Altronix eBridge Examined

Author: Ethan Ace, Published on Feb 12, 2012

While Ethernet over Coax (EoC) adapters have allowed existing analog camera cables to be reused for some time, they have seen limited adoption. The biggest hindrance to their widespread use is price, with most units costing as much as, or more than, pulling new UTP cables. However, Altronix, best known for their line of power supplies, has released the eBridge EoC adapter at a price point much lower than existing entries. In this update, we will look at the eBridge product, its capabilities, and compare it to other EoC providers, such as Veracity and NVT.

Overview

The Altronix eBridge is a coax Ethernet adapter, capable of 100Mbps Fast Ethernet speeds. The eBridge supports distances of up to 1,500' over RG-59, though data rates are reduced at greater distances, falling to 25Mbps at 1,500' according to specifications. 

The eBridge, unlike many recent releases from competitors, does not support PoE up the coax, requiring 12VDC/24VAC power at the camera end. In many cases this is not an issue, as existing power supplies from the analog camera system may be used. An increasing amount of manufacturers are opting to make their camera PoE-powered only. Altronix does offer the NetWay1, a 24VAC-powered PoE injector, which may be used in these cases, but this adds installation complexity and material cost.

The eBridge is available now, and sells online for around $200.

Composite Video Transmission

One feature of the eBridge which we have not seen in other offerings is its composite video signal support. This feature allows IP cameras equipped with analog outputs to transmit video over the coax, in addition to data. At the head end, this anlaog video is output from the eBridge receiver, for connection to monitors or matrix switchers for viewing. This may be useful for small installs who would like to watch a camera or two without using a PC client. It may also be useful for large systems with existing matrix switchers who wish to use the existing matrix/monitors for live viewing, while recording a full-resolution megapixel stream. This is similar in function to Sony's Hybrid Camera series.

Competitive Comparison

The eBridge is so far the lowest-cost EoC converter we have seen from a reputable manufacturer. Offerings from Veracity, NVT, Comnet, and others are typically in the range of $400-450 per pair, about twice the price of the eBridge.

While each of these products has slightly differeing featureset, the main feature seen in them, not included in the eBridge, is PoE up the coax. eBridge users requiring PoE will need to use the Altronix NetWay1, which adds approximately $40 to each camera. This is potentially an issue when using low-cost IP cameras (such as ACTi's latest additions, or the Sony X Series) which are only capable of PoE power, not 12VDC/24VAC. Even with this added cost of the injector, the eBridge is still well below the price of competitors.

Other options may support higher data rates at increased distances. Veracity's HighWire PowerStar, for instance, is specified to support full bandwidth at distances up to 1,600'. However, we estimate that most cameras are in the range of 500' or less, with average being below 200'. At these distances, throughput should not be an issue.

Industry Impact

For analog camera users looking to migrate to IP, the cost of recabling is often one of the hurdles to making this decision. The eBridge's pricing is very close to the average price of a new UTP cable, generally in the range of $150-200. At these prices, only a small increase per camera over new cables, EoC becomes a much more attractive choice, especially when considering the reductions in installation labor and disruption to the facility.

Additionally, Altronix has far better brand recognition in the security industry than competitive EoC products. As one of the most widely-used power supply lines in the industry, we suspect their reputation would drive some integrators to propose using the eBridge, where they have shied away from other EoC lines, whose names are not as well-recognized.

1 report cite this report:

New Ethernet over Coax - Altronix eBridge Plus on Oct 08, 2014
Altronix's original eBridge line pushed down prices of Ethernet over coax offering, useful for deploying IP cameras over existing coax / analog...
Comments : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports on Power

Startup Sunflower Labs' Autonomous Drone Security System on Dec 11, 2018
Startup Sunflower Labs is claiming a unique design on a home security system, combining autonomous drones and 'Sunflower' sensors. Imagine an...
Ideal SecuriTest IP Vs Unbranded IP Camera Install Tool Tested on Nov 21, 2018
In our recent IP camera installation tool shootout, multiple members questioned the Ideal SecuriTest IP's features compared to low-cost unbranded...
Openpath Access Control Tested on Nov 20, 2018
Big investment in access startups is uncommon, but Openpath has recently attracted $20 million doing just that. The company has limited security...
Directory of Video Intercoms on Nov 13, 2018
Video Intercoms, also known as Video Door-Phones or Video Entry Systems, have been growing in the past decade as more and more IP camera...
Axis 2N Intercom Tested on Nov 08, 2018
Axis expanded its video intercom business buying Czech-based 2N in 2016. Despite competing against owner Axis' intercoms, 2N recently registered as...
Ubiquiti Protect Video Surveillance Profile on Nov 07, 2018
Ubiquiti has now been in the video surveillance market for 7 years (see our first coverage back in 2011). In that time, the company's revenue has...
Directory Of Video Doorbells on Nov 06, 2018
Video doorbells are one of the fastest growing categories in video surveillance, especially among residences. The optimal placement of these...
Solar-Powered, Smart-Phone-Based Access Kit (VIZPin) Examined on Nov 02, 2018
Cloud-based access control company VIZPin is releasing a solar-powered and smart phone based access control system for gates and other remote...
Video Surveillance Hard Drive Failure Statistics 2018 on Nov 02, 2018
Hard drive failures can be significant service problems but how common of an issue are they in video surveillance? How long do drives last when...
IP Camera Installation Tool Shootout - Avigilon, Axis, Ideal, Hanwha, Triplett, Veracity on Oct 23, 2018
Setting up IP cameras has historically been challenging, with techs often precariously using a laptop on a ladder or lift. Some options for install...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Imperial Capital Security Investor Conference 2018 Review - ADT, Resideo, Alarm.com, Arlo, Eagle Eye, ACRE, More on Dec 14, 2018
Imperial Capital Security Investor Conference is an event matching industry executives with financiers that frequently leads to future funding...
Cisco Meraki New Cameras and AI Analytics on Dec 14, 2018
Meraki has released their second generation of video surveillance with 3 new cameras, AI-based video analytics, and 2 cloud-based storage...
Foolish Strategy: OEMing Facial Recognition on Dec 13, 2018
Almost as 'hot' as face recognition marketing right now is OEMing facial recognition. Last year, they were a who's who of company's with...
DVR Examiner - Video Recovery from Recorder Hard Drives on Dec 13, 2018
Bypassing passwords and long download times on-site, DVR Examiner collects and organizes video evidence directly from a hard drive extracted from...
2019 Access Control Book Released on Dec 12, 2018
This is the best, most comprehensive access control book in the world, based on our unprecedented research and testing has been significantly...
Huawei Hisilicon Quietly Powering Tens of Millions of Western IoT Devices on Dec 12, 2018
Huawei Hisilicon chips are powering, at least, tens of millions of Western IoT devices, such as IP cameras and surveillance recorders, a fact that...
FLIR Launches Body Cameras Unified With VMS (TruWitness) on Dec 11, 2018
While FLIR is best known for their thermal cameras, now they have expanded into body cameras, launching TruWITNESS, a public safety focused body...
Startup Sunflower Labs' Autonomous Drone Security System on Dec 11, 2018
Startup Sunflower Labs is claiming a unique design on a home security system, combining autonomous drones and 'Sunflower' sensors. Imagine an...
The 2019 Video Surveillance Industry Guide on Dec 10, 2018
The 300 page, 2019 Video Surveillance Industry Guide, covers the key events and the future of the video surveillance market, is now available,...
Multi-Factor Access Control Authentication Guide on Dec 10, 2018
Can a stranger use your credentials? One of the oldest problems facing access control is making credentials as easy to use as keys, but restricting...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact