Standalone video encoders
The most common type of video encoders is the standalone version, which offers one or multichannel (often four) connections to analog cameras. A multi-channel video encoder is ideal in situations where there are several analog cameras located in a remote facility or a place that is a fair distance from a central monitoring room. Through the multi-channel video encoder, video signals from the remote cameras can then share the same network cabling, thereby reducing cabling costs.
In situations where investments have been made in analog cameras but coaxial cables have not yet been installed, it is best to use and position standalone video encoders close to the analog cameras. It reduces installation costs as it eliminates the need to run new coaxial cables to a central location since the video can be sent over an Ethernet network. It also eliminates the loss in image quality that would occur if video were to be sent over long distances through coaxial cables. With coaxial cables, the video quality decreases the further the signals have to travel. A video encoder produces digital images, so there is no reduction in image quality due to the distance traveled by a digital video stream.