What is CVBS and HD-TVI?
(CVBS) or Composite Video Blanking and Sync is the conventional analog signal delivered through an analog BNC connector. In English, that basically means a pair of wires can transmit video and power from the camera to the recorder producing video surveillance. This was the first kind of technology introduced into the security industry and it is still going strong today. When it comes to analog types, there are really two types that you want to keep in mind. CVBS and HD-TVI. Think of CVBS being like windows 7. Everyone who has ever owned a computer was most likely using it since it was basically the only operating system out there. This means developers and integrators only developed their software and products for this one specific platform. Think of HD-TVI as Apple's Mac OS. Mac is newer, cleaner, and more user friendly (in some people’s opinion) but since windows 7 is the most adopted software in the world, Mac users will suffer with not all of their products being compatible. This is exactly how it works in the security industry. CVBS has been adopted and used for so long now, if you try to match 2 different CVBS brands together, there is almost 99.9% it is going to work. Whereas HD-TVI, there is a good chance it will work, but only if the devices have been developed specifically for HD-TVI and not the standard CVBS.
In the past, the majority of CCTV security cameras were all using the CVBS technology. But in recent advancements, HD analog (HD-TVI) security cameras have become more of the mainstream standard. Although this CVBS technology is being used less and less frequently, it has become without a doubt the most affordable option on the market. These days, you can purchase standard CVBS cameras for next to nothing. HD-TVI cameras offer a higher resolution camera but very similar technology and has the ability to be switched back and forth from HD-TVI to CVBS.
Why Would You Use CVBS?
So, with all these new technologies coming out, what is the point of using older tech? Well, CVBS equipment is remarkably less expensive compared to some of the newer technologies out there. You will find that a CVBS camera compared to an HD-TVI or even IP camera will come in at sometimes 1/3 to 1/4 the cost. Also avoiding compatibility issues when trying to tie into an existing system offers peace of mind. If you buy a CVBS camera and plan on tying it into a different brand but still a CVBS system, it is going to work.
Can You make Your HD-TVI Camera a CVBS camera?
Yes, you can! Depending on the camera of course, but most HD-TVI cameras have a toggle on the back of them allowing you to switch back and forth from HD-TVI to CVBS. This gives you the power of two different technologies with the flip of a switch. To make these changes, simply flip a switch. You may need to restart and cycle the power in order for these changes to take affect (See image below on how to switch between CVBS and HD-TVI.)