Recommendations For Lower Cost, Reliable Surveillance

I am a recent member of IPVM, and can see I have much research to do. Does anyone have any experience with Vonnic Products? I am having a hard time finding reviews on Vonnic equipment quality.

I have been in the security industry for 30 years, but my video experience has been limited to a few vendors used in the financial industry. I have now been forced to start my own business and want to provide a quality product to my new customers. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Robert


Robert, welcome to IPVM. I've never heard on Vonnic which is probably not a good sign? I went through Vonnic's website and a promotional video. It seems like just another small shop rebranding low end Asian imports. See our post: "Beware Phony Manufacturers."

When I hear questions about unknown, small manufacturers, I typically cross check with CCTVForum. I see you asked this question there not too long ago but no response. That too is not a good sign as they frequently deal with lower end products.

What are you looking for? Any specific preferences on cost, technology, features, etc.? We can provide recommendations.

John,

I have 30 years experience in electronic security (alarm, access, video) for the banking industry. Most of the banks in my area will lean towards Verint, March, 3VR, which are high end in pricing.

Recently I was laid off, which seems to be a typical 5-10 years cycle for the leaders in my industry. This has created the need to start my own business. I may do subcontract work for those same companies in the near future, but also need to expand to other industries like restaurants, hospitality, etc.

I am looking for a lower cost, yet reliable, manufacturer that wont disappear in 5 years. Can you help point me in the right direction?

Thanks,

Robert

Sorry to hear about that and I hope we can help.

So I agree that Verint, March and 3VR are too expensive for restaurants, hospitality, etc. I am also presuming you want to use appliances (DVR or NVRs) instead of software only.

There's 2 major options for your category: HD SDI or IP. HD SDI is what Vonnic is leading with for HD. If you want to minimize the need to deal with IP addresses, switches, etc. HD SDI will be attractive. The main downside is that there are limited product options and a lack of reputable brands behind it. Speco is one of the bigger brands with significant HD SDI offerings.

On the IP side, there are a number of quality budget offerings - Dahua, Hikvision, ACTi, Vivotek are all common choices.

Thank you for your recomendations.

I can see that I have a ton of homework to do before approaching my new customers.

Speco just had a local seminar that I missed while studying for my Fire Alarm License, probably should have gone.

Not enough hours in a day...

Robert

Let's see what other members have to say. Feel free to ask more questions as they come up!

I must say that I am a little disappointed in the lack of response, other than yours.

Perhaps the response would be better if the question were posted from you, as a survey.

Thank you

Robert

Robert,

I'm assuming you are based in the USA? You have a huge choice of vendors/distributors and manufacturers (which might be why the task of recommendations has been avoided!) in my experience a start up can benefit from the choice a quality distributor offers rather than picking one brand and riding the success of your business on that. Again I'm assuming you're going into the installation business? For other members to provide opinion we would need to know a lot more about your plans and how you intend to differentiate yourself in your chosen sector - smarter integrations, better service, lower prices etc.

But as I mentioned starting off with a good distributor with a branch local to you might be a good step 1 whilst you assimilate your ideas, it gives you freedom to choose many manufacturers and benefit from the service a distribuitor offers (RMA's, credit and local stocking etc) I have heard good things about Tri-Ed but not from experience, there's also ADI, Annixter etc...

Bosch advantage line, Speco, and Samsung are nice analog solutions. avoid Honeywell if possible. ADI and Tri-Ed have good sale prices on analog DVRs and cameras.

Robert,

Jason's advice to begin with your local distributor is dead on target. Not only can you get quick information on lines stocked but also what the top selling brands and models are by category and what manufacturers are scheduling training classes in your area. These are normally at no cost to attend. We have had great support from all the MAJOR distributors. Begin with ADI, Annixter and Tri-Ed.

As to brands of cameras, cheap Asian imports will usually live down to their cheaper price points. A solid line of value priced cameras that perform well are available in both analog & IP. For analog, Bosch, Ganz, Sony, Speco all build value priced lines. For IP, we try to avoid the value priced and some midpriced manufacturer's cameras for the same reasons. IPVM's articles and shootout results are great places for unbiased insight (No plug, John, just fact) that will save you a lot of trial & error.

Wishing you success!

Thanks for the feedback and the plug :) Jack. One thing to clarify. On our tests, we typically focus on higher end, higher priced equipment, so our test results may not be as helpful if the focus is budget. I'd like to do more low cost product testing and we are in the process of hiring Ethan an assistant to help but in the meantime, the focus is on the high end, newer, cutting edge products.

Thanks to all for your willingness to share your thoughts on the equipment that is out there.

I am in the process of setting up accounts with a couple of local vendors.

ADI, Silmar, and ScanSource are all local enough (within 90 miles) to take advantage of the training when it is available. Some of my customers are ready for IP cameras, but most are still hanging on until the pricing drops down a bit more, and the economy spikes up a bit more.

Thanks,

Robert

I cringe at ADI (or Tri-Ed, Anixter, etc.) training. It's going to be basically sales pitches (e.g., Axis pitch at ADI). I do think it's worthwhile to ask someone at the counter with a lot of experience, about what sells frequently in the budget segment. They should have a good feel for that.

I (unfortunately) have vast experience with the Voinic brand. I used their products almost exclusively a few years back because at the time, my preferred vendor carried them exclusively. Since that time, I have had exposure to many other lower tier (cost) products and have found that there are usually much better alternatives. The Vonnic line will vary from unit to unit quite a bit. They crowd source their products, so one DVR will be Chinese based with one UI and set of apps, then the next will be Korean with its own UI and set of apps.

The main reason why we no longer use their products is we would have clients call for support, but we couldn't help them over the phone because we didn't know the menus well enough, due to the fact that the UI was always different. They would also ask for help setting up viewing devices and we would have to refer to a list as to which DVR used which app and for what device, i.e. iPhone vs Android.

If you want a more stable product line, I suggest looking into the Dahua based products out there. Their DVRs are much more user friendly, cost less, and all use the same UI and apps, no matter if it is a basic 4ch DVR or their IP recorders. They all integrate very easily into one app and the interface is the same as well.

If you would like to know where I buy my Dahua gear, let me know and I can recommend a dealer.

Gary, thanks for the feedback! Very valuable!

I wanted to emphasize two points you made that I think are very critical:

"They crowd source their products, so one DVR will be Chinese based with one UI and set of apps, then the next will be Korean with its own UI and set of apps."

"We couldn't help them over the phone because we didn't know the menus well enough, due to the fact that the UI was always different."

These are great examples of the risk of Phony Manufacturers.

I am sorry that you had to go through this! Hopefully, your report will help others avoid problems in the future.

The thing that truly amazes me is that you have to deal with the multiple lines/multiple software issue even with some very big brands. Back when the majority of what I did was Honeywell CSS products, you had at least four or five different clients for their DVRs. They've since released Maxpro, which I think can look at all of them, but I'm not 100% on that. I just don't get it. If you want to OEM, fine, but at least have some concern for usability.

John, for lower cost? ;)

Mobotix is definitely reliable and has many high end features. However, from what Robert has described, it's going to be too expensive and too much for his needs.