In 2007, in an independent study comparing analog with digital surveillance systems, the digital system was found to be the more cost-effective over time.
Based on a typical deployment scenario, the cost to acquire, install, and operate an IP-based system was shown to be 3.4% lower than an analog-based solution. The size of the surveillance system has an influence on the calculation, with systems upwards of 32 cameras enjoying cost benefits. From where are these benefits derived?
Firstly, a digital system makes use of your existing network infrastructure so there is no need to build a new one. Maintenance costs are lower since network video involves few moving parts. Operating costs are lower too since retail chains can send video to a single control room manned by a centralized security staff. There’s no need for local staff or a dedicated CCTV control room at each store.
Network video image quality is high and, unlike CCTV tapes, remains high over time. This makes it easy to spot theft or fraud and to identify the perpetrators. The TCO study did not factor in better image quality, nor other qualitative benefits such as the ability to utilize megapixel cameras or easier upgrades of additional cameras. However, these are also worth noting here.