Analog Camera Based Security Systems vs Digital IP Security Systems
Analog video cameras have a majority of market share today, but the video surveillance space is undergoing migration from analog to IP video cameras. “Analog” is quickly becoming synonymous with “outdated” so it’s certainly something to think about: maybe it’s time to step into the future.
Analog camera based systems – An analog camera captures information and sends the video signal in a format that can be viewed on an analog television and/or recorded over storage disks, DVRs.
IP camera based systems – IP based cameras combine the capabilities of a camera with some PC functionality that don’t require a direct connection to a PC to operate and can be placed anywhere within a network. In other words, an IP camera is a “network appliance”, just like any other IP device on the network. It has its own IP address, and can be accessed and controlled over any IP network such as a WAN, LAN, Intranet, or Internet.
Why are the users migrating to IP Camera Surveillance Systems?
The biggest advantage of IP surveillance is that users can access real-time video from any computer, anywhere. The digital video outputted from these cameras can be transported over the LAN or Internet and stored at multiple remote locations for requirements such as information security, disaster recovery etc. Whereas, in the case of analog systems video has to be viewed from places which are physically tethered to the camera and information is stored in storage solutions such as DVR that have limited flexibility in terms of expansion and hardware changes.
The new IP cameras are smart and can detect motion and are able to view, sense and notify monitoring stations of any irregular activities. Whereas, analog cameras are just a set of “eye balls” panning over an area.
It’s easier to configure IP based systems for current requirements and just as easily expand or re-configure as needs change. One or more cameras can be added to the network with no additional cabling or power requirements. Most importantly, these changes can be made without losing the investment in the original system.
Storage and Bandwidth requirements
It is possible to trigger video recording only when some sort of irregular movement is detected. This drastically reduces the storages space requirements for the video feed. Also, the latest compression rates such as H.264 can compress to about 80% of the raw bit rate.
The initial cost for IP system is certainly substantial, but it’s important to remember that a single IP camera can take the place of three or four comparable analog cameras due to the increased coverage area. So while a single unit may cost more, you’re ultimately buying less cameras. Separate power sources aren’t necessary for IP cameras if you use a POE switch, so you can save money on power supplies. In addition, low-cost storage options like hosted video make IP systems a much more affordable option than location-based analog solutions.
IP cameras provide higher resolution than the analog cameras. Check out a sample below.
Secure Access and Encryption
IP cameras have a plethora of security mechanism options such as authentication via 802.1x mechanisms, encryption via advanced encryption standards AES or secure access via HTTPS and VPNs. Analog camera based networks are extremely vulnerable to attacks like man-in the middle, spoofing etc. IP based systems provide complete end to end network protection from such attacks.