SD is the New VHS Tape

By: John Honovich, Published on Mar 03, 2011

The rise of megapixel cameras is literally making Standard Definition cameras look bad. We see this having a significant psychological, marketing and business impact.

In the middle of the last decade when digital 4CIF recording (SD) became common, people started to bemoan the poor quality of tapes or VHS. It was a visual and glaringly obvious defiency - one that was not as noticeable or impactful until digitial 4CIF recording became commplace. This made it a lot easier to sell or motivate people to choose the newer, higher resolution.

We see this same pattern now emerging between SD and megapixel cameras. A few years ago, when megapixel cameras were rare, this was not as significant issue. You might see a megapixel camera at a trade show booth but you would not offen have easy access to the cameras. Now, megapixel cameras are available literally everywhere.

We are finding this phenomeon in our own tests. Our sensitivity and expecations have shifted as we have used and seen so many megapixel cameras. Indeed, now, when an SD camera is turned on, an immediate sense of dissapointment is common, regardless of how good the overall 'quality' of the camera is. This was most evident in our recent WDR comparison where the high quality SD cameras visually were strikingly outclassed by the megapixel ones.

Because the reference point has improved, it is a lot easier to think of SD cameras as antiquated and inferior.

Of course, while resolution is a critical consideration for selecting cameras, it is not the only one. Many will still prefer SD for less bandwidth/storage consumption, greater light sensitivity, higher frame rates (maybe), etc. However, the overarching feeling will become that SD is for those who want something cheaper but fundamentally inferior.

Comments : Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Cheap Camera Problems at Night on Feb 19, 2020
Cheap cameras generally have problems at night, despite the common perception that integrated IR makes cameras mostly the same, according to new...
2020 Camera Book Released on Jan 10, 2020
This is the best, most comprehensive security camera training in the world, based on our unprecedented testing. Now, all IPVM PRO Members can get...
2020 IP Networking Book Released on Jan 06, 2020
The new IP Networking Book 2020 is a 280 page in-depth guide that teaches you how IT and telecom technologies impact modern security systems,...
IPVM Opens 12,000 Sqft Testing Facility on Dec 16, 2019
IPVM is proud to announce the opening of the world's first video surveillance testing facility that will allow us to significantly expand our...
Axis HD Analog Encoder Tested on Oct 11, 2019
Two years after declaring "Everything is IP", Axis has released their first HD analog encoder, the P7304, with support for AHD, CVI, TVI, and SD...
Video Surveillance History on Jul 19, 2019
The video surveillance market has changed significantly since 2000, going from VCRs to an emerging AI cloud era. The goal of this history is to...
False Verkada 'Unrivaled' Low Light Performance Claim Removed on Jun 12, 2019
Verkada falsely claimed that it delivered 'UNRIVALED LOW LIGHT PERFORMANCE' until IPVM questioned. In fact, Verkada's low light performance is...
Manufacturer Favorability Guide 2019 on Jun 12, 2019
The 259 page PDF guide may be downloaded inside by all IPVM members. It includes our manufacturer favorability rankings and individual...
Smart CODEC Usage Statistics 2019 on Jun 03, 2019
Smart codecs are now nearly a standard feature in IP cameras, but our statistics show integrator adoption has not increased at the same rate. In...
The Embarrassing Story of ISC West's Best New IP Camera on Apr 24, 2019
A sad but simple situation: Only 2 companies paid SIA the thousands of dollars required to compete for the best new 'cameras IP' The judges...

Most Recent Industry Reports

FLIR New Coronavirus Prioritized Temperature Screening Camera Examined on Apr 03, 2020
FLIR has announced a new series of thermal cameras "prioritized for entities working to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 virus", the A400/A700...
ADI Branch Burglary on Apr 03, 2020
A security systems distributor branch is an odd target for burglary but that happened this week at ADI's Memphis location. Vehicle Smash &...
YCombinator AI Startup Visual One Tested on Apr 02, 2020
Startup Visual One, backed by Silicon Valley's powerful Y Combinator, aims to be "Your 24/7 Watchman" with advanced analytics and object...
Free IPVM Memberships For The Unemployed on Apr 02, 2020
IPVM is giving 3-month free memberships (regular price $99) for the unemployed, no questions asked. To get it, just contact us, your request...
Dahua Faked Coronavirus Camera Marketing on Apr 01, 2020
Dahua has conducted a coronavirus camera global marketing campaign centered around a faked detection. Now, Dahua has expanded this to the USA,...
Video Surveillance Trends 101 on Apr 01, 2020
This report examines major industry factors and how they could impact video surveillance in the next 5 - 10 years. This is part of our Video...
USA's Seek Scan Thermal Temperature System Examined on Apr 01, 2020
This US company, Seek, located down the road from FLIR and founded by former FLIR employees is offering a thermal temperature system for the...
Terrible Convergint Coronavirus Thermal Camera Recommendation on Apr 01, 2020
A week after Convergint disclosed falling revenue, pay and job cuts, Convergint is touting 'extensive research' that is either grossly incompetent...
The IPVM New Products Online Show April 2020 Opens With 40+ Manufacturers on Mar 31, 2020
IPVM is excited to announce the first New Products Online show, with 40+ manufacturers, to be held April 14 to the 16th, free to IPVM members,...