Types of Video Signals

Composite/CVBS Composite Video Blanking and Sync. RCA and BNC connectors. Typically associated with NTSC, PAL, and SECAM low resolution, interlaced signals. Has video, color, and sync signals combined in one carrier.
S-Video Separate Video. Four-Pin Mini-Din connector. An analog signal that separates the Brightness and Color components of the video signal. Slightly better than CVBS for image quality, associated with NTSC, PAL, and SECAM interlaced signals.
YPbPr Component Video. Uses three RCA connectors. The signal is separated into Y (Brightness), Pb (difference between brightness and Blue component), and Pr (difference between brightness and Red component). Typically used in HD consumer products. Analog signal not as good as DVI or HDMI.
VGA Video Graphics Array. Standard computer monitor interface. HD-15 D-Sub connector. Analog signal capable of running from VGA through UXGA. Utilizes separate R, G, B color and Horizontal and Vertical sync signals.
DVI Digital Video Interface. Generic nomenclature for DVI-I and DVI-D connectors (see below). Maximum resolution of 3mp.
DVI-D Digital Visual Interface-Digital. 24-Pin D-shaped connector, compatible with DVI-I connector from a mechanical standpoint. Pure digital signal, no analog component transmitted. Not as common as the DVI-I signal due to the universality of the DVI-I signal.
DVI-I Digital Visual Interface-Integrated. 28-Pin D-Shaped connector. This has both the digital and analog components of the signal. The analog portion allows the signal to work with VGA connections when an adaptor is used.
HDMI Hi-Definition Multimedia Interface. 19-Pin connector, similar in size to a USB connector. Uncompressed Digital signal for video and audio. Capable of displaying up to Full HD signals. Typically used in comsumer HD applications.
SDI Serial Digital Interface. BNC connector. Digital signal used in Broadcast industry.
HD-SDI Hi-Definition Serial Digital Interface. BNC connector. Used for Hi-Definition Broadcasting signals.

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Digital Camera Interfaces

  • FireWire (1394A)
    • proven interface for industrial imaging
    • Less resource intense on host PC and guaranteed bandwidth results in higher sustained frame rates
    • 4.5 meter max. cable, data & power via same cable
    • Laptop FireWire ports are 4-pin and do not supply power – external power supply & 4-pin to 6-pin adaptor cable required.
  • USB 2.0
    • 480 Mbps data transfer
    • Bandwidth is not guaranteed and dependence of host PC for bus control reduces effective speed/frame rates.
    • 5 meter max. cable length
    • Data & power in a common cable
    • Ubiquitous interface on current PCs.
    • Lowest cost and best ease of use for End Users.
  • GigE / Gigabit Ethernet
    • 1000 Mbps
    • 100 meter cables – Standard CAT5e or CAT6



   Camera & Video Glossary of Terms

See the full Glossary of camera and video terms and specifications, courtesy of Sony Visual Imaging Solutions  group.


IP/NEMA Rating Details

  • IP stands for Ingress Protection
  • The rating’s first digit i.e. IP56 relates to the ingress protection against dust (5 means dust protected, see the table below) The second digit i.e. IP5 relates to the ingress protection against water (6 means protected against heavy water jets, see the table below)

IP First Digit – Protection Against Solids

Level Protection against Human/Tool Contact Protection against solid objects (foreign bodies)
0 No special protection No special protection
1 Back of hand, Fist Large foreign bodies, >50mm diameter
2 Finger Medium-sized foreign bodies, >12 diameter
3 Tools, thick wires etc Small foreign bodies, >2.5mm diameter
4 Thin wires, screws etc Granular foreign bodies, >1mm diameter
5 Complete protection, (limited ingress permitted) Dust protected; dust deposits are permitted, but their volume must not affect the function of the unit.
6 Complete protection Dust-proof

IP Second Digit – Protection Against Liquids

Level Protection against water Protection from condition
0 No special protection No special protection
1 Water dripping/falling vertically Condensation/Light rain
2 Water sprayed at an angle (up to 15º degrees from vertical) Light rain with wind
3 Spray water (any direction up to 60º degrees from vertical) Heavy rainstorm
4 Splashing/spray water from all directions, (limited ingress permitted) Splashing
5 Low pressure water jets from all directions, (limited ingress permitted) Hose down, residential
6 High pressure water jets from all directions, (limited ingress permitted) Hose down, commercial.
7 Submersible (temporary), 15 cm to 1M Immersion in tank
8 Permanent Submersion, under pressure, over 1 M depth For use underwater

NEMA Ratings

NEMA Rating Definition Approx. IP Equivalent
1 General-purpose. Protects against dust, light, and indirect splashing but is not dust-tight; primarily prevents contact with live parts; used indoors and under normal atmospheric conditions. IP10
2 Drip-tight. Similar to Type 1 but with addition of drip shields; used where condensation may be severe (as in cooling and laundry rooms). IP11
3 and 3S Weather-resistant. Protects against weather hazards such as rain and sleet; used outdoors on ship docks, in construction work, and in tunnels and subways. IP54
3R Intended for outdoor use. Provides a degree of protection against falling rain and ice formation. Meets rod entry, rain, external icing, and rust-resistance design tests. IP14
4 and 4X Watertight (weatherproof). Must exclude at least 65 GPM of water from 1-in. nozzle delivered from a distance not less than 10 ft for 5 min. Used outdoors on ship docks, in dairies, and in breweries. IP56
5 Dust-tight. Provided with gaskets or equivalent to exclude dust; used in steel mills and cement plants. IP52
6 and 6P Submersible. Design depends on specified conditions of pressure and time; submersible in water or oil; used in quarries, mines, and manholes. IP67
7 Hazardous. For indoor use in Class I, Groups A, B, C, and D environments as defined in the NEC.
8 Hazardous. For indoor and outdoor use in locations classified as Class I, Groups A, B, C, and D as defined in the NEC.
9 Hazardous. For indoor and outdoor use in locations classified as Class II, Groups E, F, or G as defined in the NEC.
10 MSHA. Meets the requirements of the Mine Safety and Health Administration, 30 CFR Part 18 (1978).
11 General-purpose. Protects against the corrosive effects of liquids and gases. Meets drip and corrosion-resistance tests.
12 and 12K General-purpose. Intended for indoor use, provides some protection against dust, falling dirt, and dripping noncorrosive liquids. Meets drip, dust, and rust resistance tests. IP52
13 General-purpose. Primarily used to provide protection against dust, spraying of water and noncorrosive coolants. Meets oil exclusion and rust resistance design tests. IP54