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Analog Cameras vs IP Cameras

Analog Cameras

Analog video signals transfer over coax cables to the digital video recorder (DVR). Camera are powered by plugging in the power supply. The DVR then converts the analog signal to digital, compresses it, and then stores it on a hard drive. The information is built into the DVR to handle scheduling, motion detection, and digital zooming. To view the footage, monitors are connected to the DVR or you could use an internal network for viewing on PCs. DVR's can also be set up to broadcast over the internet and set up to be password protected. The video for all of the cameras are transmitted as one stream, one IP address.

Analog Camera Setup

IP Cameras

IP video cameras capture an analog image but immediately converts it to digital inside the camera. Some of the digital processing will happen right at the camera, such as compression and motion detection. The digital stream is then broadcast over the local area network (LAN) using Ethernet (CAT5 or CAT6) cable. The cameras are powered through the ethernet cables via Power-Over-Ethernet (POE) adapters built into the cameras. The CAT5 or CAT6 cables for each camera is plugged into the switch which feeds into the network hub. Set-up is required for each network camera to set up its IP address and other identifying attributes.

IP Camera Setup

IP / Wireless

IP Wireless is very similar to the standard IP system except a wireless access point will be inserted somewhere between the home network switch and the camera. This gives the benefit of being able to place cameras up to 1.5 miles (Plus up to 328 feet of Ethernet cable if desired) away from your local area network.

IP Wireless Camera Setup

Which is more cost-effective, Analog or IP?

At the moment analog cameras coupled with DVRs are the most cost effective approach for your average security application.

Of Analog and IP, which one will give me the better quality?

IP cameras can go all the way up to 5 megapixels while Analog cannot go above TV standards which is around 0.4 megapixels. IP being able to go up to 5 megapixels allows for clearer images when objects are moving about. This could be the difference for a law enforcement catching a culprit.