Understanding Video Resolution When Choosing Security Cameras for Your Business

Every year security camera manufacturers release new cameras with better resolution driving business owners to acquire the best options on the market. However, there is a downside to some of the new technology; it may not be right for your business. It’s critical to factor in the total cost of new security cameras, including storage.

Video Resolution Basics

You’ll notice that there are two important numbers that represent video resolution, and they look something like this: 1920 x 1080. These numbers represent how many pixels are displayed, and the pixels represent the number of dots that fit on a screen. So, in this example, there are 1920 pixels horizontally and 1080 pixels vertically.

During the 1980s and previously, all television content was SD or standard definition. Over the years as technology got better, new TV resolutions emerged and here are some you see often:

  • 720p, HD, High Definition, 1280 x 720
  • 1080i, HD, High Definition, 1920 x 1080
  • Ultra HD, 4K TV, 3840 x 2160
  • SD, Standard Definition, 640 x 680

Video Resolution and Security Cameras

Before the introduction of IP security cameras, surveillance footage transmissions were in analog at SD or lower resolutions. Today, IP cameras digitize and compress video footage in the camera before transmitting it over a network. As a result, security camera manufacturers improve picture quality every year, leading camera retailers to ask for cameras with better resolution each year.

8K technology is on the horizon, but 4K is currently the most advanced resolution available in television and surveillance cameras. With all that in mind, 4K should be the right choice for a video solution, right? That’s where it’s important to factor in network bandwidth and storage. Consider the amount of storage for one hour of video footage in relation to resolution and bandwidth.

  • 4K-4095 x 2160 = 9 Mbps and 4.050 GB of storage
  • HD-1920 x 1080 = 2.0 Mbps and 0.900 GB of storage
  • HD-1280 x 720 = 1.0 Mbps and 0.450 GB of storage
  • SD-640 x 480 = 0.3 Mbps and 0.135 GB of storage

Now when you multiply these figures by the number of security cameras you need for your facility, you can see that 4K video cameras require a vast storage solution. You need to add the cost of that storage and internet access to get the total cost of those fancy new security cameras you want.

Better picture quality and more bandwidth mean your high definition video footage needs more storage. The solution is to pick the security camera that works best with the infrastructure of your business. So, remember these numbers when you consider which camera fits your needs.

ABOUT IDS Alarm Services, Inc.

As an experienced security integrator, IDS Alarm Services, Inc. has served clients in the Southeast U.S. since 1990. Their innovative product offerings include Access Control, Fire Alarms, Network Wiring, Security Systems, and Video Surveillance. Contact us today if you have any questions about adding security or fire alarm systems to your property.

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