ACTi New Low Cost HD Cameras (TCM)

Author: Ethan Ace, Published on Feb 06, 2012

In the past two years, ACTi has struggled. As we saw last year, their growth has not kept pace with the overall IP camera market. Recent product releases have focused more on the higher end of the market, with a 4MP line introduced in 2011, and recent feature enhancements to other models. However, now ACTi has announced a new line of low cost megapixel cameras.  In this update, we will look at this series, how they compare to existing models and to low cost options from Arecont and Vivotek.

Overview

This new release represents a shift in ACTi's strategy, creating a basic line without advanced features, and very aggressive pricing.

There are four models in the release. Each model supports a maximum resolution of 1.3MP, with a maximum framerate of 18 FPS:

  • TCM-1111: $372 USD MSRP, Indoor/outdoor bullet camera, 4.2mm fixed lens, specified IR illumination distance of 15m
  • TCM-3111: $304 MSRP, indoor dome camera, 4.2mm fixed lens
  • TCM-4511: $253 MSRP, cube camera, 4.2mm CS-mount lens included
  • TCM-5111: $304 MSRP, fixed box camera, 4.2mm CS-mount lens included

Note that while the TCM-4511 and 5111 include CS-mount lenses, the cameras do not support DC auto-iris. Only manual iris lenses are compatible. This series also removes support for audio and digital I/O, which are common on other models in the ACTi line.

Competitive Comparison

This pricing is far more aggressive than ACTi's previous models. The TCM-5111 ($304 MSRP), for example, has an MSRP more than $200 lower than its predecessor, the TCM-5611 ($538 MSRP), obviously a substantial decrease. The removal of audio and I/O may be a concern to some users, but for the bulk of applications, these features are not used.

To get a sense of ACTi's price relative to competitors, it should be looked at in comparison it to Arecont and Vivotek, two often-cited low cost options, as well as Pixord, which we found to be the lowest-cost megapixel camera in our Fall 2011 low-cost camera comparison. These four cameras compare as follows:

  • ACTi TCM-5111: $304 MSRP, approximately $260 street price
  • Arecont AV1315DN~$420 online, no lens included
  • Pixord P600E: ~$330 estimated street price, 6mm fixed CS-mount lens included
  • Vivotek IP7161~$450 online, 4.5-10mm CS-mount lens included

The 4.2mm fixed lens included with the TCM-5111 may not fit in may applications. Adding a megapixel lens, such as the $75 Pentax Plus lens, brings its total price to about $335. The Arecont AV1315DN ships without lens, and Pixord offers only a fixed lens with their model. Adding the same lens to these two competitors brings their total costs up to about $500 and $400, respectively.

All things considered, these factors place the ACTi TCM-5111 about $70 below Pixord, and even further below mainstream options from Arecont and Vivotek. This is easily the lowest pricing we have seen on a professional, non-consumer, IP camera. For users seeking no-frills cameras for cost-conscious applications, who may normally turn to lesser-known brands, we expect that this pricing from a bigger, better-known brand will be very attractive.

Comments : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports on Low Cost

Hikvision PanoVu Mini Tested (Multi-imager + PTZ For ~$500) on Aug 07, 2018
Hikvision has released their first PanoVu Mini multi imager, the PanoVu DS-2PT3326IZ-DE3, with four 1080p imagers, including a PTZ and integrated...
Uniview Super Low Cost 4MP Tested on Jul 25, 2018
Even lower cost than Dahua and Hikvision, China's self-proclaimed 3rd place company, Uniview / UNV, is offering aggressive pricing including for...
Axis ~$100 Camera Tested on Jul 17, 2018
Axis has released their lowest cost camera ever, the Companion Eye Mini L, setting their sights on a market dominated by Hikvision and Dahua. Can...
Digital Watchdog Low Cost 4MP Camera Tested on Jul 02, 2018
Based on member 4MP testing requests, we bought and tested Digital Watchdog's low-cost 4MP DWC-MTT4Wi to see how it performs in real world scenes,...
Introducing Effective PPF (ePPF) - Improving Video Surveillance Designs on Jun 11, 2018
Pixel density (PPF / PPM) is the best metric the industry has to define and project video quality. It allows simple communication of estimated...
Princeton Identity Access 200 Iris Scanners Examined on Jun 05, 2018
Iris recently registered a big jump as a preferred biometric in our Favorite Biometrics survey, but access-ready options can be difficult to...
Toughest Manufacturer Competitors 2018 on May 07, 2018
150+ integrators answered: Which manufacturer, when offered by rival integrators, is toughest to compete against? Why? The...
Top 4 Biggest Problems Selling Access Control 2018 on Mar 23, 2018
We received 150+ responses from integrators when we asked them "What is the biggest problem you face when selling electronic access control?...
Camera Form Factor Guide on Mar 16, 2018
When selecting surveillance cameras, users may choose from a number of different form factors, each with its own unique strengths and weaknesses,...
Hikvision IR Bullet Camera Shootout on Jan 08, 2018
Hikvision's widely used Value Plus line claims 30m/~98' IR illumination range, on multiple lens options ranging from wide angle (100°+) to...

Most Recent Industry Reports

2Gig Gun Lock / Motion Detector Tested on Aug 17, 2018
Safer guns for families and an opportunity for security dealers to sell more services? That is the aim of Nortek's 2GIG 'Gun Motion Detector'...
Video Analytics Integration Guide on Aug 16, 2018
Video analytics is hot again (at least conceptually) but integrating video analytics with VMSes can be challenging. This is especially significant...
Hikvision IP Camera Critical Vulnerability 2018 Disclosed on Aug 16, 2018
The same day that the US government passed a prohibition on Hikvision cameras, Hikvision disclosed a critical vulnerability for its IP...
ISS VMS / Video Analytics Company Profile on Aug 16, 2018
Who is ISS? In the past few months, they had one of the craziest ISC West promo items in years. Then, they hired industry veteran and ex-Dahua...
Chinese OEM Avycon Gets ADI Push on Aug 15, 2018
Who is Avycon? An American company? A Korean company? A couple of guys relabelling Chinese products? The latter is the best explanation. While...
Backboxes for Video Surveillance Tutorial on Aug 15, 2018
Backboxes are a necessity in surveillance, whether for managing cable whips, recessing cameras, adding wireless radios. But it can be confusing to...
Genetec Stratocast / Comcast 'Motion Insights' Examined on Aug 15, 2018
Comcast recently announced "SmartOffice Motion Insights", an extension to their Genetec OEMed cloud video service (covered by IPVM here). This...
SimpliSafe Violating California, Florida, and Texas Licensing Laws on Aug 14, 2018
IPVM has verified that DIY security system provider SimpliSafe, founded in 2006 and acquired in June of 2018 at a billion dollar valuation, is...
Ban of Dahua and Hikvision Is Now US Gov Law on Aug 13, 2018
The US President has signed the 2019 NDAA into law, banning the use of Dahua and Hikvision (and their OEMs) for the US government, for US...
Cut Milestone Licensing Costs 80% By Using Hikvision and Dahua NVRs (Tested) on Aug 13, 2018
Enterprise VMS licensing can be quite expensive, with $200 or more per channel common, meaning a 100 camera system can cost $20,000 in VMS...

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