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The Different Technologies

Chapter Video Surveillance Made Easy e-book

Understanding the Different Technologies

We understand this is likely the first time you have been in the market for a video surveillance system. All the different sales hype and technical terms can be confusing. Our color coded system makes the right choice easy! The leading technologies used in video surveillance equipment are listed below. Each has its benefits and each has a few limitations. Having a basic understanding of each will help you choose the one that is right for you.

Tech Chart

Ultra-HD cameras

You choose how you record; On-site, to the cloud or both!


You want to record "off-site"? No problem! The easiest remote viewing setup and recording on the planet! Connect your cameras to the Angelcam cloud in two minutes or less. No NVR needed. Angelcam is a cutting edge remote viewing and cloud storage service. Send one camera or several to the cloud; its a piece of cake because your cameras are already programmed for quick setup. Setup is simple, just connect your camera to a internet modem or router; create your angelcam account online; and start viewing and recording your camera(s) to our secure and reliable cloud.

4, 16 & 32 Channel Ultra HD NVR Network Video Recorders

Using an Ultra-HD NVR you can record crystal clear 4k video "on-site" while at the same time sending the video to our secure cloud for free recording and storage. Each camera can record to the NVR, or the cloud, or both. This NVR provides the highest video clarity available! No other system offers this level of unmatched flexibility.

Ultra NVR Features

Elite Logo

Our Elite Series offers the best performance on the market...period!

This ultra high performance technology is IP based using standard network cable such as Cat5 or Cat6 to transmit the video signal. The built in PoE (Power over Ethernet) means only one cat5 cable is needed from the DVR to the camera location to transmit the video and power the camera; true plug &play install!

  • Ultra HD Video 1080p, 3&4 Megapixel, 4K
  • PoE - Power over Ethernet
  • Plug & Play Installation
  • Top Performance on the Market

Elite-IP Series offers powerful networking and custom programming options allowing you to adapt its operation to your specific needs. The software is refined and flexible and easy to use. The versatility of the programming makes the unit perfect for custom applications. All Elite systems can be remotely managed using the PSS software for PC and Mac computers.

DVR Software
  • User Friendly Interface
  • HD View & Recording
  • Custom Multi Camera Viewing
  • Motion Activated Recording
  • Alarm Response
  • Pan, Tilt, Zoom Control
  • Multi Camera Playback
  • Smart Search
  • Remote Viewing; Internet & Smart Phones
  • Supports Multiple Locations
  • Secure Connections
  • Easily Customized

Click Here for Complete Software Details


HD-CVI High Definition Over Coax Cable

HD-CVI is the newest technology on the block and one that offers a great balance between performance and price. HD-CVI stands for High Definition “Composite Video Interface” and provides a completely different method of transmitting video signals up to 1500 feet over the same coax cable CCTV systems use. CVI cameras are offered in a large selection of 720p and 1080p HD resolutions. Based on the performance, price and durability of the equipment, CVI is quickly becoming the best value on the market.

The software is embedded into the DVR and is point and click driven; easy to understand and use. Just plug the mouse into the USB port, turn the system on and its instantly operating. Simple motion activated recording, remote access and easy recording play back are the most popular features.

Easy Install
CVI equipment offers the simplest install of all the technologies. Easy to mount cameras, quick connect cables (no specialty tools needed), plug and play PTZ cameras and simple remote viewing setup are just a few of the advantages.

Rugged & Reliable
CVI equipment is very dependable. The embedded operating system ensures constant operation and is immune to freezing, viruses and power spikes. The cameras transmit the video signal over coax cable; coax transmission is substantially more reliable and durable than network cable. Longer distances is also a big advantage of using coax cable; video can be transmitted up to 1500 feet with coax where as network cable is limited to 220 feet as is all PC based network devices.

Feature Rich
CVI systems are packed with the industries latest features including; motion activated recording, audio recording, remote viewing (internet, network, smart phone, tablets, apple), plug & play pan-tilt-zoom setup and much more.


HD-IP Network & IP

Network and IP based technology provides the most flexibility system design. The software is refined and supports remote camera locations and network based camera connection, viewing and recording. This technology requires a higher technical level than the others, but provides superior system design options. The cameras are true digital solutions and operate on network cable referred to as Cat5 or Cat6. The cameras can be connected directly to the DVR with a network cable or plugged into an existing network and "mapped" back to the DVR for full viewing and recording through the network. IP cameras are the computer industry’s solution for video surveillance. Created completely from IT, network and computer technology, they operate on an entirely different platform from CCTV or HD-CVI cameras. They use different cabling, transmission methods and require a higher technical skill level to install.


HD-SDI High Definition Over Coax Cable

HD-SDI was the first HD technology with the ability to transmit HD1080p over coax. A durable and reliable technology popular with business and larger system applications. HD-SDI stands for High Definition “Serial Digital Interface” and provides a completely different method of transmitting video signals up to 250 feet over the same coax cable CCTV systems use. SDI cameras are offered in a large selection of 1080p HD resolutions. Based on the performance, price and durability of the equipment, SDI is the second most cost effective HD 1080p technology; first is HD-CVI.


CCTV-700 Analog Technology

CCTV stands for (Closed Circuit TV). This technology is the oldest and has gone through many upgrades over the years. The resolution produced is limited because it is an analog technology. The maximum resolution the cameras can produce is 700TV lines. The highest level of video recording is referred to as 960h which records in the format 960x480 TV lines. The technology is reliable and low cost but does not produce HD video.

Producing quality video in a CCTV analog system is a function of three key elements.

  • The cameras resolution
  • The resolution and frame rate the video is recorded
  • The video quality sent to the monitor

These three aspects are important because the quality of the video produced is equivalent to the lowest resolution item used in the system. For example if you use 480 line camera (low resolution) and record in high resolution 960H (960x480 TV Lines). The camera does not provide enough data for the DVR to generate a clear picture; the result is blurry video. In turn if you use an high resolution camera (700 TV lines), but record with a low resolution DVR, the quality of the video the camera produces will be wasted because the DVR cannot record all the data provided.

To achieve the best performance you should match the resolution of the cameras being used with the recording resolution of the DVR. The highest quality video that can be produced with a CCTV system is produced by using 700TV lines cameras that are recorded with a DVR in "960H". (960H refers to recording in 960x480 pixels at 30 frames per second). The result is perfectly matched equipment producing the highest quality video that CCTV equipment can provide.

Analog 700TV Line Cameras + 960H Recording = Best CCTV Video Quality

The last item of a surveillance system many people over look is the monitor. All DVRs provide a VGA output to a monitor. However, this does not provide the clearest viewing. Choose a DVR with an HDMI output and a monitor with HDMI input. This completes the last link of a top performing system.

Caution about Monitors – Bigger is not better!
There are many large monitors on the market at great prices. But keep in mind there is a limit to the lines of resolution a CCTV system can provide. The fact is analog CCTV video looks better and clearer on a 22” monitor than it does on a 32” monitor or larger. Why…because you are stretching the video. With CCTV analog systems use nothing larger than a 22” wide screen monitor, the clarity will be better and you save money!

Hybrid DVRs

A Hybrid DVR allows different technology cameras to be used on the same unit; combining them into one operating system. For example our CVI Hybrid DVRs allow both CVI and CCTV cameras to use on the same system. This can be extremely helpful if you are upgrading an existing CCTV system but do not want to switch out all the cameras at once. We also offer hybrid IP and CCTV DVRs.

Night Vision & Resolution

Most of our cameras are equipped with night vision; a cost effective solution for day and night surveillance. The cameras automatically switch from day operation to night vision when the light level drops below a certain point. For the money the night vision is very good but you should expect to see a 15-20% drop in resolution in night vision mode. By industry standards this is still considered exceptional performance. The video sample below explains how night vision works and provides examples.

How Night Vision Works

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Video Samples