Ethernet over Coax (EoC) Shootout

Author: Ethan Ace, Published on Jul 16, 2015

Reusing existing coax for IP cameras can cut installation costs dramatically. However, there are endless numbers of Ethernet over coax adapters available, all with differing price points and feature sets, so choosing the right ones can be daunting.

To find out what works best in EoC applications, we bought five models of popular Ethernet over coax adapters, including: 

Testing each in these key areas:

  • Maximum transmission distance: Does each meet or exceed manufacturer specs?
  • PoE performance: Were there any problems powering cameras?
  • Ease of use and advanced features: Were the units plug and play and did they offer bells and whistles?

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Tested **********

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Comments (62)

Where's Vigitron?

In San Diego

At Comic Con?

The models we tested were the most requested. We do know a couple folks using Vigitron, as well as ComNet and Nitek, but nowhere near the amount requesting Veracity, NVT, or Altronix. We included the two low cost options (EnConn and EoC Box) simply because they were so much cheaper than others we wanted to show the difference in what you get.

Yea really disapointed Vigitron isn't on this test. We have had issues with some of these devices and when we tested Vigitron on the same coax it it worked flawlessly.

Vigitron just doesn't seem to be as well known. I would not have been aware of Vigitron if not for an IPVM post a few months back soliciting product recommendations for this article.

I have started to use Vigitron recently. I have been pleased with the performance so far.

Vigitron makes great products but they don't have a clue how to market them.

Lol to who ever marked my post "unhelpful". I am not making this up. We tested Veracity and another no name EOC solution over 1500ft RG-59 runs at customers site before we sold them a solution. Nether Veracity or the no name EOC unit would connect. Vigitron connects and powers the POE+ PTZ cameras without issue for over 1 year now. The units at the camera end are mounted in 2gang weather proof boxes on the roof with the sun and snow beating down on them. Ethan knows this location very well.

According to manufacturers we spoke to, this is likely due to improper or malfunctioning PoE circuitry requesting more power than is truly available...

Ethan, are the manufacturers saying that the PoE circuitry on the camera itself is faulty?

This is accomplished using a 4:1 BNC splitter, sold individually or as part of a 16 channel rack mount (below).

Is that NVT splitter a just an off the shelf part? It sounds like it's acting as a coax Ethernet hub. Do you think it would work on other manufacturers gear? (without Power up the coax, of course)

Also, would you be able to use these devices with a BNC/Cat 5 Balun and thereby use twisted pair instead of coax?

The manufacturers suggested that, yes. But without them doing further testing, it's not confirmed. It certainly does seem like it's requesting too much power at boot, though, because it behaves exactly the same as when IR illuminators kick on and drop the link.

The NVT splitter is a splitter. It's not a hub. You can use off the shelf T adapters, too. I don't know if you could use it on other manufacturers and I wouldn't try without asking them first.

I believe NVT for sure allows you to use baluns on the same adapters to use UTP. Not sure it will work with everyone. My hunch is maybe, but you're going to see reduced distances over a single pair, especially since you're using 24 AWG on UTP vs. 20 AWG on RG-59. If you use more than one pair, maybe it would run the same distance, but again, that's up to manufacturer support and differences in skew on UTP vs. RG-59, etc.

It certainly does seem like it's requesting too much power at boot, though, because it behaves exactly the same as when IR illuminators kick on and drop the link.

IMHO, that sounds like what happens when the cable run is too long and the camera PSU attempts to compensate for the voltage drop by decreasing it's resistance, which thereby increases its amps.

Technically the camera is requesting the same power; but at some point the switch shuts off the device because the power needed by the camera + power lost in transmission > 15w. But saying this is a fault of the camera is wrong I think.. Not that you said it was a fault of the camera.

The NVT splitter is a splitter. It's not a hub.

IMHO, a hub, from a connectivity standpoint, is just a powered 4 wire splitter instead of a 2 wire one. All the respective points are electrically common to each other.

The reason for mentioning it was to point out that, like a hub, the splitter must share the bandwidth between the connections and is therefore subject to CSMA/CD limitations. I see Dick addresses this below, so moot.

Chris, NVT offers a simple 'coax to 8-wire' screw terminal adapter whereby you can connect 1 pair of an 8 wire UTP, STP or a 18ga/2 conductor cable to the adapter thus giving you 4 cameras into the headend adapter via these cable types.

Very good comparison in general, however, as an NVT rep, I feel compelled to comment on a couple of issues. You make a point to disclose the fact that NVT can combine 4 cameras (and end adapters) into 1 headend adapter thus reducing the total number required for 4 cameras from 8 total adapters (competition) to only 5 with NVT, you don't make that distinction when comparing pricing per channel between NVT and the comptetitors. With the street price of under $1200 for a 4 channel kit, this brings the cost per channel (camera) for NVT to under $300. Far less that the $475/pair pricing referenced, although that would be accurate for only 1 camera. How many migrations are only 1 camera though? Also not discussed are factors such as built-in surge suppression, warranty (NVT has lifetime warranty) and the fact that NVT works equally well in a 2-wire application. This opens up the effectiveness of migrating from analog to IP in legacy applications such as Access Control, Video Intercom and others that would utilize 2-wire (or more) installations in the past. These differences make NVT certainly worth taking a closer look than just baseing a decision on a single camera channel price. Not to mention the rack or wall 'real estate' in placing 60 of the competitors adapters (in a 60 camera deployment) at the headend vs. only 15 NVT units. Other than that, great report.. :-)

You make a point to disclose the fact that NVT can combine 4 cameras (and end adapters) into 1 headend adapter thus reducing the total number required for 4 cameras from 8 total adapters (competition) to only 5 with NVT.

Dick, I didn't see you mention anything about the impact of the 4-way splitter on bandwidth. Would the measured throughput at 53 Mbps for one camera need to be quartered to 11 Mbps 13 Mbps for four?

Undisclosed 1 - Not sure where you got the 53 Mbps figure or if that was just an example. NVT's 1701 will transmit 93Mpbs as an 'aggregate' throughput. Yes, you will share that bandwidth among the cameras attached. It does not necessarily divide it equally but will look at individual camera bandwidth requirements to determine 'Total' aggregate bandwidth up to the 93Mbps.

sorry, meant 93Mbps, not Mpbs.

Not sure where you got the 53 Mbps figure

I took the number from Ethan's 1000 ft single camera test. I take it that you think it should perform somewhat better than it did.

It does not necessarily divide it equally...

Understood, I was asking assuming four (same) cameras instead of one.

You guys have no idea how perfect your timing was for this review. Thank you so much for doing it.

I tested some 10 EoC 1-2 years ago, and I found not many of them (in fact, was only NVT) would support multi-cast, which is a vital feature on a large and complex network. Would you please comment on this. thx

Good question. The only manufacturer in this test that makes it a point to specifically call out multicast support is NVT. Others don't mention it in their specs. We'll get in touch with other manufacturers and report back.

NVT supports it, with a full page dedicated to multicast support and possible issues in their manual (page 13).

Seems like multicast would work fine with any point-to-point device. Unless you were testing multi-channel receivers?

So far the only other manufacturer to comment on multicast support is Veracity, who says it is supported:

HIGHWIRE does not act like a switch, but more like a transparent Ethernet packet repeater. There are no switching, routing or other functions inside HIGHWIRE at all, which is why it doesn’t have an IP address. HIGHWIRE doesn’t even buffer multiple network packets as it is a point-to-point network device and just transmits each packet as it receives it. Therefore multicast packets will be transmitted just like any other network packet.

So after a week, the only manufacturer not to give me an answer is Altronix.

NVT, Veracity, EoC Box all claim they support Multicast. EnConn said the Mini-Power does not support it, but their IPC-600P model will.

We recently used the Evefocus Palun units to replace an analog camera on a pole with an IP camera using the existing RG6 cable. Worked like a charm. At $120 for the set, it was cost effective too.

guys what happend to Axis?

http://www.axis.com/us/en/products/media-converters/axis-t8640

From a performance point-of-view, it might be covered by the Veracity PowerStar entry. The price looks to be similar as well.

scenario:

An Axis 5512 PTZ replacing an analog PTZ on a pole with a local power source. the cable (UV resistant outdoor RG59u ) Is in good shape. Very difficult site regarding EMI. 4 standard power transformers within 10' of the aerial run up to the roof of the bldg then across and parallel to power and data feeders to a full up 200' cell tower. the axis/Veracity units would NOT sync and were useless in this environment. I tried an Altronix eBridge - 100% uptime since. These units are obviously more immune to EMI and/or induced noise on the cable.

For what it is worth. A real world application not 2 months ago. I am a believer....

These units are obviously more immune to EMI and/or induced noise on the cable.

They look to be immune to anything, length included. Notice how their thruput is exactly 85 Mbps at 500, 1000 and right up to 1500 ft, their stated spec.

The EOC Box seems to fit a residential application I have (my own home). Can you provide a link to a commercial source for the EOC Box?

As far as I know, the EoC Box is only available direct from the manufacturer. We have a contact there, I'll ask him to comment.

Here is what they sent back to my request:

Dear Ross,

Thanks for your interest in our EoC box.

Presently we are seeking distributors in different areas. Partner in U.S. is not confirmed.

You could buy it from us directly. There is in stock, it will be sent to you the next day if you decided to buy.

Any question is welcomed.

Thank you!

A contact would be most helpful.

I see a comment on the http://eocbox.com/ web site about 128 bit encryption. If they are encrypting/decrypting the data at wire speed, that is a good feature.

Paul , I think i is far from being an encrypting .. its just the security value between the pair... like we do with WPA Wifi or with PLC. The key is shared between 2 units and create a bridge where a third unit could no get into the bridge because missing the key.

Isn't that "encrypting"? :P

Either way, though, why would you need this one specific leg of the connection to be encrypted when none of the rest is? If you need encryption, do it at the higher layers.

In French we are calling that appairage, "pairing" in English

This is linked to the transmission technology (level 2) , not to the data

I agree real stream encryption is at higher OSI level and as we have already too many latencies, we probably won't add some encryption at the top.

Better use Vlan or Radius

Nice test. I'm doing similar Iperf comparison tests here

I would recommend to change the iperf Windows packet size to 128KB or even to 254Kb because modulation demodulation occur errors when using too small packet so your results could be distorted: EOC, VDSL and PLC , like WIFI/WIMESH are using Modulo/demolo frequencies and don't support well micro binary packets. Same with GB Twisted pair using higher frequencies.

For example, some PLC (yes, you read well : power line communication but not usig 110V for sure ) device can reach 180 Mbit/s real throughput with Iperf , but using higher packet value during test.

In real life I remind that a camera usually delivers more than 3Mbit/s so you can imagine the number of contiuous TCP/IP packets to transmit a single video (or 2 High/low streams ...) with a TCP packet limited to 1500B ! so better don't use anymore small value as 63KB, it was ok when using 10 Mb TP.

For example all my testing with Iperf on Veracity/Axis or NVT/Phybridge or Comnet or Muxlab are all giving exactly 94/95 Mbit/s with symetic results up to 500 meters.

Losing 0,5 W per 100 meters , some technologies are losing 1W/100 meters

Autopowered POE units are generally taken 2W from the POE budget

We can compare with Cat5E Twisted pair which can lose 5W each 100 Meters..

Marc, I bow to your TCPIP prowess!

We've used the NVT's EoC's in the past and they've worked well for the most part. The thing to remember is when they say built in surge suppresion, they are also saying "don't use surge suppression with these", as we tried using some RJ45 surge supressors after the EoC end point and they caused problems, which NVT advised not to use since the units had built in surge. Took our the RJ45 surge suppressors and everything worked fine. The South East manager Mike Stark is very helpful and they'll help you design the implementatio of these.

Another thing to account for is the NVT units require a pairing or "device association" process where they have to get to know each other first using a short cable. I don't know why. But if one fails in the field, you can't just slap another one on and have it work. You have to go to the head end and pair it with a short cable first, then put install it at the end point.

I actually didn't read the manual at first and didn't know we had to pair the devices. Then apparently I failed to read the part where it said to use a short cable, because we did it over 500' of coax and it worked fine.

That being said, if it were at the other end of a long coax run and you wanted to pair it, you'd need two people or a really fast walking speed, because I think you only have 10 or 20 seconds to push pair on the other unit, unless I remember that wrong.

I have had you case, with guys from Gunnenbo calling me after installing 12 cameras at 20 feets heigth with IP coax mediaconverter ..without writting the MAC address which are mandatory for remote pairing ..

That is one of the most common mistake from people doing analog and now moving to IP. Old habits ... used to deliver camera and connection accessories directly to the customer premisses and believing pairing and IP can be setup on the fiield.. Of couse we all know these times are over. We need to preconfigure everything before being on site. If it is working home (levl2 and 3) , then we just have to worry about wires issues.(level 1)

Worst IP upcoming cases will be maintenance ....dealing with several brands and technologies and networks

Ahh, maybe like Marc said below, the short cable was just so you could pair them where you could see them together and verify they paired, so probably my misunderstanding of why exactly the short cable.

We had a tech go to replace one of these units who ignored our instructions for pairing it and couldn't figure out why it wouldn't connect until he called us and we had to tell him what to do again.

Luis, surge suppressor are cutting the line, so decreasing the POE performances and budget and adding latencies (time out issues) This wil be the same for other standard POE repeaters.

The NVT mandatory short cable pairing you are talking about is a PLC Homeplug AV Pairing using the IEEE P1901 standard for PLC (as we are doing with standard Power Line Plugs by clicking the small pairing button ) . Phybridge who has recently taking over NVT is more using EoC technology. I have heard that PLC device rack encountered some techical issues.

You should look at American Fibertek.

Alex, Why? Because you are their rep firm?

Such pathetic promotions benefit neither your firm nor your manufacturer. Try to make a solid case for them, explaining specific benefits relative to notable competitors.

John,

It wasn't a promotional attempt or I could have just posted without disclosing my name. I wanted your organizaiton to look at it and hopefully test it vs the others. Since IPVM is considered like the comsumer digest of our industry or I wouldn't be a member. I should have made my request clearer.

The Case since you asked;

  • The ECR series are POE+ up to 1000m.
  • Offer 4, 8, & 16 channel receiving units with built in Gigabit Swithes.
  • Up to 90MB at 1000m if only point to point or 40MB when using the 4,8, or 16 units.
  • The SCL series come in non and POE verison.
  • SLC2 Series can do both an Analog Video and IP Camera over the same single Coax.
  • The SCL series has a 1U 10 Slot rack unit
  • American Fibertek been around for 30 years made in NJ.
  • Integrated Switches, POE or POE+, Competive Pricing.

Alex,

Posting undisclosed wouldn't have changed anything. IPVM admins still see the true name and I still would have criticized the post.

Unfortunately, you are not close to convincing me. To convince me you need to make a clear case why you are better (in some meaningful way) against your competitors (the companies listed here). Simply listing your features and specs is not enough. I am happy to listen if you try again with a more precise case about why you are better than your competitors.

Try phrases like 'Compared to X...' or 'We are the only to do...' or 'Our offering is X dollars less than A, B or C for doing Z'

I would actually like to see some comparisons with Comnet. I have used their devices since their inception, and have never had issues with their performance. But it would be nice to see some competitive data.

Do you find that when using a EOC device the PING becomes inconsistent? Ranging from 1,2,15,20,6,10,30,50ms. Or would you just take the average?

I find if I am having camera troubles some manufactures see 12ms ping and tell me to "fix my network"

Nitek is conspicuously absent.

Mark, before we did the test, we asked everyone: Upcoming Ethernet Over Coax Test -- What Do You Want Us To Test? Nitek only got one mention, far behind the ones we tested. That is the only reason.

Surprising. Nitek is my go-to for any of the cross-media/extending/balun devices. Bulletproof and warrantied for life.

The Nitek sales rep should have encouraged for of his/her users to respond.

You should add NITEK next round. We use Veracity and have gotten burned. NITEK has seemed to weather the storm in less than ideal power and environmental conditions.

That's interesting, I'll have to check them out.

Veracity is my go-to in elevator applications and I've never had a problem. I've even connected an Eyelock NXT through a traveler cable with them and the setup's still going strong.

Actually I installed it shortly after responding to this test a year ago now (thus my excitement and appreciation in my original response).

Strange question, but have any of you used an EOC to link between two switches? We have found that the Everfocus Palun will only work if there is a PoE device at the receiver end of the link. We have previously only used them for a switch to camera connection.

Everfocus now is making a new device called the NETCO that will link two switches. It will still be PoE powered at the sender end, but won't require a PoE device at the receiver end to initiate the connection.

They are so new that only ADI has them listed as Special Order. Everfocus sales said they are available for drop shipping now through ADI and should be in their store inventories soon.

Sometimes yes, mostly NVT's, but we did not find it very reliable and you are limited to 100mb in most products. We've started using Nitek's and even though we've found they are little more stable, for switch to switch links we decided it was better to run CAT or fiber, even if it cost more, for better reliability.

By the way, Comnet sells a copper extender SFP module. I haven't tested it personally. I think it could make for a cleaner install than the external transceivers, assuming it performs to spec.

That Comnet SFP is a pretty neat device and very versatile. But given our past experiences trying to extend Ethernet over copper, I'd still be wary and probably still prefer a fiber run. But if it saves a costly trenching job like in Jon's case, that's a tough call.

I'd want to set it up in a lab with constant performance measurement to detect dips in bandwidth and drops in connection, under load, for a week before trusting it.

In this case, it possibly would have been trenching 200' across pavement to lay new conduit. The existing COAX wire was working fine for the old analog camera and tests fine. We just wanted to add a switch on the pole to add an additional two cameras. We would have went wireless if the COAX didn't work, not trench for fiber or CAT cable.

I've done it in testing, but never live.

In our Ethernet over Coax (EoC) Shootout there was one model (the EnConn Mini-Power) that required a PoE device at the other end to power up. All of the others worked fine.

Some products require a powered device at the other end, others do not. That's why it's very important to read either the specs or ask the manufacturer if they don't clearly spell it out.

http://eocbox.com/ seems to be dead, anyone know if they still exist?

Thanks!

Good find, it does seem like they've disappeared. We'll clean up that link and see what we can find.

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Labeling cables can save a lot of money and headaches. While it is easy to overlook, taking time to label runs during installation significantly...
VMS Export Shootout - Avigilon, Dahua, Exacq, Genetec, Hikvision, Milestone on Sep 13, 2018
When crimes, accidents or problems occur, exporting video from one's video surveillance system is critical to proving incidents. But who does it...
IP Camera Cable Termination Guide on Sep 06, 2018
Terminating cables properly is critical to network performance, but it can be a tricky task with multiple steps. Fortunately, this task is easy to...
Access Control Course Fall 2018 on Sep 06, 2018
Registration IS CLOSED ends this Thursday. Register now. If you are looking to strengthen your ability to design and deploy access systems or...
Drain Wire For Access Control Reader Tutorial on Sep 04, 2018
An easy-to-miss cabling specification plays a key role in access control, yet it is commonly ignored. The drain wire offers protection for readers...
IP Camera Cabling Installation Guide on Aug 29, 2018
IPVM is preparing the industry's first Video Surveillance Installation book and our upcoming Video Surveillance Installation Course. We have...
Exit Devices For Access Control Tutorial on Aug 28, 2018
Exit Devices, also called 'Panic Bars' or 'Crash Bars' are required by safety codes the world over, and become integral parts of electronic access...
Backup Power for Large Security Systems Tutorial on Aug 24, 2018
Choosing the right backup power system depends on system size. While small and medium systems greatly benefit from using UPS battery backup...
SNMP / Network Monitoring For Surveillance 2018 on Aug 21, 2018
Surveillance systems typically rely on the the VMS to report issues, but this most often just means knowing a camera is "down" with no warning or...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Alexa Guard Expands Amazon's Security Offerings, Boosts ADT's Stock on Sep 21, 2018
Amazon is expanding their security offerings yet again, this time with Alexa Guard that delivers security audio analytics and a virtual "Fake...
UTC, Owner of Lenel, Acquires S2 on Sep 20, 2018
UTC now owns two of the biggest access control providers, one of integrator's most hated access control platforms, Lenel, and one of their...
BluePoint Aims To Bring Life-Safety Mind-Set To Police Pull Stations on Sep 20, 2018
Fire alarm pull stations are commonplace but police ones are not. A self-funded startup, BluePoint Alert Solutions is aiming to make police pull...
SIA Plays Dumb On OEMs And Hikua Ban on Sep 20, 2018
OEMs widely pretend to be 'manufacturers', deceiving their customers and putting them at risk for cybersecurity attacks and, soon, violation of US...
Axis Vs. Hikvision IR PTZ Shootout on Sep 20, 2018
Hikvision has their high-end dual-sensor DarkfighterX. Axis has their high-end concealed IR Q6125-LE. Which is better? We bought both and tested...
Avigilon Announces AI-Powered H5 Camera Development on Sep 19, 2018
Avigilon will be showcasing "next-generation AI" at next week's ASIS GSX. In an atypical move, the company is not actually releasing these...
Favorite Request-to-Exit (RTE) Manufacturers 2018 on Sep 19, 2018
Request To Exit devices like motion sensors and lock releasing push-buttons are a part of almost every access install, but who makes the equipment...
25% China Tariffs Finalized For 2019, 10% Start Now, Includes Select Video Surveillance on Sep 18, 2018
A surprise move: In July, when the most recent tariff round was first announced, the tariffs were only scheduled for 10%. However, now, the US...
Central Stations Face Off Against NFPA On Fire Monitoring on Sep 18, 2018
Central stations are facing off against the NFPA over what they call anti-competitive language in NFPA 72, the standard that covers fire alarms....
Hikvision USA Starts Layoffs on Sep 18, 2018
Hikvision USA has started layoffs, just weeks after the US government ban was passed into law. Inside this note, we examine: The important...

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