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ANALOGUE vs IP

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The CCTV industry is all abuzz with talk of an IP ("Internet Protocol") camera takeover. Yet reports of the death of analogue cameras are premature. While some IP or ‘network’ cameras can potentially deliver high definition megapixel images, analogue CCTV cameras continue to offer greater efficiency, lower cost and higher overall reliability.
Before deciding on IP cameras versus analogue, it is advisable to first understand how the technologies work. The differences in both camera technologies and method of video transmission are critical to developing a well planned CCTV solution. It should be noted as manufacturers of both IP and analogue cameras, DVRs and NVRs, I have no bias. While the opinions may not be "popular" they are just a statement of facts. It is not a matter of either or, rather use each camera appropriately as needed. They both have their place.

At first, IP and analogue cameras may seem more alike than they are different, both cameras employ an analogue image sensor, which is either CCD (charge coupled device) or CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor). Virtually, all analogue cameras use a CCD sensor and IP cameras can utilize either type.

The analogue signal from the sensor is then converted to digital form by an analogue-to-digital converter and further processed by the camera’s onboard digital circuitry (DSP). For an IP camera the image is then compressed internally (encoded) and transmitted via an IP protocol (Ethernet) and is either stored in the camera or on a network video recorder (NVR). With an analogue camera, the image is then converted back to analogue by a digital-to-analogue converter so the image can be transmitted to a video monitor or a digital video recorder (DVR), where the image is encoded and stored. At this point, it seems the difference between the two types of cameras is negligible. Primarily, the difference is where the video is compressed and what components it utilizes. There are, however, significant qualitative differences between CMOS and CCD sensors, with CCD holding a demonstrable advantage in image quality over CMOS. IP and analogue cameras may seem more alike than they are different, both cameras employ an analogue image sensor, which is either CCD (charge coupled device) or CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor). All analogue cameras use a CCD sensor and IP cameras can utilize either type.














What is an Analogue Camera?

An analogue surveillance camera begins with a CCD sensor and then digitizes the image for processing. But before it can transmit the video, it needs to convert it back to analogue so it can be received by an analogue device, such as a video monitor or recorder. Unlike IP cameras, analogue have no built-in web servers or encoders and require no technical maintenance. These functions are implemented in the recording and/or control equipment.

What is an IP Camera?

What is commonly known as an IP camera is a camera that digitizes and processes analogue images, encodes them internally, and then transmits the video information digitally over an Ethernet connection to a computer or similar device. An IP camera can have either a CMOS or a CCD sensor, and is available in the same styles as traditional surveillance cameras such as Pan/Tilt/Zoom, domes, bullets, box, infrared, covert, and wireless.

IP cameras are typically equipped with an embedded web server and can be accessed and controlled over any IP network such as a WAN, LAN, Intranet, or Internet. By utilizing a standard web browser or client software users can view an IP camera’s video output from any local or remote location.

IP cameras combine the capabilities of a camera with some PC functionality, do not require a direct connection to a PC to operate, and can be placed anywhere within a network. Just like any other PC on the network, an IP camera is a “network appliance”. It has its own IP address, connects directly to a wired or wireless network and requires maintenance.

What is the Difference between an Analogue and an IP Camera?

The principle difference between analogue and IP cameras is the method by which the video signal is transmitted and, ultimately, where the video is compressed, or ‘encoded’. The principle difference between analogue and IP cameras is the method by which the video signal is transmitted and, ultimately, where the video is compressed, or ‘encoded’.