700TV Line Cameras: Are they that big of an upgrade?

April 30, 2014

Security cameras these days have extremely confusing lingo starting from CIF, D1, 4CIF, TVL, and so on. The normal person is usually browsing cameras thinking, " I just need something that will show me clear pictures. What does all this junk mean?" I decided to cover 700TVL cameras today because they are the new cameras released by Samsung for their new line of DVR system packages releases. The camera to the left is the SDC-7340BC. It looks almost identical to its predecessor the SDC-5340BC but with a minor difference in the silver outer border as well as the increased resolution. You'll see that on most sites it'll be marked as 720TVL, but that is negligible.  So why the 700TVL camera? One thing you must understand is that the TV lines represent resolution by means of horizontal lines on screen. On top of that the TV lines also indicate an effective horizontal resolution for the camera which can also be considered the maximum resolution at which you'll see quality pictures. For example, let's say you took a picture meant to be shown on a 10x10 poster and shrunk it. Does it lose quality? Not really, since the pixel ratio is being kept but is just being compacted. Now imagine if you took that same image and blew it up on to a 20x20 poster. That original image was meant to be at its best on a 10x10 poster so in essence you're merely just stretching this picture onto a larger canvas. In doing so you're keeping the active pixels the same but forcing them to cover more ground; this will definitely result in a loss of image quality.  images images     Essentially this is what it would look like. The left picture is crisp while the blow up  on the right is blurry.   So the effective resolution of the SDC-7340BC camera is 976x582, and the effective resolution of the SDC-5340BC camera is 728x492. As most of you will know already, when you're looking at either a 4 channel, 8 channel, or 16 channel system you'll see that the screen is split in order to view multiple cameras. You'll also notice that the video quality is actually better for some of your cameras when viewing it in the split screen as opposed to the full screen mode. The idea is the same here; on a full screen the video footage is stretched beyond its effective resolution resulting in loss in quality. The 700TVL cameras are best utilized with systems that have the 960H mode available as the horizontal resolution in that mode is 960x480, making it a great fit for the effective resolution of the 700 TVL camera. The great thing about the Samsung systems along with many other systems out there is that the setting for D1, CIF, or 960H is actually adjustable so that you can maximize your camera's capability. *One thing you do want to be careful of is that many older models will not have a 960H mode and as such, you won't see the best quality off of your recordings even if your camera is a 700TVL camera. Be sure to double check before you go and purchase a 700TVL Camera just based on the higher resolution. It's no different from buying an HD monitor for your computer when your computer has no HDMI slot.  So is it that much better than you 600TVL Camera? The answer is that it most definitely can be as long as you have the supporting DVR that will utilize the full potential of the camera itself. With an effective resolution that is greater than that of a 600TVL camera, the 700TVL camera is made to provide you with better quality videos at a higher recording resolution.