IP Surveillance v CCTV

IP surveillance v CCTV

Lots of people ask what is the difference between IP Surveillance and CCTV, in short the answer to IP Surveillance v CCTV can be summed up with two words, Analogue and Digital. Traditional CCTV delivers an analogue signal from the camera to the DVR over a coaxial cable. The DVR converts the analogue signal into digital images for storing and playback. The hard work of converting the analogue signal to digital imagery is done by the DAC (digital to Analogue Converter) on the DVR. In comparison to digital cameras the picture and play back quality is far less impressive. Another drawback to CCTV is that each camera requires both a power line and to run the camera and a coaxial line to transmit the signal back to the DVR. This is where the term CCTV is derived (Closed circuit TV) The entire system in closed in, mostly CCTV systems are designed around a star topology where the central point of the system id the DVR.

IP surveillance uses end to end IP (internet Protocol) to deliver the digital signal from the IP camera to the NVR (Network Video Recorder) the only encoding carried out is during the presentation of the binary data stream to the application converting the binary data (01101001 01110000) to the video or picture format required. IP surveillance systems can either be centralised where all camera relay their data to the central NVR, or decentralised where each camera in the system acts as a standalone device, handling the signal processing and image conversion. As well as the hardware and software to handle video, voice and imagery, stand alone IP cameras have internal storage (memory) generally in the form of and SD or micro SD card.

The advantage of IP surveillance primarily is the image quality, and for the home user the IP cameras are much smaller and more discrete. From a networker perspective IP surveillance systems are easier to deploy, especially where there is an existing IP network infrastructure. Each camera on the network is identified by its own unique internal IP address ( static address assignment makes it easy to locate and pull data from a camera in the network. An IP camera can be added to a network either hard-wired in with a standard data cable, or via a wireless connection. The downside here is that a power supply is required to run the cameras. My preference however is use PoE (Power over Ethernet) the deliver the correct voltage to the IP camera. This means that the camera only requires a single data cable connection which as well as delivering two-way communication (unlike analogue) but also supplies the power from either a PoE switch or a PoE injector. Many home IP surveillance systems, generally 1 or 2 cameras can be managed and operated by web-based application making them easy to use, some IP camera manufacturers have smart-phone apps to allow the end-user to monitor the camera, some now even offering cloud based storage, however as with any form of cloud based storage some cost to the end-user will be introduced.


So the advantages of IP camera system are higher quality imagery and improved resolution. Faster and more cost efficient to deploy, for the home user the advantage of being able to monitor their home and valuables from their tablet or smart-phone.

IP surveillance v CCTV



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