What is Ethernet-over-Coax?
If you’re ready to make to the jump from an analog camera system to a digital IP system, there are a variety of different technologies that can help make the switch easy without disrupting your entire system. While a comprehensive overhaul, replacing all current analog (coax) wiring with the proper wiring for IP systems (Ethernet cables) is generally the best option, there are times when it might make sense to simply leave the current wiring in place and upgrade to IP cameras using technology such as Ethernet-over-Coax.
Is this a good option for you and your business’s potential surveillance system? Let’s take a look at what this technology does and how it works.
How Ethernet-Over-Coax Works
Simply put, Ethernet-over-Coax allows you to transmit digital IP signals, normally carried by an Ethernet cable, over the analog coax cables already installed in the walls of your home or business. It does this by using two special Ethernet-over-Coax converters – one allowing you to connect the network camera to the coaxial cable itself, and another allowing you to connect the coax cable directly to the IP network. IP cameras are widely known to have a wider variety of features and benefits, and more powerful capability, than analog cameras, and Ethernet-over-Coax allows you to make use of those features without needing to make a massive switch to an entirely-digital system.
What Kind of Benefits Does Ethernet-over-Coax Offer?
The most obvious benefit of ethernet-over-coax is that it simply makes the upgrade to IP cameras much easier and cheaper, as you don’t need to rip out any existing wiring in the walls, which drives up installation time, cost and hassle. IP cameras can essentially just be attached to the network in an almost plug-and-play fashion.
Once hooked up, you’ll be able to use virtually all the functions and features generally associated with IP cameras, such as increased resolution, faster speeds, and PTZ functions.
Ethernet-over-Coax also works with Power-Over-Ethernet (PoE), allowing you to supply power over your previous systems existing coax cables, giving you even more flexibility and capability. For example, by properly connecting to a PoE switch, you get all the features and efficient power management that PoE generally provides. You can even add extra local power to the adapter, allowing the system to power even higher-power cameras. (Power-over-Coax technology does exist on its own, but you it’s still rare to find in most security system setups, due to little need for it).
Are there any drawbacks to Ethernet-Over-Coax?
Ethernet-over-Coax might be an excellent alternative to upgrading and replacing the wiring in your system, and can save small operations and systems plenty of money. But if you have the money and resources, it is generally better to make the comprehensive upgrade to a full IP system plus Ethernet wiring. Ethernet-over-Coax is simply not future-proof in the way that many other IP systems and Ethernet cabling are, and as technology continues to advance, you’ll likely need to eventually replace the coax cabling anyway. This puts it in the same camp as similar technologies, like HD-Over-Coax: great alternatives if you’re on a budget and need something quick, but not the best option for upgrading to a future-proof, capable, comprehensive surveillance system.
Is It Right For You?
If you need to upgrade to IP cameras and don’t have the means to replace the wiring in your business’ walls, then Ethernet-over-Coax can be a decent option. A professional systems integrator and installer will know more and be able to help you find the technology and components right for you.