– Comparing digital to analog video surveillance

There are two main types of video surveillance modes: IP video surveillance or traditional analog video surveillance.

Here is a comparative table that will allow you to understand their differences, advantages and disadvantages.

Note: to obtain a personalized estimate, you should get in touch with professionals.

Comparing digital to analog video surveillance

Analog video surveillance

IP (Internet Protocol) Video Surveillance


The ancient form of video surveillance.

The new video surveillance offer.


Concerns the majority of video surveillance installations.

Growing but still not very popular.

For what needs?

Installation composed of many cameras (at least fifteen).

– Small installation: 1 to 3 cameras.

– For a company already equipped with a reliable computer network.

– For a company with subsidiaries abroad: allows linking cameras together even on different sites.

How it works

– Analog cameras send analog signals (a continuous stream of data called scanning) to a time-limited data storage device (VCR).

– Video signals are transmitted over a coaxial cable.

– IP cameras are installed on an IP network (Intranet, Internet, LAN, VPN…) and are connected to a central video surveillance server. The server is equipped with video surveillance software to retrieve images and store them on a hard disk.

– Can be coupled with an analog installation.

Type of cameras

Analogue cameras: available in all shapes, sizes and for all types of applications.

– IP cameras: still very little on offer in terms of size, shape and functionality.

– IP cameras are incredibly sophisticated. They are connected to a computer network via cable or WiFi (wireless): they digitize, filter and compress images.


TV or monitor.

Thanks to image processing software, the images can be consulted in real-time on a network PC, via the Internet or on a cell phone.


– Limited in time (cassettes, VCR…).

– Possibility to connect analog cameras to a digital recorder (TV card placed in the computer or digital video recorder-DVR).

– The IP cameras are connected to a digital recording system by the network cable (or WiFi).

– No need for a TV card or digital video recorder: everything is directly recorded on the computer.


– Good image quality thanks to CCD sensors that capture more perceptible points than CMOS sensors (better resolution).

– Good image fluidity.

– Unreadable details.

Less useful than analog: more jerky images.

The quality depends on many parameters:

– the camera lens.

– the types of sensors (CMOS): less sensitive and efficient than CCD sensors, especially in low light conditions. They capture fewer perceptible points (pixels).

– the digital image processing circuit.

– the compression circuit.

– the speed (rate) of data transfer over the network.

Very flexible image format.

Highly visible details (zoom).

Covers large spaces.

Viewing images

– On a monitor.

– Possible on a network or Internet via a digital recorder.

– On PC or cell phone (depending on options).

– Image security: password locking.

Alarm system


– Compatible: intelligent solutions (counting, silhouette detection, alert system integrated into the camera).

– In case of an anomaly: sending an alert by email, SMS, file transfer…


– Easy, requires little technical knowledge.

– Important work in some cases (cables…).

– Complex: requires the presence of a computer specialist (many network settings).

– No major work.

– Parameter setting can be done remotely.

Evolutionary nature of the installation

Possibility to switch to a hybrid analog-digital installation (for data visualization and storage).

Possibility to easily add new IP cameras.


Easy, requires little technical knowledge.

Complex: requires the presence of a computer specialist.


Easy, requires little technical knowledge.

Complex: requires the intervention of a computer specialist. It can be done remotely.


– Economical for many cameras (at least 15).

– Wiring: more expensive than digital.

– More expensive cameras.

– Economical for many cameras (at least 15).

– Wiring: more costly than digital.

– More expensive cameras.

– Economical for a small installation of 1 to 3 cameras or when a computer network already exists.

– IP cabling: 3 times cheaper than analog cabling.

– No purchase of video cassettes or recorder.

– Large initial investment if a computer network needs to be installed.

– Need for a PC and an IT department.

– Cheaper cameras.

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