What’s the difference between an analog camera and an IP camera?

If you are in the market for a security camera system, you have probably found that there are many options out there from which you could choose from. The most common decision is, to decide whether to go with an analog camera or an IP camera. Both types get the job done for business and residential applications. It mainly depends on what your needs are. Both cameras record with day/night capabilities and both, with the right camera, record in reasonable high resolution. The main difference is how it records and it’s fuctionability at the camera level. An analog camera sends a video feed back to a DVR, VCR or TV. The camera itself is what you would consider a “dumb” device. The live feed is simply passed back to the DVR via a coaxial or twisted pair cable and is then recorded onto a DVR or VCR. A separate power cable has to be run to the camera to provide 12-24 VDC power. An IP camera sends the video back to a web based server called an NVR (network video recorder). The camera itself is considered “smart”. Each camera is actually a miniature computer that can be programmed, or manipulated to perform certain functions at the camera level. It also has more zoom capabilities that enable a person to zoom into an object or event, while still recording the entire original view simultaneously. There are also IP cameras that are known as “de-centralized” IP cameras. This means that they have the ability to store data or footage within the camera on the camera’s hard drive. The footage can then be retrieved via any user that is given access to that camera on the network. Also, IP cameras operate on a single CAT5 or CAT6 twisted pair copper cable. Each pair within the 1 cable can provide video, 2-way data transmission and power.

This is a brief overview of the differences associated with Analog and IP cameras. Stay tuned for another blog post in the near future where I will go a little deeper into the differences in the cost, clarity and recording security.

David Beckstead – President GreenLink Technologies, INC.