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HD-SDI Camera Systems vs. IP Camera Systems

Posted In Home Technology & Gadgets, Security, Technology devices - By Techtiplib on Wednesday, August 13th, 2014 With No Comments »

When are you are trying to get the best image quality out of your CCTV security system you will definitely want to look at megapixel solutions. The good news is that there are two ways to get quality HD video – HD-SDI (High Definition – Serial Digital Interface) and IP Cameras (Internet Protocol). You will be able to get either 720p or 1080p resolutions in the recorded footage with both of these systems. So which one is better? Well that will depend on what you or your organization need, but what we can do is look at both systems so you can make an informed decision when purchasing your next security system.

HD-SDI Camera Systems

To put it simply, a HD-SDI system transfers high definition video over standard analog cables. This system is perfect for those looking to replace their existing system or for those who aren’t proficient in networking. If you have existing Siamese cables in place, the installation will be relatively simple as all you will need to do is swap the current DVR and cameras out for the HD-SDI cameras. However, if you were installing this for the first time then you would install the system as if you were any normal CCTV system. With HD-SDI you won’t be too worried about the bandwidth of the network as all the cameras have a home run back to the unit itself and aren’t communicating on the network unless it is being viewed remotely. A benefit with HD-SDI cameras, in comparison to IP cameras, is that there is less configuration since they are not network devices.

HD-SDI cameras system

The limitations with HD-SDI systems are the cabling that can be used and the distances of each type of cable. The best cable to use in correlation with the maximum length runs is RG6 which does the transmission rates of the cable. The video portion of the transmission on an RG6 cable can be run to approximately 150 metres. RG59, another cable that can be used, limits you to 100 metres. There will need to be some examination of the cables used to make sure that the transmission distances are not too far. If they are, you can expect some drop in voltage and insufficient power to your equipment. To add to this, most Australian business prefer to use the RG59 or the RG6 as opposed to the Cat5 or Cat6 cables as these cables cost more to use thus using up more resources than the RG59 and RG6 cables.

There is a line of thinking that there should be some sort of hybrid HD-SDI recorder so that a HD-SDI recorder itself doesn’t have to absorb the entire cost of the retrofit all at once. It makes sense, right? Unfortunately, there isn’t one that exists in the HD-SDI model. But, if you really wanted to do this you would be able to do so through an IP camera system as there is a hybrid that combines analog and IP cameras in the one unit.

If all that wasn’t enough for you then the convenience of the system as well as the ‘plug and play’ quick set up is something that sets the HD-SDI system apart from the competition.

IP Camera Systems

Depending on your knowledge of security systems, IP systems can be much harder to configure than HD-SDI systems and are generally time consuming. Most IP systems use PoE NVR (Power over Ethernet Network Video Recorder) this allows for up to four cameras to have a home run directly back to the NVR’s PoE switch for power and video transmission. This method can be user friendly when all you want to do is just plug and play the cameras.

HD-SDI cameras 2

Now if you are wanting to use more than four cameras you can use any other NVRs which are 16 channel units. You will still need the NVR and an appropriate channel PoE switch. If for instance you are installing eight cameras you are going to need either 2-4 Port PoE switches or 1-8 Port PoE Switch and a single port injector. You need to have more than just the 8 ports for the cameras because there needs to be communication from the switch to the router. So that means there would be seven cameras that would be plugged into the switch with one jumper to the router. The 8th camera would be plugged into the single port injector with a jumper from it to the router. Furthermore, the NVR will also connect to the router so that communication can occur between the devices.

Unfortunately with IP systems, particularly with larger organisations, you will almost always have to buy a license to be able to work with your recorder as the IP surveillance industry model is based on a captive market. While the system itself can be cost effective, paying for a license can be costly and in general is a nuisance to deal with when all you want to do is start using your security system.

Regardless if you go with HD-SDI cameras or IP cameras, you will impressed with the quality and detail in the image that you receive. Typically, the HD-SDI systems equipment will cost more, but you will save on not having to rewire your site. Whichever way you decide to go you are at least going to increase the resolution by four times compared to that of a traditional analog CCTV system.

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