Should you upgrade your security camera from analog to digital?

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Maybe you have an analog CCTV security system set up in you business, or maybe you are thinking about setting one up. But now, you are wondering if analog is enough or if you need to upgrade to a digital or IP-based security camera.

It’s a good question and the answer depends on your business and your needs.

Before we dive into the answer, let’s review the difference between the two options.

Analog CCTV cameras record images and then send them to a Digital Video Recorder (DVR) over a coaxial cable. The DVR converts the video from analog to digital signals, compresses the file, and stores it on a hard drive. In order to view the video, you need to hook up monitors to the DVR, or connect the DVR to a router and modem to broadcast the video over the internet through an internal network.

IP-based or digital CCTV systems, on the other hand, record the images digitally from the get-go, so thy can receive and send data over a computer network without having to be converted by a DVR.

So which one is better for your situation?

There are pros and cons to both.

The advantages of analog security cameras include:

  • Lower price – analog cameras cost less than their digital counterparts
  • Easy set up – the setup for the camera and DVR is straightforward and easy to understand
  • Lower bandwidth requirements – because analog videos are smaller than digital, transmitting them doesn’t take as much bandwidth and won’t tax your network

The advantages of digital security cameras include:

  • Higher image quality – you will get a higher quality image with a digital camera. What’s more, many digital cameras can record and transmit high-definition video, as well as have the capability to zoom into distances over 100 feet
  • Wider coverage – a single digital camera can record an area that would require three or four analog cameras to cover
  • Encryption – you can be sure your data is safe because many digital cameras have encryption built in
  • Easy set up – you won’t need as many cables because digital systems can have multiple cameras connected to a switch. All of the cameras on the switch are then connected to the device running the system
  • Wireless capability – you can remotely view a live or recorded feed from any remote location without some of the same interference you might encounter from an analog camera
  • More options – with the popularity of digital camera designs, you may have an easier time finding the system you want at a price you want to pay

The growth of IP-based digital security systems continues to expand, offering more and more solutions to the end-user. To find out which security system is best for your and your situation, contact TAMS today!

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