TVI vs AHD – What is the Best HD Security Camera Type?

What is the best HD security camera type? TVI or AHD. This is a common question asked by CCTV Camera Pros customers. TVI and AHD are two different HD CCTV camera technologies that support 1080p resolution over standard coax cable (RG59 or RG6). This is the same type of coax cable that is used in traditional analog CCTV camera installations.

This article will compare TVI vs AHD camera technologies by comparing 1080p video and still images captured by two comparable TVI and AHD cameras.

For my testing, I used the following cameras.

These two cameras are virtually identical in specification, except that one uses HD-TVI video format and the other AHD video format. Both come in the same weatherproof housing (which can be seen below). They have the same type and number of IR LEDs and they have the same 2 megapixel 2.8-12mm vari-focal lens.

HD Security Camera

Camera Installation

The cameras were installed in the same exact location with the lens set at the widest angle – 2.8mm. I did my best to adjust the angle of view to be identical. Here are some pictures that show where the camera was mounted in CCTV Camera Pros warehouse.

AHD Camera Installation

TVI Camera Installation

Hybrid HD Surveillance DVR

To perform the video recordings, both cameras were connected to the same 16 channel hybrid AHD / TVI / Analog CCTV DVR using the same RG59 Siamese coax cable run.

hybrid security camera DVR

TVI vs AHD Still Images

So which is better? TVI or AHD cameras.

The below image contains 4 still images, side-by-side, captured using the TVI and AHD cameras that I tested with. The top two images were captured using the TVI camera. The bottom two are the AHD camera. The left photos were captured with the lights on in our warehouse – the right with all of the lights off so the cameras are using their built-in infrared LEDs.

TVI vs AHD Camera Images

These 4 images were captured at 1080p resolution. I reduced the size of them by 50% to create a single 1080p image – to compare all of them side-by-side.

1080p HD Surveillance Images

Here are the original 1080p resolution photos. You can click on each image to see the full size.

TVI Camera Images

Here are the normal light and no-light / infrared images that I captured with the TVI camera.

TVI Camera 1080p Image

TVI Camera - 1080p Infrared Surveillance Image

AHD Camera Images

Here are the normal light and no-light / infrared images that I captured with the AHD camera.

AHD Camera 1080p Surveillance Image

AHD Camera - 1080p Infrared Surveillance Image

HD Surveillance Video

Watch the above video to compare TVI vs AHD using the 1080p video footage recorded from both. Be sure to adjust the YouTube player to 1080p resolution and watch full screen if you are on a desktop computer.

2023 Update

Bullet and Dome Style BNC Security Cameras

Please note that since this article was originally written, 4K hybrid BNC security cameras are now available. These hybrid BNC cameras work in AHD and HD-TVI mode. You can find all of our hybrid BNC / CCTV security cameras here. The factory default is TVI. My summary from the original test is below. I still like HD-TVI the best.

Testing Results / Opinion

The TVI camera is slightly sharper than the AHD in my opinion – both in daytime and infrared night vision mode. It is really close though. However, I like the color brightness of the AHD camera better than the TVI.

Something important to note is that the angle of view of the TVI camera is slightly more narrow / zoomed in than the AHD. If you compare the right edge of the images, you will notice that the AHD camera’s view extends a few feet past the end of the warehouse shelf. The TVI camera cuts off the edge of the shelf slightly. This is interesting because both have a 2.8-12mm lens, and I adjusted both to the widest setting – 2.8mm.

This  may be why the video from the TVI camera is slightly more clear. Also, I may not have perfectly focused the AHD camera. It is hard to get the focus perfect on any camera. Maybe the AHD camera was just off a touch.

So, for this test, I give a very slight edge to the TVI camera on clarity, but like the colors better on the AHD.

Both TVI and AHD cameras provide an amazing value for 1080p resolution over coax type cameras (HD CCTV). CCTV Camera Pros will continue supplying and recommending both camera types. It is honestly too close to call.

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