HD-SDI High Definition CCTV vs Traditional CCTV Cameras

HD-SDI CCTV cameras, also known as HD security cameras, are quickly gaining popularity as a high definition video surveillance solution. Until a few years ago, the only available option for high definition surveillance systems was to use network IP cameras which are typically more expensive and almost always more difficult to setup.

With the advent of HD-SDI technology for security cameras, users can now capture 1080p resolution video using the same RG59 or RG6 coaxial cable that is used by traditional CCTV cameras. There is also a new technology out now called AHD which is another HD security camera technology. You can learn more about what AHD is here.

This new SDI platform is pivotal information for existing CCTV users whom have invested into expensive coaxial cabling installations, and now are in the market to upgrade their system to HD. These users are able to leverage their existing coax cable when they upgrade to HD Security cameras.

The HD-SDI paradigm also makes installation easier for many low voltage installers because HD-SDI security cameras follow the same plug and play processes as the traditional CCTV cameras, unlike IP cameras, which do require some level of networking knowledge to setup.

HD-SDI Camera vs. CCTV Camera Resolution

Traditional CCTV cameras are capable of resolutions up to about 704 x 480, which is referred to as D1 resolution, which is a hard limit that analog CCTV DVRs must abide by.

Some traditional CCTV cameras can actually capture slightly larger images than D1, but are unable to take advantage because traditional CCTV DVRs are limited to 704 x 480 resolution, which is why D1 is the accepted max resolution in the CCTV industry.

HD-SDI CCTV cameras are capable of true HD 1080p resolution (1920 x 1080). This higher resolution is the same as a high definition television and movies that consumers are use to. The SDI technology behind HD-SDI CCTV cameras is the same as the video cameras that capture video footage for “high def” motion pictures.

Full HD CCTV vs Analog CCTV Camera Video

The video sample compared the resolution of these two technologies.

Important Note: it is recommended that you watch this video at full 1080p resolution by clicking on the settings button in the YouTube player (the one that looks like a gear) and selecting 1080p HD.

HD-SDI and CCTV Images

The following image compares the image size and resolution of a high definition HD-SDI CCTV camera and standard definition CCTV camera. Please click on the image for the full sized view. After you click on the image, if your web browser supports zooming, you will probably be able to make the image even larger.

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Here are the original images used in the above illustration. This high definition image was captured using a HD-B20 dome HD security camera.


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This is the image captures with traditional CCTV camera. A DPRO-9620 model CCTV camera was used to capture this image at D1 resolution (704 x 480).


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Hybrid HD-SDI CCTV DVR

A Viewtron VT-HD408 hybrid HD-SDI CCTV DVR was used to capture both images featured in this article. Viewtron hybrid DVRs will allow users to use a combination of HD-SDI and CCTV cameras on the same system. This is perfect for users with existing CCTV cameras that wish to upgrade their CCTV video surveillance to HD-SDI over time, or merely upgrade several cameras to SDI and keep their initial CCTV investment in place.

About us

CCTV Camera Pros is a direct supplier of video surveillance equipment for home, business, and government users. If you need assistance in planning a video surveillance system using HD-SDI, traditional CCTV, or network IP cameras, please call us at 1-561-433-8488 or email us at info@cctvcamerapros.net.

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