Thinking about getting a surveillance system for your business? Maybe you already have one that you are considering upgrading. Regardless, there are several considerations to make before updating your security camera system.
In order to pick the right surveillance system for your business, you need to understand the difference between CCTV (analog) and digital IP cameras. We explain the pros and cons of both systems below, so you can feel confident in making an informed decision.
Installation & Video Recording
The main difference between CCTV and IP surveillance systems is installation and video recording.
CCTV cameras use 2 cables. One to connect to a power source and the other to connect directly to a DVR. The DVR records your video footage and saves it to a hard drive.
In order to view your footage, you must connect your DVR to a monitor or to a router and modem so that you can view it on your internal network.
IP cameras use Power over Ethernet (PoE) to connect to an NVR (network video recorder). This also serves as the power source for your camera. Your NVR is connected directly to your network, therefore you can view your footage in an internet browser.
Customization & Scalability
Analog cameras are pretty straight forward in design which makes them easy to set up. There are also many models of CCTV cameras available so you are more likely to get the features you want at lower cost.
However, DVRs have a limited number of ports, so you are limited to the number of cameras you can have. You may not be able to cover as much space and you may have to get a second DVR to expand your system.
IP cameras have the advantage of being able to cover more space. They don’t need as many cables to connect to the network so you have greater flexibility in placement. IP cameras also have wireless capabilities.
One disadvantage for IP cameras is if you do not have the proper network and switches set up, your initial cost to install this type of system may be higher.
Quality & Cost
CCTV cameras have come a long way in the image quality and resolution department. Modern cameras can capture HD video up to 1080P resolution.
If you are updating an existing analog surveillance system, a new CCTV system might be a good option because you won’t need to update your cabling. They can also be cheaper on a per camera basis. However, since CCTV cameras have less coverage, you may need more cameras.
IP cameras rank higher in image quality than digital. Low-end IP cameras support 1080P HD video, but you can get IP cameras with 4K resolutions.
IP cameras have a higher initial cost. The cameras tend to cost more, but they are better quality, have more features, and more coverage. IP cameras also require more bandwidth compared to digital cameras, which could increase the total cost.
Which is right for your business?
There are pros and cons to each type of system. Ultimately, the right surveillance system for your business depends on your needs, wants, and budget. To learn more about surveillance systems, contact us.