Wire Once: Today Analog Video - Tommorro IP Camera

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Wire Once: Today Analog Video - Tommorro IP Camera

Post by AnotherBrian » Fri Feb 03, 2017 2:58 pm

Just putting in this post for individuals dealing with wiring analog cameras. Installing wiring is time expensive - something that you won't want to have to redo if your upgrading later to digitial IP cameras.

Analog video is usually wired using coax cable or siamese coax. The siamese version allows power to be provided all in the same cable. Most will want to use siamese since only one cable needs to be run to the camera. A better approach though is to wire for the future using cat5e and use balum adapters.


The pair of balums are attached to cat5e cabling using standard rj45 connectors. The balums then split out the video signal and power supply. The balums also change (code/decode) the carrier frequency. Of course IP traffic cannot be used over the cat5e cabling while it is being used to carry the analog video signal.
  • From cost perspective (siamese versus cat5e+balum) they are about the same. $100 for 1000 ft siamese versus $40 for cat5e, but balum's cost about $5 per camera. However, once the costs of upgrading to ip cameras are considered, there is a huge time savings.

    For range perspective, cat5e+balum versus siamese, it is reported that there is no measurable difference at 300 foot and no perceptable difference up to about 700 foot.

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Re: Wire Once: Today Analog Video - Tommorro IP Camera

Post by knight-of-ni » Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:49 pm

Yeah, these are great little devices. I'm using them right now.
They can be found on EBay for very little $.

One can also buy active versions of these baluns, which let you go much further than 300 feet. Of course, you lose the ability to convert to Ethernet later, so the active baluns are less useful and more expensive.

Another option is to inject PoE power + Ethernet directly over coax, no re-wiring needed.
Here is an example: https://www.amazon.com/Ethernet-Extende ... t+coax+poe

Whether or not you use these will come down to how difficult it would be to replace the existing coax with structured cable.
The question the installer needs to ask is whether $70 is worth it to not have to replace that coax cable.
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Re: Wire Once: Today Analog Video - Tommorro IP Camera

Post by snake » Thu Jun 15, 2017 1:47 am

Be careful purchasing these baluns. Test them. I've been witness to cheap ones that easily disconnect when moved.

Also consider upgrading an analog coaxial network to HD analog. If a lot of Coaxial has already been run, it might not be practical to replace or run new ethernet to those locations. Instead, buy HD analog cameras, and an HD analog encoder. There is no reason that Coax is limited to 700 lines resolution (though I don't know the upper limit). If that's too expensive, then run old analog video through an encoder, and live with the limitations of NTSC and PAL. If you are putting in new wire, obviously it should be ethernet, no question.

I have worked with two installations with a mix of coaxial and ethernet cabling. (Coax was from the previous CCTV system). Works great in ZM.

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