Updated: Jul 18, 2019
CCTV Analog Cameras:
Have you ever seen a crime drama movie or TV show where a bunch of police are gathered around surveillance footage and suddenly one of them says: “Wait! Zoom in on that guy! Enhance the image!” and then suddenly, miraculously, the grainy and blurry footage of what might be vaguely a human becomes a precise, crystal clear vision of the culprit? They identify the perp, bring him in, and case closed.
Well, that's total fiction. In reality, that grainy footage from that analog security camera is only going to get blurrier and grainier when you zoom in for a closer look. But all is not lost! We are indeed living in the future, and WIFI IP cameras are the wave of it. No longer does security camera footage have to consist of the poor quality, narrowly focused images we're used to seeing on analog CCTV.
What's an IP Camera and how is it Different from Analog?
IP stands for Internet Protocol, and basically refers to a digital video camera that can send and receive data via a computer network, as opposed to sending a feed to a Digital Video Recorder (DVR). This is advantageous for a lot of reasons:
Picture Quality: The best analog surveillance camera still can't hold a candle to the worst IP camera when it comes to the resolution of the image it captures. At best, an analog camera can manage the equivalent of less than half a megapixel, whereas a Megapixel camera wouldn't be much good if it didn't produce an image of at least ONE of the things it's named after. Many of the Ever focus cameras we stock are available in 1.3, 2, or 3mp configurations, which is far better quality than you could hope to achieve with a traditional CCTV camera. Additionally, IP cameras capture a much wider field of view than comparable analog cameras, meaning a single IP camera is potentially able to do the job of three to four of the old school cams.
Video Analytics: This is a fancy term that basically means you can set your network to flag “events” that occur in the camera's' field of vision. This could be anything from motion detection to missing objects to tampering with the camera itself. Instead of poring over hours of footage, your network can tell you exactly when these events occurred and point you right to them.
Flexibility and Scalability: In a traditional analog DVR set-up, each camera must be connected directly to the DVR. IP cameras can circumvent this through recording to the cloud without any cables switches or extra equipment. And your evidence and recordings are in a safer place than your home or business in case of a break in.
Bottom Line: Is It All Worth It?
So after all this you may be wondering if it's even worth your while to make the switch from CCTV analog to IP Cameras. Well, there are a few things to consider. It’s important to remember that a single IP camera can take the place of three or four comparable CCTV analog cameras due to the increased coverage area, so while a single unit may cost more, you're ultimately buying less cameras. Additionally if you're looking into setting up a new surveillance and security system, IP cameras may be the way to go for you. If you already have a system in place that you're happy with, you might want to refrain from installing an entirely new system, However, “analog” is quickly becoming synonymous with “outdated” so it's certainly something to think about: maybe it's time to step into the future.