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Mistakes to Avoid when Migrating from Analog CCTV to IP Security Systems

Upgrading to an IP security camera system is common in both residential and commercial surveillance applications. The impressive differences between analog CCTV and IP network cameras alone are reason enough to consider making the change.

Still, making the change can first seem a bit overwhelming to people, especially for those unfamiliar with modern surveillance technologies. It’s not uncommon for people to make a few mistakes during the upgrade process.

Consider the points below to avoid these mistakes when upgrading an analog CCTV system to a network IP security system. If you need any help or wish to look at our security cameras online, be sure to visit our store or contact Security Camera King for further assistance.

Mistakes to Avoid when Migrating from Analog CCTV to IP Security Systems

Thinking the entire security camera system needs to be replaced.

Many people believe that the only way they can upgrade their outdated analog CCTV camera system to a network IP solution is to replace everything entirely. Fortunately, this is not the case. There are often components that can be adapted and integrated into both types of surveillance systems.

Cabling can be repurposed and certain cameras will actually be usable once you decide to migrate to a newer network IP system. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. By using specialized media converters, the existing coaxial cable can be reused. These media converters turn a standard coaxial cable into 100 Mbps ethernet connectivity. The converters also increase distance limitations. A standard CAT5e network cable is rated for only 328 feet whereas a coaxial cable (using media converters) can go as far as 5000 feet. 

Using media converters will save you both time and labor of installing new cable (CAT5e and fiber) and easily makes it possible to replace an older analog CCTV camera with a new network IP camera.

  1. Analog cameras can be reused. Most of these older cameras can be encoded using a network camera encoder. Encoders are available anywhere from 1 to 16 cameras. The encoder takes the analog input from the camera and transmits the video back out on the network. 

That video transmission can then be recorded by a network video recorder (NVR), saving you the cost of buying brand new security cameras. However, to ensure this process is possible, it’s highly recommended to discuss potential upgrades with professional security camera technicians in order to make the most of your investment.

Not establishing existing cameras are fully compatible.

Although most analog cameras can easily be encoded, there are a few exceptions. Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) cameras, for instance, can be more difficult. It’s important to make sure that PTZ cameras will be controllable both from the camera to the encoder and from the encoder to the network video recorder. 

There are many types of communication protocols that are used to control analog PTZ cameras. You will need to verify that all of the components will work together in order to reuse the existing analog PTZ cameras. You should also confirm all your other technologies are compatible to avoid further incompatibility issues.

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Loss of command center functionality when replacing a matrix switch.

For larger systems that include a matrix switch, you want to make sure that guards and staff who directly interface with the system do not lose functionality. Upgrading to a new IP network system and losing existing capabilities can be a major setback to any upgrade. 

Make sure that you understand how the system is used daily and how the video is going to be viewed both live and playback. When properly designed, the new IP network system should have higher overall functionality.

Sacrificing new camera resolution and images per second when you don’t have to.

A common problem with older Digital Video Recorder (DVR) systems is the maximum resolution and the images per second the camera can record at. Typically, one or the other has to be sacrificed due to lack of processing power of the DVR. 

Using quality IP video encoders can resolve that issue and provide full D1 (640 x 480) resolution and live video of 30 images per second. Before selecting an encoder, make sure you do not have to choose one or the other. With a good quality encoder, you won’t have to make that sacrifice.

Not properly compensating for additional video storage.

With better resolution and more images per second comes the need for additional video storage. Make sure you calculate the additional amount of storage you will need when using full resolution and 30 images per second. 

For instance, if your old DVR was set at 2CIF (720 x 240) resolution and 7.5 images per second and you needed 1 TB of storage for 30 days, then at D1 (640 x 480) resolution and 30 images per second you will need 8 Terabytes of storage on the new system.

You can also use a DVR/NVR Hard Drive Space Calculator to get a better understanding. 

There are many benefits for repurposing your existing camera system when upgrading. There is no need to completely start from scratch. 

See what can be reused and make the best of it. Reducing the overall cost or being able to add additional coverage will help improve budgets and the overall quality of your security system.

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