Upgrading analog CCTV camera systems to HD security system systems can be a difficult and stressful process. But before learning how to finish that process without any hindrances, one must learn what the systems refer to. Analog CCTV systems use traditional standard definition analog cameras. What does that mean? They use coaxial cables to be hard-wired to a DVR. They support 720p, 1080p, 3mp, 4mp, and 4k resolutions.
Security Camera Cables
The good thing to keep in mind with regards to CCTV camera cables is that you do not have to replace your cameras when you upgrade to better surveillance systems. What that means is that if you use RG6 or RG59 coax cables for your surveillance system right now and you are looking to upgrade, you can continue to use your current wiring without any issue whatsoever. However, one thing you do have to keep in mind is that when using HD-SDI cameras, the distance that the video can run is going to be shorter than other coax technologies. Coax cables can not be run more than 200 feet for SDI cameras unless a powered HD-SDI video repeater is being used. At this point, you may be wondering what if you used RG59 Siamese cable with your original installation. Those kinds of cables do not really make the installation any harder either. On top of that, you could use 18/2 cables to run power from your power source to your cameras.
Perhaps you do not have the cables discussed above and you have a CAT-5 cable instead. The thing with these kinds of cables is that they support video baluns. So, those kinds of cables can be leveraged when upgrading to HD over coax. When existing systems use CAT-5, they are simply connected to video baluns so that the videos can be run from the cameras to the DVR. What is the downside you may ask? HD-SDI cameras do not support UTP with video baluns and as a result, that might cause some issues.
HD cameras can use either a 12V DC or 24V AC power supply. If the power supply you have currently is a 12V DC power supply box, all you have to do is make sure that the cameras you have are also 12V DC. What do you do if your power supply is 24V AC? You do the exact same thing and make sure that the cameras and the power supplies synchronize and have the same power supply output. Whenever you upgrade, all you have to do is make sure that the cameras you are upgrading to have the same voltage and amperage as the power supply that you have.
If the DVR you have right now is hybrid, then you can keep using it. What if you got your DVR more than a decade ago? Then it is unlikely to be a hybrid. If you are really not sure, the best way to understand is to see when you procured the DVR. If it was after 2014, then it is probably hybrid. What is the advantage of these kinds of DVRs? They can support more than one video standard. Typically, they support analog CCTV and the HD over coax standard. Why is this advantageous? This allows the owner to mix and match HD and SD cameras without having to worry about anything. You can use the same DVR for both the analog CCTV and the HD over coax systems. How to upgrade if you have a system like this? Upgrading is simple because you can simply add HD cameras retrospectively to your existing SD cameras and eventually replace all the SD cameras.
Upgrading cameras is not really as complex as replacing other parts of a surveillance system. If you wish to upgrade to a HD surveillance system, from CCTV, cameras have to be replaced eventually. If the cameras you have currently are analog, a hybrid DVR can be used for upgrading purposes.
It’s great to hear that replacing the older cameras with new HD cameras doesn’t have to be a really hard job. My cousin is thinking about getting a new CCTV system installed in the building this spring. He thinks it will really help with security and help people feel safer.