Written by Veronika Vigliano

Difference between Analog and IP Cameras

When looking to install a security surveillance camera in your house or business, you’ll need to consider whether you are going for an analog camera or an IP camera. Making this decision is not quite simple as both systems has its merits and disadvantages. We will explore some of these differences more in-depth so you can determine which option is right for you.

The principle difference between analog and IP cameras is the method by which the video signal is transmitted and, ultimately, where the video is compressed, or ‘encoded’. Analog cameras help convert the video signal into a format that is receivable by a TV or any other receiver such as a VCR or monitor. An IP-based camera digitizes the video signal using a specialized encoder that contains an onboard web server. The IP camera functions as a network device, thus allowing captured video images to be viewed through an established network, and also through a web browser that can be accessed through the Internet.

Analog Camera

An analog camera begins with a CCD sensor and then digitizes the image for processing. But before the video can be transmitted, it needs to convert it back to analog to enable it being received by an analog device for example a video monitor or VCR.

Benefits of analog security cameras:

  • Lower cost: Analog camera is cheaper than a IP camera
  • Greater flexibility of design
  • Superior compatibility: You can mix different camera brands when using analog cameras.

Disadvantages of analog security cameras:

  • Lacks certain features such as digital zoom etc.
  • Potential interference problems, and significantly the lack of encryption for the resulting signals which makes it viewable by someone else.
  • Long distance applications: It may be difficult to achieve a long distance surveillance, as analog cameras don’t work effectively over broad ranges.

IP Camera

An IP camera digitizes and processes analog images, internally encodes, then transmits the video information digitally via an Ethernet connection to a computer or similar device. An IP camera can have either a CMOS or CCD sensor; and are usually fitted with embedded web server which can be accessed and controlled over any IP network such as a WAN, LAN, Intranet, or Internet.

Benefits of IP security cameras:

  • Better wireless reception: IP cameras have built-in encryption built which allows for a secure network. There is also no problem of interference in IP cameras.
  • Can utilize existing wiring available during the installation, which makes for an easier setup.
  • Remote access can be easier: IP cameras are ideal for remote surveillance needs.

Disadvantages of IP security cameras:

  • Higher cost: Due to the extra tech built into each camera, the cost is usually higher than an analog camera.
  • Higher bandwidth: IP cameras require more bandwidth than analog cameras.

The decision of which camera to go for is entirely dependent on the type of surveillance you require and your budget.

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