For several years, IP video surveillance manufacturers evangelized “the megapixel value proposition,” which is:

 

“The ability to see more detail with fewer cameras, thereby lowering the cost of the video surveillance system.”

 

The assertion is that by using fewer cameras, all associated costs of the system are lowered, including labor, cabling and licenses.

 

With the development of the HD analog video standards AHD, TVI and CVI, IP video surveillance has lost its ownership of the megapixel value proposition.

 

Is more resolution always better? The question really is, “What do you want to see?”

 

We talk about “pixels on target” or “pixels per foot.” The math involved is to determine how much resolution is needed in the field of view in order to see what you want to see. If you have not experienced this calculator at IPVMS.com, you should.

 

Sometimes, the video surveillance application may be for the security operator to be able to see that someone is walking around (general surveillance). Other times, the application is to capture a level of detail that could be used as evidence: capturing recognizable “faces” and readable “plates” (license plates).

 

Today, by swapping out the DVR and adding some HD analog cameras, a traditional CCTV system over coaxial cable can produce 1080p and higher resolution video. With RG59 cable, runs of up to 1640-feet are possible (about the height of the Empire State Building).

 

Integrators and end users no longer need to choose between IP and coax infrastructure in order to get the benefits of clear, detailed HD video. They are able to plan for the resolution and field of view that will best meet the need, regardless of the preferred infrastructure.