HD-over-Coax Frequently Asked Questions

What's so great about HD-over-Coax?

HD-over-Coax is a new analog high definition (HD) video standard transmitting over coaxial cable. The technology provides transmission of HD video as well as audio, and two-way control data over long distances. You can implement an HD system using the same coax cables that your existing analog system is running on. HD-over-Coax installs just like analog cameras and gives you up to 1080p High Definition. No fiber, no configuring, and no special training required. And, you don't have the limitations on distance like you find in IP and HD-SDI systems.

What is HD-over-Coax exactly?

HD-over-Coax, or HD-CVI (High Definition Composite Video Interface), is an over-coaxial-cable analog HD video transmission standard developed specifically for the CCTV industry. HD-over-Coax composites video, audio, and control signals together and then transmits them over one coaxial cable, simplifying installation. Using RG-59 cable, HD-over-Coax transmits HD video over distances in excess of 500m (1640 ft.) with no expensive repeaters or signal boosters (more details below).

The HD-over-Coax solution incorporates both cameras and DVRs. The technology currently offers two specifications: 1080p (1920 x 1080) and 720p (1280 x 720). In addition, the technology features Auto Signal Compensation (ASC) which provides extremely low signal distortion for long-distance transmission.

Technical Highlights

  • HD Video format
    720p (1280 x 720) / 1080p (1920 x 1080)
  • Analog Modulation
    Uncompressed and crosstalk-free
  • Transmission over coaxial cable
    Reliable and non-latency point-to-point transmission
  • Auto Compensation & Long range transmission
    720p (1280×720): 500m (1640 ft.) via Φ75-3mm cable, 650m (2132 ft.) via Φ75-5mm cable
    1080p (1920×1080): 300m (984 ft.) via Φ75-3mm cable, 400m (1312 ft.) via Φ75-5mm cable
  • Composite video/audio/PTZ signals
    HD-over-Coax composites video, audio and PTZ signals together and have them transmitted over coaxial cable.
  • Two-way data transmission
HD-CVI Diagram 2

Long-distance Transmission

Transmitting data > 500m (1640 ft.) over a coaxial cable is possible, depending on the cable selected. 75-3 and 75-5 cable are recommended for transmissions within 500m (1640 ft.), 75-5 and above cable are recommended for over 500m (see specifications above in Technical Highlights).

Note: Plug and play cable won't work. You need good quality 75-3 or 75-5 coax cable.

All of the RG59 cable we offer at Optiview meets the 75-5 specification (75 ohm, 5mm cable). The connectors and welding process also affects the transmission distance.

What are the Pros and Cons of HD-over-Coax?

Analog systems, based on coaxial cabling, still dominate today's video surveillance market — there are approximately 400 million analog cameras in use throughout the world. The demand for high definition from end-users is undoubtedly increasing. However, the need to change the cabling for a HD system can result in much higher installation and operational costs. With no new cabling or IP hassle required, HD-over-Coax is the best option for upgrading existing systems from standard definition to high definition, offering longer transmission via coaxial cable and lower total cost.

HD-over-Coax resolution is currently limited to 1080p, although we expect this to increase over time. IP camera resolutions can go much higher.

Comparing HD-over-Coax, HD-SDI, and IP Systems

Difficulty of Hardware Installation Low High High
Difficulty of Software Configuration Low Low High
Max Length of Cable Runs (without repeaters) 2,000 ft. or more 150 - 300 ft. (over 300 ft. requires fiber) 328 ft.
Speed of Video Transmission Real Time Real Time Requires Tuning
Maximum Resolution (currently) 1080P 1080P 5MP
Total Cost Low Moderate High

How does HD-over-Coax integrate with my existing analog equipment?

HD-over-Coax runs on the same coax cable that your existing analog systems run on. So upgrading to HD-over-Coax is as easy as replacing your analog cameras with HD-over-Coax cameras and replacing the analog DVR with an HD-over-Coax DVR. No special configuration is required.

In many cases you may decide to leave parts of your analog system in place and only upgrade some of your analog cameras to HD-over-Coax, or just add some new HD-over-Coax cameras. In that case you would replace / add new HD-over-Coax cameras, and add an HD-over-Coax DVR next to your analog DVR. Make sure that the HD-over-Coax cameras are connected to the HD-over-Coax DVR, not the analog one. This is an easy, low-cost, scalable method of upgrading your existing system to HD.

The new HD-over-Coax equipment is software compatible with the Optiview VR Series Solution. So if you already have an Optiview VR Series DVR or Server, you can add the new HD-over-Coax equipment to your existing system and view everything together using the same CMS application and client software.

HD-over-Coax Cameras by Optiview HD-over-Coax DVRs by Optiview Tribrid DVRs offered by Optiview
Last Modified: October 28, 2014
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