Date icon20 December 2019

If the security of your business or organisation’s premises is worth protecting, it’s worth protecting well. Many companies rely on closed circuit television (CCTV) to safeguard their buildings, car parks, staff and visitors, deter crime and provide reliable coverage in the event that it’s needed.

IP or ‘internet-protocol’ CCTV cameras use the internet to receive and store images, rather than the digital video recorder used by traditional analogue systems. IP cameras represent the most advanced and multipurpose CCTV solution on the market, but that’s not to say an analogue system cannot protect your premises just as well. Not every organisation will need the extra features that IP cameras offer so, to help you determine which option could be right for you, we’ve weighed up the pros and cons of IP based CCTV.

Advantages of IP cameras

IP CCTV cameras are packed full of valuable features, including:

Excellent image resolution

If you need crisp, clear images, you’ll need to opt for IP cameras. The image resolution of IP cameras is far superior to that of analogue cameras – up to 20 times better - and, once they’re installed, you can zoom in and focus on any finer details within shot remotely.

Easy to install

An IP camera connects to a network switch via a single cable, which both powers the camera and transmits data. Analogue cameras need two wires to function. There’s also less equipment involved with IP cameras, as you don’t need an encoder or decoder to convert data into video, and you can add as many IP cameras as you like without having to purchase additional network video recorders.

Increased security

IP cameras capture encrypted and authenticated video footage, making them more secure than their analogue counterparts.

Compatibility and multi-functionality

Linked to an open platform, IP cameras can be integrated easily with many other web-based,applications, such as access control and time and attendance management systems. This boosts the scope of what’s possible through a security system no end; saving time manually inputting data into multiple applications, or enabling you to set IP cameras to sync up with your workers’ hours spent in remote or less populated areas of your site.  

Accessible from anywhere

Feeds from IP cameras can be viewed from any device with an internet connection, with the right permissions to login to the system, of course. This means you can view live or recorded security footage on any computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone, from anywhere, or even control the system remotely in the same way.

Convenient data storage

Being connected to the internet, the footage and data captured by IP cameras goes straight into a central information repository on a cloud-based computer server. There’s no need to store dozens of tapes or CDs of footage, or even take up space on your own servers – it’s all stored on the cloud. This also means you’ll still have your footage even if a camera is stolen or damaged.

Disadvantages of IP cameras

The downsides of IP CCTV cameras include:

Higher costs

The longer list of features of IP cameras does mean they come with a higher price tag than analogue cameras. Switching from analogue to IP cameras can also involve a high outlay, but once a system is installed, it’s far easier to scale it up or down as needed.

Demand on bandwidth

Obviously, as IP cameras are connected to the internet, you’ll need a decent internet connection with plenty of bandwidth to support them.

Making the switch from analogue

If you already have an analogue CCTV system and you’re thinking of upgrading to IP cameras, there’s more good news. IP cameras can generally use the same wiring as an analogue solution, so you can replace your cameras as many as you like at a time, starting with the most important ones. Running a hybrid analogue/IP CCTV system in the meantime will help to spread costs.

Before you start swapping out your cameras though, take time to assess your security plan in terms of whether or not it still meets organisational needs. You may have cameras where you don’t need them, or areas of your site that aren’t sufficiently covered. It’s a great opportunity to make sure your new IP cameras will create a CCTV system that reflects your current security requirements, as well as offering scope to scale up in the future.

Another important part of the planning stage is deciding what you need your new IP cameras to be able to do. As we mentioned above, IP cameras have a long list of functions and features that can streamline your operational processes in huge variety of ways, so think carefully about what you want to achieve. This is where a specialist CCTV partner like Touchstar can help; our friendly team are expertly placed to talk you through what’s possible within your premises and budget in order to create the perfect IP CCTV solution.

Start designing your IP camera system today

IP cameras offer the very best standards of CCTV security, so if your organisation is  ready to benefit from all they can do, speak to us today

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR – LYNDEN JONES

Lynden joined Touchstar ATC (formally Feedback Data) in a sales role for Access Control in 2010.  Prior to joining the company, Lynden held both Production and Account Manager roles, gaining wide technical and commercial experience within the electronics market.  

In 2013 Lynden was promoted to Sales Director and in 2017 he took overall responsibility of the business as Managing Director. As well as running Touchstar ATC, Lynden still remains extremely active in the sales and key account management aspects of the business. When not involved in the business, Lynden is a keen performance car enthusiast.