IP or Analog? The benefits and disadvantages of both professional camera systems

Professional Camera Systems– Which Security Camera Is Right For Your Business?

So you’re interested in professional camera systems for your business . . .

There are many different variables to consider:

  • Locations Inside, outside?
  • Purpose Are these cameras in place to deter theft? Monitor a parking lot? Watch a production line?
  • Lighting Do you need them to capture footage at night? Are there any lights around that might impact image quality or maybe a complete lack of a light source?
  • Accessibility Do the cameras need to be out of reach? If they are outside, is there space to attach them to the building?

These are just a few things to consider and there are many more.

That being said, one major factor can impact all of these and is one of the first things you should consider.

Analog or IP Professional Camera Systems?

That may sound like another language but for the most part, the difference boils down to how a video signal is delivered.

Basically, Analog cameras turn video footage into a format that is received by your recording device (DVR) and displayed on a monitor or television. IP security cameras send their footage over cable or wireless and the footage is decoded by a network device. Essentially, IP security cameras run on a network and the system is more like an extension of your IT infrastructure while Analog professional camera systems are a separate type of technology.

This may sound confusing but at the end of the day both systems can get the job done.

As always, our goal is to take the complication out of technology and provide our customers with a solution that simply works.

That being said, here are some simple pros and cons for both systems that should help you figure out which is right for you.

Analog Professional Camera Systems

Benefits –

  • Budget Friendly – an analog system is often the less expensive option.
  • Variety & Custom Design Options – Analog systems tend to be easier to customize. With a large variety of camera styles and functions, these systems answer your unique needs and if you believe that your job requires some specific or unusual surveillance components, analog may be your best option.
  • Dependable Technology – analog systems have been around a very long time and as such, have many software and hardware compatibilities. If you want a camera system that can integrate well with other technologies, it is important to look into compatibility before choosing anything.

Disadvantages –

  • Security risks – these days we have to consider cyber security and while the probability of this happening remains low, the analog signals cannot be encrypted which means that someone else could get their hands on our signal.
  • Certain features missing – While most anything you are looking to do are possible on analog systems, there are limitations. Digital zoom is one example. For images that you will need to zoom a lot and maintain clear images, analog may not be your best option.

Image quality limits – One of the most well-known drawbacks of digital systems is that the image quality is not always as clear as the IP alternative. If a crystal clear image is something you are after, it is best to consider all variables, desired zoom, PTZ requirements, face recognition, lighting etc.

IP Professional Camera Systems

Benefits –

  • Less signal interference/higher security – As this is a different type of signal run on a network, there is less likelihood for signal interference. Also, these systems are able to encrypt and further secure data. This means higher security and less risk of intrusion into your security system.
  • More remote access possibilities – it should be stated that today’s analog systems have remote access capabilities and software but IP systems have a large array of options for remote viewing. PC, laptop, smartphone or tablet, all are places you can review your footage.
  • Wireless options – because these systems can use your existing infrastructure, they don’t always need heavy wiring and can often take advantage of wireless technology. This gives you more flexibility for system design at times.

Disadvantages –

  • Higher costs – IP cameras can run a large range of prices. It isn’t abnormal to pay a thousand or even several thousand dollars for a single camera depending on the specifications. On top of this, if your network doesn’t have proper setup, you may need to invest to get things up to speed.
  • Bandwidth requirements – as with anything on your network, you are adding demand to your bandwidth. With this in mind it is important to make sure that you don’t need to increase your service. Will adding the security system to your network slow things down in the office? Make sure to discuss this with your vendor and your service provider.

With the different options on the market for security cameras, it is important that you consider your unique needs and compare them before purchasing any professional camera systems. Don’t allow a vendor to push you any one way without exploring the different technologies and how they fit your business.

A vendor who can supply both IP and Analog systems is a great place to start.

Andromeda has professional teams and representatives available to help you discuss your project and provide you with plans for the system that fits your needs; IP, Analog or even a mixture of both.