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The Difference Between CIF and 4CIF Resolution

Many people mistakenly think that all security cameras and digital video recorders are the same, but this simply isn’t the truth. Some recorders offer a much better video quality than others, such as digital video recorders that will record in 4CIF resolution instead of the more typical CIF resolution. Although there is certainly nothing wrong with having a digital video recorder and accompanying system that captures your surveillance footage in regular CIF resolution, 4CIF resolution is definitely something that you should consider learning more about if you take safety and security seriously.

What is CIF Resolution?
When you think about things like security camera footage and even video conferencing, CIF resolution is probably what you think about, even if you don’t know it. CIF, which is also known as Common Intermediate Format or Full Common Intermediate Format, is the standard format that is used to transform pixels captured by video cameras into a resolution that you can actually watch. First proposed in the standard of H.261, this format can be easily converted to both NTSC and PAL standards. This format is pretty common and is probably what you have if you have a security camera system installed in your home or business.

What is 4CIF Resolution?
4CIF resolution is another type of CIF resolution that is considered to be superior to the more traditional format. Surveillance camera systems that utilize 4CIF technology capture footage in 704×480 resolution instead of 360×240, which is standard for CIF resolutions.

What Makes 4CIF Resolution Superior?
The thing to remember when looking at resolution quality for your surveillance camera is that you want to be able to see all of your footage in the best possible quality. A resolution that is blurry or far away can make it difficult to distinguish certain things in your footage, such as making out faces, license plate numbers and other details. 4CIF resolution offers a much larger and more clear picture, however, which makes it easier to make these things out when you are watching the surveillance footage from all of your security cameras.

Why is the Type of Resolution Important?
Although you might think that one resolution is almost as good as the other, you should know that how well you can see things in your surveillance camera footage can make the difference between spotting something suspicious and not seeing it at all or getting important, identifying details and factors and not being able to make out a thing. This is the main reason why screen resolution is important.

Even though you probably don’t want to think about being put in a situation where seeing these factors is important, you should know that that is the main purpose of having a surveillance camera system in place at all. If you aren’t recording in the highest possible resolution, you aren’t taking full advantage of the safety and security that a good surveillance camera system can provide you with. This means that you might not be able to use your footage for what you probably record it for, which is catching suspicious things that go on in and around your home or business or providing local law enforcement officers with proof that can help them find and convict the person who has committed some sort of crime on your residential or commercial property.

Should You Switch to 4CIF Resolution?
If your digital video recorder is capturing and recording your surveillance footage in CIF resolution, you should definitely consider doing what you can in order to make the switch to a sharper and better resolution. Although you might have to invest in some relatively costly equipment in order to do so, you are sure to find the purchase worthwhile when you have clear and crisp surveillance footage of something that has gone on at your home or business.

If you can’t afford to make the switch, however, you shouldn’t worry right away. Having a good system in place that captures surveillance footage in CIF resolution is certainly better than not having a security camera system in place at all, and you can always plan on making the switch in the future. However, it is definitely something that you should keep in mind if you think you will have the cash on hand to replace your digital video recorder with a better one later on, and you should absolutely look for a good digital video recorder that can capture surveillance camera footage in 4CIF resolution if you find yourself looking for a new DVR system sometime in the near future.

How Do You Switch to 4CIF Resolution?
The truth is that you might be able to switch your current digital video recorder to 4CIF resolution without purchasing any additional equipment. However, you should know that just because a DVR system claims to have this capability doesn’t mean that it’s really set up to capture footage in this resolution well.

For instance, some digital video recorders will allow you to switch to 4CIF resolution, but the camera footage can be compromised in other ways. If your camera captures CIF resolution in 30 frames per second, for example, it might have to reduce to something as low as seven or eight frames per second if you switch it to 4CIF resolution. Although this might work for certain security cameras in certain places, it can be risky to switch all of your cameras to this type of resolution and frame rate because you can actually miss out on a lot of footage if your frame-per-second rate is too low.

Luckily, there are digital video recorders out there that make the switch to 4CIF resolution much easier, and you might want to choose to switch to one of these systems if you want the best and clearest possible surveillance footage on your system. These systems will actually capture, record, store and replay surveillance footage in 4CIF resolution at a shockingly high frame rate of 30 frames per second, the same frame rate that many digital video recorders capture in CIF resolution. This means that you won’t have to worry about missing out on a single face or detail while watching your footage, and you don’t have to worry about missing out on things entirely just because the rfame rate on your digital video recorder is too low.

In order to make this switch, you should look for a digital video recorder with an impressive frame rate and that utilizes 4CIF technology. If possible, you will probably want to look for a DVR system that will work with your existing cameras so that you don’t have to worry about replacing every single component of your system, and doing so might be easier and much cheaper than you think. There are only a few good digital video recorders on the market that offer this type of technology, but the search for them will be worth it when you end up with a DVR system that captures the best possible footage from all of your security cameras. If you are unsure if the model that you are looking at offers the type of technology and the high-quality footage and resolution that you want, don’t be afraid to compare different models or to ask someone who is experienced in such matters. Taking the time to do this will help ensure that you end up with the digital video recorder system that offers the best picture and that you don’t end up with the wrong system that doesn’t really provide you with the quality that you need.

Also, make sure that you look at the other features of each digital video recorder before you make your purchase. Not only do you want to look for 4CIF resolution capabilities and a fast frame rate, but you should also look for things like external storage capabilities and more; this will help you enjoy the best possible experience with your digital video recorder system, and it will help ensure that it is there with all of the features and capabilities that you need when you need it the most.

What if You Don’t Switch to 4CIF Resolution?
Just because your DVR doesn’t offer 4CIF resolution doesn’t mean that you should give up on it completely. People have been relying on security camera systems and digital video recorders with regular CIF resolution for years now, and you can still capture good video surveillance footage in this resolution. Therefore, if you can’t afford to make the switch right now, you should know that you can probably still count on your older DVR model to provide you with the surveillance footage that you need in certain situations.

However, you can’t discredit the superiority of 4CIF resolution, so it is certainly something that you should consider if you can afford to switch to another DVR system. By shopping with the right security equipment company, you might be able to make this switch more affordably than you think, and you are sure to find it worthwhile to do so when you are watching your surveillance footage in a higher and better resolution and in a much higher visual quality.

How to Choose a Company to Purchase Your New DVR Equipment From
If you have decided to make the switch to a new digital video recorder so that you can enjoy your surveillance footage in the new and much clearer 4CIF resolution, you probably want to do so as affordably as possible, and you probably also want to make sure that you are purchasing a digital video recorder that is of a high quality. Therefore, you should make sure that you are making the right decision when you choose the company that you will purchase your new equipment from.

Luckily, there are a few things to look for when you are looking for a good company that sells security cameras, digital video recorders and other related equipment. First of all, never make the mistake of purchasing your equipment from a mass market retail store that sells a wide variety of items. By doing so, you really might not end up with the best equipment, and you also won’t be able to count on the staff members to know what they are doing when you ask for advice. Instead, always shop with companies that specialize in selling security-related equipment and other similar items. Then, you will have a wider variety of digital video recorders and other equipment to choose from, and you will probably find higher-quality models. You can also count on working with staff members who actually know what they are talking about when it comes to security-related equipment, so you can get better advice about the equipment that you are looking to purchase.

Next, consider shopping online for your new digital video recorder if you are looking for a system that offers 4CIF resolution for your surveillance footage. By shopping online, you can often enjoy significant discounts over shopping in-store, and you can also enjoy the convenience of shopping when it’s best for you. Shopping for your digital video recorder online will also make it easy for you to compare different models, read reviews and more, making it a breeze to make a smart purchase.

Although making this switch might seem like a costly and frustrating venture, doing so will help you enjoy the maximum number of benefits from your surveillance camera system. When it comes to things like keeping your business secure and your home, family and possessions safe, few things in life are more important. By taking the time and making the minimal investment that you need in order to purchase a capable digital video recorder, you can feel confident in knowing that you are doing everything that you can to keep your home, family or business safe, and you can depend on your system to provide you with the clear footage and capabilities that you need when you need it the most.



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