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The differences between Analogue and IP CCTV systems

The differences between Analogue and IP CCTV systems.

1. Analogue

In an analogue CCTV system the camera will capture an analogue video signal and transfer it through a cable to the DVR (digital video recorder).  The DVR converts the analogue signal to digital, compresses it, and then stores it on hard drive from where it can be retrieved.  Connected to the DVR are monitors used for viewing the footage.  The recordings can be set up to feed to a number of computers on an internal network and they can also be broadcast over the internet.  Cameras themselves can be powered through power sites where they are situated or by using a bundle to group power and video cables together.

Currently, the analogue system is the more cost-effective of the two.  They are also relatively free of bandwidth issues since they transmit through coaxial cable.  LAN (local area network) in analogue systems is only used in analogue systems for the DVR to broadcast video over the network to local desktop users or to the internet. DVRs tend to broadcast video very efficiently and will only use bandwidth if people are currently viewing the cameras.

2. IP / Digital CCTV

IP CCTV systems also capture analogue images but they convert them to digital immediately.  This digital video stream is then broadcast via an Ethernet cable to the LAN.  In IP systems the NVR (Network Video Recorder) replaces the DVR of the analogue system.  The Ethernet cable from each camera runs to here and the NVR compresses and records the signal.  From here the NVR broadcasts the video streams from the cameras to the LAN.  The video feeds from IP CCTV systems are of a much higher resolution.

IP systems are capable of providing better quality images, up to 5 megapixels, with a higher resolution than their analogue counterparts and can also capture clearer images of moving objects.  Wireless IP systems are generally superior to analogue wireless systems as they suffer less interference.  The signal is also encrypted to avoid unauthorised persons trying to access the signal.  It is, however, advisable, to set up IP CCTV systems in area which already have a high bandwidth area.  However, if signal is lost in an IP system then the video from the cameras is lost, something which is not the case in an analogue system as the DVRs are still recording the cameras.

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