IP Cameras vs Digital Cameras: What’s The Difference?

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Internet Protocol (IP) cameras incorporate technology that allows videos to stream (transmit) through the Internet via IP addresses. Its images can be recorded, stored and retrieved through a “Network Video Recorder” (NVR) a device that contains software for this purpose.

Standard Digital Cameras connect to a Digital Video Recorder (DVR) – a device containing both video capture hardware and software for the purposes of recording, storing and retrieving onsite (where the cameras are located). For those who are relying on their video recordings, the latter assures video data is recorded directly to the device and accessed remotely over the net.

IP camera images rely solely on functional Internet connectivity and networks. This makes IP cameras less reliable where recordings are the primary function of the DVR. Our DVRs that accept up to four IP cameras are called Hybrid DVRs. They are only useful in very rare cases where a limited number of IP cameras can be beneficial.

It is a widely held misconception that IP cameras are the only type of cameras capable of viewing remotely over the Internet. Both IP cameras and Standard Digital Cameras have the capability of being viewed remotely anywhere in the world when connected to a working Internet. Both types of cameras have their own wire and installation protocols and require professional licensed installation and networking. Today’s 2+mega pixel Serial Digital Interface (SDI) cameras and SDI DVRs are capable of broadcasting 1080P quality and generate images that are just as good, if not better than its IP camera equivalent.

IP cameras require a dedicated IT person with a high level of knowledge to manage and maintain multiple IP addresses and internal networks. Most IP based systems have ongoing maintenance costs and need hardware such as routers, switches, hubs, and power supplies over Ethernet. There is a reoccurring cost for extra bandwidth charges that must be managed and existing networks will potentially perform slower when IP cameras are added as they consume bandwidth. There are also remote viewing licensing fees with IP cameras that are not required with Standard Digital Cameras. The ongoing costs for managing and adding IP cameras are well beyond the cost of a capable in-house Digital Video Recorder (DVR).

Additionally, NVRs are not as user friendly as well-designed PC based DVRs. An onsite IT professional is not needed when using a DVR; however, a qualified CCTV company will need to be engaged for occasional service and support. A properly installed, well-designed standard digital CCTV system requires no monthly fees or other ongoing expense.

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This entry was posted in From the Experts, Technology Updates, tips and advice and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to IP Cameras vs Digital Cameras: What’s The Difference?

  1. Pingback: Three Things to Know Before Buying a CCTV System | CCTV Services Blog

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