Network IP Cameras vs CCTV Cameras

If you are shopping for a security camera system, here is some information to consider when comparing network IP cameras vs CCTV cameras. Please watch the above video that helps to answer the question: what is the best security camera system? If you have any questions about IP cameras vs CCTV cameras, you can also email CCTV camera Pros for a free consultation.

CCTV Cameras

When I refer to CCTV cameras, I am talking about security cameras that are connected to a DVR using coaxial cable and BNC connectors. This includes legacy analog CCTV cameras (CVBS format) that are low definition (CIF, D1, 960H), and HD CCTV cameras. HD CCTV cameras use the same coax cable as CVBS cameras, however they have much higher video resolution. HD CCTV cameras are available in several video formats including AHD, HD-TVI, and HD-CVI. These HD-over-Coax video formats support the following video resolutions: 1mp / 720p, 2mp, 1080p, 3mp, 4mp, 5mp, and 8mp / 4K.

Most CCTV cameras are powered by 12V DC, however, some CCTV cameras support 24VAC or are dual voltage that support both 12V DC and 24VAC power. Power to CCTV cameras is run over a separate cable, typically 18 gauge 2 conductor. RG59 Siamese cable is the most popular choice of cable for analog CCTV cameras and HD CCTV cameras (AHD, HD-TVI, and HD-CVI). RG59 Siamese cable is an RG59 coax cable and 18/2 power cable on one.

CCTV Camera Pros has the following RG59 cable wiring guide for CCTV cameras available:

Another cable option for CCTV camera is pre-made Siamese security cable cable. Pre-made CCTV cable is pre-cut to specific lengths and already has BNC connectors and power connectors attached. Please note that you can not cut pre-made CCTV camera and re-attach the BNC ends. If you want to cut CCTV cable to the exact length that you need, then CCTV Camera Pros recommends spools of RG59 cable.

Currently, CCTV Camera Pros only recommends CCTV cameras and CCTV DVRs when a custom has existing coax cable in place that they want to use.

Network IP Cameras

Network IP cameras connect to an NVR using Cat5e or CAT6 network cable. The ends of the network cable has standard RJ-45 ends on it. These are the same network cable connectors that are used for computers and other network devices. IP cameras can also connect to a network switch or router in order to communicate with the NVR recorder. Video communication from IP cameras is done using standard TCP / IP protocol.

Viewtron IP camera NVRs have built-in PoE ports that allow you to connect IP cameras that support PoE directly to the NVR. The NVR provides power to the cameras. The video communication and power is both transmitted over the same network cable (CAT5e or CAT6).

Are IP Cameras better than CCTV cameras?

Generally yes. CCTV Camera Pros almost always recommends Viewtron IP cameras over CCTV cameras. Here are the reasons why:

  1. PoE (Power over Ethernet)  makes installing IP cameras very simple. Simply plug one end of your network cable (CAT5e or CAT6) into the IP camera and the other end into one of the PoE ports on the Viewtron NVR. The IP camera is provided power form the NVR and the camera automatically connects to the NVR and is ready to record video.
  2. Some Viewtron IP cameras have built-in AI software that can perform intelligent functions such as human detection, car detection, face recognition, and license plate recognition. These functions provide huge advantages over CCTV cameras. For example, AI human detection is much more reliable than the video motion detection supported by CCTV cameras. Video motion detection provided by CCTV camera systems does not know the difference between a human moving into an intrusion zone and a tree blowing in the wind. This can lead to a lot of false positives. Whereas, AI human detection is 99% accurate. You can learn more about Viewtron AI cameras here:
  3. IP cameras are computers that can be updated with new software over time.

Are CCTV Cameras Ever Recommended over IP cameras?

Are there any circumstances where CCTV Camera Pros recommends CCTV cameras over IP cameras? Yes. If a customer contacts us with an existing CCTV camera system that they want to upgrade and they must use their existing coax cable, then we recommend higher resolution CCTV cameras and our Viewtron hybrid BNC DVRs.

There are some things to consider when upgrading an old CCTV camera system to HD CCTV cameras and HD CCTV DVRs. The customer may be limited on which camera he can use depnding on the type of coax cable that they have installed. If a customer has used pre-made BNC cable, they may not be able to use 4K CCTV cameras. This is because many manufacturers made very thin coax cable for analog cameras years ago and those cables are not thick enough to support the additional bandwidth required by HD CCTV cameras. In some cases, pre-made CCTV cables will work with 1080p BNC cameras, but not 4mp or 4K BNC cameras. The only way to know for sure is to test.

If the customer finds out that their CCTV cable is too thin to support the higher resolution cameras that they want to upgrade to, then CCTV Camera Pros recommends running new cable. If the customer is willing to run new cable, CCTV Camera Pros recommends running CAT6 cable and upgrading to a Viewtron IP camera system with AI software.

If the customer has high quality RG59 coax cable in place, they can replace their old CCTV cameras with any of our Viewtron BNC cameras and a Viewtron DVR. They will be able to use their existing coax cable. The upgrade will give the customer the benefit of much higher resolution security cameras and a modern DVR that is easy to use. The Viewtron DVR will also allow the customer to view their security cameras remotely using the latest mobile apps for iPhone and Android. They can also access their security camera system remotely using the Viewtron Mac and Windows software.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions that customers ask when shopping for security cameras.

  • What is a BNC camera? BNC camera is another name for a CCTV camera. BNC security cameras transmit video over coax cable to a DVR. BNC cameras are available is 720p / 1mp, 1080p / 2mp, 4mp, 5mp, and 8mp / 4K video resolutions. You can find the BNC cameras that CCTV Camera Pros most recommends here:
  • How far can I run the network cable for an IP camera? 320 feet is the max distance that you can run CAT5e or CAT6 to connect an IP camera to the PoE port on an NVR. If you need to run your cable longer than 320 feet, you can install a network switch and extend the cable run an additional 320 feet.
  • Are IP cameras better than CCTV cameras? In most cases, yes. However, there are some things to consider. CCTV Camera Pros recommends that you watch the video on this page to help determine if an IP camera system is the best choice for you.