Building security is a vital part of 21st Century property management. For many businesses, one of the many camera systems available on the market could play a vital role in protecting premises from vandalism, theft, unauthorized entry, or other criminal activity.
There are currently two main types of security cameras available on the market: IP camera systems and analog cameras. Here we take a look at the differences between the two, including installation differences. We also consider why so many Lowcountry business owners are choosing IP camera systems over analog camera security.
An analog camera captures an analog signal that’s sent along a coaxial cable to a DVR (digital video recorder). In the recorder, the signal is converted into a digital format. This is then compressed and stored on a hard drive.
To view the captured image, operators may watch the images on monitors attached to the DVR. Alternatively, the digital information can be sent via a network, enabling it to be viewed on a computer screen.
Analog cameras are an established design that has been around for some time. Modern analog cameras include options for high-definition systems, which deliver high-quality images that are suitable for use in court and/or for identification purposes.
In contrast to an analog camera, an IP (Internet Protocol) digital camera doesn’t require a DVR to function. Signals from the IP camera are converted into a digital format inside the camera. The digital format is then sent for viewing via a LAN (local area network).
A Digital Network Recorder (DNR) picks up the digital information from the LAN, compresses it, and stores it. The DNR also passes the information across the LAN and the internet, where it can be viewed.
This is a more modern form of camera, incorporating new technology.
One of the main benefits of IP cameras is that they produce an image that’s got far greater resolution than analog options. Where it’s critical to have high-grade security information, for example when sufficient image clarity is needed for suspects to be identified for court purposes, IP cameras definitely have the edge.
IP cameras have the capacity to accept regular upgrades from the manufacturer. This ensures the camera keeps up with technological advances as they occur.
An IP camera also comes with a memory card slot.
Signals from IP cameras can be transferred directly to a cloud for storage. If done correctly, this can greatly enhance image security, as well as eliminating the need for servers and other infrastructure.
In most cases, IP cameras can utilize an uninterruptible power supply. Given that people intent on entering your property illegally may cut the mains power supply in the hope that this will disable the security cameras, having a system that will switch seamlessly to the backup power supply without losing any images is a key advantage.
If you purchase an NVR and a camera from the same manufacturer, the two will usually just need connecting (which is usually a click and fit, simple connection) and the camera will be ready to go.
IP cameras are more expensive than analog options, and the right network infrastructure needs to be in place before they can operate successfully.
In general, analog cameras are cheaper than IP camera systems. This is mainly because the tech is less advanced and the images aren’t such good quality. An analog camera also can’t usually be powered using an uninterruptible power supply. This is a considerable disadvantage if your cameras are protecting high-value goods, as determined thieves will cut off the power to camera-protected premises to assist entry. If the cameras are analog versions, they will be disabled as a result.
Analog cameras are easy to obtain online or from a store specializing in security equipment.
If your premises already has an analog infrastructure in place, a new analog camera can simply be added to what’s already there (or used to replace a broken camera).
Analog cameras require two cables instead of one and don’t have a built-in memory card. They lack the “SMART” capabilities of an IP camera – all they can do is capture an image and pass it on to the DNR. They’re also not future-proof – IP cameras are the product where fresh innovation and advances are taking place.
There are several reasons why IP cameras are the camera of choice for Lowcountry businesses. The superior image quality that an IP camera provides makes it far better at the job a security camera is meant to perform (capturing the images of unauthorized personnel attempting to gain entry or remove goods). If you’re a company that wants visual evidence that’s of sufficient quality to stand up in court, the IP camera is the way to go.
The fact that an IP camera can continue to function using an uninterruptible power supply is another good reason why it’s a popular choice.
Analog cameras are probably at the limit of their capabilities. The connectivity that IP cameras enjoy means they have the potential to become far more technologically advanced as time goes on.
Although the initial cost of installing IP camera infrastructure needs to be taken into consideration, in the longer term it’s a good investment, as it’s likely the infrastructure will remain useful for many years to come. Once the infrastructure is in place, IP cameras can be added, moved, or replaced quickly and easily. This helps to minimize maintenance costs as time goes on.
SNAP Integrations are security camera installers in Charleston, SC. Get in touch to find out more about IP camera systems, as well as receive a FREE assessment of your needs and a FREE, no-obligation quote.