Published on 9 July, 2014
Conventional wisdom has been that analogue video has remained popular at the lower end of the security market because of the complexity of installing IP systems. The proliferation of NVR appliances, self-configuring systems and end-to-end solutions today addresses the requirements of even small systems and has overcome issues of complexity. The new systems are plug-and-play and require little expertise on the part of the installer. Ease of installation was among last obstacles to total IP adoption, or was it?
Good evidence of the simplicity of installing today’s IP systems is the emergence of do-it-yourself systems that even consumers can install in their homes or small businesses. When I was in London for IFSEC, I saw do-it-yourself video systems in the window of an electronics shop in the Kensington area where I was staying. The photo shows the details: Two different 9-channel "advanced" CCTV kits with four cameras; one for £329.99 (or $566.29) the other for £423.99 (or $727.60). (The sign also promises "over 300 lines in-store and online.")
So if IP is so easy, why would anyone still opt for analogue? Turns out analogue isn’t going away quietly, as seen by a new wave of HD analogue systems that claim their own benefits to the market (more on that another time).
However, ease of installation appears no longer to be an advantage of analogue. Security manufacturers are making sure there are simplified, easy-to-install options for systems at all levels of the market. If analogue still has a role to play, the competition will play out on the basis of the other big reason to choose one system over another – how well each performs.
Meanwhile, on the horizon is the “next big thing” in IP systems – Ultra HD or 4K. It’s too soon to tell how disruptive the technology will be to the market or over what timespan that disruption might take place. We’ll keep watching.