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CIF vs D1 vs 960H vs HD


There are 7 main resolution options in video surveillance recording:


Standard Definition Cameras and DVRs: CIF, D1, and 960H

CIF DVRs: 360 x 240. (86,400 total pixels)

D1 DVRs: 720 x 480. (345,600 total pixels)

960H DVRs: 960 x 480. (460,800 total pixels)

HD IP cameras: 720p, 1080p, 3MP, or 5MP

720p is 1280 x 720. (921,600 total pixels)

1080p is 1920x1080. (2,073,600 total pixels)

3MP is 2048 x 1536. (3,145,728 total pixels)

5MP is 2560 x 1920. (4,915,200 total pixels)


Resolution is the most important decision you are going to make about your surveillance system.

Most people choose between CIF, D1/960H and 1080p, so let's focus on those.


Resolution is the difference between a conviction and a blurry image.


CIF About the Quality of a 1990's Flip-Phone

We don't carry any devices that record in CIF. This is what "Big Box Store," ebay, amazon, and security camera companies that haven't updated their stock in 10 years sell.

The section at the bottom of this page which details at what distances you can identify a person should will help to explain why CIF doesn't meet our minimum quality standards.


This CIF video is actual size.


D1 / 960H Standard-Definition TV Quality


This 960H/D1 video is actual size.

D1 is square and sized like (non-widescreen) Standard Definition TV. It is sometimes also called 4CIF since it has 4 times that resolution.

960H recording has the same height as D1 DVRs but are wider. They are properly formatted for wide-screen TVs and monitors

This video is 960H. D1 will be the same resolution, but will be shaped more like a square and you will lose the video on the sides. You can identify a face at about 10 feet with an analog 960H system.

Like CIF, D1 and 960H are quickly becoming legacy equipment.

Starting in 2010, the industry started making a transition to HD equipment. This year (2014) the prices on HD cameras have started to get much closer than they have every been to analog camera prices. The quality on HD is now much more affordable and it makes little sense to consider analog cameras for new installations, especially since analog will be phased out completely soon. Because analog cameras are being phased out, you may find a blowout sale for them as retailers look to liquidate stock. It is important to note that 2-3 years from now it may be difficult and expensive to find replacement or supplementary analog cameras.



1080P Beautiful HD Video Footage


NOTE: We had to reduce the size of this video to fit in this area. It is being displayed at 1156x658 to fit in this space, but it is actually 1920x1080 (about 4x as big).

When playing this video, make sure that you select the fullscreen button to see it as large as your screen will let us display it.

If you have a small screen or a slow internet connection (which will cause the video player to downgrade the quality), you may want to download this selection of images instead.

Just like television has seen a major update in resolution over the last few years, so have surveillance systems.

If you are considering a system for commercial, government, or other business uses, you should absolutely go with a HD system. Most home users should consider HD as well, because the price for HD is rapidly decreasing.


IP HD camera systems use Cat5 (computer networking cable) and can communicate with other digital devices such as alarms, digital locks, access control units, POS equipment and other digital devices. Also, because they are digital, they can be fully managed by computers, tablets, and smartphones. You can identify a face at up to 50 - 100 feet with IP camera systems. About 90% of consumers choose to go with HD.


IP cameras can go up to 5MP (250% 1080P)

1080P Cameras (about 2.2MP)

A face at 25 FT, recorded with a 1080P IP camera with a wide angle lens

3MP Cameras (about 150% 1080P)

A face at 25 FT, recorded with a 3MP camera with a zoom lens



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  1. Standard Definition - 8 Camera Systems

    Standard Definition - 8 Camera Systems

    Starting at: $1,236.44

    Resolution Recorder Features Camera Features Footage Samples
    960H
    960 x 480

    TV Quality
    Intruder Alert Emails
    Motion Detection
    Footage Download
    Remote Backup
    Online Viewing
    USB Backup
    VGA and HDMI Out
    Night Vision to 75ft
    Waterproof
    72 degree view

    Difficult, but possible, to recognize someone at 10 feet away
    Image: Someone 10 feet from the camera

    Image: Someone 20 feet from the camera

    Image: Someone 50 feet from the camera

    Video: Footage Sample
    power box pigtails siamese cable

    Everything's Included.


    In addition to cameras and a recorder, this system includes a power distribution box, siamese power and video cable, and power pigtails.



  2. Standard Definition - 12 Camera Systems

    Standard Definition - 12 Camera Systems

    Starting at: $1,779.16

    Resolution Recorder Features Camera Features Footage Samples
    960H
    960 x 480

    TV Quality
    Intruder Alert Emails
    Motion Detection
    Footage Download
    Remote Backup
    Online Viewing
    USB Backup
    VGA and HDMI Out
    Night Vision to 75ft
    Waterproof
    72 degree view

    Difficult, but possible, to recognize someone at 10 feet away
    Image: Someone 10 feet from the camera

    Image: Someone 20 feet from the camera

    Image: Someone 50 feet from the camera

    Video: Footage Sample
    power box pigtails siamese cable

    Everything's Included.


    In addition to cameras and a recorder, this system includes a power distribution box, siamese power and video cable, and power pigtails.



  3. Standard Definition - 16 Camera Systems

    Standard Definition - 16 Camera Systems

    Starting at: $1,855.88

    Resolution Recorder Features Camera Features Footage Samples
    960H
    960 x 480

    TV Quality
    Intruder Alert Emails
    Motion Detection
    Footage Download
    Remote Backup
    Online Viewing
    USB Backup
    VGA and HDMI Out
    Night Vision to 75ft
    Waterproof
    72 degree view

    Difficult, but possible, to recognize someone at 10 feet away
    Image: Someone 10 feet from the camera

    Image: Someone 20 feet from the camera

    Image: Someone 50 feet from the camera

    Video: Footage Sample
    power box pigtails siamese cable

    Everything's Included.


    In addition to cameras and a recorder, this system includes a power distribution box, siamese power and video cable, and power pigtails.



  4. Standard Definition - 24 Camera Systems

    Standard Definition - 24 Camera Systems

    Starting at: $3,795.32

    Resolution Recorder Features Camera Features Footage Samples
    960H
    960 x 480

    TV Quality
    Intruder Alert Emails
    Motion Detection
    Footage Download
    Remote Backup
    Online Viewing
    USB Backup
    VGA and HDMI Out
    Night Vision to 75ft
    Waterproof
    72 degree view

    Difficult, but possible, to recognize someone at 10 feet away
    Image: Someone 10 feet from the camera

    Image: Someone 20 feet from the camera

    Image: Someone 50 feet from the camera

    Video: Footage Sample
    power box pigtails siamese cable

    Everything's Included.


    In addition to cameras and a recorder, this system includes a power distribution box, siamese power and video cable, and power pigtails.



  5. Standard Definition - 32 Camera Systems

    Standard Definition - 32 Camera Systems

    Starting at: $4,428.76

    Resolution Recorder Features Camera Features Footage Samples
    960H
    960 x 480

    TV Quality
    Intruder Alert Emails
    Motion Detection
    Footage Download
    Remote Backup
    Online Viewing
    USB Backup
    VGA and HDMI Out
    Night Vision to 75ft
    Waterproof
    72 degree view

    Difficult, but possible, to recognize someone at 10 feet away
    Image: Someone 10 feet from the camera

    Image: Someone 20 feet from the camera

    Image: Someone 50 feet from the camera

    Video: Footage Sample
    power box pigtails siamese cable

    Everything's Included.


    In addition to cameras and a recorder, this system includes a power distribution box, siamese power and video cable, and power pigtails.



  6. Standard Definition - 48 Camera Systems

    Standard Definition - 48 Camera Systems

    Starting at: $7,058.64

    Resolution Recorder Features Camera Features Footage Samples
    960H
    960 x 480

    TV Quality
    Intruder Alert Emails
    Motion Detection
    Footage Download
    Remote Backup
    Online Viewing
    USB Backup
    VGA and HDMI Out
    Night Vision to 75ft
    Waterproof
    72 degree view

    Difficult, but possible, to recognize someone at 10 feet away
    Image: Someone 10 feet from the camera

    Image: Someone 20 feet from the camera

    Image: Someone 50 feet from the camera

    Video: Footage Sample
    power box pigtails siamese cable

    Everything's Included.


    In addition to cameras and a recorder, this system includes a power distribution box, siamese power and video cable, and power pigtails.



  7. Standard Definition - 64 Camera Systems

    Standard Definition - 64 Camera Systems

    Starting at: $8,367.52

    Resolution Recorder Features Camera Features Footage Samples
    960H
    960 x 480

    TV Quality
    Intruder Alert Emails
    Motion Detection
    Footage Download
    Remote Backup
    Online Viewing
    USB Backup
    VGA and HDMI Out
    Night Vision to 75ft
    Waterproof
    72 degree view

    Difficult, but possible, to recognize someone at 10 feet away
    Image: Someone 10 feet from the camera

    Image: Someone 20 feet from the camera

    Image: Someone 50 feet from the camera

    Video: Footage Sample
    power box pigtails siamese cable

    Everything's Included.


    In addition to cameras and a recorder, this system includes a power distribution box, siamese power and video cable, and power pigtails.



  8. The Networker Series - 8 Channel 1080p HD Customizable Security System

    Resolution Recorder Features Camera Features Footage Samples
    1080P
    1920x1080

    1080P HD Quality
    with all channels recording simultaneously:
    Realtime
    30 Frames Per Second Per Camera

    How to avoid being ripped off by fake "1080P" systems
    Intruder Alert Emails
    Motion Detection
    Footage Download
    Online Viewing
    USB Backup
    VGA and HDMI Out
    Smartphone Apps
    Tablet Apps
    Windows Viewing + Apps
    Mac Viewing + Apps
    Remote Backup to a NAS

    Learn about how this NVR can create create a second copy of your footage
    Night Vision to 100ft
    Waterproof
    75 degree view
    Vandal proof housing
    Tampering alerts

    Easily recognize someone up to 50 feet away

    Digital Zoom Only

    Learn about the 4 types of Zoom
    Image: Someone 10 feet from the camera

    Image: Someone 20 feet from the camera

    Image: Someone 50 feet from the camera

    Image: Someone 100 feet from the camera

    Video: Footage Sample
    4 POE Ports 4 Cat5 cables

    The power of a single cable.


    This Networker Pro POE has 8 SCWEasyConnect ports built into its case. It will power and send over the video for each camera by a single Cat5 Networking cable. it will automatically configure the camera's video settings, network settings, and power. Plug the NVR into a standard 3-prong wall outlet; plug each camera into the NVR with a Cat5 Cable, and you're done. It's that easy.


8 Item(s)

per page

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