Many people are left with the notion that if they want to upgrade or use IP cameras that the existing analog cameras and cable infrastructure can no longer be used. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. It would be a terrible waste of money to start from scratch especially if you have a large camera system currently in place. Below are a few products that can help you migrate from analog to IP without breaking the bank.
1. Hybrid Digital Video Recorders (HDVR)
A “Hybrid” Digital Video Recorder or HDVR are becoming even more popular as companies begin the process of migrating to IP camera systems. These are recorders that have a video compression card built directly into the unit. The compression card is so that standard coaxial cable cameras can be directly connected to the recorder. On the back of the recorder there typically can be anywhere from 4 to 64 coaxial cable inputs for existing cameras. The advantage of a “Hybrid” recorder is that it can also accept IP video streams through its network connection. Depending on the system the “Hybrid” recorder can accept from 1 to sometimes as many as 128 IP cameras. These “Hybrid” recorders can provide exceptional scalability and an easy migration path from existing analog cameras to network IP cameras.
2. IP Video Encoders
An IP video encoder converts standard analog cameras into digital IP video streams. Using video encoders allows for a company to save the existing cameras and convert to a Network Video Recorder or NVR solution. IP video encoders can convert a single camera or up to 16 cameras with a single unit. These are very helpful devices for companies that have large systems but don’t have the budget to convert all the cameras over to network IP cameras in a single phase.
3. Ethernet over Coaxial Cable Media Converter
These devices can be a lifesaver or maybe better put a budget saver for companies with large analog systems or a large building. These media converters utilize the existing coaxial cable infrastructure and IP cameras to be transmitted over the existing cable. This solves two costly problems. First, the labor cost of recabling numerous cameras can be very expensive. Second, Ethernet cable has a distance limitation of approximately 300 feet. Using a coaxial media converter at either end of a coax cable can extend the distance up to 5000 feet.
These three devices make migrating from an analog camera system to a network IP camera system much more cost effective and allow for a project to be phased in. A phased in approach can be much easier than a one time capital expense especially when budgets are tight.