of cabling: IP, coaxial… or wireless (WiFi) – No major work to be expected – Everything goes through a computer: no need for a monitor, a recorder… – High flexibility in camera installation: cameras can be easily added or relocated.||Complex: numerous adjustments, presence of a computer specialist is essential.|
|Viewing images||– On network computers or via the Internet (PC, PDA, GSM) – Real-time image viewing – Possible adjustment of the images (size, zoom…) – Cameras can be controlled remotely (depending on the model||Lower image quality than with an analog system|
|Maintenance||No maintenance contract required: can be done remotely by the IT department||Computer scientist|
|Security||– Locking access to images with a password – Can be coupled with a security system (alarm…)||—|
|Cost||Cost of IP cameras cheaper than analog cameras||Important if network installation is required|
Analog Video Surveillance
This older technology is mainly suitable for medium-sized installations with 15 to 30 cameras.
Analog Video Surveillance: The Most Widespread
The analog video surveillance system is still the most widely used video surveillance system in businesses, shops and private homes.
It is equipped with analog cameras whose only role is to capture images and send them to a time-limited recorder (such as a video recorder) via an analog signal.
This system consists of one or more cameras, a monitor (or television), a recorder and cabling (the transfer of images is done via a so-called coaxial cable).
The dominant position of this type of video surveillance on the market brings some important advantages:
– a great diversity of analog cameras: dimensions, shapes, applications;
– the price of analog cameras is more economical than IP cameras.
Weak Functionalities of Analog Video Surveillance
Its main advantage is the quality and fluidity of the images as well as its ease of use.
But compared to network video surveillance, the analog system is quite limited in terms of functionalities:
– storage capacity limited in time (cassettes);
– inflexible image format;
– no real-time access via the Internet (unless the cameras are connected to a network) and mobile Internet (PDA, GSM…);
– limited scalability: difficult to add additional cameras over time (length of cable, labour…);
– no remote management: remote installation and maintenance are not possible.
Switching From Analog to Digital: Not Difficult
If you are equipped with an analog video surveillance system and you want to switch to digital, it does not necessarily require replacing all the equipment.
To take advantage of the benefits of digital, you can use a TV card (to be installed in the computer) or a digital video recorder (DVR) that can convert analog signals into digital signals: this allows you to store the digitized images on a computer.
With DVRs, it is easy to set up a hybrid video surveillance system that combines analog and digital or IP cameras via a single network.
Analog Video Surveillance Prices
What is most expensive in analog video surveillance is the installation, as it often requires heavy work (cable routing, installation of cameras, etc.).
This system also requires the full-time presence of a security agent to monitor the images broadcast on the monitor and to make the rounds.
Analog cameras are often less expensive than digital or IP cameras.
If you wish, we can put you in touch with one or more video surveillance specialists. They will be able to offer you a free and non-binding quotation.
In the end, you will choose your video surveillance system by considering the following:
– estimating the risks;
– choosing between a wired or wireless camera;
– thinking about permissions for your video surveillance system.
For more info, you can read this blog article: HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR VIDEO SURVEILLANCE SYSTEM. If you like this post, don’t forget to leave your comments below.