Evolution: from analog video to digital. Part 2

Published on April 13, 2017

Evolution: from analog video to digital. Part 2

    This is the second and final part of the transition from analog to digital video surveillance. The first part is available here . This time it will be discussed about the transition from one system to another and comparative characteristics. Well, let's get started.

    We form a new set for video surveillance.

    In the frame above, there is a ready-made video surveillance system with IP cameras. But let's start in order. An analog system includes at least:

    1. camera
    2. DVR

    At most:

    1. Camera
    2. DVR
    3. PTZ control panel
    4. Screen to view pictures

    Now consider the difference between a digital video surveillance system.

    Minimum set:

    1. Ip camera
    2. Switch (PoE or normal)

    Maximum set:

    1. Ip camera
    2. Switch (PoE or normal)
    3. DVR
    4. PTZ control panel
    5. Screen to view pictures

    As you can see, the difference lies not only in the fact that analog cameras are connected directly to the DVR, and IP cameras require a switch. The IP camera itself can send video to any server (local NAS or remote FTP) or save video to a USB flash drive. It should be noted that adding a PoE switch also makes the job much easier, because when installing a large number of cameras, away from the recorder, you do not need to pull the cable from each camera, but rather stretch one line from the switch.

    Types of cameras

    To solve each problem has its own tool. We consider the main types and areas of their application. We must immediately say that we will describe the outdoor cameras that are used for typical tasks. There are variations and subspecies, but the main types of cameras are only 3.


    Classic cylindrical outdoor camera. The body is usually made of sturdy plastic or metal with a round or rectangular cross section. Inside mounted all optics and electronics. The lens can be varifocal or without the possibility of approaching and adjusting the sharpness. The easiest and most common option. Easy to install and configure. A lot of modifications with different characteristics. Once set up and forgot.


    Such cameras are more common in rooms, because the most applicable installation location is the ceiling. Take quite a bit of space. Easy to set up. All electronics, lens and matrix are mounted in one block. Once set up and forgot. There are modifications with a built-in microphone and a speaker, to communicate with the observed object.

    Swivel or dome swivel

    The main advantage of these cameras is the ability to pan and zoom images. One such camera allows you to immediately see a large area. It can work according to the program (bring object 1 closer, turn around to object 2, inspect the whole area, bring object 3 closer) or at the operator’s command. They are somewhat more expensive, but lack the disadvantages of the two previous cameras - to reconfigure the object of observation there is no need for physical presence next to the camera.

    Since the object of observation is the house, any type of camera could be used. In order for the system to turn out to be budgetary, but at the same time meet the requirements for picture quality, it was decided to use two types of cameras: cylindrical - for inspecting the perimeter and a dome camera - for monitoring the entrance door and parking.

    Choice of cameras

    The basis of the video surveillance system was a novelty on the Russian market - the Ezviz C3S camera . This camera, with its compact dimensions, has a lot of positive qualities:

    • wide range of working temperatures: from -30 to +60
    • Full waterproof and dustproof (IP66)
    • Support resolution FullHD (1920 * 1080)
    • Wi-Fi or Ethernet transfer support
    • Power support for PoE (only in versions without Wi-Fi)
    • H.264 codec support
    • The ability to record on microSD
    • Ability to work through the cloud, or with a local DVR

    To estimate the dimensions of the camera (176 x 84 x 70 mm), I placed an AA battery next to it. If you are interested in a detailed review of this camera or a comparison with the younger C3C model, write it in the comments and I will put it in a separate article.

    For comparison with the analog camera that was installed before, several frames were taken.

    It is worth noting that the camera is equipped with IR LEDs and light compensation technology, so it can work in complete darkness or with side illumination from a bright moon, snow, a searchlight. As practice has shown, the object is distinguishable at a distance of 20-25 meters in complete darkness and is clearly visible from a distance of 10 meters. The camera supports the extended digital range (HDR) feature of 120 dB. Add to this that the camera can work completely autonomously, without a DVR, recording all the video on a USB flash drive, and access to the camera is possible through the application on the smartphone. And for this you do not even need a white IP - it is enough to provide the camera with access to the Internet.

    What is WDR or HDR
    WDR (Wide Dynamic Range – широкий динамический диапазон) – это технология, позволяющая получать высокое качество изображений при любом перепаде уровней освещённости.
    Другое название – HDR или «высокий динамический диапазон». При одновременном попадании в кадр участков с большим перепадом уровня освещения, стандартная видеокамера рассчитывает экспозицию для охвата максимума градаций яркости. Если камера уменьшит количество света, чтобы оптимизировать засвеченные области, то все участки, находящиеся в тени, станут слишком темными и, наоборот, при корректировке участков с низким уровнем яркости, светлые станут слишком размытыми. Показатель WDR измеряется в децибелах (дБ).

    The Milesight MS-C2973-PB dome camera was chosen to monitor the entrance and parking in front of the house.. It has a smaller effective viewing distance in the dark, but at the same time it supports up to FullHD resolution and is well placed on the facade of the building, not attracting much attention. Plus the camera is that it is endowed with a microphone and allows you to record video with sound, which is especially important for recording conversations when someone knocks on the door. The camera is powered exclusively by PoE, can record on the installed microSD card and is endowed with a web-interface through which you can monitor what is happening. Another interesting feature is the SIP client. You can connect the camera to a telephony provider or your own VoIP server and at a given event (sound \ movement in the frame) the camera will dial the required subscriber and start broadcasting the sound and image.

    • Operating temperature range: -40 to +60
    • Full moisture and dustproof (IP67)
    • Support resolution FullHD (1920 * 1080)
    • Ethernet transfer support
    • PoE Power Support
    • H.264 and H.265 codec support
    • The ability to record on microSD
    • Built-in microphone
    • Embedded web server
    • Built-in SIP client

    Another camera was installed under the visor to view the entire area with the access road. In this case, there were particularly high demands on the quality of the picture, so the Milesight MS-C2963-FPB camera was chosen . It is capable of delivering 3 streams with FullHD picture quality and is able to call via SIP when movement occurs in a given zone. It is powered by PoE and works great with highlights and side lighting.

    • Operating temperature range: -40 to +60
    • Full moisture and dustproof (IP67)
    • Support resolution FullHD (1920 * 1080)
    • Ethernet transfer support
    • Power Support for PoE and 12V DC
    • H.264 and H.265 codec support
    • The ability to record on microSD
    • Variable focal length
    • Embedded web server
    • Built-in SIP client

    We are preparing the network.

    So, we have decided on the cameras and now we need to put everything together and save the video. Since the home network is not very large, it was decided not to physically separate the video network from the home network, but to merge it together. Since the amount of information is growing every year, and the video on the home server is increasingly stored in FullHD resolution, the bid was made to build a gigabit network. To work correctly, you need a good switch with PoE support. The basic requirements were simple: high reliability, stable power, support for PoE and Gigabit Ethernet. The solution was found quickly and the smart switch TG-NET P3026M-24PoE-450W-V3 was chosen to create a home network .

    It is made in a standard format, occupies 1 unit in a 19 "rack and is capable of delivering up to 450 W to power PoE devices - this is tremendous power, taking into account that the selected cameras, even when the IR illumination is turned on, consume no more than 10 W. 24 ports, you can configure the power schedule for each port, the speed and everything that smart switches can do.To simplify the configuration, there is a switch on the front surface that allows you to choose the display of the ports activity / power.Over-active ports, below is the port Which are powered by the PoE. In case of any problems with setting it allows you to immediately determine whether the received power of the camera or a problem with the configuration. In general, the device is one of those "set and forget".


    In order for the video surveillance system to be complete and you can see the old recordings, you need a server or NVR. A distinctive feature of Network Video Recorder is that they only work with IP-based video cameras. The requirements were simple: support for all cameras, storage of information for at least two weeks, ease of setup and reliable operation. Since I already had experience with QNAP network drives, I decided to use this company's NVR in my system. For my task fit one of the younger models with support for 8 cameras. So, the QNAP VS-2108L recorder was selected as the storage and playback system . Support for two hard drives with a total capacity of 8 TB, a gigabit network port and a familiar web-interface tipped the scales in favor of this NVR.

    The recorder itself supports recording video streams according to the H.264, MPEG-4 and M-JPEG standards from the cameras connected to it. All selected cameras support H.264 codec. It should be noted that this codec can significantly reduce the video bitrate without loss of picture quality, but it requires serious computational resources. This codec contains many functions, including the adaptation of cyclic actions. For example, a swinging tree branch will not select the same bit rate as when using the M-JPEG codec.

    Attentive readers will notice the similarities with the network drive of this company QNAP TS-212P . It should be noted that the filling of the models is similar, different andOnly the number of channels for connecting video cameras (8 for the NVR versus 2 for the NAS) and disk support for the NAS with a capacity of 10 TB each (against 4 TB each for the NVR).

    The settings interface is familiar and familiar to everyone who dealt with this technique.

    And viewing of all cameras and recorded video is carried out through proprietary software. In general, the model is simple and functional.

    Comparison of cameras

    And now I propose to compare the picture with only one camera. It will be significant enough. The first shot is the operation of an analog camera at night with a searchlight on the side. Original resolution.

    The second shot is an analog camera at night with the searchlight turned off. Illumination IR illuminated camera. Original resolution.

    The third shot is an IP camera at night with the searchlight turned off. Illumination IR illuminated camera. Original resolution.

    In addition to the increased resolution (1920 * 1080 vs. 704 * 576), we see a noticeably clearer picture, because the frame is being processed by the camera itself and a ready-made picture is sent to the video surveillance server without interference from the analog video signal on the way to the recorder. In the frame itself, you can even see the backlight of other CCTV cameras.

    Minute of rest for the eyes.

    Literally 5 minutes from the recording of the Ezviz C3S camera installed next to the feeder.


    As mentioned in the first part, the video surveillance system based on IP cameras is not much more expensive than an analog kit in terms of functionality. That's just with digital technology functionality can grow with the advent of new firmware, and the analog system almost always changes entirely if new functionality is required (sometimes the issue is solved by replacing the heart of the system with a DVR). By the example of this project, it became clear that the creation of a video surveillance system is a fairly simple procedure if you act according to plan: set a task, make a scheme, determine the required parameters, select equipment, mount and configure.

    And remember: CCTV is not protecting your home. This is just one of the elements that will help prevent hacking or find unexpected guests. Try to position the camera so that you can see the faces of the incoming. In addition, the video server should be well hidden or all records should be duplicated in the remote storage. And may your home always remain your fortress!