What is HD-CVI?
HD-CVI stands for High Definition Composite Video Interface. This is a brand new technology in the security camera industry that provides a different method of transmitting video signals over coaxial cables. Until this new technology surfaced, analog CCTV video was limited to 960h video resolution. 960h resolution refers to the 30% increase in horizontal resolution, so the maximum analog resolution up to this point was 960 x 480 pixels. This has been the accepted limit to analog video transmission for many years. In order to achieve greater transmission would mean switching to digital video using either HD-SDI (High Definition Serial Digital Interface) or Network IP video formats.
Enter HD-CVI, a true alternative to Network IP solutions. HD-CVI uses a licensed video transmitter and receiver that is able to transmit up to 1080p video resolution (1920 x 1080) in an uncompressed format over the same standard coaxial cable that is used for standard CCTV cameras. This uncompressed video format is able to transmit over longer distances than either HD-SDI or Network IP cameras and without the latency and bandwidth issues that are so common. Additionally, HD-CVI is able to transmit video, audio and control (OSD or PTZ) over a single coaxial cable instead of requiring separate cables for each transmission.
What is really separating this technology from the rest of the options for video transmission is the cost effectiveness of HD-CVI. In most cases HD-CVI is around the same price as the older analog CCTV technology and is far less expensive than HD-SDI or IP Network transmission.
When comparing HD-CVI to Analog CCTV cameras:
- CCTV cameras are limited to 960h resolution which is 960 x 480 pixels. HD-CVI cameras can transmit up to 1080p resolution (2 Megapixel) which is 1920 x 1080 pixels. HD-CVI is capable of up to 450% great resolution and detail than standard CCTV cameras and DVRs.
- CCTV can only transmit video over the single coaxial cable. Audio and control must be run over separate cables. HD-CVI can transmit video, audio and control over a single cable saving money and time.
- The price point of analog CCTV and HD-CVI is about the same. You get more resolution for the money with HD-CVI.
When comparing HD-CVI to HD-SDI the benefits are:
- Longer video transmission distances. HD-SDI is limited to 333 feet for video transmission. HD-CVI can be transmitted up to 1500ft.
- HD-SDI can only transmit video. HD-CVI can transmit video, audio and control requiring less cable infrastructure.
- HD-SDI can only transmit over high quality copper core coaxial cable. HD-CVI can transmit over any cable used for CCTV cameras. It will work with copper clad aluminum, Ethernet cable with video baluns and even prefabricated plug and play cables.
- HD-CVI is less expensive than HD-SDI.
When comparing HD-CVI to Network IP cameras:
- IP cameras cannot transmit video over coaxial cable natively so the infrastructure must be built with ethernet cable or fiber. HD-CVI can transmit over Coaxial Cable or Ethernet cable using video baluns allowing the use of existing infrastructure saving money and time.
- IP cameras cannot transmit video for distances over 333 feet without using relay devices on ethernet cable. HD-CVI can transmit video over 1500 feet without using relay devices over coax or ethernet cable.
- IP cameras require bandwidth considerations and are subject to latency and collisions as well as IP conflicts. HD-CVI cameras do not consume any network bandwidth nor do they have latency or collision issues. This means that HD-CVI will not interfere with the operation of your network and is much simpler to install and configure.
- HD-CVI technology is much less expensive than IP Network cameras and recorders.
- IP cameras are capable of higher resolution than 1080p and the available resolutions will continue to grow in the future.
- IP cameras are capable of POE power so you can transmit both power and video on a single ethernet cable if using a POE camera and a POE switch.
- An IP camera is a network device itself so it can function without the need for a network video recorder.
- If there is an existing network infrastructure and available network bandwidth is not an issue, it can be easier to add additional IP cameras to an existing network.
- The best choice for HD CVI video transmission is high quality RG6 or RG59. Most professional security system installers will chose Siamese cable since that will include both RG59 for video, audio and control transmission and 18 gauge power wire for power transmission in a single run. We have tested both copper core coax cable and CCA (Copper Clad Aluminum) Coax cable and both have performed well.
- You can use CAT5 or CAT6 cable with the same video baluns you use for analog CCTV cameras. This infrastructure does perform well, but the quality of the video is slightly degraded. It is still a dramatic increase in resolution over the analog CCTV camera resolution. Most people will never notice the difference in video quality. We estimate the degradation in quality to be around 5-10%.
- We have tested prefabricate plug and play cables. Again, the resolution is excellent, but the video quality is also slightly degraded. There is around the same 5-10% degradation, again barely noticeable to most people.
- The most popular connectors are BNC Twist on connectors because no tools are necessary. These will work fine.
- BNC compression connectors is what most professional CCTV installers will use for the cable connection. This is also what we recommend.
- BNC Crimp Ons are also popular and will perform very well.
- HD CVI can be powered the same way as analog CCTV cameras. Most HD CVI cameras will require either 12V DC or 24V AC power. You can choose from various power distribution boxes or easy plug in power transformers.
- Select your recording DVR (Digital Video Recorder)
- You will not be able to use your existing DVR (Digital Video Recorder) with the HD CVI cameras. Like HD-SDI and Network IP camera systems you will need to select an HD CVI DVR in order to be able to record your HD CVI cameras. We offer a wide range of HD-CVI DVRs and in most cases, the HD CVI DVRs are the same price of even less expensive than their equal standard CCTV DVR or NVR and they are less expensive than most HD SDI DVRs.
There are some benefits to IP cameras over HD-CVI cameras that should be considered as well:
If you are considering a new security camera system, we highly recommend our HD-CVI systems since it will cost around the same as the analog CCTV systems sold today. It can provide you with the same resolution as most IP Network camera systems for a fraction of the cost and without the bandwidth and latency issues experienced with network cameras.
If cost is not a factor at all, then we recommend you seriously consider an all IP network camera system since the ethernet cable infrastructure can be used over again in the future to upgrade your cameras as higher resolution cameras become more available. Keep in mind that IP camera systems usually require network expertise to ensure that you have adequate bandwidth available inside the network and to ensure that the network camera system does not negatively impact your existing network infrastructure.
Requirements for an HD CVI security camera system:
When planning the installation of a HD CVI surveillance system, make sure to consider all the parts that will be needed.
You will need to select your cable infrastructure:
HD-CVI Wiring Options
Below are a couple of our favorite wiring options. For a more detailed look at these options and more, check out this article on How to Connect HD-CVI Cameras to an HD-CVI DVR.