Samsung Launching 1280H Analog, Claims HD Quality

By Ethan Ace, Published Apr 17, 2014, 12:00am EDT (Info+)

Is analog innovation heating up?

960H was the big analog jump over the last few years, offering 34% increase in 'resolution.'

Now, Samsung is launching 1280H, a nearly 100% increase in 'resolution' over traditional analog. Indeed, Samsung is touting 'HD quality video' with existing analog infrastructure.

In this note, we examine the claims and positioning of Samsung's 1280H offering.


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Comments (24)

What BS, makes you wonder how they keep a straight face at Samsung.

Ethan I assuming that if you were to connect one of these 1280H cams directly to a 75 Ohm standard NTSC input that you would expect to see just a regular 4:3 image. If yes then two questions:

1. It sounds like your saying you believe the 1280 'sauce' is all in the DVR. If so why would Samsung even bother using MP sensors, why not just invent some image enhancement marketing term?

2. So what happens when you plug a 4:3 camera into the 1280H port? Does it widen it also? If not how does it know not to?

3. Are there active distribution jacks for each input? Or just passive T's. ?

I know you don't have a 1280H setup yet but its the same as 960H right?

I'll let Ethan answer the technical questions.

As for Samsung keeping a straight face, listen, they didn't start this craziness. There's been a number of manufacturers bizarrely pumping 960H, even though their own marketing material shows that it's stretched out.

Take this from the first video I found on YouTube for 960H:

Obviously, the scene is stretched out on 960H - both the guy and the pillar are much wider. Also, and this is just a rookie mistake, the FoVs are skewed, with the D1 tilted to the right relative to the 960H.

Another example, Q-See's documentation shows a 960H vs D1 matchup, where the car in the middle of the FoV is clearly stretched out in the 960H shot.

I really have no idea why they are trying to pass off such obvious nonsense, short of that they think their customers are suckers...

Rough photoshop simulation of Samsung Superwide - "normal" 1280H vs "corridor" 1280V

Might make a difference in s police line-up, no?

Well, we don't know for sure it's the same as 960H. So I'll answer based on what I've seen in our 960H tests.

1. The megapixel sensors do seem to make a difference in image quality. I believe in order to take advantage of it, though, you need a cleaner digital/analog conversion in the DVR. This is why "normal" D1 DVRs don't see much of an improvement from high TVL cameras.

2. All ports on these DVRs are 960H (or 1280H). It's simply the capture resolution that's set. You can change them to D1 or QCIF or 960H, as we did in our analog vs. IP testing.

960H and presumably 1280H is a capture format, not a transmission format. NTSC is NTSC is NTSC. But once that video hits the capture card it can be captured at whatever resolution you want, including 1280x480. You could record it at 16MP if you want. It's just questionable benefit. That's what's really strange here. We've seen practical benefits to high TVL cameras, and the quality is quite a bit better than standard 450-600TVL models. So capturing it at a resolution above D1 may have some benefit...but why they choose to stretch this good quality video, we do not understand.

3. Are you talking about loop-thru inputs? Typically the DVRs we've seen haven't included them at all. I think since analog has shifted downmarket, people aren't expecting them near as much as they used to, so manufacturers are removing them to save a few dollars on the recorder. The 960H DVRs we have have none, but do have a couple spot monitor outputs.

Here is a question! ...Why????

Vary few people are going to buy the proprietary DVR, any other DVR you connect that camera to is going to compress the image down to D1 resolution (if not lower) anyway. Yet some scum will be out there selling these as megapixal quality cameras. Or better than megapixel cause your not "slown down by a network connection". I am not making that up either. I have litteraly had customers tell me that some vendors were trying to sell them "supper res analog cameras," caus they preformed "beter than megapixel camera and are slowed down by networks".

Just becuase you (and you know who you are) don't konw how to configure a network appropriatly for IP video does not mean that the technology is flawed. It does mean, however, that you are in the wrong line of work. You should be out digging ditches or doing some other type of manual labor. You clearly don't have the intelect or acumen to be deailing with electronic systems.

Samsung makes a perfectly good IP camera already there no need to try and improve outdated technology. If you are still installing NEW analog systemstoday you should not be in buisness, because you clearly don't know what you're doing. End of!!!!

I feel much better now. Hope you all have a wonderfull day.

If you are still installing NEW analog systemstoday you should not be in buisness, because you clearly don't know what you're doing. End of!!!!

That's been pretty much my thinking but I've worked with some integrators who argue that the analog systems are less expensive and thats why they use them.

I wonder how many of us are telling customers that analog is "old tech" and they need to be going IP to stay current in technology? Has IPVM ever done a survey on that question?

Disagree: 1

I have to strongly disagree. It all depends on the client. There are still many clients that I serve that are happy with analog, or they simply cannot justify the cost of IP. Now, if you want to discuss the merits of selling SD analog vs HD analog for new installs, that may be a better argument to be made. But, to say analog has no place in the market is unfair. Dahua and HikVision seem to agree as well.


If your customer needs to see and identify faces in well lit areas measuring 15 feet by 15 feet, with cameras mounted 7 to 8 feet from the ground, requiring no more than 4 cameras and no more than 2 weeks of saved video, why would you specify a $600 to $800 system and not a $300 to $400 system?

Only using IP is as silly as only using analog. Only using HD is as silly as only using SD. Surveillance professionals use the right tool for the job, every time.


Do we know for sure that they aren't using a super wide CMOS chip? Do we know if they are cropping the CMOS image to render a super wide shot? Are you so sure they are stretching a 4:3 image to 8:3? It certainly wouldn't make much sense to me to stretch the 4:3 image in that manner.

Samsung isn't a shoddy company that would do something like that in order to have some edge specs wise, only to just distort the images. At least I wouldn't think so.

My guess is that they are finding a way to take a cropped 8:3 image from the sensor, squeeze it down to the 4:3 NTSC signal, transmit that via analog signal to the DVR, where it gets corrected back to 8:3.

If I'm wrong, and they are just widening out a 4:3 image to 8:3, it is a complete joke. If I'm correct, they could avoid people buying their kits at Costco/Sams and then adding additional cheap CCTV cams to their DVRs. This would force the public to want to buy the better quality Samsung 1280H cams.

As I said above, we don't know for sure. It's not released yet. However, we were told by Samsung themselves that this is similar to 960H, just with "more pixels", and from our tests (and others I've seen), 960H is stretching D1 video. The output format of the camera is NTSC composite video. NTSC composite video is 4:3. So if this is truly analog video, and not some magic new format, they're stretching it.

My guess is that they are finding a way to take a cropped 8:3 image from the sensor, squeeze it down to the 4:3 NTSC signal, transmit that via analog signal to the DVR, where it gets corrected back to 8:3.

Jon, maybe there is a nub of speck of truth somewhere in there, otherewise the bar has just been lowered (and we're not limboing)...

Do you agree with this simple test to catch the stretch? Who ever has one of these things should capture some scene with known size references and no motion, like the one John shared above, and then just turn the camera 90 degrees and recapture. If some objects gets twice as tall and half as wide and some the opposite happens, it probably a scam... Yes/No?

Probably Ethan has already done this test on the 960H's.

There's no need to even do that test. It's clearly stretched on 960H. Here's the same FOV on a 960H camera, with the DVR set first to 960H, then to D1. No other confirmation needed. We'll do the same thing with 1280H when it's out.

Granted proven to reasonable people. Still I think that even a clearer and humorous way to show this would just be for Derek to start lying on his side and then simply stand up. At 1280H he would get twice as tall. Derek would not be harmed, I think.

Jon, the spec sheet for the 1280H dome lists the sensor as follows:

It appears to be a 'regular' CMOS chip, not a 'super wide' one.

As to them doing a special transmission technique, they did not say that to us, but perhaps. We'll know this summer when they are released what the image performance really is.

Well it is strange that they use a 4:3 imager and only end up using half of it to get a 8:3 image.

Also, are they going to produce a display to match the 8:3 aspect ratio?

Do they somehow transmit half of the 8:3 image (4:3) in one frame, then the other half the next, then multiplex them at the DVR?

Sounds like secret sauce to me. Let's see if they pull it off.

Lol @ secret sauce...

Jon, do you remember Covi? I think they did something like that. If I recall correctly, they combined multiple 'SD' fields / frames into a single HD one using NTSC. I don't know if it's anything like that though...

I think Covi was before my time in CCTV. I came from the IT/PC industry, so they might predate me. My first camera install was for a previous employer. Four B/W Samsung cams that came in a kit with a CRT display with integrated VHS time lapsed recorder. That was probably around 2003? We didn't actually make it a part of our business for many years later. I started making it a core part of my business in the last 4 years.

Is this anything like Dahuas' CVI series. They are inexpensive and look great at 1.3mp.

Good comparison to CVI. There are two major differences between CVI and 960H / 1280H:

  • CVI is digital transmission, not analog
  • CVI encodes 'full' megapixel resolution, not 960 x 480 or 1280 x 480.

There are similarities of course - both use coax, both are not IP, in particular.

We are tracking CVI closely and are mainly looking for the right CVI product to test, as CVI products options expand through and Dahua and their OEMs.

I think what Samsung might be doing with 1280H is using a new Nextchip processor that delivers analogue HD quality and the solution by the looks of it, is similar to what HD-CVI can do. I think over the coming months you will see lot of companies releasing analogue HD solutions (or whatever people are going to call it) which don’t work with each other which obviously will lead to more confusion. Of course the major advantage to this new analogue HD solution and HD-CVI is the pricing of the 720P solutions which are very close to normal analogue solutions.

One of the major benefits of HD-CVI over HD-SDI is that Dahua claim it is an analogue transmission (not sure is this technically correct!) so it doesn’t suffer from interference that HD-SDI suffers from when in high wireless activity areas (e.g. lot of people using mobile phones in an area near HD-SDI equipment). The level of interference in HD-SDI comes down to lot of things (e.g. cable, connectors) but from my testing HD-CVI and analogue HD solutions are much less prone to interference from bad cable / connectors which are very common in retro analogue installs.



I believe Samsung is the lost horse in IP race !

They are trying some new cards to compete the IP based products.

There are also lots of consultants world wide waiting for such innovations , still putting analogue in RFPS, believing analouge is the right choice and very much dedicated.


The consultant aspect is interesting. If they can get consultants to require 1280 x 480 resolution, regardless of actual performance, it would help knock out the competition.

I believe Samsung is the lost horse in IP race !

Xishan, can you clarify your Samsung statement? Has Samsung lost its way in the IP race, or lost the IP race, or maybe is the last horse finishing/running?

How are they doing in the 'Analogue Race', and who is winning?

Are you meaning that 1280H is an indication of their resignation in the IP market? Are they afraid of cannibalizing their IP line?

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