The SDH-C5100 & SDH-B3040 are the newest systems available out from Samsung. These systems have the capability of running all HD as opposed to the hybrids that have been around for the past year. These new systems run a technology called AHD also known as Analog HD; I’ll have an article dedicated to just describing these new techs that we’ll be seeing more of in the future including the CVI and the TVI. These so-called new techs have been out for some time now, but have recently started to pick up speed. Due to increasing demand for high definition systems as well as the rising cost of developing these high definition systems, the 3 techs have become a popular choice among security camera systems.
Now back to the new systems. These two systems sport a new camera with the model number SDC-8440BC. These look a lot like the old HD cameras from the hybrid systems, but, as those of you who have bought it already can attest to, the camera itself has become mini-sized. It is about half the size of the previous HD camera that was released with the hybrid systems and yet is still powerful enough to deliver the HD quality video footage that we know and love.
Here are a few pictures to show you the size difference.
These cameras record at 720p as the 1080p versions have not yet been released. Even at 720p, we’ve seen great improvement in resolution compared to the standard definition systems that we’ve had in the past. Of course, if you don’t need high def, the standard definition systems will still get the job done.
One big thing to note about these cameras is that they use a BNC type connection. Straying from the RJ-45 connections that were used in the hybrid system, these HD cameras are BNC type cameras; however, that doesn’t mean that your standard def SDS systems will be able to use them. These cameras are specific to this type of DVR so don’t bother trying. One of the big advantages of the AHD system is that they are backwards compatible; well, to a certain degree.
Because of how things are set up, the term backwards compatible may be a bit above what is actually expected. By that I mean that the old standard definition cameras won’t produce the same video as you would see on a standard def DVR. There is a slight drop in the quality of the video footage when you use your older cameras with the system. This includes color richness and clarity. The clarity drop is not noticeable enough to make you want to throw out your old cameras, but it is good to know that a slight drop in video quality is not the cause of a defective DVR.
Additionally, the mix between standard def (now to be called SD) and high def ( to be referred to as HD) can be done on even pairing. That means that you cannot have 1 channel dedicated to an SD camera and have 3 channels for HD. They go in intervals of 2 where an even number of channels are dedicated to one or the other. You’ll notice this as well when you go to the set it up because in order to enable your system in utilizing an SD camera, you’ll have to go into the settings and mark how many slots you’ll be using for HD cameras.
Don’t forget to change your recording quality settings if you truly want the best recordings from your video foot. HOWEVER, this will drastically change your hard drive recording time so please keep that in mind.
Another change you’ll see is in the cables themselves. On the outside, these cables look no different from their predecessors; however, on the inside there is a big difference in the actual copper density. With a higher copper density, you’ll find that there’s better transmission of data and video footage. When using one of the older cables, you see a drop in quality of the video footage making it essential that you use the right cable. How do you tell the difference? There really isn’t a marker or change in shape of the cables that are compatible, but you want to purchase from a seller who knows that there is a difference in copper density between the cables. Using the old SEA-C101-100 will not get you the proper footage. We noticed this difference on our first test run and have now found compatible cables which we offer under a specific category to avoid confusion. The different cables will also change how your SD cameras look when connected to the new DVR. We currently have two cables for 60ft and 100ft that will be compatible labeled STS-AHDC60 and STS-AHDC100, respectively.
Here are also some minor changes that you may find interesting.
The new system is capable of supporting two monitors now. You can have an HD monitor as well as a VGA monitor running at the same time. You’ll notice that although you can run two monitors, the HD monitor using an HDMI cable will be much better as far as color reproduction.
Additionally, hard drive failure can be fixed on your own at this point. Of course opening up the system and replacing the HDD will void your warranty; however, if and when you come into such a problem after a year, all you would have to do is replace the hard drive. The system itself can operate without a hard drive so the BMS does not have to be installed anywhere since it’s embedded.