When visiting potential customers we are frequently asks what the differences are between CCTV Systems and IP surveillance systems and which is better. In this document we will review, in an unbiased manner, the pros and cons of each system. With that said, here at surveillance technology we believe that there is a place for both which should be determined by the prospects specific environment and needs.
CCTV Systems Pros
Less Expensive: In most cases a quality CCTV system is les expensive than an IP system for two primary reasons: The equipment itself and in many cases if you have an older CCTV system in place the cable will not need to be replaced. The new Hybrid systems are also backwards compatible so the customer may upgrade cameras as their budget allows.
Security: Most DVR (Digital Video Recorder) based systems use an embedded Unix operating system, this makes them very secure as they do not have the same vulnerabilities as windows based NVR'S (Network Video Recorder). Additionally, CCTV cameras do not have IP addresses so they can not be accessed directly or hacked over the internet. Each camera is directly connected to the DVR with a Siamese cable
Network Traffic: Since CCTV cameras are not on your network they do not utilize any network bandwidth, the only time CCTV systems use bandwidth is when a user logs into the DVR to view the cameras or to perform playback remotely
Stability: CCTV system are very simple and thus are extremely stable in most cases as long as they have power they will be recording footage even if you network goes down.
Resolution is getting Better: The newer hybrid DVR's boast H.265 compression which is about 60% more efficient than the old H.264 which has allowed the industry to release CCTV cameras in resolutions from 1080p all the way up to 4K UHD all over your old siamese cable
Analytics and Intelligence: Currently only IP systems offer analytics such as people or vehicle counting nor do CCTV systems offer intelligence such as trip lines which can then trigger another camera to follow a would be perpetrator
Resolution: Currently CCTV cameras have a maximum resolution of 3840 X 2160 better know as 4K, while IP cameras have a maximum resolution of 5472 X 3648 and boast 20 megapixel images sensor for crystal clear digital zoom
Specialty Cameras: CCTV systems do not offer 360 or 180 degree cameras that can be flattened via software to offer a variety of views
IP Systems Pros
Higher Resolution: IP Systems are currently available in resolutions up to 5472 X 3648 with 20 megapixel CMOS sensors
Analytics and Intelligence: With higher end IP systems the customer can use analytics to determine traffic patterns in designated areas for both pedestrians and vehicles. Additionally customers can also setup advanced notification systems to inform them if a person or vehicle has entered a specific area which can the trigger a PTZ camera, for example, to follow them through the covered areas
Specialty Cameras: IP systems can utilize both 180 and 360 degree cameras, these cameras can take the place of up to 4 individual cameras with only one Ethernet cable,. Additionally these cameras can be custom configured to provide a verity of views and view styles.
Cabling Cost: If you are starting from scratch Ethernet cable is about half the price of 95% copper siamese cable
IP System Cons:
Expensive: A quality IP system that incorporate the advanced feature described in this article can easily cost 2 to 4 times more than a CCTV system
Bandwidth: Because IP camera systems are installed on a network they can easily bring your companies current infrastructure down to a slow crawl. Even if you setup a separate network just for your surveillance cameras the amount of bandwidth required for a 4K camera is approximately 16 megs per second per camera even with H.265 compression. Remote viewing and play back can be even slower and even frustrating.
Latency: All IP cameras compress the cameras video image at the camera in an attempt to reduce the amount of bandwidth required. Because of this function the viewer will experience a delay from when an object actually crosses the cameras field of view verses when that same object appears on your viewing monitor, in some case as much as three seconds lapse.
In conclusion it is our experience that CCTV systems are the better choice for most surveillance applications, however there are definitely applications where the advance features of IP systems are required.