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The DVR and IP Surveillance share a number of beneficial features and functions: recording to digital hard disk; no tape maintenance; consistent high image quality; fast, easy image retrieval; access to recorded video over IP networks, etc. However, a more comprehensive comparison of the two technologies reveals how IP Surveillance technology offers a number of significant advantages over a standard DVR:
• Scalability. IP Surveillance scales from one to thousands of cameras in increments of a single
camera. No 16-channel jumps like in the DVR world. Increase frame rates and storage by
adding hard drives and PC servers to the network. Any frame rate for any camera at any time is
• More cost efficient infrastructure. Most facilities are already wired with twisted pair
infrastructure so no additional wiring (which is an expensive part of a CCTV installation) is
required. Where there is no infrastructure, installation of twisted pair is cheaper than coaxial
wiring. In addition, wireless networking can be used where cabling is unpractical.
• Systems integration and network convergence. IP Surveillance technology provides an open,
easily integrated platform. As system integration becomes increasingly critical, IP ensures that
access control, heating and ventilation, process control, and other systems and applications can
be effectively integrated. A single network connects and manages the enterprise for data, video,
voice, etc., making management more effective and cost efficient.
• Remote accessibility. Any video stream, live or recorded, can be accessed and controlled from
any location in the world over wired or wireless networks.
• Intelligence. Motion detection, event handling, sensor input, relay output, time and date
scheduling, and other built-in capabilities allow the camera to make intelligent decisions on
when to send alarms, record video and at which frame rate, improve information access and
• Increased reliability. IP-based data transports enable off-site storage and the ability to use
redundant infrastructure, server and storage architecture. By using standard server and
network equipment, replacement time if any equipment should go down is considerably less
than when using proprietary DVR solutions. Management software provides real-time system
operation status and information on preventive measures.
IP Surveillance Matures
Just as the progressive evolution of CCTV digitisation has yielded improved system performance over time, IP Surveillance promises to continue to deliver a host of attractive, future end-user benefits:
• Increased intelligence, such as advanced Video Motion Detection (VMD), license plate
recognition, event triggers, object tracking, etc.
• A higher resolution than the limits of the analogue NTSC and PAL formats, up to 0.5 Mpixel.
Mega-pixel Network Cameras are already available, and soon they will become multi-megapixel.
• Power via Ethernet – eliminating the need to have power outlets at the camera locations and
enabling easier application of uninterrupted power supplies to ensure operation 24 hours a day,
7 days a week.
• Wireless transmission of video using cost-efficient standard technologies such as IEEE 802.11b,
and wireless access to any video via PDAs, Tablet PCs, and cellular phones.
• Encryption, watermarking and connection authentication at camera level, offering a
considerably more secure solution than with any analogue camera.
In contrast to common opinion, we have seen that the DVR is just a step in the continuing development of CCTV technology and not an end point solution. Security started with analogue cameras, switchers and tape recorders; today's recording is digital and since the cameras are also turning digital it is natural to go for a complete digital solution with IP Surveillance.