What is the difference between Analogue and IP Video Surveillance?

An IP video surveillance system has many advantages over the traditional analogue surveillance system, commonly known as CCTV (Closed Circuit Television). The advantages can be summarized in image quality, accessibility, scalability, and integration.

Image Quality

IP video surveillance systems provide higher resolution and image quality by many times. Image resolution could reach 20MP or higher, whereas analogue systems’ maximum resolution barely exceeds 700TVL (less than 1MP). Analogue HD is a new technology that was introduced in the market to compensate the resolution difference. But even though, IP video systems still provide unmatched qualities.


The network video surveillance system lies on an IP infrastructure enabling it to be accessed all over the network. In analogue systems, Digital Video Recorders are equipped with Network Interface Cards (NICs) that enable them to be accessed through the network. The main difference is that in IP, each camera can be accessed individually with an independent IP address giving it more accessibility.


In an analogue system, the system capacity is limited by the number of channels of the Digital Video Recording system (DVR). Thus, if the DVR installed is 16 channels, then the system’s capacity is 16 cameras. Unlike analogue, you can add as much cameras as you wish to the network in an IP based system. The only limitation is the network bandwidth and storage requirements.


In an IP based system, you can integrate other IP based devices with the video surveillance system seamlessly. From IP intercoms to motion detectors, microphones, speakers and many other devices, the IP network provides a platform for a feature-rich solution. And with the advance of IoT, numerous applications become available with IP based video surveillance systems.

On the other hand, analogue surveillance systems have some advantages over IP systems, mainly pertaining to reliability and longer cable runs. In an analogue system, the system’s simplicity makes it immune from network fluctuations and bandwidth limitations. This is why some users in critical-based environments still prefer analogue over IP. On the other hand, in an analogue system you can also run cameras for longer distances, since IP cameras are limited by the 90m cable run.

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