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HD Over Coax Vs. IP Cameras: Choosing Your Path to the Best

When shopping around for the perfect surveillance equipment for your business, resolution should be right up there with security on your priority list.

The right resolution ensures that the images acquired are usable. For example, high resolution cameras can allow you to spot details—such as license plate numbers or facial features—that lower resolutions cannot, which may come in handy in the event of suspicious activity.

With the new HD over Coax technology, you can provide your business with high-resolution video and enhanced security at a very affordable price. Outlined below are the pros and cons.

HD Over Coax Pros and Cons

HD over Coax refers to the transmission of high-definition video and audio streams over coaxial cables that were previously limited to standard quality video.

There are several competing technologies in this category, including CVI, TVI, SDI and others. They vary somewhat in capability, but in general, the major benefits over an IP video system include:

Low upgrade costs. Cameras can connect to existing analog coax cables, eliminating the need for new wiring.

Simple installation and setup. Most products in this category are designed for near plug-and-play operation.

No interference with networks. These systems can be operated in complete isolation from the data network, if desired.

Support for 720p and 1080p high definition cameras.

HD over Coax is ideal for companies that have an existing analog infrastructure in place, would like to reduce overall cost and are looking to upgrade their cameras to 720p or 1080p. It is also great for new installations, if your budget is extremely limited.

HD over Coax cameras cannot support resolutions over 1080p (or about two megapixels). If a higher resolution is required, IP cameras are the only option. They are available in a wide range of resolutions from one to ten megapixels and beyond.

IP cameras run on your network, though, so it’s important to ensure your infrastructure can support the implementation. Remember, all other things being equal, the higher the mexapixel count, the more bandwidth is required.

Determine Your Resolution Needs

Before deciding which option is best for your business, evaluate the amount of resolution necessary on a per-camera basis. Understand the overall purpose of the system, and the video quality needed to take appropriate action.

Are you looking to capture details as opposed to a general overview of an area? What frame rate (images per second) do you require? What existing hardware is in place? Understand end-user requirements and network restrictions to better dictate the clarity of the image needed, and guide camera selection, placement and lens pairing.

As a general rule, about 20 pixels per foot (of an object in the scene) is acceptable for basic surveillance, while 100 pixels per foot or more may be required for identification.

No surveillance equipment is a one-size-fits-all solution; work closely with your vendor to determine the approach most suitable for your business.

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