How Low Can The Market Go? 32 Camera Kit For $750

Check this out:

Comes with (32) 750TVL cameras and DVR with 2TB hard drive.

I can remember when a $999 16 channel DVR was considered crazy low prices and that was 5 maybe 6 years ago.

Let's say the 32 channel DVR and the 2TB hard drive is valued at $250, that puts each camera at ~$16 each.

And KT&C is a known manufacturer.

Sign of the times or irrelevant? What do you say?

No surpise at all given the component costs involved. The real disruption comes from not just the price but also the potential quality (where quality is defined as consistency and low/reasonable failure rates).

Can't speak to this model but also keep in mind there's no lower bound on the cost of software on a box like this and that tends to grow in capability over time. For example, they can add reasonably useful analytics for $0 and are free to "pass those savings on to you--Joe DYI'er."

A lot, lot lower. I have been to China and had at one time benn importing audio speakers. I heard at the ISC they had DVR's for 99 bucks, less hard drive. They are still making money.

I should add, I keep in contack with "Lilly" who continually sends me price sheets for cameras from china. I had some analog samples shipped in just for a joke. I installed them at a machine shop which included two PTZ cameras. Five years later they are still working. Whith shipping the cameras cost me about 44 dollars. Used Paypal and they showed up.

I don't know what to think except keep diversifying and integrating. I have found there is no such thing or device which is plug and play. Eventually, we get called to straighten the mess out. On the consumer side they want it all but very few can do it and survive the learning curve.


More relevant to Manufacturers and End-users than Integrators at this point.

At $16 or even $30 a camera there's no real money in the margin for the Integrator anyway. The Manufacturer at least can try to make it up in volume...

Should the integrator care if it drops to $8 now?

The integrator counter argument is that they can just mark it up more, i.e., markup a $100 by $50, sell for $150, markup a $20 camera $50, sell for $70.

Of course, the bigger issue is how much end users are willing to pay. Have they set the price expectations down to only paying $30 now or will they be happy paying $70, leaving the integrator with the same total dollar margin per camera sale?

I'm not sure they will be happy paying more margin %.

People tip on the bill, not on the food.

Your analogy is flawed. Product Markup is not equivalent to tip.

When a restaurant sells me a hamburger for $3, $5 or $10, I have no idea what the cost of the ingredients are. It might cost them $1 or $2 or $6. This is what I am referring to, regardless if I always tip 20%, the markup on the ingredients could be 30% or 300%, I don't know.

Likewise, if the customer thinks $70 per camera is a good deal for what is being offered, he may not know nor care that the integrator bought them for $16 each.

First, it's as you say an anology, which by definition means it's not the same thing, only that it shares an aspect of the other.

You see the waiter is like the integrator. You pay them x dollars for y food. They don't make the food or pay for the ingredients, they are the channel. They give the x dollars to the restaurant and then recieve a profit based on the bill.

On Monday you go to the Delicious Diner and are served a Hamburger and pay $5 and tip the server $1.

On Tuesday you go to the Expensive Eatery for an equally enjoyable and equally well served Hamburger and pay $20 and tip the server $4.

Why do we do this without even thinking? Because we tip on the bill, not on the food.

In the same way you don't tip $4 on a $5 hamburger, customers don't like 'tipping' the integrator 300%.

So in the case where the customer knows, then they care. And regardless of whether they know exactly, they have a better feel of what the cost is, just because of Costco kits and such.

So their expectation of what the cost actually is drops everyday, but their expectation of a fair margin does not increase to offset it.

Next time you go out to eat someplace new, decide on your tip before the bill comes, just based on the value of the meal/service you get. Why not?

Not having a lengthy debate on tipping. It's off topic. I've already my point above. It stands as is.

FYI, industry standard margin for "Casual Sit-Down" (Chili's, Outback) is about 40%. "Fast Casual" (Chipotle, Salata) is much higher, more like 65%. Fast food margin stinks, only Chik-fil-a is geting better than 10%.

I had a topic, but I fell off it a few miles back....

It depends on the client and how widespread this kind of "deal" will be available. CCTV kits can be seen on the shelves of a lot of stores, including Costco. A simple search on Amazon yields many options. I believe even HD options (SDI, TVI, CVI) and some IP types are now also readily available at much lower costs. Once the average consumer is aware of how low prices can be, it will be difficult to charge way out of the range. Perhaps then our charges have to be more "truthful" and reflect actual labor rates and warranty costs...

I find I need to have some awareness of the client's background and expectations when submitting proposals or I may not get the job more often than not. That said, we always need to have a sense of what is worth our time to us. I'm hearing from other integrators they do not provide line item details anymore, just a total job cost.

Embrace and adapt.

I suggest the next podcast is between Undisclosed A and John :)

Ok, but I'll need a voice mangler...

I get these every day. Just check their website. The funny part is that they are all in the same town and building.



When I was an IT guy, back when dot coms were still a hot commidity, the company I worked for put in an IBM Shark, which was an early SAN. 1.5TB storage, and it only cost us $750k.