Analog cameras often give standard definition videos and are some of the least expensive camera systems available in the market today. These are usually connected using the BNC (Bayonet Neill Concelman connector) coax cable.
By standard definition we mean that these cameras take photos and videos with resolutions of up to 720 pixels by 480 pixels. Compared to high definition formats, photos and videos taken on a standard definition camera have fewer details. In the real world, that means it would be difficult to make out details of a person standing 10 feet from an analog camera and that difficulty increases as the person moves away further. At 50 feet away from the camera, there would be very few identifying features to make out in your photo or video.
This also means you might not be able to use video footage as police evidence if someone breaks into your home or office. There is also a chance that you won’t be able to decipher license plates even when they are caught on camera. In short, your footage would not serve any purpose unless the intruder comes closer to the camera.
Fortunately, there is HD Over Analog or BNC Technology. This is also known as High Definition Composite Video Interface, or HDCVI. Some manufacturers also call it high definition analog CCTV.
What is HDCVI or HD Over Analog Technology?
HD over analog or HDCVI is a relatively new technology that allows high definition resolution capture of photos or videos at a price that is close to old analog systems.
In short, it works like the old analog security cameras and is priced the same, but it has better resolution.
To use an HDCVI security camera system, you will need:
- To choose the best cables. Top quality RG59 or RG6 cables will do the trick. If you are going to have a professional do the installation, ask if he can use Siamese cable that incorporates both RG59 cables for control, audio, and video transmission and a power wire, thereby lessening your cable runs. If you are upgrading from an analog system, you may have CAT5 or CAT6 cables. These will work just fine, but there may be a loss of video quality.
- To choose the best connectors. A BNC cable is sufficient for a HDCVI system.
- Other considerations. Again, if you are upgrading from an analog system, the same power source and DVR can be used. Also consider purchasing an HDCVI DVR, which is priced just the same as older CCTV DVRs.
Advantages of HD Over Analog Technology
HD over analog technology makes use of the same system in analog CCTV cameras. That means paying less in terms of installation costs. An HDCVI camera can capture videos and photos with resolutions of up to 1920 pixels by 1080 pixels, translating to footage of up to 2 megapixels. Yet, unlike other HD systems, only standard coax or BNC cable is required.
If you currently have an analog CCTV system, simply upgrade the camera to an HDCVI camera and get HD resolution without paying too much for installation.
Aside from much lower resolutions from analog camera systems, other disadvantages exist. For one, very few features that come with an analog camera. What’s more, investing in an analog camera system now might not be a good idea as suppliers are slowly phasing these out in favor of IP and HDCVI cameras.
Another advantage of HDCVI cameras is when you use PTZ cameras. In old analog systems, you would need to run two cables (the coaxial cable and the data cable), which would allow you to control your PTZ camera. With HDCVI systems, an additional data cable is not needed because the data connection runs on the same coaxial cable that transmits the video. That saves time and money from having to lay another cable for your PTZ cameras.
Why not go for an IP security camera system instead?
If you want the highest resolutions possible and need to customize your surveillance, then we recommend opting for an IP security camera system. IP security cameras allow video and audio to be sent over the Internet via your network and remote viewing of footage and images on your smartphone, tablet or computer – in its finest details. Plus, access several features that are not available on both CVI and analog systems.
However, the cost of such a system might turn you off. IP cameras tend to be very expensive, costing significantly more than analog and CVI cameras. Higher resolution videos and images may eat up more of your bandwidth. The setup could also be very technical and these cameras are dependent on your network, which means you may lose important footage if the network goes out of commission.
In contrast, HDCVI security cameras are limited to 1080 pixels and this makes sense for most homes and businesses. Why pay more if 1080 pixels is the resolution you need?
HDCVI camera systems are the perfect combination of analog and IP security camera systems. It takes the best characteristics of an analog system and IP system, giving you more advantages.
HDCVI camera systems has longer cable runs than an analog system, as it sends high definition audio and video signals using regular coaxial cables up to 500 feet, as opposed to only 300 feet for analog cameras. So you get high definition resolutions without the high price tag.
Downsides of HD over analog systems
The HDCVI technology is relatively new so you may have a limited choice when it comes to selecting a HDCVI camera or HDCVI DVR. However, this is set to change as more and more manufacturers come out with their own HDCVI systems, such as Amcrest with its Eco-Series 1080P HD Over Analog (HDCVI) 4CH Video Security System.
Also, while 1080 pixels is enough to capture distinguishing features of an intruder’s faces or record vehicle license plates, there may be instances that you need higher resolutions, and the HD over analog camera is limited only to 1080 pixels.
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The entry of HD over analog security camera systems into the market gives consumers a real option. They no longer have to put up with the low resolutions of an analog camera system or break the bank on an IP security camera system.