Answers to Ask Eric

Is IP CCTV better than Analogue?

This is a question that is often posed when we discuss CCTV options with our clients. As with any question of this type there isn’t a simple yes/no answer, we have to consider a number of critical factors.

The first consideration is are you looking to upgrade an existing CCTV system and what technology do you currently have? If you have good quality RG59 coaxial cable in place and the maximum runs are less than around 85metres, we could probably install a very good high definition 1080P system for you. If however you have suitable Ethernet cabling in place and it can be configured to permit CCTV then we might opt for an IP solution.

Another critical factor is something called latency, this is where video images are delayed through the digital processing that takes place. You would have noticed this in the early days of digital TV, where there would be a few seconds delay in the digital images compared to their analogue counterparts. This is more pronounced on IP systems, as the digital processing takes place at the camera. In many cases this small delay is not a problem unless you are having Pan Tilt Zoom (PTZ) cameras installed. This delay may reduce the responsiveness of your system when tracking potential targets.

High definition CCTV images place big demands on your data networks and it is important that any installed system must not detract from your business operations, so a detailed discussion with your IT organisation may help to determine the optimum technology to satisfy your particular requirement.

These are by no means the only considerations, but the important point to take from this answer is that we do not limit a solution based on what we prefer! It is the needs and existing capabilities of you, the client, that will determine the technology that we would recommend.