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Quads and Multiplexers Are Out - July 15, 2011

Quads and Multiplexers Are Out - July 15, 2011

Quads and Multiplexers Are Out
By Christian M Gillman

In the past if you wanted to view multiple surveillance feeds on your monitor or if you wanted to record multiple security cameras at once; you would need a cctv quad or multiplexer. As time progresses however; so does our technology. So it is with fond memories that we begin saying adios to our old friends the quad and multiplexer; while simultaneously becoming more familiar with their successor the DVR (Digital Video Recorder).

What Our Old Friends Could Accomplish

Before people purchased quads or multiplexers in the past, they had to decide whether frame rate or picture clarity was more important to them. The reason for this is that each solution had its downfalls and upsides concerning these elements as talked about below.

The Multiplexer

Multiplexers would work by sharing video footage between your various security cameras that are connected to it. Essentially it would take a frame at a time from each camera in succession and make it available to your VCR or DVR. This would allow you to keep your maximum resolution of each camera, but it would result in a loss of frame rate per camera.

Multiplexers when used were available in color and B&W models.


What a quad would do in your surveillance system is share space on your cctv monitor in a quad arrangement. When this is done you would end up with 4 security cameras all being viewed at the same time, but they would each display at half of their normal resolution both horizontally and vertically. The upside to this however is that unlike a multiplexer, your frame rate would remain "Real Time".

Quads also come in both color and B&W models.

The Future

DVRs are the future when it comes to the need for cctv quad and multiplexer functionality, because as the technology has progressed; DVRs have been given all the features that was only available in a quad or multiplexer.

It should be noted that even though quads and multiplexers are on their way out; there are still a number of them available on the market for replacement and purchase. As the days slip away however, they should be bought soon as they wont be around for much longer.

Additionally due to their declining use and worth; quads and multiplexers have come down in price quite quickly. As stock begins to diminish however and the last few become available; price will likely rise again as demand will be high for the last remaining supply.

Christian M Gillman has worked in the surveillance industry for over 6 years. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter, learn more about surveillance, and find great products at

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