Analog vs. IP Cameras for Interview Recording
In this era of high-definition video, from our phones to our big screen TVs, the expectation is that all video will be crisp, clear, and can fit in your pocket. In the world of interview room recording, there are many critical differences you should consider when deciding which camera technology will serve you best: IP or analog.
Audio and Video Sync
While audio recording is the most important element in an interview, video and audio recordings provide the “whole picture” and allow viewers to see body language and nuances that are not apparent in audio-only recordings. It’s important audio and video work together to result in the best possible piece of evidence. The credibility of the video can be severely compromised if it looks like a badly dubbed movie. Analog technology gives you perfect real time playback and A/V sync. IP cameras have inherent latency varying from less than a second up to several seconds between the time the video is captured and the playback. This is usually not an issue as the viewers are not seeing the room activity (for example through one-way glass) at the same time they are viewing the live video. The stitching of video and audio sync has also been an issue with IP in the past, but Cardinal Peak Technologies has spent two years engineering the A/V sync on CaseCracker Onyx that it is so closely synced that the human eye cannot perceive any difference.
Cost is something that every agency has to consider. Is your budget large enough to allow fort the purchase of IP cameras? They are considerably more expensive than analog cameras. In some cases, IP cameras can be double or triple the cost of analog equivalents. On the other hand, depending on room set up, you may be able to replace multiple analog camera views with just one IP camera because it offers a better video resolution, thus eliminating the need for both close-up and room overview analog camera views. The installation equipment and support can also become expensive with IP cameras. Large installations will require IT support, storage, switching equipment and other peripherals that can become very costly and IT intensive.
There is no denying that IP cameras are great at capturing high definition images. Today, many departments are demanding IP as they want to have resolution that allows for micro facial analysis. The advantages of IP technology are that resolution can be adjusted up to very high standards and many more video configuration options are available. In the best analog interview room applications, two camera views are provided (up close and whole room) with varifocal lenses.
With high-definition video comes the need for increased storage. The higher the resolution and the more video streams you capture, the more storage will be required to retain those large files. IP cameras require lots of storage and maintenance for exporting data. 5TB of storage for an analog system will allow for many more hours of interview recordings than an IP camera system. Depending on an organization’s interviewing traffic, a storage system for analog cameras could last for years before storage is ever maximized. That is not the case with IP cameras and departments will need to be much more vigilant in monitoring storage capacity.
As a best practice, no matter whether your system utilizes IP or analog technology, we ALWAYS recommend saving files to secondary storage as a safeguard against machine failure.
It’s clear that IP and analog cameras both have advantages and disadvantages. It is important to consider the size of your department, your budget, how many interview rooms you have, and if you have/want IT support. Many departments chose the lowest cost, and lowest maintenance solution. Others have the ability to support an enterprise solution.
Do you need help choosing the solution best for your department? Cardinal Peak Technologies offers both an analog interview room solution, CaseCracker Slate, and an IP enterprise multi-room IP solution, CaseCracker Onyx. We can help you assess what will best serve your agency’s needs. Please contact us for more information about our solutions.