HD-SDI – HD Surveillance Within an Existing System

As surveillance has evolved over the years it has been apparent that like the film industry the transition to high definition video was all but inevitable. Even though it’s lagged behind a bit in the rapidness of its deployment, HD surveillance is here and gaining popularity daily. One of the ways HD surveillance is being implemented is through HD-SDI connections, so we are going to learn a bit more about HD-SDI security and its benefits.


For a while it was assumed that IP cameras were going to be the way to achieve HD security, and this meant entirely new and redesigned surveillance systems. With the advent of HD-SDI transmission systems however this no longer is the case. In fact this has provided a fantastic alternative to people with pre-existing surveillance systems. So instead of one option and route to achieving HD surveillance, there are now 2 possibilities leading the way into the future.

To be fair there are both benefits and downfalls to using an IP surveillance system for high definition video, but for now our focus is on HD-SDI and it benefits to people with established surveillance.


As talked about before, the first and foremost benefit to using HD-SDI is not having to replace your existing coaxial video and power cables. This is a huge savings when it comes to installation, parts, and time. The great part of this is that the coaxial cable you have is more than capable of handling the new HD signal you’re going to be using.


When we talk about downfalls pertaining to HD-SDI it should be noted that these apply to any type of HD surveillance system you might upgrade to, so they are not particularly detrimental to this type of surveillance system, but rather a general inconvenience.

The biggest downfall is the fact that you will have to replace your existing DVR (Digital Video Recorder) with an HD-SDI machine. The reason for this is that your old analog DVR will not be able to handle the higher resolution video formats that high definition cameras use.

Other parts that are more obviously needing replacement at this point will be your cameras for new high def cameras and your monitor to one that is capable of displaying HD video. It should be noted that there are Hybrid machines that are capable of using both high definition cameras and your old analog cameras. This can rather useful if you still want to use part of your existing surveillance system.

In the end HD-SDI is not here to replace IP as a HD surveillance medium, but to rather travel alongside of it and offer more options and possibilities for all kinds of surveillance applications!

Christian M Gillman has worked in the surveillance industry for over 7 years. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter, learn more about surveillance, and find great products at http://www.cu1.com

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