Digital vs Analog CCTV: Which is Better?


Many who are not familiar with the basic difference between digital and analog electronics might be confused by comparing closed circuit television or CCTV systems that employ one or the other. The basics of the two technologies are relatively easy to understand. The benefits of a digital CCTV system over an analog system are also fairly clear.

What is Analog?

The basic difference between analog and digital is simple. Analog signals are stored in their original form. Digital signals are stored as numbers representing the analog signal.

For example, a video signal from a camera might be represented as a wave, which can be stored directly on a magnetic tape for later playback.

What is Digital?

To store the same video signal digitally, the wave is sampled at a given time interval, and the resulting information is translated into a series of ones and zeroes which represent the analog signal. This is accomplished by means of a protocol, which is a consistent way of translating one to the other. With digital storage, if the recording and playback mechanisms can both use the original analog signal, and the protocol is the same, then the video, for example, should be almost identical to the original.

Advantages of Digital CCTV

Digital signals retain their fidelity indefinitely. Further, digital video data can be transmitted, stored, copied and compressed like any other information. This makes managing archives much easier because computers and networks can handle the data in exactly the same way they handle every other kind of information.

Analog CCTV, on the other hand, can only be stored on tapes for later retrieval. Picture quality can be low. Tapes can be cumbersome and difficult to manage, and remotely monitoring a location with analog can be very difficult due to the logistics of transmitting a live signal without highly specialized equipment.

While a digital video signal isn’t perfect, the right technical choices make it likely the most flexible choice due to its compatibility with so many devices and types of equipment, not to mention the wide variety of software available to process, store and retrieve digital video.

Building a Digital CCTV System

If you are looking for CCTV solutions in the Los Angeles area or you happen to be interested in digital CCTV system installation in Montclair CA consider Data Installers Inc. Their combination of experience and training together with the best quality equipment guarantees your new digital CCTV system will be sophisticated, flexible and backed by the expertise of a leading installation and management company.

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