IPVMU Certified | 02/04/15 12:35pm
Did you verify that CVI over 500' of UTP works fine with 1080P cameras, as well as 720P?
Are the lengths short enough that you can run 24VAC thru the baluns/cat5e too, along with the signal?
If yes to both, then yes to UTP.
The question I would ask is "why". With the price of copper and thickness of running coax and power it would seem Baluns an easy choice. This does limit the distances to 330' for the installation of future IP cameras.
If you are doing it to "future proof" you should know that the core technology behind CVI can be used for cameras up to 4k although none are sold yet. It supports full bi-directional audio/control/programming like IP products. What would changing out the system do for you later?
We have installed HDCVI both ways; with CAT5e and passive baluns, and with RG59 Siamese. In my opinion, the COAX seemed to have a better image, but they weren't side by side comparisons at the same site, to be fair. Both sites were under 300ft per run, so distance shouldn't have been a factor either. We were using inexpensive (>$20) passive baluns with the CAT5e at the first site. These baluns allow a terminated 8P8C connection on both ends and the other side of the balun has the BNC and power in/outs. These baluns used one pair for video and three pairs for power. We used a 12VDC PSU in both cases. Both sites used the same model camera and DVR.
There are other factors to take into account, but on face value, if video quality is paramount, I would recommend COAX.
IPVMU Certified | 02/05/15 07:03pm
I've done it both ways, too. We used to use CAT5 for everything, and just added baluns for analog cameras. But, as they say, "You learn all the good stuff the hard way!"
The real 'gotcha' in using the UTP+balun approach is long-term service: The balun adds another two parts per camera (barring the use of multi-line baluns at the head end). This unnecessarily adds another opportunity for failure. And another, if you have ever had the screw-down connectors pinch and weaken the somewhat brittle 24ga solid conductor of CAT5. They do break, especially when exposed to heating/cooling cycles over time (at the camera end) or when jostled in the closet (at the DVR/Encoder end).
Using RG59 and compression-type BNC connectors is the way to go in my book, unless the analog is a short-term solution before a conversion to pure-IP system is rolled out.
Luke, it appears many have responded, which is good. My point was simply are you choosing between Cat5 and Baluns or Coax because of cost, ease or future proofing for an ultimate IP solution? Either wiring method with a future adapter could support either technology for the most part.
For the past 5 years, we have pulled both. We use the coax for video and CAT5E/6 for power. Our infrastructure is future proof. Since the CAT cable has multiple conductors, combine them for the power of analog or IP cameras as necessary. You will have all the cable you need. As for which is better for the video signal of Analog HD, in my experience, coax.