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What To Choose: Analog CCTV Camera vs. IP Camera?

What To Choose: Analog CCTV Camera vs. IP Camera?

Technology has evolved rapidly over the years, especially when it comes to digital security cameras. Unlike the CCTV cameras of years past, IP cameras transmit signals digitally. But how is this different from CCTV? When looking at analog CCTV camera vs IP camera options, CCTV cameras send videos over a cable. And while this system was popular for many years, IP cameras are giving them a run for their money.

The various features of CCTV vs IP surveillance are beneficial for a range of locations, and as business owners, we know keeping a good eye on your property is a must. So, if you’re debating CCTV analog vs IP camera solutions, we are here to help. In this article, we will explain all the details of each, helping you choose the right camera for your business. Here we go!

What Are IP Cameras?

What Are IP Cameras

To help differentiate IP security cameras vs CCTV systems, let’s start by defining IP cameras.

When we talk about IP, we are referring to the Internet Protocol. These cameras are digital security options that get data from a computer network instead of a DVR feed. This is beneficial for a number of reasons, starting with the quality of the image. The picture quality is improved with an IP vs analog CCTV system, capturing a higher resolution image for a clear understanding of what’s happening at your location. Additionally, IP cameras are able to capture a wider shot than analog cameras for a more full view of your business.

Additionally, with an IP system, you can take advantage of video analytics. This is the process of “flagging” incidents, like motion detection or tampering of the camera, within the network. This way, instead of combing through hours of footage, your system automatically flags these events for convenient viewing to get to the bottom of a situation.

Lastly, when comparing analog vs IP camera systems, flexibility and scalability are big considerations. IP cameras not only can be connected to a single switch, reducing the need for additional cabling but allow you to connect more cameras without the limits a DVR can impose. Additionally, by utilizing PoE, or Power over Ethernet, you can provide a signal and power to your camera, eliminating the additional hassle of installing a power supply.

What Are Analog CCTV Cameras?

What Are Analog CCTV Cameras

On the other side of the CCTV vs IP debate are analog CCTV cameras. When we talk about analog vs IP, analog cameras are often referred to as the traditional camera choice for CCTV systems. These cameras work through a cable system to send a video to VCRs and DVRs.

Since these cameras’ videos are transmitted over a cable, their image quality may be lower and slower to transmit. However, in the CCTV vs IP camera comparison, CCTV options come at a lower price and are ideal for smaller storefronts with fewer imaging needs. Plus, CCTV cameras tend to be quite compatible, making the integration process for multiple cameras pretty simple.

How to Choose The Right Security Camera

Okay, we know what you came here for. When looking for the right camera for your business, there are a number of factors to consider in the analog vs IP cameras comparison. From the resolution to the reliability, and cost, there’s a lot of differentiation between IP camera vs CCTV systems, and we are here to share all the details.


As you likely predicted, digital cameras, like IP options, have a much higher resolution than analog cameras.

Analog cameras not only have limited resolutions but limited ranges, too. With analog cameras offering resolutions of 720 x 480 pixels, and IP boasting 2560 x 1920, the analog HD vs IP camera comparison is clear.  

With a wider range of views and higher resolutions, IP cameras offer clear, detailed imaging for your security. On the other hand, your analog camera won’t provide as sharp of an image as IP cameras.

Quality of The Video

When looking at analog CCTV camera vs IP camera systems, IP cameras offer a higher quality video than their counterpart. As we mentioned, IP cameras not only have a wider camera view but offer higher resolution imaging for videos with more details. But that’s not all. These systems also transmit the information faster for quick viewing.

That’s not to say there are no perks to analog cameras. These cameras actually tend to do better in low-light situations. However, their zoom capabilities and imaging are much lower quality than IP options.

Media Transmission

It always comes back to resolution. With analog cameras operating via a coax cable, as well as twisted-pair cables and wireless connections, they produce lower resolution when transmitting images. This is an area IP cameras certainly have them beat.


Unlike CCTV cameras, IP cameras can be essentially wireless. This is wonderful in cases where installing a cable will be too expensive in a building, allowing for more practical installation. This is a key consideration in the IP security camera vs CCTV debate when installing systems at historical locations.


Another perk of IP cameras is that they can function with a twisted-pair Ethernet cable. This helps eliminate the concern for an electrical wire. And while some analog cameras can be powered the same way, most older models cannot be powered by PoE.

How to Choose The Right Camera


So, just how far can CCTV vs IP cameras operate? When it comes to analog cameras, these systems can send videos from up to about 1 mile away. However, these systems will reduce in quality the further out they are looking, especially when the signal’s format is converted.

On the other hand, IP cameras have unlimited distances when going over IP networks. Since these videos are digital, they will maintain their clarity, even from long distances and in the conversion process.


Since analog cameras require more cabling, they are more cumbersome to install. With separate cables for a variety of functions, there’s a lot that goes into installation and can sometimes require three different cables for video, audio, and power. On the other hand, IP cameras can be installed with just one single cable that allows for power, audio, video, and control signals.


Analog cameras have been a tried-and-true, go-to solution for years, and are an undeniably reliable choice when choosing a security camera system. However, with IP cameras offering more high-tech software, they offer a new kind of reliability with data encryption and compression. However, IP camera reliability depends on the reliability of your network.


Since IP cameras offer remote management, they are the front runner when looking at the manageability of CCTV analog vs IP camera systems. Not only do IP cameras have remote management, but they are able to stream images to different recipients at the same time, so all eyes can be on a situation at once. Plus, they can quickly send a message in case they detect something, too.


At first glance, IP camera systems are initially more expensive as their cameras come at a higher price than that of their analog counterparts. That being said, with fewer costs when it comes to installation and recording equipment, the long-term costs may even out the overall pricing between the two.


If you’re concerned about expandability, IP cameras are the way to go. These systems are significantly more scalable than analog cameras due to their less complex cabling requirements. So, if you opt for an IP camera system, it can grow as your business grows.


So, have you settled your debate between CCTV vs IP camera systems? Whether you go with the tried-and-true analog CCTV system or the high-tech, fast IP camera option, the security of your facility is in good hands.

For help installing your new system or for answers on your remaining video surveillance options, our team at Forbel is happy to assist. With extensive experience securing buildings with the best security cameras on the market, we know just how to make your property truly safe and secure. For additional assistance, contact us at 847-595-1900 today.

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