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What is better to choose IP or AHD video surveillance?

When choosing the optimal video surveillance systems in protected areas, it is important to compare the technological features of the two most common types of security cameras - IP and AHD. An integrated approach, taking into account the advantages and disadvantages of both technologies equally, will allow a more balanced assessment of their capabilities and a decision in favor of one of them.

What is common and what are the differences between IP and AHD cameras

Both cameras operate in a variety of conditions - on the street, in closed production, residential and office premises, in crowded places and in small open areas. The image quality is equally high.

Significant differences are related to the type of output signal, installation and operation. The IP camera converts the signal of the photosensitive 2MP matrix into a digital video stream, which is broadcast in PC format. An AHD camera transmits video using an analog interface, which makes it impossible to receive and process data directly to a computer. The signal transmission range of a digital IP camera is five times less than that of an analog one.

To install a digital camera requires additional equipment (switch or router) and its configuration. But on the other hand, power can be transmitted via a data cable, while an analog camera does not have such an opportunity.

Advantages of IP cameras

  • the ability to create a large-scale video surveillance network;
  • low cost of building a video system with a large number of observation points due to lower equipment costs;
  • the dependence of the scale of the video system only on the communication channels passing the data stream, and not on the capabilities of the camera;
  • Convenience of remote access to video data from a smartphone or via the Internet;
  • more opportunities for fast software processing and secondary data conversion;
  • the ability to control the sensitivity and image quality;
  • seamless integration with cloud services;
  • load balancing across routers and servers.

Disadvantages of IP cameras
  • short signal transmission range ( 100 m);
  • the need for additional costs for the acquisition of means of separation and stabilization of the signal;
  • picture delay during transmission;
  • the high cost and complexity of installation due to the use of not a conventional cable, but twisted pair;
  • the high cost of software related to video stream processing.

Advantages of AHD cameras

  • long range of data transmission (up to 500 m);
  • the ability to install in existing transmission networks a video stream of FullHD format, which has a higher resolution;
  • low cost of installation due to coaxial cable;
  • the ability to quickly and inexpensively replace old equipment or modify the video system in the direction of increasing functionality;
  • quick and easy setup and connection without resorting to the services of specialists;
  • adaptability to hybrid video recorders for the purpose of broadcasting video data to a PC;
  • the ability to connect multiple devices to the video system using only one stranded wire.

Disadvantages of AHD cameras
  • the high cost of building large-scale video surveillance networks because of the need to lay communication lines;
  • a significant increase in the cost of the system with an increase in the number of connected DVRs;
  • inaccessibility of maximum resolution.


Digital and analog video surveillance technologies are worthy competitors of each other. If one of them wins in resolution, then it may lose in the cost of additional equipment. And vice versa, losing in sensitivity, bypasses the opponent in the processing of video data.

In order to make a final decision in favor of one of the technologies, it is necessary to solve an important question about the tasks that the buyer wants to solve with their help. If you need a camera to track large-scale objects (logistics or shopping centers, workshops), then a digital IP video surveillance system is ideal. It is also preferable to install it in large companies in which the infrastructure for the transfer and storage of digital data was previously equipped.

If you need to control a small area (apartment, cottage), it is better to give preference to a cheaper AHD video surveillance system, easily installed by yourself.

Thus, the solution to the question of which video surveillance is better - digital or analog, depends on the financial capabilities of the buyer and the tasks that it will help them solve.