As consumer’s, we’re taught that we need the latest technology available, and the same is true for surveillance cameras. However, before you decide to purchase Ultra High Definition security cameras, consider the total cost for a security system upgrade, including internet and storage for high definition versus lower resolution cameras.
The Fundamentals of Video Resolution
The number of pixels that fit in a camera, computer, or TV screen directly relates to the quality of the picture. They’re often represented in numbers that look like this: 1920 x 1080. That equates to 1920 pixels horizontally and 1080 pixels vertically.
All content in the 1980s and prior was SD or 640 x 680. Since technology has advanced significantly over the past several decades, there are higher resolutions available today. Some you may see frequently include:
- 4K TV, Ultra HD, 3840-2160
- High Definition, 1080i HD, 1920 x 1080
- High Definition, 720p HD, 1280 x 720
- Standard Definition, SD, 640 x 680
Video Resolution as It Relates to Security Cameras
Until the introduction of IP cameras, all video footage was transmitted at SD resolution or lower and in analog. Now IP cameras compress and digitize the footage in the camera and transmit it via a network connection. This technology lets security camera manufacturers improve image quality every year, so camera retailers expect better products to sell to their customers.
Today, 8K technology is on the forefront, but 4K is the most advanced resolution technology available today. So, 4K is the best choice, right? Well, maybe not for your business. Here’s a look at network storage and bandwidth per every hour of video surveillance footage.
|Bandwith||1 Hour of Video Footage||Video Resolution|
|0.3 Mbps||0.135 GB||640 x 480-SD|
|1.0 Mbps||0.450 GB||1280 x 720-HD|
|2.0 Mbps||0.900 GB||1920 x 1080-HD|
|9 Mbps||4.050 GB||4095 x 2160-4K|
Multiply these figures by the number of cameras necessary to provide coverage for your facility or building, and suddenly, the total cost explodes. Add the cost of the internet, and the price rises even further.
Your budget and infrastructure may not be able to handle 4K, so you may need to purchase lower resolution cameras. It’s all about finding the right balance between bandwidth, storage, and resolution. Limited internet access may mean that you need to purchase cameras with less bandwidth usage. When you discover that balance, then that is the right security camera for your system.
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