How Often Do You Use Encoders?

By John Honovich, Published on Dec 01, 2011

When moving to IP video surveillance, a number of choices are available. One of the most common options over the last decade has been encoders (or video servers as they are called in some countries). Video feeds from analog CCTV cameras are input into the encoder. The encoder converts those feeds into IP streams and then transmits them to network recorders (typically VMS software). Encoders are most often used when customers have existing analog cameras they want to keep when migrating to an IP video systems.

However, a number of other options also exist:

  • Hybrid DVR/NVRs: These are appliances that bundle VMS software, encoders and storage into a single 'box'. These are like the traditional DVR but with upgraded software to support integrating IP cameras as well. One common downside is that many of the biggest VMS software providers do not offer any hybrid DVR/NVR models.
  • Replacing Analog cameras: Another option is simply removing existing analog cameras and replacing them with new analog cameras. Since encoders cost money (typically $100 - $300 per channel) and today's new IP cameras offer much higher resolution, many users will find it more sensible simply to upgrade to the most current technology - IP MP cameras.

Of course, there is no universally correct answer and, in practice, a mix of all three options are used. However, it would be interesting to see how real world use breaks down and why people choose what they do.

Share Your Comments

What do you think? To get the discussion going, I really dislike encoders and find them costly and cumbersome (see a review of encoder weaknesses). I am happy to expand in the comments but I think encoders should really only be used for niche applications.

Related Reports

Converged vs Dedicated Networks For Surveillance Tutorial on Feb 12, 2020
Use the existing network or deploy a new one? This is a critical choice in...
NetApp Video Surveillance Profile on Mar 09, 2020
NetApp is increasing its efforts in video surveillance and told IPVM...
Axis HD Analog Encoder Tested on Oct 11, 2019
Two years after declaring "Everything is IP", Axis has released their first...
HD Analog vs IP Guide on Jul 16, 2019
For years, HD resolution and single cable signal/power were IP camera...
IP Networking Course Fall 2020 - Last Chance - Register Now on Sep 23, 2020
Today is the last chance to register for the only IP networking course...
Bandwidth Fundamentals For Video Surveillance on Jan 13, 2020
Bandwidth is the most fundamental element of computer networking for video...
Remote Network Access for Video Surveillance Guide on Jul 27, 2020
Remotely accessing surveillance systems is key in 2020, with more and more...
Video Surveillance Architecture 101 on Feb 18, 2020
Video surveillance can be designed and deployed in a number of ways. This 101...
Video Surveillance Cameras 101 on Feb 25, 2020
Cameras come in many shapes, sizes and specifications. This 101 examines the...
How To See If Your Camera Uses Huawei Hisilicon Chips on Aug 30, 2019
Rarely do manufacturers disclose what SoCs (System on a Chip) they use, even...
2020 Video Surveillance Cameras State Of The Market on Jan 03, 2020
Each year, IPVM explains the main advances and changes for video surveillance...
Network Cabling for Video Surveillance on Jan 15, 2020
In this guide, we explain the fundamentals of network cabling for video...
Surveillance Storage 101 on Mar 23, 2020
This guide teaches the fundamentals of video surveillance...
Mexico Video Surveillance Market Overview 2020 on Oct 20, 2020
Despite being neighbors, there are key differences between the U.S. and...
Hidden Camera Detectors Tested on Nov 18, 2019
Hidden cameras are a growing problem as cameras become smaller, cheaper and...

Recent Reports

GDPR Impact On Temperature / Fever Screening Explained on Oct 22, 2020
What impact does GDPR have on temperature screening? Do you risk a GDPR fine...
Security And Safety Things (S&ST) Tested on Oct 22, 2020
S&ST, a Bosch spinout, is spending tens of millions of dollars aiming to...
Nokia Fever Screening Claims To "Advance Fight Against COVID-19" on Oct 22, 2020
First IBM, then briefly Clorox, and now Nokia becomes the latest Fortune 500...
Deceptive Meridian Temperature Tablets Endanger Public Safety on Oct 21, 2020
IPVM's testing of and investigation into Meridian Kiosk's temperature...
Honeywell 30 Series and Vivotek NVRs Tested on Oct 21, 2020
The NDAA ban has driven many users to look for low-cost NVRs not made by...
Avigilon Aggressive Trade-In Program Takes Aim At Competitors on Oct 20, 2020
Avigilon has launched one of the most aggressive trade-in programs the video...
Mexico Video Surveillance Market Overview 2020 on Oct 20, 2020
Despite being neighbors, there are key differences between the U.S. and...
Dahua Revenue Grows But Profits Down, Cause Unclear on Oct 20, 2020
While Dahua's overall revenue was up more than 12% in Q3 2020, a significant...
Illegal Hikvision Fever Screening Touted In Australia, Government Investigating, Temperature References Deleted on Oct 20, 2020
The Australian government told IPVM that they are investigating a Hikvision...
Panasonic Presents i-PRO Cameras and Video Analytics on Oct 19, 2020
Panasonic i-PRO presented its X-Series cameras and AI video analytics at the...
Augmented Reality (AR) Cameras From Hikvision and Dahua Examined on Oct 19, 2020
Hikvision, Dahua, and other China companies are marketing augmented reality...
18 TB Video Surveillance Drives (WD and Seagate) on Oct 19, 2020
Both Seagate and Western Digital recently announced 18TB hard drives...
Watrix Gait Recognition Profile on Oct 16, 2020
Watrix is the world's only gait recognition surveillance provider IPVM has...
Intel Presents Edge-to-Cloud Ecosystem for Video Analytics on Oct 16, 2020
Intel presented its processors and software toolkit for computer vision at...