If you’re thinking about upgrading your analog cameras to IP, there are a variety of factors to think about. While the price gap between the two is getting smaller, there are advantages and disadvantages to both and what you choose ultimately depends on your specific needs and budget.
That said, IP cameras are clearly dominating the market.
Benefits of Analog Cameras
- Cost: The most obvious reason to stick with your analog system is the price tag. Analog cameras tend to be significantly cheaper, especially as your camera count increases.
- Simplicity: Analog cameras are fairly easy to run, sending recordings to a digital video recorder (DVR), which then converts the analog to digital and stores it. DVRs are also simple to set up and run.
- The technology is getting better: We now install High definition (HD) analog systems. They have tremendously increased the picture quality and the resolution, You can get four and five megapixel cameras that are HD analog, and that’s impressive. It could be far more cost effective to upgrade your old system than replace in with an IP setup. However, when you compare resolution, there are many more benefits to an IP camera. That said it really comes down to what you want to achieve with your CCTV.
Disadvantages of Analog Cameras
- Frame rate and image quality: The frame rate of analog cameras is lower than that of IP, so they’re not ideal for areas that have a lot of motion or that need to be seen in high detail. Images are not as sharp and may appear grainy or blurry. You also can’t digitally zoom in like you can with IP cameras. However, for certain situations or areas, image quality may not be a crucial factor.
- Less coverage: It may take more analog cameras to cover the same amount of area as it would take one IP camera.
- More cables: You need a power cable, plus a DVR cable, whereas you only need one cable with IP cameras.
- No encryption: A lack of encryption means a hacker could potentially access your information or replace your signal with an outside one.
Benefits of IP Cameras
- Multiple sensors: IP cameras have the ability to contain three or four cameras in one, which can cover an area that may normally take multiple cameras to cover.
- Costs have gone down: Like any piece of technology, IP cameras have come down in recent years. You can still spend alot on IP cameras, but you can get some really good entry-level IP-based cameras for a reasonable amount of money (we can tailor a system to your needs) Additionally, you may need fewer IP cameras to do the same job as analog cameras.
- Resolution: Resolution in cameras just keeps getting better and better and IP cameras have superior image quality to that of analogs. You can get cameras with different resolutions and aspect ratios customized to your needs.
- Intelligence and analytics: IP cameras are basically small computers that compress and store video, plus they can be programmed to provide all sorts of analytics. They can detect motion or smoke, count people, track certain colors, sense when something disappears, and set off alarms.
- Security: Video is encrypted and authenticated so transmission is secure.
Disadvantages of IP Cameras
- Cost of initial set-up: It may cost more to initially set up your IP camera system if you’re making the switch from analog; however, once you have it set up, it’s much easier to tailor and scale your system as needed.
- Storage: IP cameras are higher resolution, so they generate larger files than analog. You’ll need to adjust your storage space accordingly.
Making the Switch to IP Cameras
Here’s some advice to consider before you move to an IP system:
- Contact us for a free consultation. The expectations you have for your cameras may not fit their capabilities, we are here to help you see the realities of what you need and want is crucial.
- Replace as you can. If your budget is unlimited, switch out all your analog cameras with IP. In the more likely event that you’re on a limited budget, consider replacing a few cameras at a time instead. we specialize in hybrid system (mixture of analogue and IP cameras). If you can’t afford to upgrade the complete system, We can replace the ones that are the most important, and then build a plan to switch them all over to IP as time goes by.