Are Analogue Cameras the Worst Advertisement?

CCTV has come a long way in the last 10 years, with analogue security systems being the standard choice for domestic and commercial applications. It is interesting that the status quo remains the same, despite many large institutions adopting IP technology to integrate with their current IT infrastructure. However, there does seem to be some movement in specific sectors. For example, schools have readily adopted IP CCTV for a range of applications besides security, this includes school management, behaviour observation and monitoring lessons.

However, the question remains the same, why analogue and what does this mean for securing your property? There are a number of factors at play here, which include:

Perceived cost of IP/HD Cameras versus analogue


Integration with IT systems

These factors are incredibly important when deciding which type of CCTV system to install. Okay, we would always advocate IP technology because we believe in it and sell it. However, there are benefits to analogue systems, they include:

Cheap, easy to install and maintain

Where identification doesn’t matter, basic analogue systems will show the presence of a person or event

In our experience, where the above is the priority, we would always recommend to clients to install analogue systems and the results versus price can be impressive. However, analogue systems are not the future, they are based on old style technology and perform pretty badly in comparison to the most basic IP camera. Also, the installation of professional analogue CCTV cameras (which are often installed in Local Authorities, large businesses etc) are often much more expensive than IP megapixel cameras, deliver poor footage and in the case of PTZ’s are prone to failure due to moving parts.

CCTV camera manufacturers are now moving to embrace IP and HD technologies to deliver highly effective security systems, which are robust, cost effective and easily integrated into other IT systems. For example, the future of IP CCTV looks impressive, cameras are becoming more advanced with manufacturers like Avigilon delivering cameras up to 29 megapixels into the market, IP CCTV systems can be integrated into a single software package to manage Fire, Intruder and Access Control from one PC. Lastly, the quality of the footage is by far the most impressive element to this progression. Our most basic HD CCTV camera will return crystal clear footage that can be blown up to the size of a large plasma TV with no pixilation or image degradation. Additionally, our software packages can scrutinise specific events, zoom into a face over 100 metres away and alert you on your phone should something suspicious occur.

So we return to the question, why analogue? Well, we think because the advantages of migrating from old style CCTV to HD systems hasn’t been well articulated, perhaps the analogue industry have derided the advent of IP technologies or early IP systems were expensive. However, it’s becoming clearer to many people now that IP security is here to stay, the systems are easily as cost effective and deliver much more effective performance.

Ultimately, the judge of the quality of your security system will not be the procurement manager, the installer or even the police. Your systems will be scrutinised by those you seek to monitor. Professional intruders are more aware than ever of the differences between analogue and IP systems, and the presence of old style CCTV communicates to intruders that security is not the highest priority.

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