What’s the Difference Between IP and Analog CCTV Cameras?

Prior to the widespread adoption of broadband Internet, analog CCTV was the only option. These cameras still exist today, but they work quite differently from IP cameras.
Difference Between IP and Analog CCTV Cameras

Today’s digital security cameras are light years ahead of older CCTV analog models. But what is the main difference? IP (Internet Protocol) cameras digitally transmit a signal, while analog CCTV (closed-circuit television) cameras send footage over a cable the old-fashioned way. But there are also a host of features in digital, Internet-enabled cameras. These features give business owners new ways to keep an eye on their properties and deter any malicious activity. Here’s what you should know about analog CCTV cameras vs. IP cameras.

What is the Difference Between IP and CCTV Cameras?

Image Quality

It’s not just the Internet connectivity that makes the latest generation of security cameras different from older models. The biggest difference: picture quality.

 Difference Between IP and CCTV Camera image quality

IP cameras have a much better picture quality over CCTV analog security monitors. We’ve all seen grainy images of criminals in our favorite murder mystery shows. If only fictional businesses switched to high-quality IP cameras, these detectives would have a much easier time solving crimes! 

In reality, there is no “high-resolution CCTV” when compared to the digital images captured by an IP camera. The highest-resolution CCTV security camera will capture images that are blurry or grainy compared to digital cameras. This is especially true if the object is moving quickly or the environment is dark. 

The problem is the technology itself is simply outdated, causing distortion of the video images no matter how much you paid for the camera. You can add a DVR to record the images you film on a CCTV camera. However, even though the analog signal converts to digital to record to the DVR, the footage itself will still be blurrier than that of a completely digital camera. 

Footage quality is a top benefit of IP cameras, because seeing and recording an image is the entire point. However, there are pros and cons when comparing CCTV analog vs. IP Cameras. 

Image Transmission and Storage

IP cameras use technology that transmits the video signal through the cloud. An IP security camera digitizes the video by using an encoder with an onboard web server. The camera then uses a Wi-Fi or hard-wired Internet signal to transmit data online. This allows you to view the images in a web browser.

Prior to the widespread adoption of broadband Internet, analog CCTV was the only option. These cameras still exist today, but they work quite differently from IP cameras. Analog security cameras capture images then convert the video signal so it can be viewed by a TV monitor or stored on a hard drive. 

Analog CCTV Camera vs. IP Camera – Main Benefits

Analog CCTV Cameras

Different Types of Surveillance

While the picture quality is a strong drawback, there are benefits to analog CCTV cameras that include:

  • Lower costs: This may make these cameras a viable option. For example, say you have a small retail storefront with a tiny footprint to monitor. A CCTV camera may be all you need to protect your business. If you have an office in the back, you could run camera footage to a DVR or a computer hard drive. Just be sure to keep the area locked. 
  • Compatibility: CCTV cameras are super compatible with each other, so you can add additional cameras without worrying about matching the brands. This could also save you money. These cameras are simple to install with a coaxial cable.

IP Security Cameras

Solar Powered IP Security Camera

An IP camera offers a number of superior security features to protect your business besides the high resolution:

  • Wireless build

    They don’t need hardwiring, since they can connect wirelessly to a cellular network. Some CCTVs do also support this, but it is much less common.

  • Solar power options

    They don’t need wired electricity but can operate with solar panels and a battery backup.

  • Secure cloud storage

    IP camera systems are scalable; you won’t run out of server space because the data is stored in the cloud.

  • Instant visibility

    They let you access video images through a web browser on any digital device.

  • Easy footage search with tags

    They support AI-powered categorization and easily searchable databases, making the review of camera footage less time-consuming.

  • Advanced analytics

    They support video analytics tools that can flag specific events and show you the footage, such as motion detection or camera tampering.

  • HD footage

    As mentioned earlier, IP cameras can capture crisp footage — even if the subject is moving quickly.

  • Audio & Visual deterrence

    These cameras can play a loud recording or an alarm if motion is detected. They are also smart enough to discern a criminal trespasser from a plastic bag blowing across a parking lot. This cuts down on annoying false alarms.

  • Smart features

    If a trespasser crosses a certain geographic threshold, the camera can zoom in to capture the footage while alerting security that there is a problem. Pan-tilt-zoom cameras are available if you want to control where your cameras are pointing through a tool like Pro-Vigil’s Mobile App. The cameras will return to normal when you are done viewing.

We live in a world filled with risks. Video security tools give you a way to help mitigate risk while letting you rest a little easier at night.

Which is Better for Your Business: Analog CCTV Camera vs. IP Camera

Analog CCTV Camera vs. IP Camera

There are pros and cons to both. If you’re buying a camera solely for a smaller location and price is a major issue, the analog CCTV camera won’t break your bank. However, in almost all cases, an IP camera will provide more advanced security, and will be more effective if you can accommodate it in your budget. This is especially true if you have a larger business, since more hidden egresses create vulnerabilities and increase risk. In these cases, an IP security camera is the best tool to protect your assets.

Pro-Vigil works with businesses just like yours to design and install security systems to protect your assets. Whether your goal is to deter employee theft or catch thieves and trespassers after hours, our line of sophisticated, intelligence surveillance tools can meet your goals and lessen your risks. Call on us to discuss your options.

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