How Do I Explain Analog To a Millennial?

I was recently talking with a non-technical lady in her mid-20's about analog vs digital surveillance cameras. She flawed me by asking, "What's analog?"

Instinctively I thought it was an easy question to answer but the words didn't come easily. I can point at plenty of examples of analog and digital technologies but was frustrated that I didn't have a neat, conceptual way to explain, "What is analog and what is digital?"

I'd like to find a good way to describe the difference without doing either of the following:

  1. pointing at something like a bulky CRT TV vs a flat screen TV and saying, "That's the difference." This doesn't really answer the fundamental question of what it means for a device to be analog or digital? This is complicated by all the shades of gray, such as an LCD TV supporting analog and digital signals!
  2. an overly technical lesson in analog vs digital electronics which will leave non-technical customers with glazed eyes.

Is there a neat, conceptual way to describe analog vs digital technologies to customers? Perhaps it is it too difficult unless one narrows down the topic to the use of these technologies in video surveillance cameras?

I'd greatly appreciate hearing from any wordsmiths who know how to answer this seemingly simple question.

Login to read this IPVM discussion.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts unique testing and research funded by member's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.

*** **** ************ ****** ****** *** ** ***** *** ***? I ** *** ****** ** ******** *** ********, ** **** strikes ** *** ***** **** ******.

** *** ****** **** ** *******, * ***** *** *********, "You **** *** *** ** ******'* *****, ****'* **** ******" or "*** **** *** **** *** ***** ****** *** ******* videos, **** **** *** **** ** ****, ****'* **** ******."

** ******, * ** ******** *** **** / *** ** analog ** ** ******, *** * ** ********* *** ******** is **** ***** *** *** ****** *****.

"*** **** *** **** *** ***** ****** *** ******* ******, like **** *** **** ** ****, ****'* **** ******."

*********************? ******* ** ****, **% ** ******* ****** *** ******* since *******, **** **** ** *****, **?

* *** ****** ***** ****** ** ***** * *** ********* end **** ***** *** ********* ****** ** ******. *** **** material ********** *** *** ***** ** ********** / ***** ***** / *******, **** *** **** ******* ****** **** **** ******* at ~**** ****.

****** *********** *** ******* ********* = **-*** = ************* = ***-*** = ***,**** ***** ***** **** *** ********* **********.

***** **'* **** **** *** ******* ********** ******* *** *******, the ******** ** ******* * '***-********* ***-****' *** ****** ** be *********** *** ** ** **********, *** ******** ******* **** by **** ************, *** ********* *** '********************** *** ***-*****' ***** *** ** **********. *********** ********.

***, * ** ********* *** *** ****** / ******* ***** traditional ** ******.

*** * *** ********* *** ****, * ***** **** **** about ************ ********** ** **** ** **** ** ***** ***** quality, **** *** ******* **** ** ******* **** (***** * would *** ** ** *** ****** ** **)

*** **** ************ ****** ****** *** ** ***** *** ***?

******** *** * *** *** *** ****'* ******* **** * very ********** ******** *** **** ********** **** *********** ** * was **** ** **** **** *******.

* ******* ********** *** *** ****** ******** *** *** ** to ********* ** ********* ** **** ******. ** * **** all *** *****, * ******** *** ****** * ***** **** to **** ***** ****** **** ******** ** **** ********** ****** and ******* ************ ***** **** ** *** **** ****** **** a **** ********* ***********. ** **** ***, * ******* *** following ******* ************ ***** *******:

  1. ******* ******'* **** ******** ** **** **** * ****** ** stored *********, ** *** ** *********** *** ************* *** ***'* change. ** **** ** ******* ** *** ********* ***. ** contrast, ****** ******* *** ******* ** ***** *** ************ *** will ****** ** **** *** ***********. ***** ******* **** ** a *********** ** ***** *******.
  2. **** ****** ****** ***** *** *** *****. ** ****** ****** may **** *** ***** *** ********* ****** *****, *** ****** for **** *** ***** *****, *** ******* *** ******* *** control ******* ******* *** ***** ******** *** *** ******. ** comparison, * ******* ************ *** ************** **** ******** ***** ** signals ***** * ****** *****. **** ** **** ****** *** helps **** ******* ** **** **** **** *****, *.*. ** the ***** ******* *** *****.

***** ********** ** **** ** ***** *** ** *****, * believe **** *** ********* **** *** ****** ***** *** **** differences **** * **** ***** ******. ****** *** ** **** if *** ***** * **** ********** *** ***** ********* ***********, or ** *** ***** **** *********** **** ***'* *****.

**** * ***** ****. *'** ******* ** ******* ** **** the ******** ***** **** *'* **** ** ******** ;-)

*** ***** ***** **** ***** ******* *** ********** ******* ****** and ** ******* ** ***: *** **** **** *** *** analog ******* ********* *** *********** *.*** ** **********. ** ******* start ** *.***, *********** ** *** ****** ** ****** (***, John, ***** * **** **** ***** *********!). *** **-*** *** HD-CVI ******* *** *** ** *** ** **** *** ********** takes **** *****.

*** ***** **** ******* ***** *'** ***** **** ********** ** this: ****** ****** **** ********* **** ** *- *** **-******* versions, *** **** ******** ** ***** ** ***** ****** '******' (the **** ****** ** *** **** *********!). **** **** *** cabled ******* **** ** *** *******.

** ******* *** ** ***** *** ** * ****, *** connected ** *** *** ****** **** ********. ****, **** **** flexible *** ****-*********.

** *******,

***** *** *** **** ***** ***** ******.

*** ********** ** ********** ** * ***** ***** ******** ** can *** ****** ** ******** ********** ***'* ******* ** *********** analog ** ******** ********** ** ******* *****. ***** **** ******** responded ** *** **** ** ********** ** ******* ***** **-*** so *** *** ********** *** **** ** *********.

*** ****** *** ****** *** **** **** **** ** *******. Thanks **** ****! *** *** ********** ****** ** ** ******** stamp!

Elephant stamp

*****!

****** = ******** *****

******* = **** ***** ?

** *****, ** ******** ****, ***** **** **** ******** ** elephant **** * **** ***** ** **. ** *** ** quite **** **** ** **** **.

*** **** **** *******:

****** ** * ****** ************** ** *** ******** *** *****, like *** *** *** *** *** * ******* ****** **** the ****** **** ****, ** *** *** * ****** ***** across *** ***** **** *** ***** * **** ** * pond. *** *********, *******, ************ *** ************ ** ***** ***** can ***** ** ***% *******, *** *** *******-**** *** ******* pretty *******. *** ***** ** ****** ********** ******** (**********) ** limited ** *** ********* ******** ** ***** **** ** *** process. ***** ********** *** ********** ****** ********** ** *** ********, with ********** *** ***** ******* **** ***** ******** ** ***** step ** *** *******.

*******, ** *** ***** ****, ** * ***** ************** ** the ********, **** *** **** & ****** ** ***** **** is ** ************** ** ** ******* *************. ** ** ** accruate, ** ***** ********. ** ****** *** ** ** ******, transmitted, ** **********, *** ****'* **/*** **** *** ****** ***** or *****, *** ******** ** *******-****. ***** *** *** ***** places *** ***** ** '***** ******' **************** ** ****** *** accuracy ** *** ****. *** ************, ******* *** ***** ****** on * ** ******* ** ******* ** ***** ******, ** MPEG ***** ** * *** ****** **** *********, *** *** about ******* *** '***** **************' ******** ** *** ******** ****** than * ********* ************** ** *** ********. ******* ******* **** run **** **** *** ***** ** ****** ******** ** *** imager ******* *) ** *** ****** *** ******, *** *) it ** ***** *** *** ******** *** ********** **.

(************, ***, ********* ***** ** **********, *** ****'* *** **** information *** *** ******)

"******* ******** ****, *******...."

****** - ***** ******

******* - **

*** *******, *** ******* ***** ******.

****** = ***** ** ***********

******* (**) = ****** ** ****

*** ******** **** ****** ** '****** ** ****' ****************'****** ** ***********', ****?

*** ** ***** *** * ***** ******** ******* *** ************. I'm **** *** ***** ** ***** **** ** ***** ***** crossover **********.

******** ***** ** **** ** * **** *** ** **** any ****** ***** *********.

*****, ***'** *****, *** *******. **** ******** * ****** **** said **** *** *******

****** =******* ***********

*** *** ** *** ****, ***** ****** ** *********** *** commonly ********** **** ******* ****, ***** *****=****. **** ***-***********, ***** does ****** ** ****** *** ***** ** ************ ******** ******, like ***** ** * **** ****, ***** *** *****?

********** *******.

****** = ****, ***** *** *********** ** ** *** ***** of *** ****, ** ** *** *******

******* = *****, ***** *** **** ** *****, *** *** pulse **** ************ *** *******

****** *****, ****'* ***** ** ***** *** ****** ** *********** as *** ***** ******** ****.

***** *** * ****** ** ****** **. ******* **********, **** are ********:

****** **. **

**** **** ** ******* ******

* ***** **** ***** ***** **. * ******* *******

*** ** *******

****** ***** ******* **. * ******* *******

**** *** *** ******* ****** ** ***** ***** **. *** error ****.

**** *** ******** ******* **** ******* ****** ** *****, *** encoded *** ****** ******* **** ********** ****. ** ** */*. I *** *** ***** ***** ***** ****** ******* *** **** some **** *****. *** ** *******, ** *** **** *** an *** *** ***** **** ** *** **, **** *** analog. ********* ***** ** *******. **** ****!

***** *** ****. ****'* ** *********** ***** *** ***** *** a *** ** **** *****.

** ****** *** ******** ** ****** (***) *** ******* (***) devices, *** ********** ***** **** ** ****:

  • ******
    • * *********** ****** **** *** ***** ** ****** ************ ********* (strength, ******, **********, ***) *** *** ***** ** ************ ************* to ********* (*****, *****, ***).
    • ****** ***** '*******', ** * ************** ** *********.
    • ** ** **** * ******** *********, *** **** **** ****** as ** **** *********** **********.
  • *******
    • * ***** ****** ** ********* (*****, ****** ********) ***** *** on/off **** ********* ********* (**** ****, **** *****, **** ****** from ******, ***).
    • ** ** * ********* *********** ** *********, **** ** ******** CAD **** ** *** ********* *****.

** *******,

***** ***. ****'* * **** ***** ***********.

Good work star

* ******'* *** ****** ** ******* ** * ******* *********. It **** ***** *** ****** ** ******* *** ****** **** an ****** ****** ***** **** ****** -> ******* -> ****** -> **** ********* ** ******* ** *** ******** **? * use ***** **** *********** ** ******** **********. * **** **** use ******* ***** ******** ** ******* ***** ******** *** ******* just *** ********. *** *** ****** *** ******** ***** *** how **** *** ****** ** *** ***** **** *** ****** to ***. **** *** ** ********* ******* ********* ** *** difference ** ****** ** *******.

*** *** ****** ******, ***** ** *** ******** ***** ** well, ** **** *** ** **** *** ***** ******* ****** vs ******* ** *** ******* **** ****** ****** ***** ****. The ******* *** * **** ***** ** ******* **** ** by ********** **** ** *********** ** **** ** ** ****** system ********** *** ** ** ** *****. ** *********** ** lost ******* ** ***** ** **** ***** ************ ****** **** figure *** **** ** ******* *** **** ***** ****. **** digital **** ***** **** *** ****** *** *** ********* *** is ***** ****** ** ******* *********** *** *** ** ** order, **** ** ** *** ******** *** ** ***** *** it *** ******* ******* ***********.

*** ********* ******** *** ******* ***** ** ***** *******.

** *****, ***** *** **** **** *** **** ********** ********.

*** *** *** ********** ****** ** * ********* ** * wave, *** ******* ** * ********* ** *'* *** *'*?

*** **** ***** *** **** ******* ****** ********* ** *** 'basic *********', * ****** ** ******* * ******, ** ******** technical ************* ********* * ** * ** *******.

*** ***** ******* **** ** ***** ******* ** *** ******* answers *** ********** *********, ****'* ****** ******** ***** *** *** impression **** ******* *** * ****** ************* ******** (******* *********) than ******. ****** ****'* *** *** **** ** ***. *** Michael ** ***** **** ** ****:

*******, ** * ***** ************** ** *** ********, **** *** dots & ****** ** ***** **** ** ** ************** ** an ******* *************. ** ** ** ********, ** ***** ********. There *** *** ***** ****** *** ***** ** '***** ******' interpretations* ** ****** *** ******** ** *** ****.

*** **** '***** **************' **** ***** ** * *********** ***** in *********, ********* *** ** *** ******* ********* ** **** areas ** ****** *********, *.*., *****'* ******* *** ******** **** a *** ** **** ** ******* ****** ** ****** *** error ****.

**'* ******* ** ******* * ****** ** **** ** (**** we *** ***) ** **** * (******). *** ******* *****, expressed ** **** ** ** ***********, ** **** * **'*11110111011011. Obviously base 10 is far more concise than base 2, but if you photocopied photocopies of both representations a few times, you would likely be able to reproduce the degraded base2 digits more accurately than the degraded base10 ones. Mainly because you only have the two choices, and if you can tell it's not a zero, then it must be a one... This is an oversimplification of course, but hopefully the general idea comes across.

** ******* ********* ** ***** *****-********* *** ******* **** ********* utilization, ***** * *********** ****** **** **.**% ********* ** ********* useless. ***** ** *** ***** ****, ** *** ****. ****'* why ****** ************ ** ** ** ******. **'* **** *** reason **** ******* *** *** ***** *********** ********** *** *** away **** **.

** ******* ********** ********* *** *****-*********...

** *****, ***** *** *** **** ******** ********. * ***** it **** *********** *** * ***'* ***** *'* ******* ** to * ***-********* ********!

* **** **** ** ******* **** **** ******, ** *** lose ****** *** *** ***** ** ******. ** *** *** used ** **** **** *** **** ******, **** ** **, noise ** * ******. ** * ******* *****, **** **** phone ***** * *** *******, **** ** ***** *******/******* ******* or ***** *** ****** *** ********. ****** *** ***** ***** usually ****** *** **** *** **** *** **** *** ** the ***** (***** ********* ** *** **). **** *******, *** usually *** ******* ************ ***** *** ****** *********.

**** ******** ***'* ********** ** *** *** ***** ** **** on * **. * **** *** ** *** ****** **** high **** ** ** ****, *** ***** **** ****, ******* it ** **** *********** **** "** ******".

****** *****. **** ** ** ** *** ** ***** ****** I *** ***** *** *******. ***, *** **** **' ****!