A User's Guide to Digital Video Surveillance

Cabling Infrastructure


One perceived advantage of IP cameras is the ability to use an existing network wiring infrastructure to support a surveillance system. Network wiring by standard follows TIA/EIA-568-B guidelines, which limits the total distance from switch to camera to 330 feet.

Structured cable in the IP camera architecture is capable of transmitting power (PoE), video and data.

Legacy cabling for analog cameras utilized coaxial cables, which are cumbersome. Today, integrators can use ‘baluns’ to transmit analog video, power and data over a network wiring infrastructure beyond TIA/EIA limitations. Using baluns, analog video can be transmitted well over a mile and power over 1,000 feet. Using active baluns video can be extended well over a mile on standard Cat5 cabling.


NOTE: One further concern is the PoE standard limits power to 12.9 watts. As such, it is insufficient for many infra-red and outdoor cameras requiring a heater and/or blower. Even when the new PoE+ standard eventually becomes ratified, it caps out at 25 watts, far below the 70+ watts required to power and operate outdoor PTZ. Accordingly, you still need to run additional cabling for power. There are technologies on the horizon beyond PoE+ offered by companies such as Aventura Technologies, which can take power out beyond 100W, but they are not IEEE compliant at this time.

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