When you look at the video surveillance industry, the current trend is turning toward HD-SDI cameras. When it comes to surveillance applications, HD-SDI is the new kid on the block, however the technology has been around since the nineties in television broadcast productions. The high cost of high definition technology is the early days kept it from the mainstream, but that has started changing as HD-SDI cameras and equipment; are becoming more and more affordable.

So what exactly is HD-SDI?

The HD-SDI acronym stands for High Definition Serial Digital Interface and is also known as SMPTE 292M standard. In other words, the camera is built to use standard interface technology that lets you transmit high definition video over coaxial cables. The average speed of transmission is approximately 1.485 Gbit per second with the length of the coaxial cables varying depending of preferred picture quality. The maximum length for standard HD 720p and 1080p quality is 100 meters. However, if you choose not to go for a high definition resolution, your coaxial cables can reach lengths of approximately 300 meters.

HD Surveillance

Upgrading to HD-SDI systems have been very cost effective as many businesses already have analogue CCTV networks that are coaxial based, so it’s quite simple to just switch out the equipment. Further, this has proved to be an easier path than upgrading to a surveillance network with IP cameras. IP and analogue CCTV based security systems have a lot of common issues that can be solved by adding a HD-SDI system as a result of its scalability to High Definition and low implementation costs. Currently HD-SDI cameras cost somewhere between $200–500, but as more and more companies start manufacturing HD-SDI systems, the price of this technology will continue to become more affordable.

What are the Pros of HD-SDI?

These surveillance systems can be easily integrated into your network with existing coaxial cables. Further, there will not be any need to modify the current network configuration to add the new hardware to your surveillance system. HD-SDI security cameras have a reputation for smooth motion without latency and you can bet that there will be zero interruption from IP networks in the area. Finally, HD-SDI systems are not as complex as IP based surveillance systems, so it is not only cheap but extremely easy to use and execute.

What are the Cons of HD-SDI?

HD-SDI cameras and security systems are great, but they do have some disadvantages. The performance of your new hardware will depend on the quality of your coaxial cables. If you have poor quality coaxial cables, the resolution of the image will be negatively affected. However, if you go with newer HD-CVI technology, it can help you get around this obstacle.

When you configure HD-SDI cameras, all the configuration must be done physically on each camera. As a result this can be a monotonous time consuming process when it comes to maintenance. Further, when you compare the resolution available in the market today, HD-SDI cameras don’t fare as well as IP cameras. Current industry standards only support 1920×1080 pixel resolution compared to 3648×2752 pixels that are supported by IP cameras.

Future of High Definition Surveillance

High Definition surveillance is evolving rapidly with the introduction of new technologies like HD-CVI, HDcctv, and HD-TVI. All these new additions improve on the current technology making high resolution surveillance possible with little to no impediments. Further, HD-SDI technology makes it easy for you to upgrade your security system in stages. So if your building has a system with 30 surveillance cameras, you don’t have to replace them all at once. You can start with three HD-SDI cameras and gradually upgrade the system to spread the cost over a period of time.

As security becomes ever more important in the modern world, it is necessary that you have the best possible tools in place to protect and to witness the unexpected. With high resolution images in HD-SDI security systems, you can avoid leaving things to chance. As the technology becomes common place in society, the cost will continue to drop, so there is no reason not to upgrade your old analogue surveillance system to HD-SDI. After all, your business, family, and community deserve the best that technology has to offer.