Why HD CCTV Security Cameras are NOT Better than Network IP Cameras

Recently, I was contacted by a customer who was looking for the best video surveillance system to monitor his commercial office buildings. He told me that he wanted to use network IP cameras and a network video recorder (NVR). The customer asked me why CCTV Camera Pros thinks that IP cameras are better than CCTV cameras. Please watch the below video to hear Mike from CCTV Camera Pros discuss. You should also check out this updated blog post: what is the best security camera system?

Important IP Camera Update

Here is an update that I made on 3/18/2021. I am updating this blog post with some new information in regards to comparing analog CCTV cameras vs network IP cameras. This update continues to be my recommendation in 2023-2024. CCTV Camera Pros now recommends IP camera systems over CCTV camera systems (BNC security cameras) in almost all cases. The only reason that we still recommend a coax camera system (CCTV system) is when the customer already has existing coax cable in place that they must use. If a customer is installing a new security camera system or is willing to run new CAT5e network cable, I highly recommend an IP camera system. Our Viewtron 4K IP camera systems with face recognition are now our best selling camera systems. Please watch the below video for the latest update on my thoughts. You can read my latest blog post on Why I Upgraded My BNC Security Camera System to Network IP here.

upgrade bnc to ip cameras

My original article from 2017 continues below, but as you see my opinion is different now. Also, if it does make sense for you to use HD coax cameras, I now recommend these Viewtron hybrid BNC DVRs, which work with BNC cameras up to 4K resolution and network IP cameras.

hybrid security camera DVR

What is the Best Security Camera System?

what is the best security camera system?

Here is another updated video to watch if you are looking for the answer to these questions. What is the best security camera system? Are IP cameras better than coax cameras?

Please note that all of the information in this article below this point is out of date. I highly recommend Viewtron IP camera systems over BNC coax camera systems. Please watch the above 2 videos and disregard the below information. Prior to 2017, CCTV Camera Pros recommended coax camera systems, however, IP cameras have far advanced since then and are the better choice in most cases.

If you are not familiar with what HD-CCTV is, it refers to high definition security cameras that use coax cable to transmit high definition surveillance video. There are a few different HD over coax security camera types. AHD cameras and HD-TVI cameras are the two types that I recommend. You can learn more about AHD and HD-TVI in these articles.

Surveillance System Requirements

The customer provided the following information and requirements for his system.

  1. We are looking into getting an IP/NVR Camera System, however, please tell me is there is different / better solution that will fit our needs. We want to get the best value and not over-spend.
  2. There are 4 different buildings in our area (each of them 200 ft long).
  3. In total, we need 5 outdoor/weatherproof cameras.
  4. We are going to have 3 cameras near the area where we want the DVR installed – within 200 feet.
  5. The other two cameras will be 400ft and 600ft away from DVR location.
  6. We need to be able to connect/view our cameras from any Android phone and Apple phone.

Why I think HD-over-Coax Camera Systems are the Best Choice

HD Security Camera DVR

I highly recommend an HD-over-Coax security camera system with this iDVR-PRO DVR to this customer. Read below to find out why.

Outstanding Video Quality

The video recording quality using HD-CCTV cameras connected to a high quality DVR is outstanding. Watch this video to see recorded video surveillance footage captured using 2 AHD and 2 TVI cameras recording to an iDVR-PRO DVR.

Please be sure that you select 1080p video resolution in the video player so that you can see the best quality video.

Siamese Coax Camera Cable vs Network Cable

Some TVI and AHD cameras are available in dual voltage, which means that installers can use either a 12V DC or 24VAC power supply to power them. The cable for 24 volt AC power can be run much further than 12V DC and PoE (power over Ethernet). By using 1080p AHD cameras that support 24VAC power, you can run both video and power to your cameras using RG59 Siamese cable up to about 700 feet.

Please note that the exact distance depends on how much power the camera draws and the gauge of the power cable. Installers can use this voltage drop calculator to measure the exact distance that power can be run to low voltage cameras.

RG59 Siamese Cable Wiring Guide

This complete wiring guide for RG59 Siamese cable will show you how to use RG59 with 24VAC cameras using a power supply box or individual power supplies.

These are the cameras that I suggested to this customer. Both model are completely weatherproof and support 24VAC.  It’s a matter of customer preference to choose between a dome or bullet style housing. You can find additional dual voltage / 24VAC AHD cameras and dual voltage / 24VAC TVI cameras on these pages.

AHD Security Camera



AHD Dome Calera

What are the best mobile apps?

Just about all customers have the requirement of viewing their security cameras remotely from iPhone and Android apps. Almost all DVRs and NVRs include apps, however, not all are created equal.

I have tested LOTS and LOTS of apps over the past 8 years (since the first iPhone came out) and I can honestly say that the iDVR-PRO Viewer app is among very best. It is one of the main reasons that my company, CCTV Camera Pros, developed the iDVR-PRO DVR product line. The apps are just awesome. Please see for yourself by watching this demo video.

Please be sure that you select 1080p video resolution in the video player so that you can see the best quality video.

The interface for Android app is exactly the same as iOS. Android and iPhone both support live remote camera viewing as well as remote search / playback of video recorded on the DVRs hard drive. You can learn more about the apps on these pages.


HD Analog Cameras are Simple to Install

Network IP cameras essentially are mini-computers. They have their own operating systems / firmware (which typically needs to be updated over time) and they use a built-in network video server to transmit video over Ethernet. Just like a computer, each IP camera must to have its own IP address. Because of this, IP cameras generally require some network maintenance and take more time to setup.

AHD and HD-TVI security cameras are “plug and play” and more suitable for DIY installation. They also save considerable time for professional installers. Installation consists of simply connect the coax cable from the camera to the DVR and plugging the camera into a power supply.

Siamese Coax Cable Wiring

iDVR-PRO Interface is So Easy to Use

Whether you choose a coax-type DVR system or a network IP camera system, you must make sure that the user interface of the recorder is easy to use. This varies greatly from manufacturer to manufacturer for both DVRs and NVRs. Watch this video to see how simple the iDVR-PRO interface is to use.

Please be sure that you select 1080p video resolution in the video player so that you can see the best quality video.

HD CCTV Costs Less

HD CCTV equipment typically costs less than IP camera equipment both to setup and maintain. In most cases, HD over coax type surveillance systems are a better choice both for DIY and professional installations because of the ease of use, lower cost, and high quality. There are situations where I do recommend IP cameras, but more times than not, I recommend HD-CCTV.