CCTV Articles


HD-SDI-Security-CameraWhen it comes to getting the best image quality out of you CCTV security system you will want to look at megapixel solutions. There are 2 different ways to get HD quality video. They are with HD-SDI and IP cameras. With both of these types of cameras you will be able to get either 720p or 1080p resolutions in your recorded footage. I will discuss how both types of systems, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of both.

HD-SDI Camera Systems

Most of you are probably wondering what HD-SDI actually stands for, and that is High Definition – Serial Digital Interface. Simply put it is transferring high definition video over standard analog cables. This type of technology is what all major cable providers utilize to meet the new FCC standards for broadcasting HD television.

This type of setup is good for those people who are looking to replace their existing system that has existing Siamese cable or if someone is not that proficient in networking. If you have existing siamese cable in place the installation will be a simple plug in play with swapping the DVR and the cameras out for HD-SDI cameras. Once this is done you will only need to make sure the DVR is in the same IP scheme that your network is and go into the router and port forward the communication ports to allow for remote viewing. If this is a new install and you are utilizing this technology for it’s simplicity, you will simply install the system as if you were installing any traditional CCTV system. You will also have to make sure the DVR is in the same IP scheme as the network and port forward the communication ports for remote viewing. With HD-SDI you are not worried as much about the bandwidth of the network, due to the fact that all the cameras have a home run back to the unit itself and not communicating on the network unless it is being remotely viewed. There is also less configurations of the cameras since they are not network devices like an IP camera is.

With HD-SDI there are limitations in the cabling that can be used and the distances of each type of cable. The best cable to use for the maximum length runs is RG6, this is do the transmission rates of the cable. You can run the video portion of the transmission on RG6 approximately to 300 feet. With RG59 you are limited to around 150 to 200 feet. Your power on runs this long will need to be examined to make sure that the transmission distances are not too far causing voltage drop and not supplying sufficient power to your equipment.

I often get asked if there is a hybrid HD-SDI recorders, so that they do not have to absorb the entire cost of the retrofit all at once. Unfortunately at this time we do not have a hybrid version available at this time. If you are wanting this you may want to look at IP cameras since there is a hybrid available to combine both analog and IP cameras in one unit.

IP Camera Systems

When it comes to IP camera systems they can be as complex or simplistic as you want to make them. If you are looking for the simplest method available, then you can go with our PoE NVR (Power over Ethernet Network Video Recorder), what this does is it allows for up to 4 cameras to have a home run directly back to the NVR’s PoE switch for power and video transmission. This is good when you want to essentially just plug and play the cameras. What happens is that the NVR is creating a subnetwork for the cameras eliminating any outside network and need of you having to do any configurations such as issuing each camera it’s own IP address. This helps for a basic installation and helping to reduce network drag from the system on your existing network.

Now if you are doing more than just 4 cameras you can use any of our other NVRs which are 16 channel units. You will need the NVR and an appropriate channel PoE switch. One thing that you need to remember is that if you are putting in 8 cameras you are actually going to need either 2 – 4 Port PoE switches or 1 – 8 Port PoE Switch and a single port injector. The reason that you need to have more than just the 8 ports for the cameras is because there needs to be communication from the switch to the router. So, 7 cameras would get plugged into the switch with one jumper to the router and the 8th camera would be plugged into the single port injector with a jumper from it to the router. The NVR will also connect to the router so communication can occur between all the devices.

One thing that I suggest when you are adding IP cameras to any network, is to upgrade the switches and routers on that network to Gigabit. What this will do is add more speed in the important areas where the communication occurs. What I like to is have all the connections of the NVR, and jumpers from my PoE switches to come into a separate Gigabit switch and then run one cable from that switch into my Gigabit router.

Just like every other camera system you have limitations to the distances your cables can be. With IP your limitations are approximately 300 feet for power and/or data transmission. This is the same limitation as the data can travel without a repeater in the middle. If you are needing to travel further distances you will want to power locally and use one of our Access Point/Bridges, which can wirelessly send the signal over 9 miles line of site from 1 access point to another. This is a great setup for those who needs cameras in a more remote area, where wiring is not an option. You will still need to power the access point and camera locally, but all the video and data will be transmitted back to the switch.

Whether you go with HD-SDI or IP camera systems, you will be blown away with the quality and detail in the picture. HD-SDI systems will typically cost more for the equipment, but you will save money on not having to rewire your site. Either way you go you are at least increasing the resolution by 4 times, over a traditional analog CCTV system.

Please contact us for more information on HD-SDI and IP cameras.

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