Titanium nitride (TiN) and titanium aluminum nitride (TiAlN) coatings are very hard materials that are mostly coated on cutting tools to increase the tool life. These coatings have also been successfully applied as a coating material for biomedical applications mainly due to their tribological properties, biocompatibility, and affordable price. In an attempt to develop transition metal nitride coatings on specimens of cylindrical geometry, TiN and TiAlN thin films were deposited successfully on stainless steel tubes using a direct-current cylindrical magnetron cosputtering method. Both types of coatings were uniform in nature and had good adherence to the substrate. TiN and TiAlN thin films were characterized systematically to determine their structure, surface morphology, chemical states, chemical structure, and electrochemical behavior using X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), Raman spectroscopy, and potentiodynamic methods, respectively. The XRD patterns of the TiN and TiAlN coatings indicated (111) preferential orientation. Cross-sectional SEM images revealed a columnar growth of the coatings with an arrow-headed geometry. XPS characterization showed the presence of TiN, Titanium dioxide, titanium oxynitride, aluminum oxide, and aluminum nitride phases. Potentiodynamic polarization tests in 3.5 % sodium chloride solution revealed that the TiAlN coating exhibited superior corrosion resistance compared with the TiN coating. Furthermore, TiAlN coating showed 94 % of average absorption in ultraviolet-visible region using photospectrometry. The cylindrical magnetron sputter deposition technique enables development of uniform protective coatings on tubular geometries, which are frequently employed in solar thermal and nuclear applications.