Today’s quality CCTV systems are still for the most part
based on analog cameras, IP cameras
are being used for those needing better quality images
or a network based system.
With all of the aggressive advertising we see today on
“high resolution” analog cameras, we must
not forget that these cameras still send video via a
coax cable to the DVR using a carrier defined
as NTSC, also know as 525/60.
NTSC only has 486 horizontal lines in its Active Area, a
NTSC video signal also includes extra
vertical sync lines, which are basically just filler
timed to allow the electron guns in a CRT
television time to reposition themselves at the top of
the screen. There are 39 vertical sync lines,
resulting in a total of 525 lines (486 + 39).
Therefore if a camera can produce 1000 lines of
resolution, and it is to be connected to a
recorder via coax or twisted pair using a conventional
analog signal, the result resolution is 525.
In order to break the 525 barriers, there have been many
attempts. The most successful to date
has been the use of IP cameras. IP cameras have little
theoretical limit in resolution since it is
sending TCP/IP data packets instead of video. Problem
is, of the dealers and integrators
interviewed, less than ten percent of the technicians
can install an IP based system on their own.
And in most cases, new cable has to be installed. Add
the fact that until recently, very few IP
camera and NVR products are interchangeable and you have
a big reason to stay clear of the
So if you look at serious video, broadcast quality of
720p and 1080i, how are they doing it? In
most cases the signal is being transmitted using HDSDI.
High Definition Serial Digital Interface.
HDSDI allows the broadcasters to send a high def real
time signal from a sideline camera, across
the field and into the production trailer at a football
game, using a single coax cable. This is a
proven method of transmission but has always been cost
prohibitive for the CCTV market.
Digital and others have recently released True HD CCTV
cameras using HDSDI signal format at prices only a
little higher than conventional cameras and DVR’s. These
systems allow the installer who knows analog to continue
doing the same installation, but the video is now true
high definition instead of NTSC.
So if the installation process does not change;
manufacturing cost is similar to analog; the picture
quality is many times that of D1, hard drives prices are
no longer an issue and capacities are
WHY WOULD ANYONE STAY WITH ANALOG?
Cabling issue with HD Cameras ---- There is no
With the introduction of the HDCCTV cameras, there has
been a large resistance in the area of
cabling. As the country’s leading expert in HD
installations, here are some realities.
1) HD Cameras can use existing RG-59 CCTV cable reliably
up to 300 ft. This means direct
replacement of Camera and DVR up to 300 ft is no
problem. Now, consider all of the applications
with wire runs under 300 ft. Our survey’s show that it
is actually the majority of the installs taking
2) How many times does a dealer replace a camera system
on an upgrade and leave the
existing cable in place. VERY RARELY. Even in national
retail chains, every time there is a
remodel or a retro fit, they rewire the store.
3) Your cable costs is now half of what it was. In the
old days, we used to pull RG6 for
“high end” cable applications. With the rising cost of
copper a few years ago, RG6 is now about
one half of the cost of traditional 95% copper RG59. An
HD CCTV Camera reaches its full
capacity over conventional RG6, allowing distances of
well over 800ft.
4) You were going to rewire anyway. If you convinced
your customer to go to IP cameras
because you sold him on better quality, guess what. You
are going to most likely rewire the site
with CAT 6 anyway. Why not use RG6 and have a much
higher performance system than IP can
By the way, what is the cable distance limitation for an
IP camera on CAT6? 300ft!
We have boosters, splitters, quad processors, DVR’s,
fiber transmitters, IP converters and
anything else a system could require to offer your
customers Broadcast quality video.