An IP-Based Network Camera Is a Better Choice.

The first network camera came to market back in 1996. However, the technology the just wasn’t as good as professional analog cameras, so they weren’t used for surveillance environments. They were originally designed to handle digital imaging, networking, and new Internet applications.  However, this has radically changed.

Today, network cameras have caught up with analog-camera specifications and requirements, and surpass them in performance.  Unlike with an analog camera, a network camera has digitized video streams that can be transferred to any location around the world via a wired or wireless IP network.

After you read this, you’ll be convinced that you need to switch from your analog camera to an IP-based network camera. 

Analog cameras have major problems with interlacing. The images from an analog video signal are made up of lines, where each image is formed from two interlaced fields. The result is a blurriness when objects move between the image capture and the two interlaced fields. On the other hand, a network camera uses “progressive scans” that depict moving objects much more clearly. It employs an advanced image-capture technology so an entire image is captured at once.  This provides a crystal-clear image, even with a high degree of motion.

Getting power to analog cameras is costly, and comes with many obstacles. The Power over Ethernet (PoE) that network cameras employ offers tremendous cost savings and reliability. It’s not available for analog cameras.  There are standards in place so all network cameras are compatible.  This maximizes its benefits. When used for surveillance. PoE provides additional benefits:

  • In the event of a power outage, your network cameras can get backup power from the server room.
  • The same network cable can be used for both video and power. This saves on installation and cabling expenses.
  • It has built-in camera heating and/or cooling without installing extra cables.
  • There’s more power over a network so you can use advanced PTZ (Pan, Tilt, Zoom) dome cameras and with power-consuming applications. Network cameras use pan, tilt and zoom to provide both wide-area coverage and great detail. The image quality, and the ability to zoom make it possible to verify detected security events, providing maximum protection at minimal cost.

Analog cameras use NTSC and PAL specifications, which are holdovers from older technology. This only provides a resolution of what we know as 0.4 megapixels.  (You get more than this with your smartphone!) High-resolution capabilities have become important for today’s surveillance needs. Network cameras meet these requirements providing more coverage over large areas. In addition, it offers HDTV capabilities with detailed images, so you can see things like perpetrator’s face.

With Intelligent Video, a built-in motion detector, a network camera can automatically process, manipulate and perform actions based on the information derived from stored video images or live video. It comes with alarm management to automatically send an alert if it malfunctions due to tampering. Through intelligent algorithms is can recognize license plate numbers, count people, track objects, providing a more effective means of surveillance than a DVR or other centralized system.

Unlike analog cameras, network cameras provide cost savings and flexibility. A network camera has the computing power to analyze more channels in real time. With purpose-built, highly integrated hardware, it manages large-scale intelligent video systems.  Analog cameras require cabling which is costly and limiting.  The network camera has PTZ (Pan, Tilt, Zoom) control over the same network that transports the video. This provides major cost savings, greater flexibility and functionality.

Network cameras come with audio features that aren’t possible with an analog system unless you run separate audio lines to a DVR. This can be costly and cumbersome. Network cameras can synchronize audio with video to integrate it into the same video stream for monitoring or recording over the network.  Audio is bidirectional to allow communication over speakers, and they can automatically trigger recordings or alerts when noise levels exceed preset values.

Network cameras offer encrypted, secure communication. Analog cameras don’t, because signals are transported over coax cable. What this means is that anyone can replace the signal from an analog camera with another video signal. A network camera encrypts the video signal so it can’t be tampered with. You can also set it to authenticate the connection so no one can hack into the line. It employs a standard for authentication, which is widely used in surveillance.

With an analog camera, distance can influence image quality.  This isn’t a factor with network cameras.  Because analog video is transmitted over expensive coax, proprietary fiber, or by wireless, distance erodes image quality. When you add power, inputs/outputs and an audio line, this breaks up the signal even more. You won’t have these issues with a network camera.  It produces digital images, so there are no image reduction issues due to distance. It uses IP-based networking that can be routed around the world, using both fixed and wireless networks. You can’t do this with an analog camera.  Streams of different types can be transmitted over the same line because it works through packet-based communications. A single wire can carry hundreds of simultaneous video streams.  This makes it easy to integrate network video applications with other IP-based systems and applications (such as systems for building management, access control systems and industrial solutions).

Unlike a network camera system, an analog camera requires three conversions, and with every conversion image quality is lost. Images captured by a network camera are digitized, and they stay digital with no unnecessary conversions and no image degradation.

The upfront cost for a network surveillance system are lower than with analog.

Because back-end applications and storage can be run on industry-standard, open systems-based servers, and not on proprietary hardware like a DVR, this radically reduces management and equipment costs.  This is particularly so for large surveillance systems where storage and servers are a costly part of the total solution.  You’ll realize even more cost savings by using IP-based networks such as the Internet, LANs and various connection methods such as wireless.

All of this proves that network camera systems are a  more effective means of surveillance than using outdated analog surveillance camera.

There’s been a rapid growth in the adoption of network camera surveillance. They are now being used in settings like education, city surveillance and banking.  Security management over an IP network represents the future of advanced security management.  The analog camera, on the other hand, lacks flexibility and performance, and doesn’t meet today’s demands.  There’s no question that when purchasing a camera surveillance system for your business, a network camera will always be your best choice.

Looking for the right surveillance system for your business?  Our experts can help. To schedule a complimentary review of your security needs, contact eSOZO Computer and Network Services at (888) 376-9648 or

Author: Aaron White, Date: 23rd May 2017


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