We’ve already taken a look at High Definition Composite Video Interface (HDCVI) in previous articles and we may not have mentioned it, but we also took a pretty long and hard look at High Definition Transport Video Interface (HDTVI) as well. In addition to comparing these two "HD over coax" technologies side by side, we’ll also hopefully be clearing up some of the conflicting, or contradicting, information found on the subject.
Both Dahua and Hikvision are highly reputable manufacturers in the industry. We’ve mentioned them both on a number of other occasions because they’re worth talking about. In this case, they directly relate to HDCVI and HDTVI more than just selling it.
Dahua is both the developer/creator of HDCVI and the sole manufacturer of HDCVI Digital Signal Processors (DSP) and HDCVI Digital Video Recorder (DVR) boards. In the case of HDCVI, the DSP is responsible from compressing the data from the camera and sending it through the attached cabling. Without an HDCVI specific DSP, you don’t have an HDCVI camera. The HDCVI DVR boards are a little easier to understand. To make a long story short, if you want an HDCVI DVR, the board is going to be made by Dahua.
Hikvision partnered with Techpoint to come up with HDTVI. We saw a lot of delays with the release with HDTVI. Some people credit this to the two companies struggling to perfect the technology while the majority seems to lean more towards them not wanting to release the new line so close to Dahua releasing HDCVI. Due to the fact that HDTVI was second on the market, HDCVI is little more popular right now just by word of mouth. Unlike Dahua, Hikvision has opted for a more “open source” approach. Instead of taking the sole manufacturer route of specific components, they have opted to release the information necessary for other manufacturers to produce their own variations (presumably for a price).
There has been a lot of debate regarding the way in which Dahua and Hikvision have released HDCVI and HDTVI. A lot of people are on Hikvision’s side here, but we’re not entirely sure why and we’re not alone. Open source seems to make them the good guys in this scenario but the side effects of it in this industry have been detrimental; so much so that people have been second guessing HDTVI altogether lately. The fact is no one is producing better HDTVI products than Hikvision, and if they do, we haven’t seen them yet. All this means is that they’ve opened the doors and unleashed a flood of faulty and cheap variations on the market. Your average consumer doesn’t have a lot of knowledge on the subject as it is, so to clutter the market with substandard products such as these makes things even more difficult. In addition to this, these other manufacturers have been spewing all kinds of nonsense regarding the capabilities of HDTVI. We’re not going to come right out and say that they’re lying, but no one honestly knows. Each manufacturer could have a slightly different set of capabilities based on their own design, but it’s much more likely that the information they’re putting out to the general public is just incorrect. This industry loves to lie, so take everything with a grain of salt.
There’s not going to be a lot to say here. It’s going to be up to you to compare the images and determine if you think one looks better than the other, or if your final decision is going to be based on other factors. To most, doing a side by side comparison of HDCVI and HDTVI at their highest level of image quality just reveals that they look identical under optimal conditions. Where the image quality begins to vary is when you stray from the optimal setup. When you begin using different cable types and at various lengths, the difference in image and picture quality start to show themselves. Since everyone around the globe has their own personal opinion on which cable you can run and at which lengths, it's going to make it incredible confusing to research as you'll be getting blasted with contradictory information and every new turn. For that reason, we will be doing a very extensive cable test with both HDCVI and HDTVI in the very near future; we promise to share it with you just as soon as the tests are complete.
For a brief moment, HDTVI had a little bit of an advantage here. When HDTVI was originally released by Hikvision, they boasted their DVRs compatibility with both HDTVI and standard analog cameras. What this meant was that they created a super affordable hybrid DVR that would make for a good transition between a standard definition system and a new high definition system. When HDCVI came around, they were originally only producing HDCVI DVRs that were solely compatible with HDCVI cameras. However, we saw Dahua’s “Tribrid” model DVRs hit the market very soon after that. This didn’t quite put HDCVI on the same level as HDTVI though. A Tribrid DVR is compatible with SD analog, HD analog, and IP cameras. This put HDCVI above HDTVI a little bit but only in availability of a device like this. Most people don’t require a Tribrid even if they are transitioning from an existing system. The big downside is that Tribrid DVRs are also noticeably more expensive.
The very recent introduction of an economy line of Tribrids has resulted in HDTVI losing its foothold here altogether. Both Dahua and Hikvision have now released this new line of products putting them on the same playing field again. It's important to note that unlike the Dahua predecessor to these more economy classed units, they are limited in the number of IP cameras that can be used with them; because of the limited processing power, this number usually tops out at two IP cameras.
Pricing between HDCVI and HDTVI products is very comparable. Having said that, they’re comparable as long as you’re comparing products from manufacturers that are on the same level as each other (such as Dahua and Hikvision). Obviously if you’re looking at a couple hundred dollar price difference between a CVI and TVI camera that seemingly have the same specs, you’ll want to do some homework on who made them.
Both HDCVI and HDTVI are readily available from a plethora of distributors and re-sellers. Now that everything has had a chance to settle a bit, it’s much easier to find these products for sale than it was during the year of their release (2014). We didn't see a lot of two megapixel models in 2014 but even as we say that, more and more are hitting the market every day with numerous features and capabilities.