600TVL & 720p & 1080p. Is there much of a difference?

January 29, 2014

We're always looking for the next best thing. Clearer is always deemed better, or so we've been told. The question is, what happens when clear video imaging turns out different levels of clearness that just don't seem quite obvious to the naked eye? The HD rating system for security cameras diverge from the traditional rating of Television Lines (TVL) and continue with the 720 or 1080 measurements. So what is the difference? Traditional security cameras up till now have maxed out at 600TVL, some now even 700TVL. Granted a 720p camera equates to roughly 800TVL, there's a stark difference when it comes to these older cameras in comparison to the HD cameras. Standard recording of the same image or section may show you that there isn't a huge difference between a 600TVL camera and a 720p camera, but the difference can be seen when you zoom. Standard resolution of cctv cameras On a 600TVL camera, such as the SDC-5340BC, the zoomed out image looks great. It seems the image provided is crisp and exact down to the last detail. When we zoom in, you see that whether it's the person's face or the license plate, the image is pixelated and unclear. The reason? The amount of pixels preserved on a zoom is much less on the 600TVL camera compared to an HD camera. The "zoom" is more of a blow up image of the selected area, and in doing so the image captured must have enough pixels within each area to preserve the quality of the image when blown up to that degree. So if you're looking for general surveillance that gives you great pictures of your designated area without the need of a zoom, a 600TVL (SDC-5340 or SDC-5440BC) camera would be more than enough for you. As you may be able to tell at this point, the biggest difference within these different resolution cameras is the image quality as the image gets bigger. In other words, the preservation of image quality in different zoom settings is the difference in the different resolutions. SD vs 720P vs 1080P This image tells it the best. As you can tell, the image itself is the same across all three comparisons. An Standard Definition(SD) Camera is at its best at that particular height and width. It is also noticeable that the picture quality has definitely been preserved and is crystal clear on all three resolutions. Although the higher resolutions are backwards compatible as far as image quality goes, it does not work the other way around. An SD quality image will not look the same when extended out to the size of an HD quality image. All in all, you have to understand that most images will look no different from one another expect for minor differences when the zoomed out picture is in question. The biggest difference maker is the image quality at a zoomed in position.