Hello I'm looking for feedback on any and all experience with IC Realtime. I understand they don't actually manufacturer all their own equipment however I would love to hear any feedback on any and all experiences.
Thanks John I appreciate the quick reply. I am aware of the relationship with Dahua. I guess I should be more specific and maybe this isn't the venue to ask this question but... I'm looking for more operational experiences with IC Realtime such as customer support, technical support on the business side or customer experiences good or bad.
IC Realtime is more of a 'budget' / DIY / kinda trunkslammer brand. Hopefully there are some IPVM members who have experienced but that line is much more popular with the CCTVForum crowd. You might want to ask there.
I did a search of CCTVForum and found some positive and negative comments on IC Realtime. Here's a pro and con exchange.
I have purchased from ICR probably half a dozen times. They have always conducted themselves in a most professional manner. I've had a RMA, needed tech support and of course sales. I felt they genuinely 'cared' for me on each occasion and i am only a drop in the ocean to them. 3 yr warranty on product like most of the leading brands. I'm not a fan of their NVR GUI's but, hell they work and have caused me no issues requiring service. I can assure you as of this week, that their ICIP-D2000IR 2MP dome with 3mm-9mm vari. is a much superior camera, day OR night, than AXIS P3364-ve with its 'lightfinder' bs marketing! Granted the D2000 does have 700k more pixels but still is only half the price of the '64'.
For my business I see more profit in the future to the tune of $200 per camera (D2000IR) given the price and quality. I just need to plug it in side by side with a "64" and show the customer!! Trying a sales pitch using "cameras from ICREALTIME" and the customer is just going to say "who? No. Stay with Axis". Just lost myself an additional $200 per camera. That is a ton of money (at least in my pocket) on a simple 4 cam system!!
ICREALTIME - Professionally....all good in my book.
Their ICIP-D1300IR is a nice little 1.3MP but it has a rotten housing which is a pity. By design it offers little room to mark-up as usual.
A few things - we just ordered 3 Dahua cameras (including an IR model) to do a test. We'll shoot it out against some Axis cameras as well (including the 64). That said, it's a little skewed to compare an IR camera with a non IR one. Lightfinder is not BS marketing, it delivers impressive low light images withoutIR.
Finally, we'll also be doing a technology test of IR vs low light cameras to get a better sense of the tradeoffs between the two categories.
Sincere thanks, for your detailed experiences. This is exactly what I was looking for and this information combined with others helps allot. No matter if companies are an OEM/ODM or pure marketing distributor customer experiences, support and follow-up are all huge factors on value aside from there bottom-line revenue. I haven't met a company yet that has it all figured out. Any more positive/negative experiences are welcome!!!
Our first experience with IC Realtime analog DVR's was so nightmareish I am hesitant to use them again. We bought six 16 channel DVR's for a single job, and three went bad within five months. They were relatively helpfull and did replace them all, but we lost thousands of dollars in labor because their product kept failing. I'm not saying I will never touch them again - but I certainly won't start with such a big bet.
The main headquarters of IC Realtime is very close to me so i've been to their shop many times. Awesome showroom to bring clients and so on. Their tech support is top notch, always get a response, if not right away, they usually call back pretty quickly. And the products literally have never given me any problems yet!! Selling since about 8 years or so.
My only complaint with them is their margins!!! WAY TOOO HIGH!!! They triple their cost to dealers, leaving a dealer with less room for a profit. The owners drive extremely nice cars which they love to flaunt in the front of the building(Mercedes SLS and the other drives a Porshe)....... not very professional in my opinion. But all the power to them since they can afford it with their exorbitant pricing. Many other places to purchase the SAME dahua products from with fair prices.
All in all, great company and great support no doubt, just need to work on their pricing to be more competitive!
I just had my first experience with them when a customer specified them in a RFP. Although I have not installed them yet, their support with pre-sales has been exceptional and so far I can't complain about anything.
I did just realize I dug up an old discussion (Sorry John), but since it's been a couple of years on this thread - I'll post my experience if/when I do the install. It's a big one with 18 DVR's and 200 cameras, so it should give me some good insight into their products.
I recently won a competitive bid on a project and the EU showed me one of the competitor's proposals. He was wondering what made IC Realtime's HD over Coax PTZ camera cost 3.5x what my LTS PTZ with better specs. I couldn't tell him and assumed it was case of margin overreach, but from some of the comments here it appears that may not be the case?
The first was a rep doing a presentation to a group at trade show. It was pegged as a class but I guess these classes are really educational sales pitches.... He was talking about how strong this camera was, used on yachts with saltwater, iron casting, gaskets, etc. So I asked if the camera was explosion proof and he looked at me and said "Well we never submitted it to an explosion" and carried on.
How could he not know what I meant?
The second time that really pissed me off was this sales guy used to call me at my former company every 2-3 months, read off a script, and completely forget anything we said the last time. His pitch started off with "We manufacture all of our cameras here in the USA." So I questioned that and " Oh yeah right here in Pompano Beach Florida" Finally I flat out told him it well known most of their stuff was Dahua. He had to check, called me back and apologized. It was the last time he called....
So from those 2 experiences, I lost any and all confidence in a product that is highly marked up to begin with.
One of the clients that I served last year uses IC Realtime in over 100 locations throughout the western United States. I admit that I was surprised at the choice, but the client seems very happy with the product and the systems that I examined seemed to work just fine.
Apparently, the client couldn't see enough quality difference between the IC Realtime products and the products of the other leading manufacturers to justify the 2x to 3x cost difference.
I just replaced two IC Realtime DVRs that had been hacked and were likely Mirai bots. The client said that when the DVR was plugged into his network, no other traffic could pass. Basically, the DVR traffic was congesting his network to the point where a simple credit card auth wouldn't pass. Simply unplug the DVR and all other traffic resumes as expected. When I attempted to make changes to the DVR, none would save, which leads me to believe that it had been hacked.
One contributing factor for sure was that the original installer (locksmith) never changed the default credentials and put the DVRs in DMZ. What we now know about Dahua and telnet, in combination with default creds and a DMZ allocation, there is no doubt these were hacked, IMO.
It was quicker and cheaper to simply order two new DVRs then to attempt to un-hack them, which is possible to do, but takes time. The other issue is finding updated firmware for the old DVRs that didn't have telnet enabled and allowed strong passwords. The replacement Dahua CVI DVRs check all of these boxes, plus have the ability to support HD cameras, where the old units were CVBS only.
Had he allowed me the time, I could have wiresharked them to find out what exactly was happening, but this was an out of town service call and time was of the essence. He also wanted the old DVRs left at the sites, as I was hoping to retain them for testing.
That's not good leaving them onsite. You know someone will find them and reuse them. I hope you wrote "Hacked" or something similar across the unit. I would have opened it and unplugged the power supply or something to cripple it so that it can't be re-used by someone unskilled. Good luck...
You make a good point, but the IP is not changable, and unless the network where they attempt to use it has the same exact subnet scope, then it won't be able to pass traffic. They were using a non-typical 172.x.x.x subnet. It's not often I see a class B subnet scope in use. Usually it's the standard 192.168.1.1/24 or a 10.1.1.1/24 scope.
The device is crippled for all intents and purposes. You cannot make any changes to any setting. It's not likely to be effectively used in the future.
I have used IC Realtime for approximately 2 years now with approximately dozen installs. Most of my customers have been happy with their IP cameras. The first sales guy wasn't very professional, but would always call me back right away and was reliable for most part. Our new rep is more professional and reliable.
Some of the positives about IC Realtime is that they have a large selection of product. They could be a one stop shop. The quality of the cameras seem okay and for the most part the systems are easy to network and install. Their Tech support is okay. For the most part they can solve my problems and they take care of the RMAs pretty quick. They do also have a dealer cloud service too. Started using them with another company. They need to update the app for the cloud cameras.
I have noticed some issues however. Bandwidth on their NVRs are poor. Have a 32 camera NVR that cannot handle 20 camera 2 megapixel cameras. I wouldn't recommend using any pano cameras. I think their prices are too high for a lower brand option and I don't think that they would qualify as a "flagship" product for most company integrators. Brackets and accessories are way over priced. Not a lot of black colored housing camera options. I have been noticing more RMAs on their cameras as of late. If I would give them a grade it would be a C+/B-.
Eric, thanks for the feedback. When you say "Have a 32 camera NVR that cannot handle 20 camera 2 megapixel cameras", what framerate recording and viewing was that trying to use? Can they do duel streaming at different resolutions and framerates?
The iOS app is sh!te (same as Dahua rebranded), the motion sensing is sh!te, and information on how to do the most basic of things (email alerts based on motion, for example) is buried in threads on their forum. Tech support never answers the phone in my experience, but will call back oftentimes after my technician has left the site or after hours. They're very proud of their sh!tty iOS app, did I mention that? And then the Dahua backdoor thing hit, but I'd already moved on thank goodness, and never used their apparently insecure remote access service.
IC Realtime tends to deploy the same tactics as many other 'cheap' OEM products, as do the original manufacturers, and talk about 'channels' when it comes to NVRs. A 32 camera NVR is probably only capable of handling 32 cameras at VGA resolution if the scenes have any activity in them at all. This sounds more like a marketing scam than anything else. Dahua and Hik do this as well. Pushing a 64 'channel' NVR with a throughput of 160Mbps doesn't really make sense in the real world. Forget about the 'channels' and simply do a proper system design which allows for the nature of the scenes etc to prevent disappointment.
most all Dahua and Hik NVR's can do the full stated resolution, even when using all 64 channels. For example, you can do all 64 channels at 4K rez each at whatever frame rate you want. Sure you have to stay within the stated throughput but most of these recorders nowadays have adequate throughput for the channels stated. Most of their newer 64 channel recorders can do more than 160 mbps, most of them are atleast double that. Their was a time, when they first started developing NVR's where you had to be very mindful of the frame rate limit and bit rate limit but those days are pretty much gone
Key is to not go bandwidth crazy. We have customers that want to crank up their cameras to the highest bandwidth possible for no real good reason. Their is a spot in which you start to raise the bitrate in which it really makes no difference to the video quality. We have an 8 channel recorder that can only do 64 Mbps and we have some customers who are like "oh that can only do 64 Mbps, i need something more powerful". I then ask why they need to set their little bullet cameras past 8 Mbps, and they just reply with " I want to utilize my cameras maximum power" Problem with this is, that its going to eat up hard drive space in no time, not to mention, it will make remote viewing very difficult.
When we design systems for customers, we try not to go over 2Mbps per camera. We usually use 15 FPS which helps with this, even on the 4mp cameras, the image is still great even at just 2Mbps. If we do 30 FPS, we dont go over 4 Mbps, only exception is a PTZ where we will maybe go up to 6 Mbps.
Yeah 4K cameras will probably need more bandwidth than I stated, my observations were based on 4-5 MP cameras.
With that being said, all of their models that accept 4K resolution will have more than enough bandwidth needed to run 4K cameras. For example, Hik has a 4K 16 channel NVR that does 160 Mbps. Thats 10 Mbps per camera. You wont need 10 Mbps per camera, even at 4K.
I suppose it all depends on the application. A 'busy' 2MP camera could still stream up to 8 or 9 Mbps and higher MegaPixel cameras well in excess of that. Hik was still selling 64 channel models last year with 160Mbps so it's not that long ago I suppose, but then in our industry things change quickly. I met an SI recently who could just about run 1x 4K camera on the '16 channel' NVR he was supplied to do a demo by the disti. To many times we see systems where the 2 or 4MP cameras were turned down as the NVR simply could not handle the throughput. The introduction of new smart compression technology might solve a lot of these issues I suppose.
2MP cameras running at 8 or 9 Mbps is really high and probably the result of a camera that has poor compression algorithms. Most of the newer cameras DSP's produce such a great static image and need very little bitrate thrown at them to look good.
I played with some Acti cameras recently, the image was horrendous, even at 2MP, and you needed to crank up the bitrate to make it look halfway decent. The compression on it was terrible, very blocky and right before the Iframe started over the image was nearly useless. Granted, a distributor was closing these out so its possible that these were older models so I wont blame it on Acti but it was one of the worst images I have ever seen.
Ps In our market IC Realtime have been suffering from poor assembly quality and high reported 'out of box' failure rates and we have seen Dahua making a swift entrance in to the market and they are doing steady business. Quite a few SI's we know have made the sideways move from IC to Dahua.
IC Realtime is an OEM for Dahua so in theory they both should have the same failure rates. I've used Dahua products for 11 years and love it but unfortunately Dahua is now directly competing against Oem's it seems and I'm not a fan. Makes our margins unrealistically low. We are slowly migrating to a new brand for this reason. It's a shame but what can you do.
IC Realtime was assembled here and the word on the street was that quality control went out the window as their Sales ballooned initially. I suppose they became victims of their own success in a way. For a while it was branded as 'made in the USA' although it was well known where the product was sourced and where it was assembled. I am sure that DAHUA has much better quality control and especially far better facilities!
IC Realtime was assembled in Dublin, Ireland for a long time from where they supplied the Irish and UK markets. I can see why Dahua would've stepped in. It is well documented on the web that PTZ cameras and NVRs were build in a corrogated roof 'shed' (not my words) which I'm sure would have contributed to the high number of returns they suffered.
Still, its more of Dahua's problem. All IC did was assemble the DVR boards inside a metal case. Thats about as "manufacturing" as they got. This has nothing to do with IC's poor quality control, it has everything to do with Dahua's.
As far as other cameras other than PTZ's, Im sure IC didnt assemble those as their is no real cost advantages to doing so.
That company lies like dogs. All kinds of bs about how their CEO developed the product and it was different, better, etc, etc... All fine until we installed it on a job and it was crap. That was in like 2011 and never did another. They called every few weeks for years.