As with many of the latest technologies, the ability to connect them to the wider online and connected world via (Internet Protocol) IP platforms; (often referred to as the Internet of Things (IoT)); adds significant value to system operators and end users in terms of functionality and management – and the use of IP CCTV systems is no different.

The key difference between an IP CCTV and an Analogue CCTV system is that the IP version sits on, or is connected to a computer network – this can be on a Local Area Network (LAN) a Wide Area Network (WAN) or the World Wide Web (the internet).

The main benefits of this are:

  • The images captured by the CCTV camera can be transmitted to virtually anywhere to be recorded – whereas true analogue systems will have to record them locally (usually on a physical recorder within the same building)
  • Each camera has its own IP address (making it uniquely identifiable on that network) – which means that each camera can be remotely accessed to either view live footage – to make adjustments to the camera or the area it is viewing – or the recorded footage from that camera can be remotely accessed and viewed – all of which should be over a secure connection
  • IP platforms can utilise existing computer networks (either hard wired or wireless) – meaning that the cameras do not have to have a separate hard wired connection from the camera, trailing all the way back to a physical recording device (DVR or NVR) on site – as they can be connected to the nearest network connection. This reduces the cost and time of having to hard wire everything using its own cable infrastructure
  • Using Power over Ethernet (PoE) cameras and networks can also remove the need to hard wire a power supply to each camera, as sufficient power can be delivered via the same data cable which transmits the footage back to the recorder.
  • IP cameras convert their footage to digital format which not only allows it to be transmitted over a network, but also means that much higher resolution images can be captured and transmitted (so long as the network it sits on has enough available bandwidth to transmit them)
  • Hybrid CCTV Recorder

    Hybrid CCTV Recorder

    The ability to handle higher resolution images allows fewer cameras to be used to cover the same area. An analogue CCTV camera has a maximum resolution referred to as D1 (720 x 576 pixels when using the European PAL system (as used on common television systems)) which results in a maximum of 414,720 pixels (or roughly 0.4 megapixel) whereas the latest 4K cameras can create a picture resolution of 4,096 x 2,160 pixels (8,847,360 pixels or more than 21 times the quality of the best analogue camera) – which means that theoretically, 1 x high quality IP camera could cover the same area as 21 of the highest resolution analogue cameras and still maintain the same quality. Although this is great in theory, there is still the consideration that the network that the camera sits on and the recording device both have to be able to handle such colossal amounts of data. In practice a high quality IP CCTV camera might replace 4 or maybe 5 analogue cameras.

In addition to these primary benefits; CCTV systems which sit on IP Platforms also provide organisations with the ability to connect and integrate their CCTV system to other security, communications and life safety technologies such as Access Control, Intruder Alarm, Fire Alarm and Public Address systems; providing additional, higher level building and personnel management capabilities beyond the norm.

With so many fantastic benefits available, the introduction of IP Platforms to your CCTV system not only provides much greater functionality and potential cost savings, but also helps to future proof your security and life safety systems.

Alternatively, if you already have an existing analogue CCTV system, but do not have the budget to upgrade the whole system, then talk to our team about upgrading one or more of your most important CCTV cameras to IP CCTV, and we can create a Hybrid CCTV system utilising your existing analogue CCTV technology whilst adding the benefits of IP CCTV where it is needed most.