S2 Enters Surveillance Market

Author: Ethan Ace, Published on Feb 02, 2012

Convergence between access control and video is a growing trend. While historically, independent systems from different vendors would be intergrated together, recently, manufacturers are developing and deploying both simultaneously. This 'converged' approach offers potential increases in functionality and decreases in cost. 

This week, S2 Security, entered the converged market with the release of its VR series combining access control and surveillance management into a single appliance.

Due to the complexities and costs in integrating 3rd party access control and video, growing interest exists in using such an approach. Indeed, Next Level has gained significant attention for their all in one appliances that combine video and access. Moreover, major VMS provider Genetec, has focused its efforts into seamlessly combining access and video in their Security Center.

Overview

The S2 Pronto VR is a new hardware series, created specifically for this release. Here are key points:

  • Pronto VR will be offered as an option/alternative to the traditional S2 Pronto line which will remain access control only.
  • The Pronto VR manages both video surveillance and access control. While it does not contain physical connections to readers or inputs/outputs, it serves as both access control and surveillance "server". It is offered in desktop or rack-mounted form factors.
  • Connections to field devices, such as readers, inputs and outputs, will be made to Pronto or MicroNode controllers, which connect to the Pronto VR via the network. No third-party controllers are supported in the Pronto line.
  • For the recording platform, the Pronto VR will use Exacq as a component for its recording server with its own S2 client software / front end. 
  • Two versions will be released, one supporting eight camera channels and a 2TB HDD, and the other with 16 channels and a 4TB HDD. 
  • This storage will be partioned between the OS/application and archived video. The OS/application will be mirrored for fault tolerance.
  • Users needing longer retention periods than what is provided by the storage on-board may use iSCSI storage for expansion. No direct-attached storage options are available.

MSRP pricing for the two Pronto VR versions is as follows. Note that S2 uses a traditional security dealer discount structure, offering deep discounts to authorized integrators.

  • 8-channel, 2TB HDD: $7,050 USD
  • 16-channel, 4TB HDD: $9,590 USD

Like DVR pricing, units are shipped with 8 or 16 channels per box and individual channel licenses will not be sold. Upgrade licenses will be available to move from 8 to 16 channels.

These prices represent an increase in MSRP of $4,660 from the non-VR Pronto panel to an 8-channel Pronto VR, or $7,200 to a 16-channel unit. While users could likely purchase a standalone Exacq NVR for this amount, Pronto VR offers advantages. First, no integration work needs to be performed, as video surveillance and access control are integrated out of the box. Second, using an external Exacq recorder also incurs an integration license fee ($1,000 MSRP), which is avoided using the VR. Finally, integration with external recorders differs from the Pronto VR integration, which we detail below.

Video and Access Integration

The Pronto VR's video features will be integrated into S2's Widget Desktop, which is their web-based client application. The client is platform independent, using Microsoft Silverlight instead of ActiveX, and may be used across Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems.

Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox
Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox

S2 says that integration between access and video is tighter when using the Pronto VR as opposed to third-party recorders. First and foremost, other integrations only allow searching of video based on events, providing clips associated with specific access control or alarm occurances. The Pronto VR allows for full forensic search by timeline, or by name of specific cardholder or portal, in addition to this. PTZ controls are also handled in each video frame, instead of through separate buttons in the user interface.

Maturity of Access Control Offering

S2 has been in the access control market for about ten years, longer than both Genetec and Next Level. Genetec has offered Synergis, its access control platform, which integrates tightly with Omnicast, for some time. Broad adoption has been sluggish, however, with Synergis seeing more use as an add-on to Omnicast instead of an access control platform standing on its own. NLSS, on the other hand, entered the market with an integrated platform. NLSS's background, and focus, however has been more in video, so limited movement in using NLSS for access has been seen.

We believe the slower adoption of both of these competitive offerings is at least partly due to the nature of the access control market. As we mentioned with Axis's upcoming entry to the access control market, it can be a difficult market to break into for even seasoned surveillance providers. Access control users are far more concerned about reliability and stability than users of IP surveillance. Bugs in an access control system can mean users are locked out of a facility, or doors do not lock or unlock properly or at the right times. Both of these concerns are normally higher-priority than surveillance concerns. For this reason, longevity and maturity often outweigh capability and featureset in the access market. S2 is at an advantage because of this, and current S2 customers may see this as a strong advantage to the Pronto VR.

Immaturity of Video Surveillance Offering

While S2 is at an advantage in terms of access control maturity, it is at a disadvantage against an established player such as Genetec, in the video surveillance market. Given that the VR is a version 1.0 release, uses should be careful to review the video offering, as desired features may be missing. Using a VMS offering from one of S2's integration partners may be an option, instead. While this would likely not provide the same ease of integration as the Pronto VR, the feature set is likely more complete.

Comparison to NLSS

NLSS provides the most similar comparison to the S2 Pronto VR, with their Gateway Micro product. The Gateway Micro is capable of managing up to 16 cameras and 64 doors compared to a maximum of 16 cameras and 32 doors with the Pronto VR. NLSS also supports hardware from HID, Assa Abloy Wi-Fi locksets, and Mercury, while the Pronto is limited to only S2 hardware for expansion. Mercury hardware is supported by S2 only in higher product tiers, the Netbox line, which will receive its own VR component, as well.

Based on the Pronto VR's MSRP pricing, and deep dealer discount, we estimate that street pricing for a 16-channel unit will be about $5,500. Compared to the NLSS Gateway Micro, which can be found online for around $2,300, this is a substantial increase. At nearly double the price, S2 comes at a substantial premium over NLSS. Comparing field hardware, S2's MicroNode (~$900 street pricing), a two-door PoE-powered control panel most closely compares to the HID EdgePlus (~$400 online) supported by NLSS, a single-door PoE-powered controller. At these prices, S2 comes in about $100 more expensive per two doors, as well. S2 has plans to release a single-door PoE-powered controller, which may narrow this gap.

Comparison to Genetec

Genetec currently offers no pre-loaded integrated systems, so users would need to purchase a COTS PC or Server and licenses separately. Note that Genetec currently only supports HID Edge and VertX hardware. Support for Mercury and other hardware will be available in future releases. MSRP for a 16-camera Security Center system would price out as follows:

  • Omnicast Standard Base License: $590 USD
  • 16 x Omnicast Standard Camera License: $2,400
  • Synergis Standard License: $1,000
  • Total: $3,990
  • Approximate street pricing: $3,300

Depending on configuration, a rack-mount server can be found to run this for between $1,500-2,000, bringing the total up to $4,800-5,300, much closer the Pronto VR's $5,500 approximate street price. Note that this Security Center configuration is capable of managing up to 50 cameras and 64 doors, however, substantially more than the Pronto VR. 

Conclusions

S2 Pronto VR will likely appeal primarily for those interested in S2's acces control solution. Smaller facilities, such as retail and small or mid-size offices in need of both access and video may also find it a good fit, as it is simpler than deploying separate systems to handle both needs. However, more cost effective systems, such as NLSS, will likely satisfy these needs just as well. Facilities with more demanding video requirements, with greater need for scalability and higher camera counts, may find other solutions, such as Genetec's Security Center, more attractive.

1 report cite this report:

Video Surveillance / Access Control Integration Guide on Mar 12, 2012
One of the most desired high end security system features is integrating video surveillance and electronic access control systems. In this report,...
Comments : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Mobile Surveillance Trailers Guide on Jan 17, 2019
Putting cameras in a place for temporary surveillance where power and communications are not readily available can be complicated and expensive....
Access Control Records Maintenance Guide on Jan 16, 2019
Weeding out old entries, turning off unused credentials, and updating who carries which credentials is as important as to maintaining security as...
Access Control Cabling Tutorial on Jan 15, 2019
Access Control is only as reliable as its cables. While this aspect lacks the sexiness of other components, it remains a vital part of every...
Avigilon Favorability Results 2019 on Jan 15, 2019
Since IPVM's 2017 Avigilon favorability results, the company was acquired by Motorola and has shifted from being an aggressive startup to a more...
Wavelynx Access Control Manufacturer Profile on Jan 10, 2019
Denver-based WaveLynx is not well known as an access reader manufacturer, but OEMs for big industry brands including Amag, Isonas (Allegion),...
Surveillance Codec Guide on Jan 03, 2019
Codecs are core to surveillance, with names like H.264, H.265, and MJPEG commonly cited. How do they work? Why should you use them? What issues may...
Combating Vaping Epidemic - Halo Smart Sensor Profile on Dec 21, 2018
Youth vaping has become an epidemic, according to the US Surgeon General, while the market leader, Juul, just received a $12.8 billion investment...
ACRE-Acquired Open Options Access Company Profile on Dec 17, 2018
Who is the company ACRE is acquiring? In this note, we examine Open Options line for best customer fit, key features, pricing, and main...
Open Options Acquired By ACRE on Dec 17, 2018
ACRE is doing deals again. A year after they sold Mercury, they are buying another access control company - Open Options. In this note, we...
Cisco Meraki New Cameras and AI Analytics on Dec 14, 2018
Meraki has released their second generation of video surveillance with 3 new cameras, AI-based video analytics, and 2 cloud-based storage...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Testing Bandwidth vs. Frame Rate on Jan 23, 2019
Selecting frame rate has a major impact on surveillance bandwidth and storage consumption. But with smart codecs now common and cameras more...
Camera Course January 2019 on Jan 23, 2019
This is the only independent surveillance camera course, based on in-depth product and technology testing. Lots of manufacturer training exists...
Bosch Favorability Results 2019 on Jan 23, 2019
Bosch's favorability moderately strengthed, in new IPVM integrator statistics over their results from 2017, with 2019 results showing strong net...
Intersec 2019 Show Report on Jan 23, 2019
The 2019 Intersec show, held annually in Dubai, is now complete. IPVM attended for 3 days, interviewing numerous Chinese and Western video...
2019 Camera Book Released on Jan 22, 2019
This is the best, most comprehensive security camera training in the world, based on our unprecedented testing. Now, all IPVM PRO Members can get...
Milesight Company Profile on Jan 22, 2019
Milesight Technology, a Chinese company building an International branded business, says they are slowly building their presence through a series...
Cable Trenching for Surveillance on Jan 21, 2019
Trenching cable for surveillance is surprisingly complex. While using shovels, picks, and hoes is not advanced technology, the proper planning,...
Milestone Favorability Results 2019 on Jan 21, 2019
Milestone's favorability moderately strengthed, in new IPVM integrator statistics over their results from 2016. While the industry has been...
The IP Camera Lock-In Trend: Meraki and Verkada on Jan 18, 2019
Open systems and interoperability have become core features of video surveillance systems, as virtually all professional IP cameras integrate with...
NYPD Refutes False SCMP Hikvision Story on Jan 18, 2019
The NYPD has refuted the SCMP Hikvision story, the Voice of America has reported. On January 11, 2018, the SCMP alleged that the NYPD was using...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact