Analogue Vs IP CCTV Cameras

In CCTV and it’s surrounding industry there is an ongoing debate about Analogue Vs IP CCTV Cameras and which are more beneficial. Here, we look at the arguments of each and share some valuable insight.


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Analogue Cameras

Analogue CCTV cameras work by taking an analogue video signal and relocating it via coax cable to a Digital Video Recorder (DVR). A coax cable is a type of electrical cable consisting of an inner conductor surrounded by a coextensive conducting shield, with the two separated by a dielectric. Many coaxial cables also have a protective outer sheath or jacket. Some cameras can be powered via the same cabling, thanks to the Power Over Coax (POC) technology we use. Other cameras which cannot utilise this must be powered locally. This is usually from a 12v DC power supply. The DVR then transforms the analogue video signal into digital, compresses it and then stores it on a hard drive within, these come in different sizes i.e. 1TB, 2TB, 4TB etc.

The length of recording will depend on the recording settings, i.e. motion only or 24/7 recording and the size of the hard drive. Depending on the cameras and DVR used they can use house intelligence settings such as scheduling, digital zoom and motion detection features. DVR’s used by JCS allow for monitors to be connected, they also allow for PC viewing over an internal network. Primarily the DVR is connected to a customer’s phone using manufacturer-specific software for mobile viewing from anywhere (dependant on internet connectivity available). The DVRs used by Hikvision have multi step security features, i.e. password protection and video encryption.

IP Cameras

An Internet Protocol (IP) camera is a network camera that captures an analogue image then instantly converts it to digital within the camera itself. The digital processing of compression and motion detection also occurs within the camera. The resulting digital video is then broadcasted over the local area network (LAN) using Ethernet (CAT5 or CAT6 cabling), or sometimes Wi-Fi depending on camera model. This can also be connected directly into the back on an NVR (Network Video Recorder), which similarly to a DVR can process, manipulate and record the video footage to a hard drive or cloud storage. Power is supplied to these cameras either locally via a Power Supply or through the ethernet cable directly via Power-over-Ethernet (POE) technology from an NVR or a compatible PoE Switch / Injector.

Switches (PoE or not) connect your LAN to multiple cameras and devices simultaneously, and can power them all if PoE-enabled. IP Cameras are individually addressable on a network using IP technology so that they can communicate with the other devices on the network and transmit data (in this case, video footage) using data packets, which allows the cameras to be accessed directly to configure settings and view footage instead of having to connect to the DVR (in the case of analogue). This also means that IP cameras can be accessed by several people / devices simultaneously and can record to multiple places.

Analogue vs IP - Which is right for you?

Most cameras have analogue and IP variants with similar features, however there are advantages and disadvantages to each which make them more or less favourable to a customer.

Analogue cameras are generally the cheaper alternative, but often lack in quality and features compared to their IP competitor – this is due to the processing power which IP cameras house. Analogue cameras have to be connected directly to the DVR through a cable to transmit the video feed for the unit to process, whereas the IP cameras can be connected anywhere on the network, through switches, Wi-Fi etc. and the video feed can still be sent to the DVR. This is often more useful on larger sites, commonly in commercial settings, or where direct cabling between the DVR and camera is impossible like between buildings and sites.

IP cameras are more expensive, but this is counteracted by the features that they contain. IP cameras are able to process and analyse footage directly instead of requiring an NVR, this means that functions such as Motion Detection, Intrusion Detection or Tampering can be handled directly at the camera. This also means that IP cameras can sometimes be used without an NVR altogether (as they often have MicroSD card slots built into the device), meaning it’s possible to have IP cameras and their impressive features without the added expense of a DVR/NVR – which can sometimes make the overall total cheaper than the analogue alternative. Due to their processing power, IP cameras are often higher quality than the analogue alternative which may be a requirement when choosing the correct camera for a job.


Analogue and IP cameras are each more advantageous in different scenarios, and are more appropriate for different customers.

If you have any questions, or would like to know more get in touch with the team here at JCS.

Analogue Vs IP CCTV Cameras

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