Article appeared in the May 2013 issue of CEPro Magazine.

Why Analog Cameras are Losing the War against IP

There is a war going on between Analog and IP cameras, and it's a war taking place in the hearts and minds of integrator/dealers. The analog market share is shrinking quickly as more integrator/dealers adopt the benefits of Internet-based cameras.

Technologically speaking, these Internet cameras have hard core advantages over analog, but years ago IP-based cameras were just not as reliable. There is nothing worse for a dealer than having to go out to a customer and replace a dead camera that is less than a year old. When these new-fangled cameras appeared on the market they did not have a solid reputation and would fail occasionally.

Times have changed, however, and IP cameras have become a lot more reliable while their main advantage remains: the super high resolution images they deliver, on average three to six times better than analog resolutions.

Analysts agree that the new growth in security cameras is the in the IP High Definition Megapixel market. Once a customer sees the difference between analog and IP, they immediately understand that this Internet based technology is the clear winner in picture quality. Picture quality is only the beginning, because a more accurate description of the benefit would be the sheer amount of information gathered from one camera is comparable to six or more analog cameras. Think about that: with just one IP Megapixel camera the customer has the information gathering capability of six or more analog cameras. Imagine one product that can easily replace six cameras. Analog just cannot compete.

For example, even with a new Analog D1 resolution digital video recorder with 960 horizontal lines of recording ability, a high end analog recorder like a new 700TVL resolution camera, the total recorded resolution is a mere .3 of a megapixel. What this means practically, is that the recorded video is fairly basic and only can recognize a face from 6-12 feet away -- maximum. In contrast, the new 2 Megapixel IP camera can recognize a face or license plate from 20-40 feet. Megapixel IP cameras dramatically enable much higher levels of recognition and this equals more ability to make prosecutions stick and clear identification of the bad guys.

When IP cameras first appeared on the market about six years ago they were sometimes unstable and more of a beta project than an actual product. However, manufacturers have made tremendous strides over the last six years delivering to us stable cameras with great performance and jaw dropping resolutions. IP Megapixel cameras are now finely tuned machines ready for the battle against crime. Analog technologies have meanwhile, started to shrink in market size due to their lesser resolutions and abilities and will eventually fade from the surveillance market place unless new technologies like SD-HDI become more affordable. The war appears to be coming to end between IP and Megapixel and customers are better for it.