Making the right choice of camera: analog, IP, or HD-SDI?

Making the right choice of camera: analog, IP, or HD-SDI?

There are different types of cameras to choose from: IP, analog, and HD-SDI. Before making the choice you should decide what video quality would suit your needs. Click here to see how different types of cameras compare against one another.

Analog cameras are an older and cheaper but still widely used technology. Their resolution is measured in TV lines (TVL); today the most popular resolutions are 700 and 1000 TVL. These cameras are connected to a digital video recording device (DVR). The image from the camera to the recording device is transmitted over a coaxial cable or using a UTP (LAN cable) and special converters.


IP cameras is a new and rapidly gaining in popularity technology. They produce much more detailed visuals than analog cameras and are mostly used when there is a need for detail and quality. The resolution of IP cameras is measured in megapixels (for example, 1MP, 1.3MP, 2MP, 3MP, 4MP, and so on). They are connected to a network video recorder (NVR). The image is transmitted to the recording device over a UTP (LAN) cable. A big advantage of IP surveillance systems is the PoE function, which allows transmitting video through the same LAN cable which is used for power. This significantly simplifies the installation process. Note that both the camera and the NVR device must support the PoE function.

HD-SDI cameras are usually installed as a replacement for old surveillance systems, making use of already laid down coaxial cables. As with IP cameras, they ensure a high quality; just like with analog cameras, the video is transmitted over a coaxial cable. HD-SDI cameras are often used as a cheaper alternative to IP cameras. The technology supports 1080p video transmission without sacrificing quality for distances as far as 500 metres.

WiFi cameras are IP cameras which have the WiFi function. The main advantage of WiFi cameras is no cables for the signal transmission. The only thing needed is connecting the camera to a power source. Wi-Fi cameras are a great choice when, for instance, the premises do not allow for installing cables for video transmission. These cameras can be connected to video recording device or an internet router, which enables accessing them from any place in the world via a phone or a computer.

It is worth noting that all of the aforementioned video camera types can be used for surveillance over the Internet. The difference is that analog and HD-SDI cameras require a video recording device, which is then connected to a router. IP and WiFi cameras can be connected to a router directly. As a result, IP cameras make the following arrangement possible: there are two IP cameras at home, one in the cottage and one in the office; the video material from all three can be recorded to a video recording device and watched directly from home. For the setup to work well, the cottage and the office should have a good Internet connection.

If you have any questions about which type of cameras would suit you the best, do not hesitate to contact us