WHICH SECURITY SYSTEM IS THE BETTER OPTION?

You are here:
< All Topics

This is not a simple question to answer, as there are advantages and disadvantages to both analog and digital security camera systems. If you’re going to make a decision, be aware of these pros and cons and weigh them appropriately for your business’s needs.

Advantages

  • Cost: Analog cameras tend to cost less, sometimes even a lot less, than their digital counterparts on a per camera basis.
  • Simplicity: DVR is easier to set up and understand for most. It is one unit with one cost, and the installation is a bit more straightforward.
  • Lower Bandwidth Requirements: Analog recorded video files tend to be smaller, and they are transmitted to the DVR over coax instead of LAN, so transmitting them doesn’t take as much bandwidth and doesn’t tax your network as much. Plus, DVRs also usually only transmit the information and use bandwidth when someone is viewing the video, rather than on a more constant basis.
  • More Design Options: With a wider variety of analog camera designs, you may have an easier time finding a camera model with all of the features you need at a lower cost.

Disadvantages

  • Cabling: Because the cameras need to be connected to both the power supply and the DVR via cables, you tend to have a lot of wiring to handle, even if you use cables that bundle video and power. Furthermore, coax cables are usually more expensive on their own than the Cat 5 or 6 counterparts used for digital systems.
  • Image Quality: The image quality on analog cameras is pretty low. Most smartphones today have higher resolution. As a result, details at a distance may be grainy, making it difficult to identify potential suspects in an incident with a high degree of confidence. Moreover, there’s no digital zoom. If you try to zoom in on something on analog video, you’ll likely get an image that is even more blurred and grainy.
  • Coverage Area: Typically, analog surveillance cameras have a much narrower field of view than their digital counterparts, so you may need more of them to cover the area you need.
  • Positioning Limitations: Because analog cameras need to be connected to the DVR, you have to keep these cameras within a reasonable range of the device, or you risk diminishing the reliability of the connection. As a result, you become more limited on where you can place your cameras.
  • Port Limitations: DVRs have only so many ports on them, so you can only connect a limited number of cameras to them. If you want to exceed this number, you’ll probably have to get a second DVR.
  • Wireless Capability (or Lack Thereof): The reality is that analog wireless systems don’t work very well due to government regulations regarding analog frequencies and signal strength. As a result, other wireless devices and even fluorescent lighting can interfere with and distort the video signal.
  • Encryption: Analog signals can’t be encrypted, typically speaking, meaning that it could be easier to for unwanted eyes to view the signal.