New advances in technology have led to big improvements in analog surveillance cameras. These new cameras incorporate both higher resolution and intelligent decision-making. They can even set off alarms on non-monitored systems and make searching videos easier.
Background of Analog Cameras
Analog cameras work on a closed circuit television (CCTV) system. In the past, fixed cameras were placed where they were needed. They didn’t have the ability to change position or zoom in for more detail. These cameras were also limited as to the distance that they could cover, which was usually less than 300 feet. The images were not high resolution and therefore not useful for facial identification, or for viewing detail such the numbers on a license plate. Additionally, the viewing monitors were connected to the digital voice recorder (DVR), which kept personnel tethered to a location.
How Analog Cameras Work
Analog cameras capture and transmit video signals to a DVR where they are digitized and recorded to a hard drive. The images in the surveillance area covered by the cameras are transmitted to monitors for viewing. Unlike digital IP cameras that work wirelessly on an Ethernet system, analog cameras are attached via cables to the DVR. In the past, resolution did not allow for detailed work and cables were limited in length due to a potential loss of integrity to the signal.
New Analog High-Definition (HD) Technology
Advances in analog HD technology have vastly improved analog security cameras, while still allowing ease of installation. Some of the improvements are:
- Photographic sensors provide clarity and high resolution
- One cable for audio video power and PTZ camera
- Ease of installation
- Cable length of up to 1500 feet
- Images can be published for in-house network for viewing on a computer, tablet or phone
Facial Recognition Analytics
The new field of facial recognition analytics has given analog cameras the ability to not only see faces and numbers clearly, but to react in an intelligent manner. The new systems can recognize behavior, such as how long a particular individual has lingered in one location. The type of behavior pattern that needs to be recognized can be programmed into the cameras. These “intelligent” cameras are able to count, measure time, speed, direction and other parameters.
The great news is that installation of the HD analog cameras is easy. They use the standard BNC cable, with no extra cables or connectors required. Additionally, these new cameras permit extended length cables, affording better coverage without worrying about a degradation of the signal.
When to Choose High-Definition Analog Cameras
You should choose HD analog cameras whenever facial recognition is important. Regular analog cameras are still useful for surveillance in situations where it is not important to identify individuals, such as when monitoring a baby sitter in your home. Otherwise, these new analytics allow for big improvements for in-house security and in the ability to help law enforcement.
It is best to choose these cameras when changing your entire system, since they will need a different type of DVR. If you are combining different types of cameras, some high resolution and others that are not, you may need to use a hybrid digital video recorder. I personally own a 16 channel analog HD surveillance system from Q-See, who provides this new technology, but make sure to shop around to find a system that’ll fit your needs.
In summary, this new generation of HD analog cameras, combined with facial recognition analytics, allow both a high level of resolution and intelligent, programmable behaviors to better meet your security needs.