Installer Ripping Out IP To Install HD Analog Cameras?

I was called in to bid on a job. The customer has CAT5 in place and Lorex cameras. I asked a question awhile back on how to access them on this site and I got some good tips. Some were Hikvision and some were Dahua but all run on Lorex NVR's and POE switches. I was going to rip out this crappy head end that the customer doesn't like and take over everything with Exacqvision. The other vendor bidding proposed ripping out ALL the IP cameras and installing HD over coax cameras. They are going to install CAT5 to BNC baluns, rip out the POE switches and install 12 VDC power supplies.

They are basically going from a IP infrastructure and going backwards to coax? Are you kidding me? I would imagine they know nothing about IP, are afraid of it, and think this is the only way they can do the takeover. The customer loves it since their price is actually less than mine! "They are replacing all the cameras for just about the same price so why would I go with you?"

It is so laughable but that is what we as a company have to deal with. Nothing against anybody with this name but as my salesman says it is probably "Two guys in a van both named Vinny" or better yet the guy jamming his 1980 BMW trunk full of the monthly sales catalog gear in the ADI parking lot that I saw last week. (true story, I have pictures)


This is a case of the client looking for the lowest cost possible. We use the phrase "value for money" when we sell a system. Where does the client see the value in your system versus your competition? If he is not technically inclined, he sees one screen displaying multiple cameras and another screen where he can review footage. He will most likely never venture outside of those two screens unless it happens to be an accident.

Does the client need the features that Exacq offers or would a more budget-oriented VMS suffice? I am not trying to offend, but look at it from their perspective. This post from a few weeks does an excellent job summing up when to sell high end and when not to. Our company follows a similar model and it seems to work well.

I hope there is still time to salvage this one - we all hate trunk slammers and they do have a nasty habit of cutting into our margins. The other side of this is that maybe they do a terrible job and the client asks you to come in and fix the issues. This has happened to us before and it always brings a little joy.

We are looking at a multi site application with an initial rollout of about 100 cameras combined. That will grow eventually to dozens of sites and hundreds of cameras and they will all be monitored remotely. I would like to see that cheap standalone recorder handle that application.

...better yet the guy jamming his 1980 BMW trunk full of the monthly sales catalog gear in the ADI parking lot that I saw last week.

Trunkjammer.

Hi All, I personally believe that HD over COAX is the future of CCTV for both large and small projects and believe that this "Trunk Slammer" is actually doing the right thing by the client. TVI cheaper, easier to install, has less latency, longer cable distances and a better image when compared to the equivalent resolution in IP cameras. If you compare a good quality 2mp IP camera to a 2mp CVI or TVI and display them on the same monitor and have them pointed at the same scene I am sure most people would choose the CVI or TVI cameras. IP certainly has benefits in some projects however for systems where the client simply needs a picture on a screen with no advanced features then HD over COAX is the way to go.

Todd? Is that you ;)

I am not Todd. Who is this Todd that you speak of :) :)

Actually, funny enough, Todd has dropped CVI (dumped by Dahua?) and is now promoting EX-SDI.

My thinking exactly - I don't know anyone else who's so enamored with "latency" in surveillance video.

I couldn't disagree more (voted so). I haven't seen CVI cameras that come close to equivalent IP cameras from Dahua. The CVI lines have much cheaper (lower quality) lenses. Their 2.8mm fixed lenses for CVI are so poor that I won't buy them anymore. They are only focused in the center of the view and all of the edges are blurry. Could CVI be as good? I'm sure it could, but I just have not seen it myself.

The majority of the lens used on Dahua cameras are 3.6mm, there are others but usually they are optional, for IP Cameras and HDCVI. The handful of HDCVI cameras I took apart recently used the same lenses as the IP Cameras. Is there a specific model camera you were having issues with?

I went back to look for a model number and I think you are correct, they have been 3.6mm lenses, not 2.8mm. We have switched from CAT5e and baluns back to RG59 and have seen some improvement in image quality on CVI, but in general, we still find IP has a slightly better image than CVI. To be fair, the CVI cameras are quite a bit cheaper to buy, so one can't really fault them for having cheaper optics. I have also seen other imaging issues that I can generally resolve easier on an IP camera, such as shutter speeds and WDR settings.

The 2.8mm lenses that I have had issues with were the Dahua 4MP 2.8mm fixed IP cameras. They are well focused in the center of the scene, but get less focused as you approach the edges of the view.

There are some good HDTVI cameras at 2MP that have image quality comparable to a 2MP IP camera. For jobs that require a budget without any special analytic requirements and especially for small residential they are a good look.

I would disagree. HD over coax is still analog. Yes, latency can be a slight issue but that's really only an issue if you are looking at the the local display which I believe is before encoding and shown in real time. If you are monitoring remotely at a different site, latency is not really a valid argument. IP cameras from Dahua and Hikvision are available with 4MP and true WDR and getting close to CVI depending on the model. I have installed both and believe after encoding the image quality is comparable but being analog the distance can and will degrade slightly depending on how long the run is. IP is more useful when dealing with multiple buildings close by since you can use a wireless bridge.

I think for one off systems, HD over coax has its place. I thought the issue here seemed to be management and ease of use. A VMS is a lot better in this regard when dealing with credentials and having to deal with multiple sites. How would HD over coax resolve this issue? The labor rate is obviously too low to change out the cameras, install baluns, and change recorder if the price is really that much cheaper. It's either that or the VMS solution is too expensive. Baluns are really inferior to coaxial cable in my experience.

Also with analog, you are still subject to transmission problems such as ground loops and interference that isn't as big of problem with IP transmission.

latency can be a slight issue but that's really only an issue if you are looking at the the local display

...and only if you're trying to follow someone via PTZ, or some similar task that needs near-instant feedback. If you only ever watch recorded video for past events, latency is irrelevant. Even a security guard watching live isn't going to have a reaction time faster than a second or two of lag.

Not to be rude, but if you are truely a manufacturer, you should be much more informed than this. I understand that you probably make TVI stuff, but for you to present a blanket statement such as

"If you compare a good quality 2mp IP camera to a 2mp CVI or TVI and display them on the same monitor and have them pointed at the same scene I am sure most people would choose the CVI or TVI cameras."

is very amateur

I was going to rip out this crappy head end that the customer doesn't like and take over everything with Exacqvision. The other vendor bidding proposed ripping out ALL the IP cameras and installing HD over coax cameras.

The customer loves it since their price is actually less than mine! "They are replacing all the cameras for just about the same price so why would I go with you?"

Fascinating topic, thanks for sharing!

So is the main issue here that they don't see the value in IP or they don't see the value in Exacqvision (relative to Hikvision)? In other words, if you changed your proposal from Exacq to Hikvision IP, would be lower cost than the TVI competitor?

John, I could put Hikvision in there instead of Exacq and NOT replace every single camera as long as the Hikvision would pick up the Dahua and whatever else Lorex decided to procure from the lowest bidder at the time. Using the existing cameras already in place my price would be lower than the other bidder and I would most likely win the job. However, I think this would be an injustice to the customer and basically put him right back in his current situation.

This job will scale from a few locations right now to dozens of locations and hundreds of cameras in the future. Is Hikvision or some other cheap standalone DVR going to scale well in this situation? I say not since I've done dozens of multi site installs under Exacq and it isn't a problem. I do Hikvision in the residential and light commercial (single recorder) markets when they just want to have something (cheap).

You can educate the customer and tell them what they need for their application to make it work like they want it to but it is maddening how many still look at just the bottom line. I know sales 101, it's up to us to convince them but it's like the old saying with the horse and the water. Some people just can't see past the cost no matter what.

I run Hikvision strictly using the upper models 96128/96256 with excellent success by all accounts.

Next time you have a bid with 200+ IP cameras and every Joe in town is bidding you won't have a license fee to deal with (its a distinct advantage).

Don't consider something does not work if you have never used it.

I could put Hikvision in there instead of Exacq and NOT replace every single camera ... Using the existing cameras already in place my price would be lower than the other bidder and I would most likely win the job. However, I think this would be an injustice to the customer and basically put him right back in his current situation.

Then it seems this is really an Exacq NVR vs Hikvision NVR issue, rather than an IP vs HD analog one.

In a case like this, it might be worth to get Exacq involved to see if they can better sell / communicate the difference.

We are doing a test right now between Exacq and Hikvision, going feature by feature to see where each is better and will release results later this month.

I think it is smart for every integrator today to offer both IP solutions and HD solutions. There are clearly application which favor both. Rather than try to convince the customer to go IP, which may not acually be better for his needs, why not offer a similar HD solution to what your competitor offers. Explain the benefits of both and let him choose. Then winning the deal should come down to your ability to articulate the superior service and technical expertise your company offers. I think it is important to really have a clear and detailed understanding of a customers needs and then to find the solution that most closely fits those needs. Maybe it's IP, maybe its HD. In this case, maybe it's not Exacq.

The customer has almost 100 cameras in place already that are IP so why would you rip them out for HD over coax cameras? ALL of them!! What would be the reason?

There could be a couple of reasons. If the Hik/Dahua cameras in place now are a couple of year old and low end models then it is quite possible the proposed HD models offer better image quality. And if they want to standardize all sites to HD and will be buying hundreds more cameras then the economics of doing this would make sense in the long run. At least this is what I would be telling the customer if I was the competitor. As you say, you can lead a horse to water. I'm sure you are offering the better soluion but sometimes when a customer just won't listen it is better to give them what they want than lose the deal. As long as what you are providing won't come back to bite you...

In general, I agree with your stance, but in this particular circumstance, offering an Analog solution when he has IP installed is going backwards, not to mention no resolving the root issue of ease of maintaining many sites with one system. That said, if he had a site that had existing analog or nothing at all, I could see the argument for Analog HD, considering there was a way to manage it easily, which I have yet to find in any Analog HD system.

Hey! Whatcha got against Vinny anyway? Huh? Wanna be swimmin with da fishes? Huh?

sleepin

Hah. Like I said Vinny no offense. It is just a saying my salesman uses from a personal experience. A long time ago he did business with a company named Two Guys in a Van Named Vinny. They didn't do security but he says these guys had the trunk slammer type mentality and offered the tail light warranty.

No offense taken. :) It's all in jest.

U5 seems to hit the nail on the head. Offer a good, better, best. Or in this case maybe just a better, best solution to the customer.

The headline is deceiving. I would never advise, "...ripping cables out of walls."

Either solution will work. Just depends on balancing customer's budget/expectations/reality

I wouldn't think yanking the IP cams would be cost effective either. If they are good enough now, changing them is an added expense. If your proposal doesn't touch cameras and is still way more than the Analog HD solution, I have no idea what your SOW is?

What I don't get is the client is willing to toss out a Dahua IP solution for a Hik TVI solution? What functionality will he gain from the TVI solution that the current IP system lacks? I can't imagine many, if any.

Just a bit of advice, maybe consider a less expensive VMS (as U2I suggested). If Exact is not in the budget, there may be others that are. We generally sell DW Spectrum (Nx Witness OEM). It is less expensive per camera license, the licenses are perpetual, and can run on COTS hardware. It handles multi-sites like a champ.

My 2 cents.