There is often resistance when it comes to IP surveillance, especially when you are considering the choice between IP and traditional, or analogue CCTV. This is usually down to issues of complexity, and, of course, price. But, here’s a hint for those reluctant to adopt the newer IP technology – if you get left behind, chances are you will be overtaken by new entrants and even the DIY market for home/small businesses.

Limitations Of Analogue

Although it may appear easier and cheaper to stick to longstanding analogue products, it could prove to be costlier in the long run. Yes analogue is much more appealing from an installation perspective, as virtually any analogue CCTV camera can be plugged into any DVR – so literally CCTV is as simple as plugging and playing.

However, there are many limitations where analogue CCTV is concerned, namely the scalability and flexibility. Analogue CCTV is designed to be closed; therefore it’s hard wired and more difficult to scale and IP surveillance allows much more flexibility in this field.

Benefits Of IP Surveillance

IP surveillance can also tackle much larger areas such as university campuses, multi-level buildings and multi-site retail stores. Resolution can also be much better. Regardless of a camera’s image quality claims, the video signal is only as good as the connectivity, and this is more than likely to impact on the clarity of the image that is transmitted by the camera.

Consider this: A 1.3 megapixel IP camera is nearly 4 times the resolution of full D1 analogue. A 3 megapixel camera is over 9 times the resolution of analogue. This provides so much more additional detail and becomes a much more attractive alternative to more traditional, analogue CCTV cameras for this reason.

Technology keeps moving on so the disparity between IP and analogue is increasing. The increased upload bandwidth from Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) broadband, where it is available, allows true high definition image quality at high frame rates, plus multiple cameras can be viewed simultaneously.

Have Your Cake & Eat It

In an ideal world, we would like to see a simplified installation of devices and networks associated with IP surveillance so that we can have the best of what analogue and digital has to offer, and where switching over to digital from analogue can be a gradual process.

The best way to do this is through a private network, such as ProtectNet, which sits in between the Alarm Receiving Centre and the installer. Such solutions offer expertise and advice as well as a hand to hold for even the smallest installers to ensure that equipment is configured correctly each time every time and that end-to-end connectivity is signed off between the customer, installer and ARC or RVRC.

It simplifies the installation of network security devices such as DVR and CCTV cameras as there is no complicated network or firewall configuration required, so it truly is plug and play. Installers, who have traditionally supplied analogue products, can start provisioning products using IP connectivity, confident that they are in the hands of experts.

The Difference Is Clear

When it comes to IP vs analogue, it’s tempting to stick to what you know and avoid disruption. However, when the benefits clearly outweigh the disadvantages, plus add the fact that technology is constantly evolving towards IP surveillance, the appeal of converting has to be a pull. Especially when you consider that there are products out there which can help even the most reluctant installers to commit to IP, it just leaves an even clearer picture!