Digital CCTV Cameras vs Analog vs IP Cameras

A CCTV camera is more often the ears and eyes that monitor whatever is taking place throughout the property. These systems have the ability to record whatever is happening in and around your property at all times. This means that faces of intruders can easily be identified and can be used for investigative purposes if required. There are two main types of CCTV systems-analog and digital cctv cameras.

analog and digital

What are Analog cctv systems?

Analog systems transmit pictures and images based on analog technology before being recorded on digital tapes. These systems capture and record information for future purposes and cannot be accessed live most of the times . So it isn’t the best option for monitoring stores or property that’s based in a remote location. The quality of the picture in an analog CCTV environment is also quite low and requires changing the tapes daily.

What are Digital CCTV cameras?

There have been some massive revolution in the security sector, so advanced methods of monitoring movement and access within an area are available. Digital CCTV is a personal computer based and multi-channeled video surveillance system that adopts advanced compression technology to bring you the highest video and picture quality. In a digital environment, many CCTV cameras can be installed to the same network and viewed through a single monitor. What’s more interesting about a digital CCTV camera is the fact that the system can be expanded by installing more cameras. There is no limitation with regard to the kind of a camera which you should install because it supports a wide range of cameras. In case you have an analog system already installed in your property, all you need to do to support a digital system is a simple upgrade.

What are IP CCTV systems?

IP based cameras are the security systems of the future. Their mechanism of action  turns out audio and images into data before being transmitted over an internet connection or network. The benefits when compared to analog CCTV cameras is more flexibility, easier installation and much better performance. IP based camera system also integrates much better when compared to other options that are available in the market today

Analog Vs IP CCTV camera

While IP CCTV systems send video signals over a network, analog systems sends a feed to a digital video recorder. Here are some of the key differences between analog and IP cameras.

Picture quality 

  • The best analog cameras cannot even compare to the worst ip CCTV cameras that are available in the market today. The resolution of analog cameras is something that you can never admire because it’s equivalent to less than a megapixel. With ip CCTV cameras, you can be sure that you will have a great image that appears great even on a wider field of view. A single ip camera can cover an area that’s covered by three or four analog cameras.

Video analytics

  • Video analytics is where you can set your system to flag events which occur in your camera’s field of vision. This can be anything-from motion detectors, objects missing to tampering with the camera components. Instead of having to check through the entire recording, the system will direct you to where these events took place , therefore saving you of your time. Most analog systems don’t have useful analytics, but these features are well developed in an IP CCTV camera.

Scalability and flexibility 

  • In an analog environment, all the cameras that are available must be connected to a DVR individually. However, this is not the case with IP cameras because it’s quite possible to circumvent the switches, therefore reducing the need for extensive wiring. The number of cameras that can be connected in an analog environment is quite limited because the work is labor intensive as well as the need for massive cabling. By using switches and specific cables that transmit power, more cameras can be installed while doing away with the need for a separate power supply system.

Analog vs Digital CCTV Cameras

Ease of installation 

  • While analog systems are less complex, they are cumbersome, bulky and labor intensive. There is a lot of wiring that’s required, which also makes it a little costly. Recently, digital systems have been designed in a manner that makes them easy to be installed. They are plug and play systems that have assisted in making installation easier and stress free. Manufacturers of digital systems are working towards ensuring that available digital security cameras can be installed with ease.

Use of existing infrastructure 

  •  Most premises already have an analog system installed and there is no need for new additional wiring for digital systems because the same system can also be used in a digital environment. This provides for more flexibility while also maximizing your initial investment, especially when you want to spread your upgrade over time.

Cost effectiveness 

  •  While the cost of an analog system is quite low , there is a misconception that digital cameras such as ip cctv camera doesn’t cost a lot. Depending on your surveillance requirements, you are free to choose an option that serves your needs perfectly well.


  •  Although analog cameras are durable, IP video systems are known to be exceptionally durable. You can enjoy massive storage capabilities as well as fantastic color quality which digital systems offer as compared to analog.

Expansion capabilities 

  •  Analog systems have a limited expansion capability when compared to digital IP based security cameras. This has been more enhanced with the introduction of video apps for remote use, private cloud and analytics to help improve solutions. The storage capabilities for analog can also be expanded, but not as much as it would be in a digital and IP based environments.

Which one is better ?

The kind of a camera that you install depends on your unique requirements. Analog cameras are good for small areas while digital and IP based cameras are an excellent choice for wide areas. However, these can also be installed in a hybrid manner, but it’s imperative that they be installed by an experienced technician.