Role Reversal: Why Do Swann And Q-See Deny ONVIF?

Swann and Q-see are two rather large OEM's* of security cameras. Swann IP cameras have been rumored to be Hikvision, and Q-see's appear to be Dahuan.

The underlying Hikuan models seem to be ONVIF compatible. If so, a mere fee of $2000/yr, should allow them to recertify these models and claim ONVIF compatibility.

Yet on their websites they act like they have never even heard of ONVIF:

Is this really to their advantage? In addition to the cameras which claim ONVIF but don't deliver it, are there an equal number that deliver without claiming it?

*OEM meaning they are OEM'ing, not that they are the OEM.


Both Swann and Q-See are consumer brands. Most consumers do not care about integration, they just want the kit box they buy to work once everything is all plugged in.

My guess is the lack of mentioning ONVIF on their websites has more to do with marketing (their customers just don't know / care to learn about what ONVIF means) than shunning it out of spite.

The Q-See IP cameras we tested (as part of Testing The Q-See HD IP NVR Kit) did not support ONVIF. It's not safe to assume that just because the original manufacturer includes it as a feature, the relabels will also.

The Q-See IP cameras we tested (as part of Testing The Q-See HD IP NVR Kit) did not support ONVIF.

Good to know.

Is that actually reported in the test? Because I don't see anything except that tech support didn't know whether it would work, but I may have overlooked it...

Yes, I agree that it's not safe to assume anything. Though Q-See surely knows what product it is relabeling and could, like in the case of the NVR from the test, choose to certify and advertise it as such.

They are smart marketers. If they put Onvif on there, it will just confuse the crowd they are selling to. They market their words in a way that their target customer can understand. The less confusion, the more simple it seems to install. That said, several of their products Im sure are Onvif conformant.

Agree what has been said already but if you google ONVIF site:q-see.com you will find lots of references to ONVIF compliance. Swann not at all.

True. My search was using the home page search, and it does not appear to go into the knowledge base.

Obviously, in addition to the majority of buyers, who are unconcerned and unaware of ONVIF, there is a certain DIY savvy subset who are asking about it. "ONVIF and Swann" and "ONVIF and Q-see" searches both return large result sets of people curious about it.

Q-see has some NVR's that have ONVIF 2.3 compatible listed on the spec sheet, although I don't find any of their products on ONVIF's site. Perhaps, since they are not claiming a profile, but are a member, that's legal?

Although I agree with Brian and Sean that it's not important to the average consumer and that's why it's not listed, I also believe there is a desire to play the captive NVR game to insure that the cameras that are added on are of their own brand.

So intentionally hiding the fact could be to their advantage.

Simple marketing. They want to sell closed plataforms to their customers, to avoid mix and match on their systems which increases the Tech support.

Admittedly Swann does sell some products targeting the less than savvy. For instance this retro model, available thru Sears, features a real B&W CRT and matching B&W lens, and 4 totally identical cameras:

The 5.5"black & white monitor features an auto-switch function so you can view the 4 operating security cameras from the same monitor with pre-set timing. The 4 real cameras are designed with a black & white lens and a built-in sensitive microphone allowing you to SEE & HEAR clearly. You can see in the dark over a short 9ft (3m) distance as the cameras have built-in infra-red LEDs. All four cameras are identical, which gives the impression that your premises are protected by a higher level of surveillance.*

*As long as you keep the monitor out of sight.

That unit hasn't been manufactured in at least 8 years. If anyone is still selling it, it's old stock.

Sounds like a clearance sale at Walmart and Sears:

You really have admire the way Swann found the dollars to build monochromatic redundancy in to this unit. Most so-called B&W systems are just random systems with a B&W monitor slapped on the end; note these ship standard with a true B&W lens, insuring grayscale imaging processing from glass to glass. :)

https://qsee.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/2233/ ONVIF compliance list from the Q-See support site. We at Q-See don't deny ONVIF, it's just that only a small segment of our customers care to know this and the fact that ONVIF is not standardized. We are constantly working on developing tools to make understanding product compatibilities for our customers and we should have something pretty decent by the end of the year; however, I haven't heard a customer request information in regards to ONVIF since last year. If you want more information, I can talk to Marketing and Engineering on this topic, just send me a message.

We are constantly working on developing tools to make understanding product compatibilities for our customers and we should have something pretty decent by the end of the year...

Keep in mind that Acti comes before Axis alphabetically when you redo the compliance list.

Thank you

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