If you are confused, do not worry. You should be. And we are going to explain how they differ here.
And yes, HD-SDI, HD-CVI, HD-TVI and HDcctv are just a few of the acronyms behind non IP HD video. Indeed, there is also AnalogHD, HD-AVS, HD-MPX and more.
There are two fundamental issues:
- Incompatability Technologies
- Similar Technologies but Re-Labelled
Let's break each down inside:
[NEW: HD Video: IP vs Analog Tutorial explains this in even more depth]
HD-SDI is the 'grand daddy' of them all. It is a real standard (SMPTE 292M). It's been around for a long time, there are handful of surveillance products supporting. Adoption has been minimal because pricing has been high (at or above IP camera levels) and support has been limited.
HDcctv 1.0 is HD-SDI with compliance testing by a one man alliance. It suffers from the same problems as HD-SDI and has the same limited adoption. Both of these likely have little future.
HD CVI is from Dahua. It is an HD analog technology that offers longer distances and adds bi-directional control relative to HD-SDI. Dahua has lots of OEMs.
OEMs: Many of those OEMs, to make themselves look more original, have hid their use of HD CVI and created their own terms. Examples include IC Realtime (HD-AVS), QSee (AnalogHD) and FLIR (HD MPX). In fairness, Dahua invests little in marketing so most people do not know what HD CVI is.
The main plus of HD CVI is that it is very low cost, far less than HD-SDI and IP. IPVM expects this to drive significant adoption. See Testing HDCVI and Testing Q-See HD CVI kit.
HDcctv 2.0 is Dahua HD-CVI. HDcctv 2.0 is also incompatible with HD-SDI and HDcctv 1.0. Got it?
HD-TVI is, or soon will be, from Hikvision, though Hikvision will not publicly confirm it (see: Hikvision HDTVI - Dahua HD CVI Competitor?). From what we have learned, HD-TVI will not be compatible with any of these other technologies above. Also, since Hikvision has many OEMs as well, there is likely to be many other labelling / names for them.
In sum, there are 3 camps, each of which are incompatible with the others:
- HD-SDI / HD-cctv - likely to die out, little adoption
- HD-CVI - from Dahua, gaining ground rapidly because of super low prices, with lots of OEMs changing names
- HD-TVI - soon to come out from Hikvision, likely to be similar in price / positioning to HD-CVI
A Standard Possible?
You might note that IP cameras had a similar issue years ago, which lead to the much loved / hated ONVIF 'standard'.
This is more difficult with the non-IP versions as they typically require different hardware to encode / interface with each protocol / signal. There are a few attempts at building DVRs with physical interfaces to multiple non-HD versions (as well as analog) but it will require buying new equipment and at greater expense.