This Manufacturer Shuns IP Cameras

By: Brian Karas, Published on Dec 14, 2017

One manufacturer has chosen a bold strategy in avoiding getting caught up in the race to the bottom: shun IP solutions.

We spoke with an executive from this company to better understand their approach to shunning IP, and what they offer as an alternative to IP, without going to HD-CVI or HD-TVI.

In this note we examine their strategy, why they say this was the right move for their company and target customer base, and what competitive risks they face doing so.

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Clinton *********** ******** ** ********

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Retail - *** ******

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EX-SDI ** ** ********** ***********

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**-*** *********** *********** ** product *******.

In-House ******* ******

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Price *********** **** ** ******

******* **** *** **-*** products *** ************* ****** with ** ****** *********, keeping **** *** ********* cheaper ******* ** ******* HD ****** ******* ** compared ** **-***** *******.

EX-SDI ******** ********

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EX-SDI ***** **. ******* *************

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EX-SDI ***** **. ******* *************

******** ** ******* ********* promoting **-*** ** **-*** products, ******* *** ***** the **** ********** ******** of ***** **-*** *** general **** ** *******, as **** ** ********* EX-SDI's ******** ***** *******, while *********** * ******* price, **** *** ******* to **** **** * local *******.

EX-SDI ******** ****

** *** ********, ******* is ******* ******* ** a ***** **********, ***** ********* may **** ** ****** proprietary, ***** *** ******* overall **-*** ******* ************ in ************. ** *********** eliminating ** ******** **** their *******, ***** ******* and ********* *** ****** other *********, *** *********** technologies **** **-*** ** HD-TVI, **** ********* ******* that **** **** *** of ** *** ***-** cameras ************** (**** ** when ***** ****-********* ** some *******, ** *****-****** cameras). ************, **** **** limits *******'* ******* *********** market *************, ***** ***** create ********** ** ******** by ********* *******, ** retailers **** ******* ******* IP *** ***** ******* (edge *********, ********* ***********, ability ** ****** ***** deployments ******* *****, ***.).

Comments (45)

The other promoter of EX-SDI products. 

Coaxial solutions are getting better and better. CVI and TVI have both made nice steps, so I am not suprised another coaxial solution.

But choosing a cheaper product to avoid the race to the bottom seems counterproductive.

Clinton says its EX-SDI products are competitively priced with HD analog solutions, keeping with the generally cheaper pricing of various HD analog options as compared to IP-based systems.

If racing to the bottom is not what you want, that statements conflicts with choosing a cheaper product.

Choosing not to offer the same as everyone else does make sense, but that can be done by simply not specifying all your components including partnumers etc, but rather specifying the solution.

Retail customers, Clinton's largest customer base, have not embraced IP systems as heavily as other verticals, according to Clinton.

As an integrator who deals almost exclusively with retailers, I can say this is one of the most ridiculous statements they have made.  We've been actively working with our existing and new retail customers and the discussion is always "How do I get to IP".  Cost is always a discussion, but I haven't found a retailer yet who we haven't found a working IP solution for.  With encoders, Hybrid DVR's, decoders, edge recording, there's a solution for every budget a migration plan in every case.  We've used Clinton's IP PVM's (with the Axis camera in them) in the past.  Even used them to upgrade customers from their older analog PVM solution.  Looks like that will have to change.

As I understand it, the IP PVM's are kind of a split product in the sense that yes, they have an IP camera in them, but Clinton is mostly selling the PVM side of the product, and letting the customer do whatever they want with the IP portion. When the IP video stream is connected back to a VMS, that VMS, and other related cameras, are coming from another manufacturer, and one which likely has no PVM product in their catalog, allowing Clinton to get the PVM part of sale.

In dealing with retailers over the years, but not specifically focusing on those customers as you have, I found many that were very interested in migrating to IP, but also a large number that wanted to spend as little as possible on their video systems (but still wanted video surveillance). With Clinton's strong concentration on the retail segment, I can see where their strategy of targeting the more cost-conscious retail customers who want the best system for their budget, and want to keep that budget low, can be viable. 

Hi Brian,


I agree that retailers definitely want to spend as little as possible on video systems.  With Hikvision and other low cost offerings, that has been made extremely easy (albeit a bigger problem for me when discussing cyber and benefits of non-Chinese owned companies).  I can understand them wanting to be cost competitive, I'm just disappointed where Clinton has come out in the past with some high quality, reliable IP PVM's.  

They are still offering the IP PVM's, but those are separate from their camera solution offerings, which are led by EX-SDI and HD analog options.

I think you are taking the quote out of context. It's not meant to be a blanket statement stating that: "all Retail has shunned IP." Many retailers have made the switch to IP, and for those retailers, we do offer PVM solutions with built-in IP cameras.

BUT many retailers still use Analog cameras and have a justified reason for doing so.

Yes, I agree that some retailers do ask the question "How do I get to IP?" But from there that turns into a bigger discussion on price and store-wide adoption. And for some, IP just doesn't make sense.

We feel that EX-SDI is a great alternative to IP and are winning big retail programs with EX-SDI.

John, what's with the Click-Bait for title?  Why not just lead off with Clinton Electronics? 

A few fun facts you might not know about HD-SDI:

1. Although not IP, it is nonetheless digital transmission.

2. HD-SDI usage in security products predates HD-Analog by several years.

3. HD-SDI is a common format in the broadcast industry.

4. The father of HD-SDI (in security products) is none other than Dr. Todd Rockoff


If HD-SDI is a digital transmission could it be encrypted to only work between certain encoders/decoders?

If HD-SDI is a digital transmission could it be encrypted to only work between certain encoders/decoders?

Sure.  And this is done in the broadcast/cinema world where the SDI feed can be encrypted on its way to the projector, similar to the way HDCP over HDMI works.

But I doubt there is enough demand in the security space to justify the expense.

If I learned anything from Clinton’s video, it was within the last six seconds when they showed us that WDR performance is better on SDI.  Sold.  </sarcasm>.

Pure Sarcasm on my part;:)

I'm nostalgic for the good old days, so maybe I'll start a new company, with analog phones, pagers, and fax machines.  I will require all PO's be issued via mail, as thermal paper can fade if exposed to heat.  While I'm at it, I will sell my modern SUV and buy a mid 80's SUV, dump my LED lighting and go back to Incandescent, and last, but not least, remove my high efficiency furnace and pick up a nice one in the 60% efficiency range.

If I can find one, I'll buy some old tube tv, preferably something small, and dump my flat screens, after I cancel my DirecTV account.

Directv? Come on that so 2010, everyone streams now man....haha!

Having done a considerable amount of HD-SDI I know its downfalls in a big way. 

One of the fundamental issues we couldn't 100% overcome was the interference experienced when cables were near radio frequency's like mobile phones. 

So a test for HD-SDI is to make a phone call next to the connection of the BNC at camera or recorder end and the image will likely drop off screen! EX-SDI may be different but no HD-SDI was 100% protected though some products did perform better in this regard. 

@John H, it would be good to have back Todd from the HDcctv days :-)

We had some experience with HD-SDI when it first became widely available in the CCTV segment somewhere between 2010-2013. Back then we found it had (or at least the products we did use) serious limitations:

- Short running distance - after 90-100 m picture quality seriously degraded, in many cases it was totally lost

- Video signal was highly susceptible to interference caused by lower quality coax cable and/or using mainstream BNC connectors. Expensive high quality gold plated BNCs had to be used in order to make sure distances of over 70-80 meters would be reached without losing the signal. Using Cat5 UTP/FTP cable was also out of the question.

- HD-SDI Cameras/DVRs were not compatible with older analogue cameras, so they were economically not feasable as an easy-to-do upgrade

When the CVI / AHD/ TVI technologies appeared, they basically solved exactly those same issues and became the natural choice for the lower end systems - no matter if it is an upgrade of an existing CCTV system or a totally new one. 

In my view, the decision of this company to focus on HD-SDI was not driven by some technological advantages, but the possibility to "lock' customers to their offering. Once you have a HD-SDI system and you need an upgrade with HD-SDI cameras - there are not many companies selling this, so it makes the SDI a kind of "exclusive" offering which would distinguish the company from the rest.

Actually stating that it helps "in avoiding getting caught up in the race to the bottom" is also strange, as even Longse offers tons of EX-SDI cameras now:

In my view, the decision of this company to focus on HD-SDI was not driven by some technological advantages, but the possibility to "lock' customers to their offering. Once you have a HD-SDI system and you need an upgrade with HD-SDI cameras - there are not many companies selling this, so it makes the SDI a kind of "exclusive" offering which would distinguish the company from the rest.


No this is not the case at all. We firmly believe that EX-SDI is the superior HD over Coax technology. The decision to choose EX-SDI was solely made on its superior image quality vs. HD Analog (TVI, CVI, AHD).

One could argue that any technology can be viewed as a way to "lock" customers in.

EX-SDI does not lock anyone in. EX-SDI is backward compatible with HD-SDI and can also output analog as well. There are also converters that can convert EX-SDI to HD-Analog and even EX-SDI to IP.

So no, it's not some marketing ploy to deceive customers and "lock" them into our "exclusive" offering.

EX-SDI is not exclusive to Clinton Electronics.

Does EX-SDI support 4K?  If I remember right HD-SDi was limited to 1080p.  I was excited about the premise of HD-SDI.  I even defended Rockoff on LinkedIn until I realized he was a snake oil salesman.  If EX-SDI supports greater resolution at lengths that are not ludicrously short over expensive high-grade coax that is promising.  I dont want to have to put in RG-11 to get 800 feet.


i have works with Clinton Electronics analog products in the distant past.  Their product was decent enough.

*worked with Clinton Electronics


I really need to proofread.

Yes, EX-SDI supports 2MP, 4MP, & 4K (coming soon) and it can do all of these at long distances over standard RG59.

EX-SDI can also do Up-the-Coax communication and is capable of doing Power-over-Coax as well.

Please don't hesitate to reach out if you would like to discuss further.

I would say ex-SDI If also compatible with HD-SDI at least affords installs with HD-SDI an upgrade path. 

I was told the ex-SDI would have similar distance and coax requirements as AHD, CVI and TVI.  If it supports higher resolutions than 1080, even better.  

Time will tell as most HD COAX manufacturers seem to be adopting AHD, CVI and TVI at the camera and recorder level going forward.

This, I see as BETA vs VHS now. 

Yes, it is a bit like BETA vs. VHS, but I don't see any of the HD Over Coax technologies going away anytime soon.

The main argument for EX-SDI vs. HD Analog (TVI, CVI, & AHD) is that EX-SDI is a digital signal whereas TVI, CVI, and AHD are analog. 

We are starting to see cameras and DVRs that can support multiple HD over Coax technologies.



In a few years, deep learning, object classification, sound classification, multi-sensor cameras, better analytics, 6K and 8K resolution, cloud computing ect., all technologies that must use IP cameras, will be the major trend, especially in retail. Why place your bets on yet another HD over coax technology which is already saturated by companies much larger than Clinton? Seems like a survival tactic rather than a long-term growth strategy.

One thing to keep in mind is that we never said "IP is not the future" or "EX-SDI will replace IP" and we certainly never publicly announced that we "Shun all IP Technology." 

Brian requested a product catalog and asked if I could chat on the phone. He wrote the article based on a 20 min phone conversation and came up with the article title "This manufacturer shuns IP cameras" based on the fact that we do not offer a wide range of IP based products today.

We also talked quite a bit about software development and our soon to be released networkable digital signage PVM, and I even invited him to visit us at ISC West for a demo. None of that made it into the article.

I could go on and on about our roadmap and where we see our place in the future of CCTV, but an online forum is not the place to do so.

We have always taken a diversified approach when it comes to our long-term growth, and we strongly feel that EX-SDI will be a part of that growth along with IP.



Thanks for the clarification on your position. That's pretty lame of IPVM if what you say is accurate, stooping to the low level of click-bait sensationalist headlines and unjustifiably painting a respectable industry player in a bad light. 

Yes, I agree that the article title is a bit on the "click-bait" side.

But I will say that Brian was very professional, and I don't think he intended to paint us in a negative light.

I think most of the commenters took it out of context and turned it into something that it's not.

We are starting to see cameras and DVRs that can support multiple HD over Coax technologies.

While there are definitely devices supporting TVI and AHD and CVI, what manufacturers are supporting EX-SDI and any of those 3 on the same cable / connection?

There are EX-SDI cameras on the market now that also  output TVI, CVI, and Analog CVBS via a second BNC output.

Thanks. I am actually more curious about the opposite. What DVRs accept EX-SDI as well as TVI, CVI, AHD, etc.? 

In other words, if one buys EX-SDI cameras how locked in are they to a few manufacturers who support it?

There are a few manufacturers that make a universal DVR that accept both EX-SDI and HD-Analog. Most of them come from Korea but word is that the some Chinese manufacturers are starting to develop them now too.

The only thing keeping retailers going to centrally managed IP solutions is the cost of business class broadband. Many are limited by horrendous upload speeds.

Disagree, EX-SDI does nothing to help remote viewing via WAN uploading. A video stream encoded is the same across every platform. 

We manage lots of 100+ store retailers with 0.2Mbps upload connections, it is all about setting customer expectations, proper setup and utilization of 2nd and 3rd streams.

I didn't make any implications about remote viewing differences between IP and EX-SDI. 


As someone that competed with Clinton, I know a frequent objection from large retailers was having no remote (or feasible) connectivity at all to utilize the features they wanted from IP. If they had to send a regional manager or LP agent to the store to investigate, KISS. 


Not likely to get better with the repeal of net neutrality either.  Prepare for the IP camera speed lane, remote monitoring service providers and cloud hosted camera manufacturers.

My knee jerk reaction to this was that this strategy will someday die at the vine, but more I think about it, its probably a smart idea to focus and specialize on one technology while everyone else is going in all sorts of different directions. With 4K over coax coming out, one cant really argue the "resolution limitation" factor as much anymore either.

I have several Clinton DVR's and cameras deployed at the dump. Clinton is avoiding the race to the bottom because their product line is already there.

I'm sorry to hear that you feel that way. It's easy to throw rocks as undisclosed.

I'd love to have a conversation about why you feel our product line is in the "dump" if you care to do so. 

Rude response being undisclosed. What particular models did you take to the dump? Im asking because I call BS.

Also, race to the bottom refers to a phenomenon known as "ultra low pricing that damages the market", I doubt Clinton is winning that race.

Also, race to the bottom refers to a phenomenon known as "ultra low pricing that damages the market", I doubt Clinton is winning that race.

That’s true, and no one knows better than you.

Thank you for your response Mrs. Undisclosed.

Major respect for Clinton not taking the lazy route and OEM Dahua or Hik. ExSDI will be a solid niche revenue stream for a handful of years, and then those same retail customer will convert to IP when AI chips and features come down in price and they realize what they are missing.

That's a bold strategy Cotton... 

  1. persistently avoid, ignore, or reject (someone or something) through antipathy or caution.
    "he shunned fashionable society"


I am starting to understand why some are critical of this website. The headline is  misleading and suggest a quote not made. When I asked about Clinton Electronics it was after watching the EX-SDI camera shootout video that is on their website. I have many cost conscious prospects with existing coaxial cable in place.

Best keep the salt shaker on my desk when researching vendors on IPVM.


I want to address some things that have come up in the comments around this report.

In short, I believe that Clinton has "shunned" IP cameras in their current business. This is based on the fact they have had a very limited IP product lineup in their surveillance solutions, have promoted EX-SDI heavily, and have used Axis cameras when they needed IP camera capabilities in one of their main product lines (PVMs). 

When I spoke with Dan Clinton, I was upfront about the fact that the lack of IP cameras/recorders in their catalog/website was what I found most notable. I found it intriguing that Clinton was able to offer a surveillance lineup in the current atmosphere that ignored IP solutions, and also focused on a more esoteric option in EX-SDI. This was much different than the approach some manufacturers/brands have taken around OEMing HD analog gear and selling their "value add" around things like support or warranty, etc.

Dan is correct that we discussed some of their PVMs that featured IP cameras. However, these utilize Axis cameras, not an IP system designed or sourced by Clinton. While we left PVMs out of the report, because that was not the core focus, I think the fact they use Axis cameras in the PVMs further highlights how Clinton is not putting a lot of R&D effort into IP cameras, instead using Axis products in their PVMs. 

When the report was initially published, Dan sent me a couple of minor corrections via email (e.g.: I had them listed as selling HD analog products, which he clarified as being SD analog, not HD analog, and some comments on EX-SDI vs. HD-SDI). He did not state that the title or report itself was inaccurate or misrepresented them. This is hopefully due in part to the fact that we did not claim anything like "Clinton vows no IP ever!". Clinton may change their strategy around EX-SDI/IP in the future. If they do, we may cover that change and how/why it came about. For now, though, "shunning" IP cameras certainly sets them apart in some ways.



I must have missed this conversation.  We use Clinton Electronics on some of our projects.  They work well and have a good picture.  I also appreciate their quick response time.  All of our installations using Clinton have went smooth and the client has been pleased with the picture.  My installers like them as well, which is important to me.  I originally started looking at them because I needed IP68 dome cameras, which for some reason was difficult to find at the time.  We have used them for a few years now and haven't had any issues.  

I was entertained with the VHS vs Beta mention.  From what I remember Beta was the superior format.  Interesting story for those that remember that one.

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