An Analog Or Digital Video Surveillance Camera

Which is better, analog or IP video surveillance system? With the advent of digital technology, the world has split into two camps. Some have switched to digital video surveillance systems, while others are still using analog cameras. In each scenario, enough of their advantages and disadvantages over competitors. And why these two technologies are still competitors to each other, you will find out here.

Analog Cctv Camera

More recently, it was believed that the analog system is a thing of the past. Still, analog video surveillance was resurrected after the appearance of such standards as AHD, HD-CVI, and HD-TVI and made severe competition to digital technologies. After all, analog video cameras began to shoot in FullHD format, cameras with a resolution of 8 megapixels appeared.

How an analog CCTV camera works

  • The luminous flux is directed into the CCTV camera lens, where the lens acts as a flux amplifier.
  • An internal CCD (charge-coupled device) receives a concentrated beam of photons and processes them into an electrical signal transmitted through a cable to a receiving device.
  • The receiving device can be a PC with a built-in video input card or a video recorder.
  • The analog system transmits the signal in its original form (like with IP devices) without binary processing.

Technical features of an analog CCTV camera

  • A television video signal standard is used (usually PAL or NTSC). The PAL standard produces a better picture quality than NTSC because the PAL signal consists of 625 horizontal lines ( TVL, see below ), and the NTSC signal consists of 525 lines.
  • The image can be color or black and white.
  • Modern CCTV cameras have a resolution of 720p / 1080p, and some of them are even higher.
  • Can be placed in an enclosure (dome, cylindrical, etc.)
  • Power supply and transmission of audio and video signals are carried out via coaxial cable or twisted pair.
  • Power is supplied from a 12V / 24V power adapter or a battery (for example, for a PTZ camera )
  • They are used indoors and outdoors.
  • Coaxial cable is more susceptible to interference than twisted pair cable.

Analog video surveillance system formats AHD, HD-CVI, HD-TVI

An analog camera, until recently, had a resolution of only about 0.4 megapixels. But recently, completely new, modern formats have entered the market:

  • PH.D.  (Analog High Definition or analog high definition signal). Has an open-source license; in other words, no permissions, support, etc., are required for the user. Everyone can use it without exception. Compared to competitors, the cost is lower. The AHD format is divided into three others:
  • AHD-L –960H
  • AHD-M –1280 x 720
  • AHD-H –1920 x 1080
  • HD-CVI. (HD Composite Video Interface or HD Composite Video Interface.) Dahua developed the HD-CVI standard. The format is proprietary, and Dahua owns all rights to use the standard. The cost is more expensive than AHD. Divided into other forms:
  • HD-CVI. The first versions of the format were in 720p and 1080p.
  • HD-CVI 2.0. Video in 1080p and higher.
  • HD-CVI 3.0. The third version has a resolution of up to 4K (8MP). True, it costs much more than other formats, so it is not in great demand.
  • HD-TV.  (High Definition Transport Video Interface). The standard developed by HikVision is open and freely available to all users. Transmits video in 1080p (1920 × 1080) or 720p (1280 × 720) formats.

Analog CCTV Camera Resolution

Analog systems are measured in TVL (television lines); this is the number of horizontal lines in a frame. The image will be sharper if the value is higher. Conventionally, TVL can be converted into pixels.

Digital Cctv Camera (Ip Camera)

How does an IP security camera work?

  • IP cameras transmit video and audio signals to the processor.
  • The processor processes colors, brightness, and other image parameters.
  • After processing the files by the processor, the picture goes to the compressor, where the data is compressed (using frame-by-frame MJPG, or streaming MPEG4, H.264 compression methods) and transmitted to the network controller.
  • After complete processing of the files, the information is available remotely from a smartphone, tablet, or video recorder.
  • For data transmission, each camera is assigned an IP address when connected.

Features of IP CCTV Camera

  • Some CCTV camera models can have a resolution of 33 megapixels (8K ULTRA HD).
  • Fits into any case (dome, cylindrical, body, mini cameras, etc.).
  • Operation inside and outside the premises is possible.
  • Capable of transmitting video with a frequency of more than 60 frames/sec.
  • Matrix.
  • CMOS. Most often used in household appliances, CCTV cameras, webcams, smartphones, tablets, laptops, etc.
  • CCDs. Images with a high level of detail are created for medical, research, and industrial objectives.

CCTV IP Camera Resolution

Resolution is a critical parameter affecting image quality. The resolution of a digital camera is the number of horizontal and vertical dots. The highest resolution available today is 4K (3840 x 2160). However, the higher the camera’s resolution, the higher the cost of the entire video surveillance system: cameras, DVR, router, ample hard disk.

In the overwhelming majority of cases, a 2-megapixel camera is enough because such a camera can capture and transmit video in FullHD format.

Advantages of an analog CCTV camera

  • Easy to install and configure. It is enough to connect everything by colors and connectors.
  • Signal transmission without interference at a speed of up to 25 frames/sec.
  • Low price compared to IP cameras.
  • More comprehensive temperature range compared to IP cameras (lower limit 10-15 ° C higher).
  • Internet access is optional.
  • When using passive or active amplifiers, the signal transmission distance over the cable can be increased up to 1500 m.
  • Power and signal transmission is carried out over one PoC (Power over Coaxial) cable.
  • Modern analog cameras are capable of shooting in FullHD format.

Disadvantages of an analog camera

  • A video recorder is required (by the way, if the writer is connected to the Internet, it will be possible to access the archive remotely).
  • Lack of analytical functions of an analog system (automatic selection of an object of observation according to specified parameters, initiation of an alarm, etc.).
  • A limited number of cameras for one DVR (32 cameras).
  • Interference is created by electromagnetic radiation, radio signals.

Advantages of an IP camera

  • The ability to remotely control the video surveillance system and watch what is happening in real-time.
  • Analytical shooting.
  • The resolution of IP cameras can be up to 33 megapixels and 8K ULTRA HD.
  • Availability of panoramic and high-speed (50 frames/sec and higher) shooting.
  • A single PoE (Power over Ethernet) cable carries both power and video.

Disadvantages of an IP camera

  • The complexity of customization.
  • The signal may be interrupted.
  • The distance from the camera to the amplifier is no more than 100m (to increase the stretch, special switches, extension cords, media converters are required).

Advantages Of Analog Cameras Over Ip Cameras

  • Easy to install the analog system.
  • High reliability.
  • No need to replace cables when replacing old analog systems with more modern ones. You don’t even need to set up the system with new video surveillance devices.
  • The load of the network channel does not affect the bandwidth of the network channel, and the signal is transmitted without delay.
  • The movement is transmitted over a much greater distance without additional amplifiers.
  • The cost is lower.

Advantages Of Ip Cameras Over Analog

  •  A PoE (twisted pair) cable is less susceptible to interference than a PoC (coaxial) cable.
  • The device is assigned a unique IP address, with the help of which the camera is displayed in the local network as a separate device and can be controlled remotely.
  • Unlimited video analysis capabilities.
  • The maximum resolution is much higher than that of analog cameras.
  • IP systems have much more promise.

Conclusion: What Video Surveillance System To Choose For Home

  • Analog video surveillance systems are perfect for a private house and a country house. A stable signal of the analog system and high quality will allow you to control the area around the house, in front of the entrance, inside the door.
  • If you often have to be away from home, IP cameras with remote control and access to the video archive are perfect.
  • You can continually expand the capabilities of your video surveillance system using a hybrid video recorder. For example, connect analog and IP cameras to a single system at the same time.
  • The difference in image quality for both systems is almost invisible to the eye. When two cameras, analog, and IP, operate with the same parameters, there will be practically no difference in the image.
  • Both systems can operate simultaneously with many cameras, up to 32 cameras for an analog system, up to 256 cameras for an IP system.

If the choice is made in favor of an IP camera, you need to understand what resolution is required and what purposes. For example, for an external CCTV camera, high resolution is somehow justified and then within reasonable limits. Video latency is inherent in IP technologies, and the higher the resolution of the video camera, the higher the load on the local network, and, accordingly, the video latency is guaranteed. In addition, high-quality video requires a lot of space on the hard disk, memory card, and the higher the charge for cloud services.

At the entrance, and around the perimeter, as a rule, a 2MP camera is installed. High resolution is due to the need to identify the object in front of the front door or territory. But inside a house or apartment, such a high resolution is already losing relevance because it is already clear who is in the place; you need to watch what is happening. For internal video surveillance, a device with a resolution of 1 megapixel is sufficient.

Analog And Ip System Manufacturers

A traditional selection of manufacturers of analog and IP video surveillance systems is based on the popularity and feedback of video surveillance systems owners.


Russian manufacturer of both analog video surveillance systems and digital ones.


A Chinese brand that has proven itself well in Russia. Manufactures analog and IP video surveillance systems, alarms, and other security products.

Falcon’s eye

One of the world’s leading manufacturers of security and video surveillance systems, as well as its components.


The Chinese manufacturer has known all over the world. Data services are used in more than 180 countries worldwide, and we developed our own HD-CVI analog video technology.


HiWatch and EZVIZ are brands of Hikvision. Both brands are world-renowned manufacturers of video surveillance systems, intelligent home systems, action cameras, etc.