Videofied XTIP Overview
Video alarm verification remains a hot topic in the security industry, with municipalities continuing to levy fines against building owners for false alarms. Videofied has made its name in this space with its video-verified alarm system, the latest incarnation of which, the XTIP, was just announced. This release adds remote control via smarthphone, and Ethernet connectivity, which may eliminate costly GSM data fees for many users. In this update we will look at the XTIP series, how it compares to existing offerings, and what this added Ethernet communications may mean for users.
For those unfamiliar with Videofied, it is a wireless intrusion detection system which utilizes camera-equipped PIR motion detectors, which they call MotionViewers. Upon alarm, the MotionViewer sends a 10-second video clip to the central station, to allow an operator to verify if the alarm is real or false. The panel and all devices are battery-powered and wireless, with alarm communications transmitted via GSM. Readers may see our test of Videofied for more information.
The XTIP series consists of three panels:
- XTIP ($476 USD MSRP): For indoor use in controlled environments
- XTXIP ($721 MSRP): In the same form factor as the XTIP, for indoor use, with extended temperature range (-20-140 F)
- XTOIP ($952 MSRP): For outdoor use, weatherproof, with built-in external antenna
The XTIP series has the same capabilities and capacities as the former XT/XTO panels, with the addition of Ethernet communications:
- Up to 24 zones
- Ethernet + GSM cellular communications
- 3 programmable inputs/2 programmable outputs
- 12 VDC power with battery backup (or battery-only in GSM mode)
The XTIP series will be available in Q1 2012, through Videofied's authorized dealers.
The biggest change in this series, as opposed to previous panels, is the addition of Ethernet communications. This allows the panel to communicate with the central station via internet connection, at a higher speed, and without the recurring monthly charges of GSM data used by Videofied's other panels. The XTIP series still has an embedded GPRS modem, which may be used as primary, in cases where wired internet connections are not available, or as a backup means of communication, should Ethernet fail.
Smart Phone Apps
Videofied plans to release smartphone apps in the first quarter of 2012, which will enable users to remotely arm and disarm the XTIP series. These apps will be free. However, as remote control is SMS-based, systems must be using GRPS communications (primary or backup) in order to be controlled.
The addition of Ethernet communications to the XTIP makes it much more attractive than previous series. With GRPS data costing users between $30-50 a month, or more, the XTIP saves $600 in the first year alone, more than the cost of an indoor panel. Existing Videofied users may be compelled to upgrade, as well. Removing a $50/month data plan results in payback periods of only 10 months for an XTIP panel, or 19 months for an outdoor panel, both very quick return on investment.
Note that this release does not increase does not increase video quality in any way, which has traditionally been a drawback of the Videofied system. Users should be aware of this when considering Videofied. Video clips are intended for alarm verification only, not identification, and are thus monochrome, 320x240 resolution. If higher-quality video is required, users should look elsewhere.