Pros & Cons of Digital Security Camera Systems

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Advantages

  • Image Quality: The image quality from digital security cameras is significantly higher than analog, with many cameras capable of recording and transmitting high-definition video. Plus, digital cameras are more likely to have digital zoom features, which can have zoom distances over 100ft.
  • Coverage Area: A single digital camera can cover an area that would require three or even four of its analog counterparts. As a result, you may require fewer cameras and be able to maintain security surveillance over a wider area.
  • Fewer Cables Needed: Instead of individually wiring each camera with power and then cabling each camera to the DVR, digital systems can have multiple cameras connected to a switch, and then all of those cameras on the switch can be connected to the NVR with a single cable.
  • Positioning or Port Limitations: Because cameras merely need to be connected to your LAN network in order to connect to your NVR, you are no longer limited by the distance between cameras and the video recorder. As the NVR is software-based and does not have ports, you also eliminate that limitation as well.
  • Power over Ethernet (PoE): Power over Ethernet switches enable your signal cables to provide power to the cameras as well, reducing the need for those additional cables.
  • Wireless Capability: Digital security camera systems are very good at operating within a wireless network. They are not susceptible to the same kinds of interference that affect their analog counterparts, so you can easily view a live feed from more remote locations if desired.
  • Encryption: A lot of digital security cameras have encryption built in, so your data is safer from the beginning of its journey to its end.

Disadvantages

  • Setup Complications: If you don’t have the network set up already and the switches in place, these can increase the cost and labor involved in your CCTV installation, regardless of the fact that you’d need fewer cables overall.
  • Higher Initial Cost: The cameras and equipment (aside from cables) tend to cost more on an individual basis compared to their analog counterparts (though you might need fewer of them, so the costs may balance out).
  • High Bandwidth Requirements: IP security camera systems usually require a lot more bandwidth than analog ones. Between the higher resolution and higher frame rate, even with compression, you’re looking at around 720Kbps, and that’s before considering the newer cameras that have megapixel resolution. As a result, this could drive your costs up.
  • Storage Requirements: Higher resolution and higher frame rates mean larger files, so you’ll need a lot more storage space on your hard drive to accommodate them.