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How to Upgrade From Analog to IP Surveillance

Surveillance systems made up of IP cameras and networked recording equipment are rapidly growing in popularity over analog surveillance systems for numerous reasons. As such, homeowners who have traditional analog systems are wondering how they can make the upgrade from analog to IP.

While upgrading involves its challenges, the popularity of IP has fortunately led to innovative solutions. This article lists the benefits of switching to a networked system, and explains three options for making the transition as smooth as possible.

Why Switch From Analog to IP Surveillance?

Upgrading is about more than just adopting the latest technology. It has tangible benefits:

  1. Remote Web Access: View surveillance video anytime, anywhere you have an internet connection. Once your surveillance system is connected to your network, you’re always in the loop.
  1. Outdated Analog Equipment: If your existing analog cameras and recording devices are nearing or at their end of life, you’ll need to replace them soon anyway, so you might as well opt for better equipment.
  1. HD Image Quality: When you upgrade to IP, you also upgrade to HD. Even though the latest analog cameras can offer improved image quality over older analog technology, most analog cameras still can’t compete with the high-definition quality offered by network-based cameras (as shown in the image above). 
  1. Additional Features: By entering the age of network-based surveillance, you can get the digital enhancements that come with it, such as advanced motion detection features, mobile apps, video analytics options, and more.
  1. Scalability: Need to expand your system with additional cameras? It’s easier and typically more cost-effective to add network-based cameras.

3 Ways to Upgrade From Analog to IP Surveillance

There are three main ways to upgrade to a networked surveillance system. When planning an upgrade, you’ll need to take into consideration the three major components of a surveillance system: the cable, the cameras, and the recording equipment.

The cable is the main obstacle when upgrading from analog to IP. While traditional analog systems typically use coax cable, new construction IP systems typically use category cable (network cable). When it comes time to upgrade, you can either rewire with category cable or keep your existing coax cable in one of two ways. That gives you three options for upgrading:

1. Rewire & Replace All Analog Equipment with IP Equipment

cat5e-wire

You can rip out all of the existing coax cable and replace it with category cable. While this is the most reliable upgrade solution and it allows you to choose almost any IP cameras and NVR you wish, it’s also the most demanding.

Pros:

  • Reliable connections
  • Variety of product choice

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Labor intensive
  • Time-consuming
  • Intrusive

2. Keep Your Coax & Upgrade to HD-TVI Equipment

hd-tvi-camera-nvr-kit

If you want to avoid the massive chore of rewiring, keep your coax cable and upgrade only the connected cameras and/or recording device using HD-TVI (High-Definition Transport Video Interface) technology. HD-TVI cameras and NVRs have become one of the most popular “HD over coax” solutions, because these devices have built-in analog-to-digital signal converters, making connections quick and easy. Simply disconnect your old equipment and wire up your new equipment using the existing coax. Easy peasy.

Pros:

  • Reliable connections
  • Quick and easy
  • No new wiring required
  • Long distance range (over 1,000 feet)

Cons:

  • Limited product choice

One exceptional benefit of upgrading to an HD-TVI NVR specifically is that you don’t necessarily have to upgrade your cameras along with it. HD-TVI technology is backwards compatible with analog cameras, so you can add IP capabilities (remote web access, for example) by replacing the recording device alone.

Note: Similar to HD-TVI, another “HD over coax” technology called HD-CVI is also available.

3. Keep Your Coax & Upgrade to IP Equipment

analog-to-ip-converter

You can also keep your coax by using converters or encoders along with IP cameras and recording equipment. For example, with the Channel Vision IP Camera Balun Over Coax Converter Kit, you can connect any IP camera to your existing coax. The converter works with any network router or switch, so you can also upgrade your recording equipment to a network-based solution.

Pros:

  • Reliable connections
  • Quick and easy
  • No new wiring required
  • Variety of product choice

Cons:

  • Short distance range (around 300 feet)

Getting Started on Your Analog-to-IP Upgrade

When you’re ready to implement an analog-to-IP solution, don’t hesitate to call Home Controls for expert support. Our tech support team is available to provide free product advice, installation guidance, and troubleshooting. You can reach the team Monday through Friday by phone at 1-800-266-8765, by email at TechSupport@homecontrols.com, or through the online chat on our website.

About Kayla Eide-Hall (15 Articles)
Marketing Operations Manager at Home Controls and contributing author to homecontrolsblog.wordpress.com

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