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Useful Information when selecting a Surveillance System





MARCH 2015

CIF vs D1 vs 960H vs HD


There are 7 main resolution options in video surveillance recording:

Standard Definition Cameras and DVRs: CIF, D1, and 960H
CIF DVRs: 360 x 240. (86,400 total pixels) 4:3 Aspect Ratio
D1 DVRs: 720 x 480. (345,600 total pixels) 4:3 Aspect Ratio
960H DVRs: 960 x 480. (460,800 total pixels)
 Wide Format
HD, FHD & UHD cameras: 720p, 1080p, 3MP, or 5MP 
720p is 1280 x 720. (921,600 total pixels) or say (1.0MP) 16:9 Wide Format
1080p is 1920 x 1080. (2,073,600 total pixels) 
 or say (2.0MP) 16:9 Wide Format
3MP is 2048 x 1536. (3,145,728 total pixels)
5MP is 2560 x 1920. (4,915,200 total pixels)

Resolution versus Cost is the most important decision you will need to make when purchasing a surveillance system. Resolution is the difference between a conviction and a blurry image. Most people choose between CIF, D1, 960H and HD 720P/1080p, so let's focus on those.

CIF is the Quality you saw on a 1990's Flip-Phone

We do not stock any devices that only record in CIF. Throughout this section there are details about the resolution quality and the relative distances at which you can identify a person. This should help to explain why CIF doesn't meet our minimum Quality Standards.

D1 is almost square (4 x 3 aspect ratio) and sized like a non-widescreen Standard Definition TV. It is sometimes also called 4CIF since it has 4 times the resolution of CIF.
960H recordings have the same height as D1 DVR’s but are wider. They are properly formatted for wide-screen (16 x 9 aspect ratio) TVs and monitors.
A video in D1 will have the same resolution as 960H, but D1 will be shaped more like a square and you will lose the video on the sides.

You can identify a face at about 5 metres away with an analogue D1 or 960H system.

CIF, D1 and 960H are quickly becoming legacy equipment.

HIGH DEFINITION is the new standard.

Starting in 2010, the industry started making a transition to HD equipment. In 2014 the prices on HD cameras started to get much closer than they have ever been to analogue camera prices. The quality on HD is now much more affordable. However, analogue cameras have also improved through the developments in AHD technology. 
Just like with television sets there has been a major update in resolution quality over the last few years and so it has been with surveillance systems.
It may be worth looking at upgrading your Cameras and DVR without having to rewire your premises.
1200TVL, AHD and HD-CVI will all offer a cost effective alternative using existing cables and while these systems can be connected to the Network, they are not dependent on it like IP systems are, and can therefore operate in a stand-alone environment if your Internet system is down.

HDCVI camera systems offer HD resolution quality over RG59 Co-axial cable, which has been traditionally used for analogue surveillance systems.
The obvious advantage in upgrading an analogue system to an HDCVI system is that you can get 720P or 1080P HD quality and digital networking using the existing cables from your old analogue legacy system which makes the installation or upgrade very easy.
It should also be noted that RG59 Co-axial cable is normally weather rated, whereas Cat5 cable used on IP HD installations has generally been manufactured for indoor use.
Another benefit of HDCVI is that the recorder and cameras can be upgraded at a much lower cost than IP HD equipment (not to mention re-cabling)

You can identify a face at up to 20 metres away with 720P camera systems.
IP HD camera systems use Cat5 (computer networking cable) and can communicate with many other digital devices such as alarms, digital locks, access control units, POS equipment and other digital devices. Also, because they are digital, they can be fully managed by computers, tablets, and smartphones. However, because IP cameras have powerful built-in intelligence, they cost more than analogue or HDCVI cameras and additional storage is also required as you go to the extremes in high resolution, particularly with multiple cameras. Plus the fact that you will also require additional equipment such as a Poe Network Switch and cabling for example, an IP system can be considerably more expensive than HDCVI or analogue systems.

You can identify a face at up to 30 metres away with 1080P camera systems.

Globally, about 90% of consumers are choosing to go with HD.



HD-CVI - the High Definition solution over Co-axial Cable

HD-CVI is High Definition Composite Video Interface transmission using co-axial cable. This Technology allows for long distance High Definition transmission up to 500 metres. HD-CVI Technology is a cost effective solution that allows for a more complex installation based on existing RG-59 coaxial cable, HD-CVI Technology can transmit High Definition over analog cable in 1080p up to 300m and 720p up to 500m.

Analog systems based on coaxial cabling still dominate today’s video surveillance market. However, the demand for High Definition is increasing. The need to change the cabling for a High Definition system can result in higher operational costs for our customers. HD-CVI technology is here to give a High Definition solution to those with an Analog system already in place. No new cabling is required when upgrading existing Analog systems to High Definition when you are using HD-CVI Technology.

Why choose HD-CVI?

  •  HD 1080p & 720p 
  • Ease of Camera and Recorder upgrade from Analogue system. 
  • Progressive video
  • Long Distance Transmission: HD-CVI = 500m v.s. HD-SDI = 100m
  The Importance of Cable Type:
Transmitting data 500 m over a coaxial cable can be realized depending on the cable selected. Cable 75 ohm-3 mm diameter and 75 ohm-5 mm are recommended for transmissions within 300 m, cable 75 ohm-5 mm and above for over 500 m.
RG59 coaxal cable = 75 ohm-6 mm

Connectors also affect the transmission distance.   
  • 3 Signals over 1 Coaxial Cable: Video, Audio and Control Data processing
  Supports :
HD video input: 720P@25fps,  720P@30fps, 720P@50fps,  720P@60fps, 1080P@25fps, 1080P@30fps
Audio input: 16bit@8Khz, 16KHz 
Coaxial two-way control
HD-CVI Data Flow

How does HD-CVI fit into the market?

HD-CVI Market

HD-CVI - Compared to Other Technology


 Analog Pros
 Analog Cons

P2P transmission over coaxial cable  Single transmission signal: video signal

No delay, suitable for long-distance transmission  Low image resolution: D1, 960H

Low-cost, easy operation  

Mature system in place in multiple locations  


Effective resolution: 720p, 1080p   75-5 coaxial cable transmission less than 100m

P2P transmission over coaxial cable High system cost 

Clear image without delay and loss  Subjected to be interfered by MP or other wired devices

Clear image without delay and loss Subjected to be interfered by MP or other wired devices
IP Camera Pros
 IP Camera Cons

Multiple format resolutions supported Network Bandwidth Overload 

Adopts H.264 coding and network technology High system cost 

IT system flexible networking  Higher costs when upgrading to new technology

HD-CVI Summary

  1. Similar system application to analog monitoring.
  2. 720P, 1080P supported.
  3. Video without loss or delay.
  4. Co-axial cable transmission up to 500 m via 75-3 cable type.
  5. UTP transmission technology, over 5 kinds of cables for 300 m.
  6. Composite video transmission technology. -  Video, audio, data transmitted in one cable.