Is It Time For Me To Start Selling Hikvision?

Ok is it time to start selling Hikvision? Lost 4 projects to an electrician and 2 to an alarm installer in the past two months. I'm recommending Axis M and P series cameras with Axis Camera Companion and Netgear Poe switches, their recommending Hikvision IP cameras with Hikvision Poe NVRs. Side note both use ADI for materials. Our install quotes are about the same but the Axis cameras is where their beating us Typical install for us is 6-14 cameras mainly small manufacturing, warehouses, commercial businesses and some residential.

Searched and read all articles on IPVM including camera comparison (the price difference is unbelievable for a camera similar to Axis), it seems Hikvision has a product and price point that should be considered. Others in the discussions and surveys have stated they switched.

I'm thinking of quoting two quotes for each job, one Axis for their quality and dependability, one for Hikvision for price. Is this crazy or should I just quote one or the other?

The other option was going to have the client pay for the materials (cameras, switches, and cabling) I would absorb the immediate cost of labor and incorporate it into a service contract for a period of 3 years. Every three months we clean, adjust, and update firmware if needed. So why not spread that cost out over three years. The contract would have to, I want to say the cameras and all other equipment are the property of the contractor for the three year period. Just think or typing out loud.

Any thoughts?


Do your clients care if they are buying Chinese products? Do you care?

If not, why sell anything else?

Undisclosed Avigilon employee, are you endorsing the purchase of Hikvision products or attacking a competitor because of their country of origin?

I'm just genuinely curious if he cares. It seems to me that Hikvision would compare pretty well to Axis cameras paired with camera companion. Axis cameras are made throughout the world too, right?

I talk to a lot of people that do care if they are buying from a Chinese company, so it seems fair to ask. Consumers of security products don't seem to research manufacturers as much as more personal purchases, like cars.

"I talk to a lot of people that do care if they are buying from a Chinese company, so it seems fair to ask."

That's a passive-aggressive defense of xenophobia. "I am not saying Chinese stuff is junk, I just know a lot of people who swear that Chinese stuff is awful."

Hikvision's particular problems are fair game, as is Avigilon's, Axis, Arecont, etc. But can you beat Hikvision on the facts or do you have to resort to criticizing the country the manufacturer is from?

I was actually encouraging the guy to sell Hikvision if he can't differentiate it from Axis.

Call it whatever you want. I don't want to buy Chinese products if possible. Many others share that opinion. I think it's bad for our economy in the U.S. to do so.

I think it stimulates competition for better pricing from companies like Axis which is outrageously priced to begin with. At least from what I remember... its been a while since I last tried to price Axis out.

I'm curious now... where is Axis made/manufactured?

Axis is like Apple here. I don't believe Axis has any factories in their home country. They design and develop in Sweeden but contract manufacturer typically, I believe, in Asia. Axis has confirmed that Thai company SVI is one of their contract manufacturers.

"I don't want to buy Chinese products if possible. Many others share that opinion. I think it's bad for our economy in the U.S. to do so."

That's why we all need to buy as many Arecont cameras as possible, even if they are terrible...

Cause when you buy crappy Arecont cameras you are stimulating the economy multiple times, once when buying the cameras and then each time you need to fix them...

Aerocont might be worse than the Chinese. Russian mafia Circumventing our good intentions by manipulating our system enabling them to claim made on USA.

Undisclosed "A", from a competitive point of view, what type of integrator manufacturer would you rather compete with, one producing cheap Asian products or expensive Western ones?

Edit: Strikeout

Yes I care, Hikvision is fairly new to the states, in the last three years they overtaken other manufacturers. I'm not familiar with their product line, thier longevity, thier picture quality, the NVRs suppling power to cameras I prefer a separate Poe switch, the security issues with passwords, there isn't a lot of info available about their product line, rebranding thier cameras with ADI for example, why?

Yes one other issue way do you post undisclosed? It would be nice for all the manufacturer that's the undisclosed to disclose thier identity, if your going to make a commit show me who you are. Please.

Dwayne -- definitely do some internal testing before switching.

I have recently started to work with Hikvision product internally.

The password issue was negligence on the part of the end user or installer The default password on Hikvision NVRs was 12345. Dumb, yes, but there are many many systems out there with an equally simple password. The HIkvision NVRs until recently only allowed for an numeric code as a password, which requires perhaps a few seconds to brute force. The newer versions and new firmware upgrades for the old ones requires a higher strength alphanumeric password. I see it as a non-issue now.

i have no info on the longevity. The oldest units I have seen installed are only 2 years old and there are only 2 of them.

Picture quality is ok on even their cheapest product, but temper your expectations with the reality that these cameras are costing 1/3 or less of what Axis costs.

Undisclosed yes I'm ready to try their cameras not the NVRs

Dwayne, great question!

Quoting both options, I think, is a good approach, especially in this situation. There's definitely debate around this and you can see it here: Should Integrators Be Offering Multiple Options / Quotes?

Dwayne, what is the price difference (for products) between your Axis proposals and the Hikvision ones? 50% more? 100% more? That's a bigger factor in evaluating what you should do.

As for Hikvision, they are doing very well, especially in the 6 - 14 camera market you are typically doing. For example, see Favorite SMB Video Surveillance Manufacturers and Top Manufacturers Gaining and Losing Ground. So it's not an aberration and, for the relatively simple needs of smaller camera count users, Hikvision's overall offering is close to Axis'.

The challenge is, given Axis product portfolio weakness in the low end market, there's no combination of Axis products that are going to be close in price to equivalent spec'd Hikvision. And it is going to get worse as more dealers use Hikvision's HDTVI which is even less expensive than Hikvision's IP offering.

The other approach is to go full on negative against Hikvision. Like the Avigilon employee above (undisclosed manufacturer 1), you can attack the 'Chinese' for being 'Chinese', if you are comfortable with that. More specifically, you could emphasize that (1) Hikvision has had some serious security issues and (2) that Hikvision's growth is heavily dependent on their success inside China, while China is facing a steep stock decline / crash that could hurt them.

Quotes on one of the jobs, three quotes, Hikvision $2600.00, Hikvision $3200.00, I cut my labor substantial 5 Axis cameras $4011.00.

I don't know what Hikvision cameras there were quoting.

Dwayne, all, I took a look at the specific parts Dwayne showed me offline.

The key challenge for this job is that most of the cameras are outdoors and Axis products are just not close in price. For example, the lowest cost Axis 1080p outdoor dome is the M3025-VE, which costs ~$500. By contrast, Hikvision has 1080p outdoor domes at ~$150 (plus they have IR), see comparison. Just with 4 of those cameras, the Hikvision bid has a $1000+ advantage.

You are going to have be a pretty tremendous salesman to sell around that.

I've had the same problem and I switched to Hikvision as well as Dahua. Dahua cms being harder for the customer to learn to use. Still for the price and image its hard to beat. I do still sell "upscale" but its become less and less unfortunately.

By the way, I do mention to the customer that they are chinese products and that I have tested them in my own home for the past 2 years without an issue. If I had not previsously tested the cameras I would not, in good conscience, have made the recommendation to use Hikvision or Dahua for their project.

My way of thinking, why be one of the herd. If you have been in the business awhile, we have had these shooting stars before.

Better differentiate yourself in some way.

Being the lowest price does not lead to longevity.

I like the service component better.

FYI: the chinese are not our friends, unless you are Wal-Mart.

Try to get the end user to see the VMS and image quality of the cameras. Help them understand the difference between the two solutions. Your manufacturer representatives will assist with demonstrations at no cost. Also, you will most likely be the only one showing them the product. We find that if a decision maker gets the opportunity to see our Spectrum VMS, 9 out of 10 times they will pay more for the better solution.

But is there really a big difference in image quality and VMS between Axis and Hikvision? I mean this seriously.

Camera Companion (which Dwayne is offering) is definitely solid, but its pretty simple and Hikvision's recorders / 4200 VMS are fairly close. And, as for image quality, the M300x are not in the same league of quality as the new Hikvision minidomes that are ~30-50% less money.

Is cheaper always better? Effective integrators sell a service and support function. Is this going to be an effective system 3,5, or 10 years in the future? Will the manufacturer support the equipment out of warranty?
There is a lot of emphasis on price on this topic. Not once did I heard tak time to explain to the client what he needs based on the application. Did you explain to your client the challenges Hickvision presents for data security. If they don't care, and a lower price system is their only concern, then sell them a cheap system. If they are in the market for a specific system to address a specific problem, educate the client. Explain to the client why your recommendation is better and why is more expensive. If they don't care, try still to give them the best possible solution. If you are not going to make money then is time to walk away. Nothing you say or do would change their minds.
I used to be all geovision, then started using a mix of dahua and LTs. LTS is hikvision rebranded. I've had excellent performance from dahua and lts. Geovision ptzs have been problematic as where lts and dahua I've had no issues. I won't touch pelco or panasonic, avigilon or anything like that. You are paying for a name and nothing else. In the end, in 6-10years, the equipment will be upgraded anyways, so why waste the extra $ on a name.

If I may ask, why LTS rather than Hikvision?

No difference really...I just don't care to deal with adi...they for the most part are box pushers, have fowl attitudes/service, and are ripoffs on pricing.

Lts, I signed up as a dealer, and get dealer pricing. Plus their reps seem very knowledgeable and very wanting to earn my business, as they are helpful, and keep me informed on the status of my orders. They also are quick to answer the phone, or return my calls/emails.

you buy directly through LTS and not thriugh a distributor?

do they take car eof issues in a timely manner?

Yes, you can buy directly from LTS as a dealer....which is why I went to them...one of my distributors was selling their PTZs as their own, and thru the PTZs web interface, it listed the model of the ptz dome and I did research and found out it was a LTS ptz...I think I save about $200-300 per ptz buying directly from LTS. AND HONESTLY, I dont think LTS ptzs are Hikvision because I have some actual Hikvision PTZs on jobs, and the LTS ones are by far much better in quality (i.e. how quick they auto focus, etc). PLUS...the hikvision ptzs I have in service are NOT poe capable, as where LTS are poe capable, and I don't even use the poe injector, just plug it directly into the poe switch. Advantage of POE ptzs is in the event you have issues, you log into the managed poe switch, and power cycle the camera.

I think for the 20X IP 2MP PTZ with wall mount, I pay $399. The 30X is $599.

They are very good on resolving any issues in a timely manner...they act like they are in fear of losing you as a customer, so they do everything under the sun to make sure you are completely satisified.

They are very proactive on their customer service- that they act like you are their only customer. When I order from my rep, she takes screen shots of the fedex tracking info on a daily basis to keep me updated.

Not trying to toot my horn or promote them, but we all know how distributors have become- box pushers and not giving a hoot about their dealers. LTS is close to the service of the four seasons...they keep you updated and are proactive so you don't have to chase after them.

All the current Hikvision IP cameras are PoE capable. The PTZ cameras have had firmware updates that greatly improved auto-focus time.

According to IPVMs’ Camera Finder HikvisionIPVM Camera Finder Hikvision PoE 802.2af has 363 cameras, 327 are ip, 254 are PoE 802.3af, and 119 are ONVIF Profile S

Undisclosed 6 manufacturer why not list your name and company you represent?

Of those 119 cameras which VMS, NVR or NAS do you recommend besides Hikvision’s?

Thank you Undisclosed 4 integrator taking 2min of my life that I will never get back. This LTS you say is hikvision rebranded. Just another reason why not to sell them. Quick search here shows nothing but your rambling in this chat.

Oh an another thing what are you hidden behind. SHOW Your Name. I think your a manufacture who's trying to pump up the LTS.

The discussion is about Hikvision not LTS

show name

Show name Undusclosed 4

BY DEFAULT, MY NAME IS UNDISCLOSED, SO EXCUSE ME FOR TELLING MY TRUE EXPERIENCE WITH LTS/HIKVISION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you Mike Nice To meet you.

Nice to meet u too. Dont mean to rant man, but Ive seriously had some good service from them and they seem to know their product.

Using HV or LTS is simply taking that "leap" from using brand names like axis/pelco. Someone referenced HV being like toyota- that exactly sums it up. You can use HV on most jobs and make a nice margin, then theres the ones you have to use axis etc on.

Heres a snap shot from one of those baseball "EXIR" cameras they make. Its 3MP and produces a really nice image.

Nice picture, Hikvision or the LTS?, what are you using to a recorder and Poe ?

Lts overall has had great ratings on here, price is good, and quality is really good, plus I'm in one of the big cities where they have an office, and I can just walk in or call.

I see. I was asking because of the mention that the product line was rebranded Hikvision.

Is LTS offering better warranty terms or dealer pricing than Hikvision's?

who-is-lts-lt-security

UNDIS 4 just found this here. Who is LTs

Keep in mind, they may under charge to "get the job", and provide half @$$ coverage, making the customer call them back to add cameras, and that is when they gouge the heck out of the customer on change orders.

I use Hikvision for your standard installs describe it to my customers as the Toyota Corolla of CCTV equipment good cost good quality everyone knows it. I have had no problem with the Hikvision product it seems to work well and is price competitive the only issue I have heard of althrough haven't struck myself is that it is so widely avaliable direct to the client via the web (Alibaba etc) that clients will balk at paying anything more than a basic price as they have seen it for bugger all on the web. I used to use Bosch for my more technically difficult installs (lighting issues etc ) where price wasn't the issue but the local supplier here has gone downhill so I have started looking at the Axis as an alternative where quality is defnitely the issue rather than price which it seems with the Axis (forensic WDR etc) is better. I also like the Axis edge recording which they seem to have put a lot of work into (whereas I'm not so sure with the Hik offering) this can give you a price advantage if you don't have to quote an NVR. In a scenario I am quoting at the moment I am looking at the Axis as it is kioisks in mall enviroments so very small space to work with plus mall management demands so the ability to not have to put an NVR and UPS in whch saves on space and heat issues and power an edge recording AXis camera off a switch and than back to the router is an attractive option. In short I would say diffrent horses for diffrent courses.

A few years ago I was working for a BIG IP VMS brand. They decided to start their own range of cameras. When I questioned them "Why...The Chinese are coming"... My comment was dismissed as they will never succeed... How they are regretting this now. Whether we like it or not..HV and others have the manufacturing ability to really hit hard.

It has been known for a while that a product with USA on the label will sell big in the USA... It also carries a premium on price sometimes.

Companies like HV and others offer a VERY good product at a very competitive price.

As Bob Dylan sang... "Times they are a changing"

Well, here is my point from European market perspective - I think many companies here were in your dilema situation and I think they opted for the Hikvision/Dahua/TVT solution long ago and those who did were on the winning side. We started working with Hikvision in 2008 when Hik was still a relatively unknown in Europe analog PC cards manufacturer, starting to sell analog DVRs. At that time we were using and selling Pelco, Arecont, DM. Then Hik came with IP cams, then NVRs, then came the iVMS 4000 software platform, this year we are starting the Hikvision access control and video doorphone... For some years we were doing the "Two quotes" scenario but we came to the point where we were giving to the client two offers (One brand/one "Chinese") with same functionality and picture quality but 2x/3x difference on the price tag. And this scenario I think leads inevitably to the all Hik option. We went more and more with Hik wining more and more of the former high brand projects and clients. Of course the highly suicidal policies of some of the high-end brands like DM did help a lot this to happen, but this is another story :)

On the other hand the only sensible advantage for some higher end brand today here is System integration. For example the cases where you have a shopping mall, stadium, industrial facility etc, where you can supply the video and other systems - alarm, access control, fire detection, PA and it is really an advantage (both in terms of functionality and price) if you can offer a total solution from one manufacturer who can guarantee things will work together without glitch (and we're talking low system level, not just plain ONVIF). Here is where Bosch, Siemens and others come strong in Europe but Axis is not in that "total solution" group. AND if you compare just apples to apples and Hik cameras to Axis cameras there is not much reason left to pay much more extra for the brand itself. If the Swedish guys/the new Canon guys don't change anything (and they haven't done anything so far) I think Axis' long term future looks grim, like just another expensive high quality niche product like Mobotix for example.

So in your case with 6-14 cameras - surely you should go with Hikvision - if you don't, the competitors you mentioned will continue to take the pie away. As for the other option - sacrificing your labour costs and/or margin just to get Axis in the game just isn't feasable in my opinion, it will just hold the situation back for a while, but as agent Smith would put it:

Agree 100 %
Which bring another ?
How many more years N Americans camera companies will exist
My predictions within 2-3 years 20-30 % of N Americans camera companies will disappear

Rumen Thanks for your input, I have a question if you could comment on this subject below it would be helpful.

According to IPVMs’ Camera Finder Hikvision IPVM Camera Finder Hikvision PoE 802.2af has 363 cameras, 327 are ip, 254 are PoE 802.3af, and 119 are ONVIF Profile S

Of those 119 cameras which VMS, NVR, or NAS do you recommend besides Hikvision’s? Want to use a seperate PoE switch and a NVR or NAS..

I'm incognito like that. IPVM lists discontinued models, and some of the current models may not be listed there. However, I now remember there is one pinhole camera that isn't PoE. I don't have any recommendations for VMS or NAS. I wouldn't recommend a different NVR because you would lose some advanced functionality that the cameras offer. Why would you use a different NVR?

You can't be 'incognito like that.' You are a Hikvision employee. You need to own what you say when you speak for your corporation.

Lol at 'why would you use a different NVR?'

Undisclosed first thanks for you reply, you’re from Hikvision why are you afraid to say who you are? I'm old school like to know who I'm talking to or who’s making a recommendations if your undisclosed for all I know you could be a who in Horton Hears A Who.

Not comfortable selling an 8 channel nvr with PoE prefer dedicated Gig PoE switch, if the nvr with Poe goes down you lose everything, with separate switch you still have live view and email alerts.

I'm ready to try your cameras a little excited to be truthful, just not ready to recommend a full system with all Hikvision equipment, need more feedback on product reliability, response time in case of equipment failures, and of course product reviews from creditable sources other than Amazon, homeowners, electricians, and Harvey the camera banger who before using Hikvision installed analog cameras from Big Box stores. Reviews from Professionals who see value even though inexpensive but reliability in your equipment...

...prefer dedicated Gig PoE switch, if the nvr with Poe goes down you lose everything...

Either way, if the POE goes down, you lose everything.

Still, I agree POE is a common failure point. Maybe you should get the Gig POE switch and NVR with POE, since it's only $60 more.

I once spoke to a guy with the same concern. Once he found out that the built-in switch is separate from the main ethernet port and you don't have have to use it he no longer had a reason to not use the NVR. Additionally, there is a professional series of NVRs that require a separate switch. All I'm trying to do is provide accurate information. Any informed Hikvision user could tell you the same.

Undisclosed not interested in your NVR,

"which VMS, NVR, or NAS do you recommend besides Hikvision’s?"

Dwayne, I started a new related discussion: Putting Together A List Of Low Cost Non-Asian NVRs

Hi Dwayne, well for a recording solution different from Hikvision's own NVRs I would suggest to try Milestone (if the budget allows it). All Hik cameras are supported and it works, we are using this combination in higher end installations. But as our market is very price sensitive in most cases customers go for Hik NVRs, normally without PoE fuction. There are some other NVRs that we have tried and I know for sure that they support Hikvision but I think they are not present on US market (like Intellio and Seenergy for example). So, in short, based on our experience - Milestone + Hik cameras is a good, proven solution given that there are not any serious budget constaints.

We have been selling Dahua and Hikvision fOr years now and have yet to have more than two bad units. We have many in service for well over three years now, without a SINGLE service call. I have never SOLD Axis cameras, but we have worked on quite a few. I can assuredly say that we have seen FAR more issues with Axis than Dauha or Hik.

As far as the security of Dahua or Hik, lock down your network and it isn't an issue. You should be doing that already.

On to the VMS vs NVR debate. We will sell an NVR/DVR if the client can't afford a VMS and server, but we try our best to sell DW Spectrum for ease of use and features missing from the Chinese based NVRs.

But, if we are selling an NVR, why not just go with HDCVI and sell a similar DVR. The Dahua Tribrids can also support a few IP cams if needed. They also integrate analog SD, if the client has some already. It supports ONVIF if you decide to add the VMS server down the road. AND it keeps pricing low to get the project bid won. Get in the door and go from there. Show them you do good work and they won't want to work with anyone else.

Hi Dwayne, I work at Axis on the communications team and monitor this site. I encourage you to discuss pricing and partner status with us directly. I'd start with your local account executive, Alex, by calling Inside Sales at 1-800-444-2947 Option 3. You're welcome to reach out to me directly at kelley.brescia@axis.com as well, and I'd be happy to put you in touch.

Kelley, thanks.

Do you have any general guidance for your partners competing / beating lower cost offerings like Hikvision? I think would not only help Dwayne but the large numbers of people reading this as well.

Great question, John. It’s important to stipulate that every project is different and the objective is to always provide the end user with the best solution for their specific requirements -- deterrence, identification, etc. However, to speak more generally, you’re looking at three factors: price, service/support and quality. We can throw out price because if someone decides only on price, then they’ll buy the lowest. What’s more important is performance and quality. After all, we’re talking about protecting people and/or assets. The focus should be on value, and it’s not just about a product. It’s about the R&D invested in a product, the product’s components, an ethical supply chain, the quality assurance and testing behind that product, the standards a product adheres to (HDTV, for example), pre- and post-sales support, product warranty, technical support, the training, tools and resources that go along with a product – the list goes on. We are humble and practical enough to acknowledge we won’t always be the best fit, but our goal remains the same and that is to enable a smarter and safer world.

I invite any readers to reach out to us (800-444-2947)and learn more about the value of quality, the value of experience and expertise and the value of Axis. Plus, I’m not in sales, so I’m sure there’s much more beyond what I’ve touched on here :).

When I think of value, I think of quality vs price. Hikvision has proven they offer bring quality products (I have personally sold hundreds of cameras and systems with Hikvision systems from 4 camers to 40, currently working on one over 100). Their price point is spot on (a 1.3MP indoor dome with 120db WDR, IR and 2.8-12mm auto focus lens runs just over $300.) That being said, Axis isn’t even playing the same game.

I have a Q6035E that was in service for 18 months it was never on patrol and is now dead on my floor and useless, Axis can't do anything to help me. Cost me 3 times what I pay at Hikvision, all while my Hikvision PTZs are running great!
So why should I, as a Hikvision dealer consider Axis?

Kelley thanks I'll contact Alex tomorrow.

Hi Dwayne, I work at Axis on the communications team and monitor this site.

To all the undisclosed manufacturers Who posted comments on this subject here is a real person representing a real company, not someone from an unknown, undisclosed, unidentifiable company. I know right away who I'm dealing with, I'm not trying to decipher Who you are and what company you represent!

This why it's such a hard decision to offer another competitors product.

Kelley from Axis Communications Again thanks Dwayne

I was an axis die hard, I made sure that Axis was my brand when I moved to my new company and started up their premise security devision. After i got my ass handed to me on a few jobs by some total crap cameras, I needed to find something that fit the price point and wasn't total crap. Installing them was relatively painless. My company does a lot of work for banks and other highly regulated industries. I use exacq because its a windows platform and i can manage it with WSUS. my biggest selling point is going into a banks network to perform an IT vulnerability scan and finding weaknesses in a linux based OEM DVR. So for those of you asking why not use a full Hikvision solution that is why because we want to make sure that the system is on a platform we can manage with standard enterprise tools (AD, WSUS, SEP, ect.)

As for the Hikvision, the only thing we had to do was disable the UPnP and change the SNMP info around to pass our vulnerability scan out of the box. The latest firmware fixed the other vulnerabilities in those cameras as well.

Just my two cents on them.

Thoughts from a "prosumer":

1) Market stability - What is best for the industry is stability and product availability. I purchased a number of Axis cameras for my own home a year ago assuming they were as stable as any company out there - hoping to avoid long-term, overpriced VMS licenses. I actually started with Logitech Alert cameras for my small application using the same logic. Now, I am 0 for 2 (hard to know Axis' future). Any time you are selling a product at a consumer level many times above its reasonable price, a group like Hikvision will drive the pricing down. That's a market economy for you, and is what made your big-screen TV, car, cell phone and personal computer possible and affordable. Hikvision is filling the gaps in the market (financially and otherwise), and driving down prices through efficient production processes. All the other companies are using the same factories, so production techniques are pretty standardized across the whole technology industry.

2) Ignoring consumer market - The other major industry problem is their lack of vision (no pun intended). The industry is too worried about forcing consumers to hire outside firms for installs/updates, that only a fraction of consumers interested in home surveillance will achieve their goal. If a local surveillance store would actually let me see cameras, talk to them about options, etc. - I may hire them or at least buy the cameras from them. Getting consumer flow through your store is a good thing since retail pricing is higher than wholesale. Surveillance software is stuck in the 1990s, and an intelligent voice would be valuable. But that is not possible since I do not want to pay an installer to hook a CAT5 cable into my camera. Best Buy is not selling sufficient technology, so I have to order online and trust this site. Thanks IPVM! There will always be mid-to-large applications that need professional installs. Industry has to stop ignoring their largest potential purchaser - the consumer. And stop calling me an "end-user". Can you imagine if your phone company talked to you like that?

3) Volume - The industry needs to move from a low-volume/high-price-per-unit model, to a high-volume/reasonable-price model with retail sales operations. Consumers are the solution! With significant upgrades in technology happening every few months, people won't spend $1000 on a camera in the future. Every company depending on overly high-priced cameras will collapse. The past year is just the beginning. In 1985, IBM was the #1 company selling larger corporate installs and using archaic software. Now Apple is #1 selling great hardware/software directly to consumers. I hope the surveillance industry recognizes their current business model is not sustainable.

NOTICE: This comment has been moved to its own discussion: I Hope The Surveillance Industry Recognizes Their Current Business Model Is Not Sustainable

Here's another idea: Use Axis/sony/whatever on those locations where you need better performance (for instance WDR or low light). On the other locations where you just need 'general overview' with no specific needs, buy Chinese directly from China without the middle men. The total cost of that in cameras will be comparable to the total cost Hikvision you buy through distribution and your overall solution will outperform Hikvision. Show this on site with the customer, take your WDR camera and post it to show his entrance door full of direct sunlight. Ask him to have his Hikvision elektrician to do the same and compare the snapshots. You'll win tyhe deal with one or two top quality cameras and the rest equal performing but a lot cheaper than distributed Hikvisions.

I tested this with the cheapest Hikvision mini bullet HD with IR and put a, in this case, Longse right next to it. Results are very comparable in image quality.

To be honest, i don't know yet how long the Longse will work but at their price point i can throw it away and put another one in and still be cheaper and still make money on the deal. I did have an issue to get it into Milestone at first but their support fixed that quite fast.

Have you seen Hikvision lately?

Axis is better, there's no question about it, but I don't know if it's enough of an improvement to justify the added expense in most cases. And that's what we're talking about here. It's not enough to be better, you have to justify the added expense. Is it really 2x or 3x better?

And what do you do if the customer looks at the price differential and decides that Hikvision is good enough? Because that's what's been happening.

Ari,

I'm not sure I have seen that Axis is still better.

Gert, good feedback.

"Use Axis/sony/whatever on those locations where you need better performance (for instance WDR or low light)."

But Hikvision / Dahua have gotten quite good even at WDR and low light. Case in point: Hikvision Darkfighter Camera Tested.

As for Longse, so you are getting good support from them? That's been a concern from our interactions with them.

I too am a happy LTS reseller. Have you had any experience with using the POS features?

Thanks to all. I want to thank everyone (even the undisclosed - it would be nice to know who you are, yes there are times when you should be undisclosed) who have given their opinions and experiences on this subject. You input has helped guide me in my quest for a competitive edge. Offer value, service, integrity, and never bullshit the client.

On the Hik vs Axis, Is it value added or price point? With one you have value added the other (was price) now it seems Hik is catching up. Each time that IPVM has conducted a test Hik seems to hold its own ground. Impressed as I I'm with the results of the test and the opinions and experiences of this community it seems the best option for us is to offer both. We have to differentiate us from the competition with our experience (as short as it may seem to some), the quality of products, and services we can offer.

Thanks all Dwayne

Please continue to commit.

John, On this kind of project you arely see the high end Hikvision models such as Darkfighter. Also, these models get closer to the, for instance, Sony EM model pricing (for instance if it's WDR you need).

On the other hand, how many end users really care about the brand and model? We're all used to sell camera's of brand X and model Y but how many do really care? End users care about what they can do with the image, how long their investiment is going to last and if the image will be there if and when they need it.

So, why are we selling hadware then? Shouldn't we be selling a kind of 'image/performance warranty'? You guarantee the customer that the images provided will suit his needs (for instance, read a license plate on a screen, provide general overview etc etc), that the images will allways be there and you charge a monthly fee for it for a minimum of say three years. Which hard and software you use to get this done is your problem, you just have got to make it work.

This way, it will be much harder to shop online and compare pricing. That's the way we're going to go anyway but i have to admit we're just getting this story in shape so we'll have to wait on how well it will be accepted.

I am with you; I sell our customer support, installation and feature set. With the exception of our DMP line of products, I never mention brand names and that's only done online in blog posts and social media, rarely do I bring it up with the customer.

Sorry Guys this started happening about 4-5 years ago. create a frenzy of down,dirty,cheap installation companys where they were charging prices 1/2 what i could as i only used high quality products and they dont care , just want pictures.

Example normal cost cams 150-400, down & dirty cost 40-80 , how do you compete?

this is the new standard for cctv in the world we live in . Hit & Miss video, 480 line res cameras with 900 line details on the spec sheets , IR Specs which say 180 ' which really mean 30 meters using words like HD which really mean 720 p , not 1080 p

Its all about the sale, not the product

when you view their work the use 70s installation techniques, with large loops and boxes with wires hanging to cameras .

Clearly low bid, low cost , down dirty, what ever it takes to make a few cents, not a few dollars, and certainly not a great product or installation.

There is 2 standards now.

Cheap, Really Cheap

Professional vs trunkslammer

"this is the new standard for cctv in the world we live in . Hit & Miss video, 480 line res cameras with 900 line details on the spec sheets , IR Specs which say 180 ' which really mean 30 meters using words like HD which really mean 720 p , not 1080 p"

You're wrong. The new standard is Chinese products with equivalent video quality to Western products at 30 - 50% lower price.

Hikvision is not 'winning' because they are tricking people, they are winning because they sell basically the same offering (or better) at lower prices. The Axis M3004 vs any of Hikvision's dome offerings is a perfect example of this.

So when you are ranting about cheap, really cheap then yes, you're correct. Because Dahua and Hikvision do provide a quality camera less the price of your more expensive cameras yet nearly the same image quality. So if you're into buying brand name JUST because its a brand name then hey, who am I to care how you waste your money. So in other words, using a lesser priced product does not equal a poor install.

So we have a client who used to buy Axis only. When their IT dept could no longer support all of the cameras, some failing, some just dated, we were hired to take over. They have a variety of older and somewhat newer Axis cams. We have added some Dahua and Hikvision cameras at way below the cost of the Axis cameras they had been buying. If you ask my client which cameras have the best image quality, they likely would say the cheaper cameras.

Now, there is a time and place for a higher end camera, like Axis. When you have a particular need for a given feature that only Axis provides, then I could justify it. But when all you need is a high quality image from a reliable camera, Dahua and Hikvision fit that need at a much lower price.