Altronix eBridge Examined

By: 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 : Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

STP vs UTP for Video Surveillance Tutorial on Dec 20, 2017
For many video system designers, deciding which ethernet cabling to use is a quick decision: go with the cheapest. However, this overlooks the...
Cutting Costs 70% Using Milestone With HD Analog on Feb 23, 2017
HD analog and enterprise VMSes are often thought of as being on opposite sides of the spectrum, with HD analog best for small jobs due to its low...
Allegion NDE Wireless Lock Profile on Sep 29, 2016
While wireless locks are one of the hottest areas of access control, two of its biggest challenges are high cost and limited integration with...
Inputs/Outputs For Video Surveillance Guide on Aug 24, 2018
While many cameras have Input/Output (I/O) ports, few are actually used and most designers do not even consider them. However, a good understanding...
PoE UPS Tested (Energy Reconnect) on Nov 15, 2017
In security, backup power is important, but most often requires UPS systems or extra cabling to devices for low voltage power. Now, some have...
Varifocal Vs Fixed Lens Statistics 2017 on May 04, 2017
Varifocal camera lenses provide more flexibility at installation time, but come at a higher cost. Fixed lens cameras reduce hardware costs, but can...
Wireless / WiFi Access Lock Guide on Nov 12, 2019
For some access openings, running wires can add thousands in cost, and wireless alternatives that avoid it becomes appealing. But using wireless...
New: Mobile Access Proxy Releases 'World's Smallest Mobile Reader' on Mar 04, 2020
Mobile access provider Proxy claims its new Nano is 'the world’s smallest mobile reader' that can be installed into nearly all existing access...
Assa Aperio Wireless Access Reader R100 Tested on Aug 23, 2018
Wireless access control is frequently promoted by manufacturers as a way to cut installation costs. Perhaps the biggest proponent of this is mega...
Dedicated Vs Converged Access Control Networks (Statistics) on Apr 20, 2018
Running one's access control system on a converged network, with one's computers and phones, can save money. On the other hand, hand, doing so can...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Startup Duranc Presents AI VSaaS on Jul 06, 2020
Duranc presented its system at the May 2020 IPVM Startups show. A 30-minute video from Duranc including IPVM Q&A Background on the...
Low Voltage Nation Wants to "Help You Carve Out A Fulfilling Career" Interviewed on Jul 06, 2020
It is difficult to make your way in this industry as there is little formal schooling. However, one person, Blake Urmos, the Founder of Low Voltage...
The Next Hot Fever Detection Trend - $100 Wall-Mounted Units on Jul 06, 2020
The first wave of the booming fever detecting market was $10,000+ cameras, now interest for ~$2,000 tablets is high and the next big thing may be...
Cisco Meraki Unlocks IP Cameras With RTSP Tested on Jul 06, 2020
Meraki opened up its cameras to 3rd party NVRs/VMSes by offering RTSP streaming because of "the need to solve a business problem". We tested...
Verkada: "IPVM Should Never Be Your Source of News" on Jul 02, 2020
Verkada was unhappy with IPVM's recent coverage declaring that reading IPVM is 'not a good look' and that 'IPVM should never be your source of...
Vintra Presents FulcrumAI Face Recognition on Jul 02, 2020
Vintra presented its FulcrumAI face recognition and mask detection offering at the May 2020 IPVM Startups show. Inside this report: A...
Uniview Wrist Temperature Reader Tested on Jul 02, 2020
Uniview is promoting measuring wrist temperatures whereas most others are just offering forehead or inner canthus measurements. But how well does...
Dahua USA Admits Thermal Solutions "Qualify As Medical Devices" on Jul 02, 2020
Dahua USA has issued a press release admitting a controversial point in the industry but an obvious one to the US FDA, that the thermal temperature...
Access Control Online Show - July 2020 - With 40+ Manufacturers - Register Now on Jul 01, 2020
IPVM is excited to announce our July 2020 Access Control Show. With 40+ companies presenting across 4 days, this is a unique opportunity to hear...