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HD Resolution

What is High Definition?

High definition video contains more pixels, and a larger image size, than traditional cameras to ensure you get clear and detailed video. HD cameras are available from many manufacturers and in every camera style (dome, PTZ, fixed, ect) so it’s easy to add high definition to your surveillance system.

How High Definition Works

High definition video on IP cameras is often referred to as either 720p or 1080p. 1080p, or full HD resolution, records images that measure 1920 x 1080 pixels; 720p HD images measure 1280 x 720 pixels. The “p” in 720p and 1080p stands for “progressive scan,” which helps minimize blur caused by movement.

Older-style analog CCTV cameras measure image resolution in horizontal lines, called TVL. The higher the number of lines in an image, the higher the resolution. New IP cameras use different technology, and measure resolution through pixels. IP cameras can fit more pixels into an image than CCTV cameras can fit horizontal lines, giving you a higher quality image. HD IP cameras use even more pixels than non-HD cameras, giving you the best image quality available.

To use an HD camera for facial recognition, the face often needs to measure a certain pixel size. You will also need to consider the lighting and the angle the person is at while facing the camera—bad lighting or too sharp of an angle can make it hard to identify people. For more information on pixel count and facial recognition, speak with our surveillance experts for specific recommendations for your project.

HD cameras record images in a widescreen aspect ratio of 16:9, which means the image is larger and wider than a non-HD camera. This wider image is what allows you to potentially monitor the same area with fewer HD cameras, also allowing you to save money on and time on installation. Non-HD IP cameras often have an aspect ratio of 4:3.

By recording video with more pixels in a wider aspect ratio, high definition cameras give you detailed images not available with CCTV analog or non-HD IP cameras.

How High Definition Can Help You

Because HD cameras record larger images with clear resolution, you may require fewer cameras to monitor an area than if you had used regular resolution cameras. HD cameras may be a good choice for your surveillance system if:

  • Facial recognition is important—HD cameras placed in a location to capture faces and clothing, such as behind checkout counters and in doorways can make it easier for identification
  • You need to record license plate numbers—with their larger image format, HD cameras can be used to monitor parking lots or high-traffic roadways to provide important information for crashes or other incidents
  • You need to review video footage for evidence—high-crime or violence areas monitored with HD surveillance cameras can provide clear video of conflicts, and their high resolution makes it more likely the people, cars, and actions in the video will be identifiable