Many of you might hear about turning an old iPhone or iPad into a webcam/video surveillance camera, but few of you know you can turn your traditional analog CCTV cameras/systems into IP CCTV cameras/systems.
So how can you convert analog CCTV cameras to IP CCTV cameras? What do you need? Is that expensive? Should I upgrade my analog CCTV system for home to IP CCTV system? Or should I just buy brand-new IP PoE/wireless cameras/systems?
Today in this article, we try to cover them all and let users/homeowners make informed decisions.
How Can You Convert Analog CCTV Cameras to IP CCTV Cameras
When you have analog CCTV cameras but you don't have a network-enabled analog DVR, in order to view the live videos feeds remotely over the internet, users can either buy a network-enabled analog DVR or turn analog CCTV cameras into an IP-based CCTV cameras, which can be viewed remotely.
To better understand how it works, it's important to understand the differences between analog CCTV cameras and IP cameras.
The main difference lies in the way video signals are delivered. Analog cameras produce analogue signals while IP CCTV cameras generate digital signals.
The key element in such conversion is not just converting analogue signals into digital signals, but also turning analog CCTV cameras/system into network-based IP CCTV cameras/systems that can be hooked up NVRs or WiFi router and accessed remotely on web browsers or mobile devices.
The digitalized signals can be transmitted and recorded over the network for easy access and remote viewing, an equivalent to IP-based network security camera systems.
The main ingredient is called analog-to-IP converter, also known as digital video server (DVS)/ video encoder/network IP video server, a mini-computer embedded with Linux system and packed with chips/sensors capability of converting analogue signals to digital signals, and broadcasting video stream over an IP network.
What You Need
In order to convert analog CCTV cameras to IP cameras, you need to hook the analog-to-IP converter to CCTV cameras and get the digital video server up on the network via PoE switch or router.
- Ethernet cable
- Analog-to-IP converter/digital video server/ video encoder/network IP video server
- Digital video server software (optional)
- Analog CCTV cameras
- WiFi router/PoE switch
- A computer
Network Video Server has 1 BNC Input for the analog camera and an Ethernet port to connect the server to a network switch/NVR/WiFi router via Cat-5 Ethernet cable. There are 3 main ways to set up your video server over the Internet, for example, Vivotek VS8801 8 channel video server, connecting to a router, using static IP or PPPoE.
Users usually access to the analog CCTV cameras through web browsers (DVS IP address) or supplied software. Of course, with advancement in video server technology, mobile apps (or third-party apps) are available to access the video feeds remotely.
Is That Expensive
Although digital video server/IP video encoder eliminates the need to phrase out CCTV analog security cameras/system completely and turn them into IP network cameras/systems.
The cost of upgrading existing analog surveillance system could be cranking up.
One channel analog-to-IP converter could cost up to $80, an equivalent to decent IP security cameras like Reolink RLC-410 ($74.99). 4 channel video encoder like Axis runs over $250 or more depending on different brands.
Should You Upgrade Your Analog CCTV System to IP CCTV System
Could this conversion from analog security camera systems to IP camera systems be worthwhile?
Well, it depends.
If you are running enterprise large-scale CCTV system, upgrading them to IP CCTV system could not only save the trouble of rewiring and installation but also grant you the ability to view CCTV cameras remotely like IP cameras, as well as other favorable functions like motion detection.
If you are a homeowner, converting CCTV cameras for home into IP CCTV cameras means you have to face potential risks that your traditional analog system might not be up to the measure.
While a new IP camera system like PoE camera system or wireless security camera system in the same price range could meet the bar.
Brand-New PoE IP Camera System Reviews & Recommendation
It works great for new homeowners looking for complete security systems without serious or professional installation, or small business such as workshops or stores.