HD Analog Overview

HD Analog technology was first introduced to the security industry in 2010, as an alternative to traditional Analog and IP video surveillance. A very promising new technology, HD Analog was able to deliver high-definition video over coaxial cabling (HD over coax), and greatly reduce installation and operational complexity (relative to IP surveillance solutions).

However, the market was slow to adopt HD Analog at the time, as the technology was still unproven, relatively expensive, and the benefits failed to outweigh the switching costs for most security integrators.

Since, the demand - and expectation - for higher definition surveillance video continued to accelerate, fueling the development of more efficient and cost-effective HD Analog technology formats, and significantly driving down total cost of ownership. As a result, HD Analog has become one of the fastest growing categories in the history of video surveillance, and threatens to outpace - and eventually replace - traditional Analog technology sales in the very near future.

HD Analog BenefitsHD Analog Benefits

When compared to traditional Analog or IP technologies, HD Analog offers significant and measurable advantages. In fact, HD Analog is commonly marketed as “the best of both worlds” – offering megapixel resolution images, but the simplicity and cost of Analog.

Key benefits of HD Analog technology include:

Megapixel resolution
Simple installation
Zero latency
Low cabling requirements
Longer transmission
Transition friendly

When Is HD Analog Right for Your Surveillance Application?

HD Analog is ideal for surveillance applications that require detailed video, such as facial identification and license plate recognition. HD Analog solutions support up to 1080p resolution, and feature the ability to zoom in on live and recorded video for a more detailed view.

HD Analog is a very cost-effective solution for both new and replacement installations – enabling you to utilize legacy analog cameras (dependent upon HD Analog technology employed) and legacy coaxial cabling – saving you valuable installation time and equipment costs.

HD Analog solutions are also ideal for long distance installations, or applications requiring longer cable runs – providing the ability to transmit HD video up to 1600’ with zero latency (dependent upon HD Analog technology employed).

Finally, HD Analog is ideal for Analog system upgrades. HD solutions offer backwards compatibility with existing analog cameras, allowing you to upgrade to a high-definition surveillance solution over time and at your own pace – as your budget allows.

The Future of HD Analog

Without question, HD Analog technology will continue to evolve. Future versions of HD Analog are predicted to provide additional benefits and capabilities, including:

Ultra-High-Definition (UHD) video – “4K” resolution, or 4000 horizontal pixels
Higher frame rates – beyond 30 fps
Power over coaxial cable (PoC)

HD Analog is clearly poised to change the landscape of video surveillance. Stay tuned.

Compare HD Analog Technology

Since HD Analog technology launched in 2010, several HD Analog formats have been developed, including: HD-SDI, AHD, HD-CVI and HD-TVI. While all HD Analog options offer the same basic benefits compared to analog or IP – delivering HD video over standard coaxial cable – formats vary in the resolution, transmission distance, camera compatibilities, and configurability.

Compare HD Analog Technology
HD Analog CCTV vs. IP Video Surveillance

IP cameras (commonly referred to as Network cameras, or Megapixel cameras) feature an embedded video server that converts images into a digital format inside of the camera. Because IP cameras are embedded devices and do not need to output an analog signal, they are capable of capturing far higher resolutions than traditional analog cameras.

IP cameras connect to a local network via a single Ethernet cable, which transmits power, video and data to and from the camera. Additionally, IP cameras have a unique IP address, and can be accessed directly via the network – providing remote access and storage flexibility.

Without question, the primary benefits of IP security cameras are resolution and image quality – allowing users to capture forensic level detail, and to digitally zoom in on any image without losing clarity. This results in more effective identification, and provides greater accuracy for automated analysis, alarms and notifications.

Most common IP solutions range from 1.3 megapixel (1280 x 1024 pixels) to 5.0 megapixel (2592 x 1944 pixels), and some manufacturers offer IP cameras that deliver 20+ megapixel resolutions. However, the resolution and frame rate captured for a specific application are typically limited by storage and bandwidth constraints, and higher megapixel models can be cost prohibitive.

IP video surveillance solutions have experienced a dramatic increase in popularity, driven by the capability to capture higher-resolution megapixel video, an overall increase in adaption and understanding of IP-based technologies, simplification and increasing compatibility of IP security technology, and reductions in cost as demand (and production volume) continues to grow.
Benefits of IP

Capable of higher resolutions than traditional analog solutions
Transmit power, video and data over single Ethernet cable
IP camera can operate as a standalone network device, capable of functioning without a network video recorder

Limitations of IP

Require a complex network infrastructure
Offer limited transmission distance
Commonly experience video latency
Require considerable network bandwidth
Can be extremely costly compared to traditional analog and comparable Analog HD systems

The Advantages of HD Analog

HD Analog systems are capable of delivering up to 1080p HD video – addressing the primary shortcoming of traditional analog solutions. 1080p (or 2.1 megapixel) cameras capture more than 4x the resolution of the most powerful analog cameras – allowing users to effectively zoom in to view the level of detail required for most common security applications.

Additionally, HD analog systems are capable of transmitting video over standard coaxial cabling (new or existing) – dramatically reducing the time, cost and complexity associated with a comparable IP solution. HD cameras can transmit video up to 1600’ – over 5x the distance of an IP system, and transmits with zero latency – a very common issue with most IP installations.

HD Analog systems are as simple to install and maintain as traditional analog solutions – not requiring the networking equipment and knowledge associated with IP solutions. And because HD Analog lives off the network, they don’t interfere with other network-related activities, or consume valuable network bandwidth required by other devices.

There are no licensing or recurring fees associated with HD Analog solutions, and all channels come completely enabled – for the life of your product. Comparable IP solutions commonly require the purchase of a license for every channel used, and a recurring annual fee to maintain that license. This is an important consideration from a perspective of both management complexity and total cost of ownership.

And importantly, HD technology has become increasingly accessible. With the growing demand for higher definition video and the recent emergence of more cost-effective technologies, the market price for HD Analog solutions has reduced dramatically – almost to Analog levels. HD Analog equipment is now available for less than half the price of a comparable IP solution.

HD CCTV vs. Analog CCTV

Analog CCTV is the most established, and continues to be the most commonly used, security technology – specifically for smaller camera count, single-site applications. Analog systems include one or more analog cameras that transmit video via coaxial cabling, which connects directly to an analog DVR (digital video recorder). The DVR uses video capture cards to convert the analog signal to a digital signal for storage and network transmission.

Traditional analog systems offer resolutions ranging from CIF (352 x 240 pixels) to D1 (720 x 480 pixels), and recent analog technology offerings promote even higher resolutions of up to 960H (960 x 480 pixels).

However, while analog solutions are capable of capturing clean video evidence, these maximum resolutions limit the ability to digitally zoom in on live and recorded video without significant loss of image clarity, and typically do not provide the level of detail required for applications such as facial recognition or license plate identification.

That being said, analog video security solutions are a popular option for many residential and small business applications, as they are simple to install and operate, and very affordable when compared to traditional IP solutions.
Benefits of Analog CCTV

Simple to install, operate and maintain
Affordable compared to traditional IP solutions
Universally compatible with other analog technologies

Limitations of Analog CCTV

Analog CCTV cameras offer limited resolution (up to 960H, or 960 x 480 pixels)
Insufficient resolution for applications requiring greater levels of detail, such as facial recognition or license plate identification

The Advantages of HD Analog

HD Analog technology delivers the simplicity and affordability of traditional analog solutions, while addressing many of the limitations listed above.

HD Analog systems are capable of delivering megapixel resolution HD video (up to 1920 x 1080 pixels) over standard coaxial cabling, providing the ability to digitally zoom in on both live and recorded video to capture the forensic level of detail needed for positive identification.

Additionally, HD Analog solutions are compatible with existing analog CCTV cameras and can leverage existing coaxial cabling, dramatically reducing the time and cost associated with a transition.

And importantly, HD technology has become increasingly accessible. With the growing demand for higher definition video and the recent emergence of more cost-effective technologies, the market price for HD Analog solutions has reduced dramatically – almost to Analog levels.