HD Analog Usage and Rejection Statistics 2015

By John Honovich, Published May 11, 2015, 12:00am EDT

Non-IP HD cameras are one of the most notable new trends in video surveillance but how much are they being adopted?

150 integrators answered our survey explaining how much AHD, CVI, TVI and SDI they are using, including why some are using and others have rejected them.

A few key patterns from the statistics:

  • Strong adoption shown, relative to other emerging video surveillance technologies.
  • A great deal of confusion amongst HD analog options emerged.
  • A clear loser shows but a clear winner among the options is not.
  • A significant minority is essentially ideologically opposed to HD analog.

Inside this note, we break down the statistics for AHD, CVI, TVI and SDHI plus share color commentary from the integrators on why they are using, considering or rejecting HD analog offerings. Finally, we conclude with projections for future HD analog prospects based on these results.


For those not familiar with HD analog, see:

The Clear Loser - SDI

Only 6% of integrators said they are using / selling HD-SDI, more than 3x less than the rate integrators cited using CVI or TVI. While SDI is the oldest / most mature, it generated very little support. [Note SDI is not analog but we included it for completeness in covering non-IP HD alternatives.]

AHD Confusion

Though AHD is a specific HD analog offering using Korean Nextchip chips, integrators over and over confused AHD with anything HD analog, including CVI and TVI. In the survey, 28% of integrators said they were using AHD but in the comments many explicitly cited using Dahua or Hikvision, two manufacturers who do not offer AHD. Indeed, no integrator specifically cited AHD products positively and a few obviously are simply calling the entire category of HD analog offerings, AHD.

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From those contrasting inputs, we believe the percentage using AHD from Nextchip is quite low. Given that few big brands are yet offering AHD, this seems reasonable as well.

However, if AHD Nextchip ever gets significant vendor support, they have an advantage in branding / naming because AHD evidently sounds more official to industry people.

CVI and TVI Neck and Neck

These two offerings (CVI and TVI) came in a dead heat, with almost all the exact same percentage of integrators saying they use it as shown in the charts below:

Clearly, these two are quite ahead of AHD and SDI but they have not yet 'beaten' the other.

33% Using / Selling CVI or TVI

Overall, 33% of integrators report using / selling CVI or TVI, with a small number doing both.

This does not mean that anywhere close to 33% of all cameras being sold are HD analog. Indeed, as the comments below show, HD analog is primarily being used in specific applications - smaller camera counts and those with existing coaxial cabling. [At the end of 2015, we will do a survey breaking down camera type sold (IP vs SD analog vs HD analog) for integrators to better determine 2015 results.]

The main driver cited was low cost for legacy / small systems:

  • "Price and video quality suitable for small camera count projects"
  • "Easy upgrade path for older systems. 'HD' system sales at analog prices."
  • "HD analog is not only much cheaper than IP but it is technically much simpler including fewer points of vulnerability from a remote intrusion."
  • "Some of the HD-CVI offerings, e.g. from Dahua, are ridiculously cost effective so I can offer my customers HD at the same price (or lower!) than SD analogue."
  • "I use TVI (TurboHD), its a cheap way to get a better image quality, good option for small application"
  • "I use HD-CVI technology about a year I like this technology because it is reliable with no any configuration , its cheap and can update an existing old analogue system with 1080p Dahua camera and dvr"
  • "Using an HD analog solution we have been able to sell more systems to the customers with tighter budgets. We have a lot of customers with analog systems and this is a much more cost-effective way to upgrade to HD."
  • "(1) Very low overall system cost 2) Drop in replacement for analog systems 3) low cost for replacing damaged cameras vs IP (Camera vandalism common in student housing)"

Use with existing cabling was the other primary motivator cited by those using CVI or TVI:

  • "I found that HD analog is very good for upselling customers that have existing SD analog systems with cabling already in place."
  • "Most small projects are still analog oriented and the small price difference easily justifies a great increase in image quality. HD analog can be applied on old coax cabling as well."
  • "The cost is competitive enough to get clients with legacy coaxial cable to buy into a transition to 720p or 1080p image quality"
  • "HD analog has price advantage while comparing similar Ip cameras. Mainly existing cables can be used and upgrading is done easier."
  • "Low cost flexibility to move towards better images for an existing site with analog infrastructure."
  • "Good alternative to IP for customers with existing analog wiring."
  • "Low cost HD and compatible with legacy cabling"
  • "The cost is competitive enough to get clients with legacy coaxial cable to buy into a transition to 720p or 1080p image quality. It also affords clients with limited budgets to buy a high def system at analogue prices. "
  • "We like how we can reuse the existing coax cables for new HD cameras without deploying the expensive Ethernet over coax adapters."

35% Rejected HD Analog

Three common reasons were cited for rejecting HD analog.

The biggest, by far, was essentially ideological, with many having long embraced IP and seeing no reason to 'go back' to any form of analog. Here are some of the most colorful comments:

  • "Why bother, IP is the only way to go!"
  • "Not at all interested in anything that is not IP."
  • "I spent the last 10 years getting people to switch to IP, I'm not going to start pushing analog all over again! Analog is dead, let it go."
  • "Not looking to go back to analog in any form as we are happy in IP land."
  • "We're heavy into IP and can't see a benefit to clinging to a dead-end technology."
  • "We were early adopters of IP technology and our investment in training and certification is such that we feel no compelling reason to look at anything analog again."
  • "HD analog represents a setback in the decade-long efforts to overcome analog CCTV. Most of our customers choose to use a second line IP than to go to HD analog."
  • "HD Analog is a step back for the CCTV industry. Manufacturers should focus on advancing IP cameras as the future of the industry."
  • "HD Analog is like putting money into a High Definition VCR. You can get a better more detailed image, but you are still spending money on a limited technology. Go with IP video and it greatly increases your options."
  • "As a company, we have adopted and standardized on IP-based surveillance."
  • "Everything is becoming IP-based in this day and age. In my opinion it would be a disservice to our customers to install anything except an IP based system."
  • "We have not seriously considered alternate technologies as we have essentially standardized on HD-Ethernet technology."
  • "We're an IP only company, so unless there was a special project or customer that needed one, we're not going to be diving into Analog HD."

The second most common was that HD analog's low price was actually a negative for some integrators:

  • "The biggest advantage of these technologies are the prices, but with these prices they kill the market."
  • "Some other integrators dont quite get the concept of making money or profit."
  • "HD Analog will become the trunkslammers' HD offering and we want no part of that market."
  • "Clients who have decided to go with HD Analog, are generally clients we would not consider our core business. Have found historically these type of clients cost us more in the long run than what we make from them."
  • "It is hard to make a good margins from HD analog."
  • "The low prices offered by the different manufacturers! The trunk slammers are pitching this new analog video resolution as just the same as IP video, but at a much lower cost."

The third and final common reason for rejection was the lack of interoperability between the different HD analog variants - AHD, CVI, TVI, etc.:

  • "I dislike the small amount of selection for interchangeability between manufacturers offerings."
  • "Not an open architecture - cameras can't work with anyone's recorder."
  • "The multitude of standards would be difficult to keep straight with our technical staff and would water-down our expertise."
  • "HD Analog will marry you to a specific manufacturer who may or may not be around or still doing HD Analog a year from now."

HD Analog Future Prospects

That a third of integrators are using / selling HD analog already is quite positive for this category. It is undoubtedly still a niche, but it is achieving far better adoption than other emerging technologies (e.g., VSaaS 2014 adoption, still under 20% integrator usage after years of development).

Even with the technology as is, we expect it will continue to grow in its core niches - small camera counts, budget applications and existing coaxial infrastructure.

The bigger question is how will HD analog improve / solve its problems, including:

  • Higher-end camera feature sets - true WDR, 'super' low light', smart IR, auto-focus, etc., These are all features that are technically possible but either not available at all or only in a few HD analog cameras as of mid-2015.
  • Easier VMS integration - currently, HD analog is really designed to work with low-end recorders with simple VMS feature sets. It is sometimes possible to connect an HD analog DVR to a VMS using RTSP output streams but not always and with limited controls. HD analog IP encoders / streamers are technically possible but fairly limited as of mid-2015.
  • HD analog incompatibility - each of the main offerings are incompatible with each other (AHD vs CVI vs TVI). It does not appear that this can be easily (cheaply) resolved on the recorder side. Will one or two 'die' off? Will having multiple incompatible ones be a barrier?

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