While IP cameras and recorders offer some of the latest and greatest in security technology, IP video has yet to be widely adopted. Why? The two most common reasons I hear from our customers are that it is either too expensive, or that it's just too hard to use.

I will argue that neither is valid today. In contrast, I do see many customers who have completely converted to IP gear - and when visiting with them, I quickly learn that they have done their homework and clearly recognize the advantages of IP video.

Here is what they know about IP video:

1. Easy to Use

Can you use a computer mouse? If so then you can use IP video. IP video systems have easy to use menus that can make first-timers look like experts.

2. Higher Resolution

IP cameras are digital end to end, and use progressive scanning to make full use of camera imagers - providing up to 25% more resolution than analog cameras with similar imagers. IP is also available with Megapixel cameras, delivering super-high resolution images with 30 frames per second of real-time video.

3. Lower Cable Cost

Analog cameras can require up to three cables - video, audio, and power - for each and every camera. IP cameras can transmit all three (and more) on a single network cable. Even better - cable is less expensive, a single cable can handle 4-8 or more cameras, and network cable is probably already wired throughout your building. That results in significant savings - especially considering the cost of copper these days.

4. Future Proof

Like computer devices and programs, IP gear is easily updated for new capabilities and compatibility as technology advances.

5. Creates Efficiencies

Continual monitoring of live activity is quickly becoming an expense of the past. IP systems can easily alert personnel when problems occur by sending live video to laptops or even cell phones for immediate review. This functionality can also be used for non-security applications, such as customer service, deliveries, work-flow monitoring and more.

6. Intelligence

Today's IP video systems are equipped with on-board processors to analyze events in real-time, alerting you about suspicious or criminal activity and knows to overlook benign matters.

7. Secure Transmissions

End-to-end, IP video systems encrypt your data to ensure your complete privacy, eliminating the need for expensive fiber optic cable.

8. Reliable and Redundant

Paired with the advances in today’s computers, IP systems leverage decades of technical evolution to deliver proven reliability. IP video systems can be easily set up to store video at multiple remote locations for security against disasters and theft.

9. System Integration

IP video systems can easily team with your alarm systems. Many can also integrate with lighting, environmental and access controls for a virtual presence anywhere. And thanks to industry standards and alliances, IP video systems are increasingly compatible across manufacturers.

10. Infinite Distance

IP data travels exactly like computer data. Just as computers may communicate with each other from anywhere in the world via the Internet, a camera can be across the room or across the world and your recorder doesn't care.

Bonus: Four Additional Reasons to Consider IP:

11. Flexibility

No longer do you need to buy an entirely new recorder just to add a few extra cameras in problem areas. With IP video, you can add additional licenses for the recording software to match how many cameras you need when you need them. This can save thousands in comparison to analog systems, which often require a new DVR to add even a single camera.

12. Backwards Compatible

IP technology allows you to leverage your existing cameras. Using video servers to convert standard cameras to IP, you can use your existing analog cameras in installation situations that would typically best be suited for IP.

Hybrid recording systems also allow the peaceful co-existence of IP video devices and analog camera installations. This allows you to continue to use your existing cameras, while expanding with IP cameras, reaping the benefits of the new technology, without having to replace entire security systems at one time.

13. High Speed Recording

Analog cameras will often produce a blurry picture when recording video containing fast moving objects. IP video provides crisp resolution on every frame enabling effective investigation of events.

14. Lower Total Cost of Ownership

Considering that IP video can leverage your existing cabling and computer network infrastructure, the cost of installation can be half or more than an analog system. And given the added benefits and related cost savings provided above, the reduction in total cost of ownership can be significant.

There is, of course, a learning curve to installing and operating IP video – which is likely to discourage many potential users from taking the initial leap IP. But as prices continue to become more competitive, I highly recommend that you take the time to learn this new technology, and start to leverage the many advantages of using IP.