ccHDTV: can it replace IP Cameras?

You might have heard about ccHDTV, a technology with the potential to become the next revolution in HD video surveillance. But can it really replace IP-based CCTV systems? ICD takes a look at this new technology and its viability as an alternative to IP cameras.


What is ccHDTV?

ccHDTV cameras transmit compressed H.264 data to NVR units. The technology is similar to that used in digital television broadcasts, which is a proven way of delivering stable high quality video transmission on a large scale. Data is transmitted via standard analog video coaxial cables with up to 16 cameras sharing a single cable. The most obvious advantage of this technology is that existing coaxial cable infrastructure for legacy analog CCTV systems can be used as the required coaxial cables and connectors for this technology are exactly the same.


One of the unique features of this technology is the ability to create flexible “daisy chain” connections using BNC couplers and cameras set to operate on different “channels”. Adding new cameras can therefore be achieved simply by inserting a T connector and connecting a camera on a non-conflicting channel. Loops can even be formed as a fail-safe measure against broken cables. As a result, ccHDTV systems have the potential to be scaled easily with a high level of stability.


How is ccHDTV an alternative to IP Video?

While IP transmission is capable of delivering superior image quality compared with traditional analog video signal transmission formats such as NTSC, PAL and SECAM, there are still some issues with this technology, as IP transmission was not designed specifically to transmit video and is often affected by bottlenecks to to network bandwidth usage. This can lead to frame rate reduction due to skipped images. Because ccHDTV transmits data through a dedicated channel, it is not affected by bandwidth bottlenecks and never skips frames.


As many security end users know, IP-based systems are complex to set up and maintain and require careful management of IP addresses. Avoiding the problem of network traffic bottlenecks therefore requires well-managed IT Systems.


In essence, video surveillance became primarily an IT issue when companies switched to IP transmission, meaning that maintaining CCTV systems became much more complex after upgrading to IP protocols when compared to the simple connections found in traditional CCTV systems. Like IP systems, ccHDTV can transmit high quality compressed video, but without the complex maintenance and frequent unreliability of IP systems.



So does ICD recommend ccHDTV instead of IP-based systems?

ccHDTV is a highly promising technology. However, ICD recommends a "wait and see" approach to companies who are considering changing from IP-based surveillance. The applications of ccHDTV in the security industry are limited, as only a few products use ccHDTV technology.

In contrast, IP-based systems retain several important advantages:

  • As a mature and well-established technology it is well-understood, even if it is not as reliable as end users would like;
  • The ubiquity of IP technology means there is considerable product interchangeability, 
  • There are significant product support infrastructures of IP-based products. 

ccHDTV still needs to prove itself on a greater scale before ICD can give it an unqualified recommendation. ICD’s security technology specialists shall continue to perform tests on this technology and assess its viability as the future of video surveillance.


So if you want to know whether you should switch to ccHDTV, watch this space, we will have more analysis of this technology soon.


If you would like to learn more about ccHDTV technology, please contact ICD's Solutions Manager Frank Ha (email: or get in touch with you local ICD representative.




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