It’s all in the definition: A guide to High Definition CCTV

24 November 2014
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24 November 2014, Comments 0

When we think of High Definition (HD) most of us probably turn our minds towards our various forms of communication and home entertainment systems.

Indeed, these days everything seems to be moving towards an every greater spec of HD quality:

  • Our flat screen televisions have evolved into HD as a matter of course for quite some time now
  • Games consoles such as Xbox and Playstation
  • Even our Smart Phones have the capacity to display and record video in HD.

So it shouldn’t really come as much of a surprise to find that high definition quality output is the new benchmark for closed circuit television systems as well.

Advantages of HD CCTV

The main, most compelling reason why you should be considering HD CCTV over analogue is, quite simply, the quality of the images.

Standard definition systems have provided invaluable service in surveillance and security over the years, but the images recorded have not always been of the highest quality, occasionally leading to blurred screens at important junctures.

With HD CCTV the images are clearer and razor sharp, meaning that what you view is of the highest quality, which can have major benefits to your security. No longer will that number plate be blurred and hard to read, or that face difficult to recognise for instance.

There are 2 main types of HD CCTV

True HD quality CCTV can be attained through two systems, both offering a higher quality of image to the standard and more traditional analogue systems.


HD-SDI is an ideal, and often very affordable, option for those looking to upgrade their current analogue CCTV system without having to completely remove the old equipment and replace it with newer materials.

Standard (analogue) systems have traditionally been connected up using co-axial cables, transmitting the images from the camera to the recording device in situ. What the HD-SDI is able to do is utilise these old cables to send the analogue images to a high definition digital recording (DVR) device which is able to convert them into a higher resolution digital image (to at least industry standard 720p or 1080p HD) .

Naturally, for those who need to upgrade their systems but can’t afford to start from scratch then this can often be a happy middle ground, allowing them to use existing equipment but attaining much sharper, clearer images.


For those, however, who are looking to go fully HD with their system then HD-IP would certainly be the preferred route.

The big difference between IP and other CCTV systems is that the camera is networked to the internet and, through use of an Ethernet cable, can deliver digital images without any need to go through any conversion process (thus reducing the possibility of lower image quality).

The cameras can capture the images in one of two ways; in a slightly more traditional system the camera can be connected to a network video recorder on a computer system on site, streaming the images on the network to the computer which can store, record and send in a fashion similar to the DVR unit in HD-SDI.

However, an alternative function which makes the HD-IP system so versatile is that, as it is a network device, the camera does not have to be linked directly to a unit but can be plugged into any networked device so that images can be recorded and stored on portable devices or even streamed to locations anywhere in the world – all in clear HD resolution.

For more information on the best HD CCTV for you, take a look around the site or give one of our expert consultants a call today.

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