What is Analogue and IP?

When browsing through surveillance cameras, you may notice a lot of technical words like RJ59, Co-Ax, CAT5, Smart Dual Illumination, ColourVu and ColourNight. It’s okay if you don’t understand them because most of these terms are not used in everyday conversations.  

If you’ve ever enquired about a system, you almost certainly would have been asked the question, “Do you know what kind of system you’re looking for - Analogue or IP?” You may have responded, “I have no idea what you’re talking about!”  

We understand it can be confusing and that’s why this blog will help to explain the differences. 


Analogue is the traditional type of surveillance. It transfers video over the cable directly into the recorder. Recorders used for analogue systems are either the traditional old VCRs (Video Cassette Recorders) used in older systems, or the updated DVRs (Digital Video Recorders), which use hard drives to store footage instead of cassette tapes.  

Easy to follow? Great! But that’s not all...  


Analogue systems use Co-Ax cables with BNC connectors. This cable is plugged into the camera and fed into the DVR. You also need a power cable, which is connected to a power supply. The power supply is then connected to the mains outlet to power the cameras. 

To make installation easier, CCTV Outlet sells a Co-Ax cable with an attached power cable, so you do not need to buy two separate cables. 

Here’s a diagram using the Co-Ax with power cable from CCTV Outlet: 

Analogue Camera. How to install an analogue system. Diagram of analogue cameras

Of course, the traditional Analogue CCTV cameras only filmed in black and white with night vision. However, today you can find a whole range of features across different systems, including AI and face recognition.  

IP (Internet Protocol) 

IP is the term for the modern digital system which is simplified and easy to install. These systems use a LAN (Local Area Network) cable, also known as a Network Cable, to send images over the same network as the recorder using a simple plug and play method. 


During installation, you will be using network cables. These cables are usually known as ethernet cables, RJ45, CAT5 or CAT6, which are fitted directly from the camera to the NVR (Network Video Recorder).  Just like newer analogue recorders, the network video recorder uses a hard drive to store footage, making it compact and easily accessible to view footage on a monitor.  The cameras will not need an external power source like the analogue cameras. However, there is the option to use this as a backup when there is no power coming from the network cables connected to the NVR.  

See the diagram below showing how this system connects. 

IP Camera Diagram, How to to install an IP System

An IP surveillance is modern and is highly recommended if you don’t already have a surveillance system installed. This is because it is simpler to add new cameras to the network, whereas analogue systems require fine cabling. IP systems are also a sustainable choice as they are adaptable to future technological advancements.

Using a PoE Switch with your IP system 

If you have several cameras and want to save on cabling space, you can use a PoE switch, also known as Power Over Ethernet. This enables you to connect each camera’s wire to the switch, which then connects to your recorder with just one cable.  

And there you have it. We hope this explanation clears up any questions or confusion you may have. Next time you search for CCTV products, you will be able to differentiate between the functions.  

Although there is a lot more information about installing analogue and IP products together, we’ll cover that another time. In the meantime, here are a couple of videos on how to install Analogue and IP systems.

How to connect an Analogue system:

How to Install an IP system:


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