It's no secret, analog cameras are old fashioned. Since IP cameras were launched in the mid-1990s, they have become the standard choice for premium video surveillance at sites globally.
However, are there still scenarios where analog cameras come out on top? Let's take a look...
The Pros and Cons
Analog cameras have some advantages, such as:
- Cost effective
- Easy to get up and running (no network configuration required)
- Lower bandwidth and storage requirements
But are generally viewed as inferior to IP cameras due to:
- Limited frame rate
- Low image quality (although HD analog cameras are available on the market), so a limited field of view
- Limited or no encryption – risk of ‘unwanted eyes’ viewing the signal
- No video analytics at the edge
The advantages of IP cameras are numerous:
- Easy to install
- Good image quality, large field of view
- Ability to control or focus remotely via the network
- Analytics and intelligence element
- Open platform integration
- Secure: video is encrypted
Can Analog Ever Win?
So the advantages of IP cameras over analog are clear, primarily image quality, analytics and encryption. But are there still scenarios when end-users should consider adopting analog? Can analog cameras ever win?
We asked ICD Solutions Manager, Frank Ha, for his opinion. He shared three scenarios where using analog cameras can be favorable to IP.
Real-time/low latency monitoring
Latency time is essentially the time between capturing the image and it being displayed on a monitor. Latency time for analog cameras is usually less than 100ms, whereas for a network (IP) camera it is usually 300ms-500ms. If latency time needs to be very low, analog may be the best choice.
Analog cameras can be deployed outside the building’s network to avoid risk of network interface and increase network security.
Long distance cabling
Using a single copper cable deployment, analog cameras have a distance advantage. The transmission distance of IP camera via a network cable is usually up to 100m. By contrast, an analog camera transmission can usually reach between 300-500m via various coaxial-cables. Analog may therefore be the best choice for surveillance which requires long-distance cables.
So, there you have it. In certain cases, analog cameras can still win over IP. However, in general, IP cameras are a wiser choice of high quality, intelligent video surveillance.