Our customers often ask us about CCTV resolution (the recording quality from CCTV cameras). Naturally a customer wants to know how clear the video resolution will be from a system before making a purchase decision. CTV resolution is measured in vertical and horizontal pixel dimensions and typically limited by the capabilities of both the camera and the recorder that you are using for your CCTV surveillance installation. CCTV systems use an analog video signal. For television specifications (which CCTV uses) the highest resolution that can be captured and stored is 704 x 480 (NTSC for the United States) and 720 x 576 (PAL for Europe). This resolution is knows as D1 resolution. A high end CCTV recorder is capable of recording at up to D1 resolution.
D1 Resolution – 704 x 480
CIF Resolution – 352 x 240
QCIF Resolution – 176 x 120
The below images show you the size of the most commonly used CCTV resolutions, starting with the highest which is D1 resolution.
D1 CCTV resolution is 704 x 480 pixels and is the highest resolution the CCTV system can record at. High end digital video recorders offer this resolution and only the highest end recorders can offer D1 resolution at 30 frames per second recording. CCTV Cameras Pros offers a PC based system that can record at D1 resolution using real time motion video (30 frames per second).
CIF CCTV resolution is 352 x 240 pixels in size and is one quarter the resolution of D1. This resolution is typically used by mid level stand alone DVR recorders when recording real time video. It is also typically used by higher end systems for remote Internet viewing (as streaming D1 video for multiple cameras uses a lot of bandwidth).
QCIF CCTV resolution is 176 x 120 pixels in size and is one quarter the size of CIF resolution. This resolution is typically used for remote viewing from a mobile device (cell phone).