IP vs. Analog Cameras in the Retail Sector

Loss prevention, crime investigation, reduction of employee theft and consumer confidence are the obvious reasons why surveillance cameras are installed in the retail sector, for instance, in department stores. For many years, these tasks were mostly performed by analog surveillance systems. But in most cases, new digital solutions have become the better choice for a variety of reasons:

Price: If only the price of the camera was taken into account, analog cameras were usually cheaper than digital cameras. But if the costs required for the additional hardware necessary to display, to store, or even to digitize the analog image information are considered, the price advantage of an analog camera quickly melts away.

Robustness: Digital cameras are robust and typically require no maintenance during their lifetime. Therefore, IP cameras score very well with respect to the total cost of ownership.

Simple Cabling: With Power over Ethernet (PoE), IP cameras can be connected using only a single cable; the need for a separate power supply cable becomes obsolete.

Storage Efficiency: Many digital IP cameras offer an on-board feature to acquire images only when motion is detected. This functionality is especially useful for supporting security operations outside of normal business hours.

Resolution: IP cameras are available in a wide range of resolutions, including high resolutions.

Flexibility: IP cameras offer the ability to view surveillance activity on a live-stream basis via the Internet from any location in the world.

Discretion: Today, IP cameras have a footprint typical for analog cameras and they are becoming even smaller.

Whether you are planning to install a new surveillance system in your business or to replace an existing system, an objective review of the facts will almost always lead you to an IP solution.

Valeria Mix is a technical writer for Basler Vision Technologies, Ahrensburg, Germany. She can be reached at valeria.mix@baslerweb.com.