IP Cameras Are Rarely Used?

What if I said?

"A few years ago IP cameras were the future trend, but they are rarely used, and no company is yet shipping a large number of IP Cameras. Why do people keep speculating that this market segment will grow?"

Does that sound about right to you?

Well, the self proclaimed Galileo of the security industry recently trumpeted this. There was only one, well, minor problem. The quote is from 5 years ago - 2008.

Indeed, when Rockoff realized this, he did not miss a beat, exclaiming, "I just noticed the dates on these posts: late 2008! So much has changed, yet their points remain valid."

It's truly amazing how facts do not phase him.

The world is far different from 2008, when the statement had some truth, especially in China, where the speaker is from. However, the situation has flipped by 2013, not only are IP cameras used nearly everywhere, they are so broadly used, that they are on the tail end of wiping out analog cameras in the professional market.

Ha, I just read this. I also learned from him that the IP market is saturated and there's no margin in it.

Well, the margin criticism is worth discussing. Any successful market, especially in the Internet age, faces margin pressure - whether it's analog, IP, etc.

Oh I agree on that. I just disagree that there's "no" margin in it.

As soon as I read that quote, even though I hadn't seen it before (specifically), I knew where it was coming from :) Our pal isn't predictable at all, is he?

So this one major customer that I often refer to, we've been going through assorted MP cameras on their sites over the years, and when I put up an Axis P-3384 at their head office to watch the parking lot, he was so impressed with its night performance, he just decided to blow the wad on the budget for the latest site and put in a dozen of the indoor models of the camera. I was on site with him yesterday, we were checking the video, and his immediate comment was, "Wow, the analog cameras really look like shit after you've been looking at the Axis cameras for a while."

I suspect many more of these cameras will be the spec on future sites...

Should I tell him that "IP cameras are rarely used"? Hmmm.... naaaaah. I think I'll just let him suffer in ignorance.

I made my point clear in "The Worst Security Marketing Ever" but to reiterate 2 things:

  • Why make these obviously false claims about competitors? Can't he pick out real weaknesses?
  • Why not champion all the new great HDcctv products?

I have to be honest, this game is no longer fun, it's lost all the challenge. You could coin a new phrase "It's like shooting Rockoff's in a barrel" in regards to dismissing the claims of Todd/hdcctv aliance.

Nobody is listening to him, they're not making any headway, the industry at large does not seem to perceive hdcctv as a very viable option in most cases. The more generic HD-SDI seems to have a small amount of headway in the low-end/DIY market trends .

It's best just to leave the kids in the corner eating paste to themselves and move on...

Classic Brian!

Interesting topic, I actually had 2 dealers just yesterday talking to me about how they feel that IP has not grown as fast as futurists said it would

Typically the National Integrators are doing about 70-30 IP quotes over analog when I ask them how the business is flowing.

If you were to ask the National distributors, at least in my territory it is 70-30 in favor of analog sales.

Most government bids are pure IP.

Some commercial office building in NYC will only put analog cameras on the outside of the building as they do not want people plugging into their network. Yes this from a security director at a large securities firm.

Wonder if there are geographic differences in the numbers between IP and analog.

The bridges and tunnels that were flooded after Hurricane Sandy were installing analog.

Interesting feedback. As for the bridges and tunnels installing analog, I assume they were replacing existing analog cameras with existing cabling in place? Or was it all damaged and they put in brand new end to end analog? Was there a specific reason not to go HD something?

I still get confused that there is even a difference between HDcctv and HD-SDI. I always thought they were the same.

If you buy HDcctv, Todd will personally call you on your birthday to thank you.

As revenge, Todd has hijacked a thread of an integrator looking for advice.

Sean, essentially, HDcctv is HD-SDI plus greater interoperability and additional features (in newer/future versions). Problem is very few people are getting the HDcctv logo / stamp (less than 20 cameras even today listed). To compensate, anytime some one mentions HD SDI now, Todd claims that as an HDcctv win, further increasing the confusion.

The current HDcctv specification overview page is a good example of this bizarre situation. What version of HDcctv are they on?

"HDcctv 1.0 is current. The high-level specifications for HDcctv 2.0®, HDcctv XR®, and HDcctv CX® are complete, with the full specification suite on track for ratification early in 2013."

This despite them saying for years that 2.0 on the verge of being ready. Still on the verge.

In terms of use, they say, "more than 200,000 HDcctv cameras were sold worldwide in 2012." Who knows where that figure comes from? Typically they talk about booming China sales, certainly not big in the USA. And then they are back to the card trick:

"Many of these cameras are certified HDcctv compliant, and a second generation of HDcctv products is in preparation."

In other words, however many non IP HD cameras are being deployed, they are essentially all HD SDI vendors who have no interest in mating their brands to ToddCo.

Aww. Thanks for the clarification.

Imho it is always a question of terms. In oil&gas the world is still analog for field equipment and become ip at the "center" with encoding. Long life to analog!

Irony: The champion of a surveillance technology primarily marketed to 'old-guard' installers (unwilling to accept fundamental changes in technology) compares himself to the greatest scientific progressive in history.

I agree with Brian, dealing with "spin master" Todd is no longer fun.

The best part of moving the IPVM discussions off LinkedIn is removing the HDcctv hijackers from the threads. They are brutal in the threads - with the private messages they send being even worse.

I've almost grown to accept Todd's crazy antics and statements as the founder of his "Alliance"... On the other hand Craig" Keep your Chin Up" Scott's psuedo-technical and misleading "sales-engineering" train wrecks annoy me to no end. I unfollowed both of them by association months ago.

I pity anyone still selling any form of analog or hdcctv as their primary business. Maybe Todd knows where I can get the latest Adele album on MiniDisc?

I also feel the margin is small in Ip cameras, with that being said I have been using remote video cloud storage as a partner to the cameras, hence increasing my bottom line, providing an easy to use dashboard and customer ease of use. Needless to say we love the RMR opportunities available.

Syed, if you dont mind disclosing it, what manufacturer of ip cameras do you sell(I dont need to know your discount, just curious what brands have small margins) ? I sell Axis and Panasonic cameras and the base margins are anything but small. Granted you might have to drop your pricing in bid situations, but even at that, if you are getting the jobs registered there are even more points of margin to be made...

Sean, registration only adds a few points (for most any manufacturer). I do agree that the margins are far better in cloud storage but the sales volume is far lower, making it a tough tradeoff.

I think Todd has made some good points, there are some situations where Analog/HDCCTV would possibly do better than IP, I know a few customers of mine who just need a handful of cameras, maybe a few outdoor cameras and in my brief research to get outdoor rated cameras to handle the -40C weather we get gets expensive for IP. So analog is more appealing for those people who just need video, and don't need high resolution. And need to save money on outdoor.

But other than that, his general attitude is horrible and makes me not even want to look at HDCCTV lol

Maybe it's a unique business model, but most of the time when we do sell customers on IP cameras, especially our regular customers, they're not going with them because of the cost, but because they want the integrator, and they trust the integrator (through experience!) to provide them the best cameras for the purpose. Since we don't have to compete on margins, then we can make better margins :)