Debunking HD camera cost myths

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Debunking HD camera cost myths

There is a misconception that HD CCTV cameras are more expensive than conventional analogue surveillance cameras. However, to understand real value, it’s important to focus not on the price of a single camera but on the overall surveillance system cost. Looking at the cost holistically and contrasting it with the benefits will clearly demonstrate the cost-effectiveness and ROI of a HD surveillance system.

HD cameras provide superior performance and imaging capabilities versus analogue or older style CCTV cameras. HD cameras are also field-proven to deliver the most cost-effective video surveillance solutions. In comparison, analogue may be lower priced than HD cameras, but these cameras are far more expensive if you evaluate costs system-wide. The truth is that analogue provides poor value and poor return on investment (ROI) and do not integrate with other IP technologies.

Buying results, not just cameras

When the customer buys surveillance cameras, what they are really purchasing is the ability to view video that effectively achieves the goals of the application. They need video cameras that provide facial identification, recognise registration plates and certain events. Customers also need video cameras that capture images of activity in shops, bank branches, company or government facilities or at borders, airports or ports. They are purchasing the capabilities and the functionality that the cameras can provide. When you consider the price of analogue cameras compared to their functionality, HD cameras provide much more value for money than lower-resolution security cameras.

HD cameras do a better job of capturing more information than standard-resolution
cameras, and that superior performance translates into ROI in a number of ways. If you consider the concept of “pixels per metre” (meaning a certain number of pixels are required to depict one metre of a scene for a specific application), it’s clear that more pixels equate to being able to view larger areas. For example, where ten standard-resolution cameras might have previously been required to cover a car park, the same application can now be served using three or four strategically-positioned HD surveillance cameras, or even a single HD panoramic camera, depending on what is required.

More resolution for your money

Using estimated pricing and number of pixels as a quantitative measure of resolution, it’s easy to demonstrate that HD cameras provide more resolution for your money compared to analogue or VGA cameras. Understanding the relationship between resolution and money spent makes it simple to evaluate which number of cameras are appropriate for a given application. Based on “pixels per metre”, you know how many pixels you need to view a certain area. Comparing resolution with set up costs makes it clearer which camera (or group of cameras) can provide that needed number of pixels most cost-effectively.

Surveillance System cost vs. camera cost

When analysing the numbers on a new surveillance system installation, it is helpful to take a broad view of overall system costs. The complete cost of the system is obviously a better measure than the price of a single component. The price of a single component is not a good reason to dismiss a new technology as too expensive without considering how the extra expense will be offset by added functionality and other system cost savings. In the case of HD cameras, beyond camera price, other factors include a decrease in installation costs by using fewer cameras, the elimination of mechanical pan-tilt-zoom (ptz) devices and a reduction in operations staff. Using fewer cameras to cover larger areas also translates into cost savings related to infrastructure, for example cables, mounts and housings, which makes it easy to reach an ROI.

In summary, analogue cameras provide the worst value and therefore are the most expensive security cameras you can buy. When considering the choice between conventional analogue and HD cameras, go for the best image quality and best price by choosing HD cameras as they deliver the best ROI, functionality and integration into other IP technologies like Access Control, Intruder and Fire Alarms.

Indeed, if in doubt why not get quotations from both analogue and HD installers to compare price, desired functionality and ROI? Speak to us and we’ll help to future proof your investment.