Guest Column | July 29, 2011

A Eulogy For Analog Surveillance

A Eulogy For Analog Surveillance

By Scott Schafer, senior VP, sales & marketing, Arecont Vision

Megapixel Imaging Performance and Cost-Efficiency Going Mainstream

Analog video systems are as familiar and comfortable to security integrators and end users as an old pair of shoes. As we all know from experience, analog systems have never been perfect, but industry professionals have been forgiving of their limitations because there was no viable alternative.

Over the years, analog performance was thought to be "good enough" with systems up and running all around the world in mission critical applications. Generally, these systems have performed reliably and have earned a place in history. But times have changed. Imaging performance has vastly improved over the past few years alone. And analog systems simply cannot deliver the image quality, functionality and cost-efficiency that today's new technologies provide. Megapixel cameras fully exemplify the latest trend, as they simply outperform analog cameras any way you stack them up against each other.

ABI Research1 has forecasted the year 2014 as an optimistic tipping-point at which IP camera shipments may outnumber those of analog cameras. "High-definition systems are growing in popularity," said ABI Research practice director Dan Shey. "Buyers understand the HD concept because they're buying it for home use."

With the proliferation of HD video, security professionals (who are also consumers the moment they step into their private life) expect a level of image performance when watching video from any source. We are living in an HD world for sure – and professional security technologies are slowly, but surely, catching up.