This Manufacturer Shuns IP Cameras

By Brian Karas, Published Dec 14, 2017, 09:01am EST

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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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 (50)

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.

CLINTON ELECTRONICS serves a niche market. And by the way, every single camera on the market serves a niche. Can anyone here argue against that a proper CCTV deployment, delivering the maximum quality of picture, is a custom application completely contingent upon the individual environmental conditions? Isn't that what sets the trunk-slammer apart from the pro? (oh, and by the way...Service after the fact. But more on that point completely missing from the debate above so far.).

Next, I really don't give a hoot about what the big installation companies are doing because I'm not one of them. And last time I checked, they don't buy CCTV installations from me. They have NOTHING, and I mean NOTHING to teach me. (that last little diddy does NOT include IPVM ;})) Moving along, most arguments citing, or implying, 'industry trends' also mean little to me. In contrast, what is happening right outside my front door, with my particular market sector - and my ability to read THOSE tea leaves - is what matters. Anyone looking for middle-of-the-road, one-size-fits-all, silver bullets in terms of the perfect technology is looking too far over the horizon if the next fiscal quarter means anything to them.

Today is August 2020. CLINTON now has 4MP and several hybrid DVRS that are also well thought out, in my humble opinion. They are doing fine.

Finally, my clients and yours don't give a hoot about anyone's CCTV but their own. Those clients, ESPECIALLY small businesses and homes, have 16 cameras and usually get by on less. Why? Budgets. Small businesses are also pissed at being 'sold' on CCTV that seems to keep getting outdated relative to how long they were expecting to use their (usually) coaxial, analog systems. So you keep it up, telling them once again that not only are their cameras and DVR in need of replacement, BUT THEIR ENTIRE CABLE PLANT NEEDS ABANDONING (oh, you were intending to pull out the RG59 for them? Or will your bid put the abandonment clause in small print??).

These successful small businesses are still around today because they've come to trust their very frugal instincts. Big shocker, lower cost is still King. During the closing process, these prospects wait to commit until the 'other foot falls'. They want to be 'wowed' - and Clinton delivers picture clarity, ease of installation (existing coax up to 1400ft before repeaters. yes, they can repeat too), very little network integration (small business translate complicated network upgrades as a security risk they do not comprehend) compared to IP. Don't pass by that fact soooo quickly Friend. Network integration is a completely auxiliary function to the camera product MOST OF THE TIME for this market sector. Ask a rural small business person how much fun it is for them to retain good IT help. BAM! That foot landed - they commit. The installing company even provides the proverbial cigarette afterwards....TOP QUALITY SUPPORT FOR YEARS AFTER THE SALE. These clients love support, as they should. Proudly, the Clinton Team and I deliver.

Dan is more cautious than I so I will say it. We are Americans building American products as best we can. I'm no purest here but please, stay on this continent as much as you can. And if that isn't important to you, know.

And guess what folks...LABOR, is still a respectable portion of the installation cost. Anyone else out there experiencing shortage of qualified new hires? That is tough, but it also happens to puts US on the winning side of the Supply/Demand continuum (folks, raise your prices).

Any layman suspects, if the installer doesn't have to re-cable with CAT5 in order to attain 1080p, or higher by-the-way, for all or most of the client's upgrade, then the labor cost kicks my competing IP bids' a$$. Which incidentally leaves more room for the other portion of the installation cost not yet mentioned here.....PROFIT MARGIN...and if you are set up to install like a Champ...a healthy profit margin.

Profit margin.If you don't know your short, medium, and long numbers what the heck does it matter - you'll be out of the game soon enough. Profit margin. PM.

The only context of your post that I can resonate with is 'Made In The USA', 'Buy American' and 'American Made' sentiment.

As for the rest of your opinions, not worth debating at all. I regret the sorrow your keyboard had to endure just to make that post happen.

Apparently the only point you (#15) have to make is to crack a funny...which is no point at all.

Meanwhile, I fully admit that my perspective is very narrow and clearly doesn't apply to the majority of strategies. But using SDI for 2MP and 4MP applications for small installations, especially when the existing cable plant is salvageable, is a completely viable option. Clinton's AVMS software, for remote management of DVRs, is very good. I have used it for medium businesses (gyms) that have multiple locations with camera counts up to 64 per network connection. Also, AVMS can support simultaneous connections that bring the total available camera count even higher.

If a re-cabling is required, I still choose SDI because of the nearly ZERO latency while streaming live no matter how many cameras you are viewing at the head end. With IP, the more cameras the client wants, the more you are managing latency/choppiness/robotic playback issues.

I think the popular rise in IP camera solutions is in part due to people in the IT industry wanting to get add-on value to their existing portfolio. And I don't blame them for that. Of course, I am not saying SDI is perfect for everybody. The learning curve involved in any change of vendor has it's own cost to bear. I think IP cameras have popular momentum because of the army of IT people out there with an existing client base in place already - and good for them.

But you are not going to convince me that IP beats out SDI for:

- cabling infrastructure

- cost effective head-end

-power management

-distance limitation

-material cost

- manufacturer support

Just because SDI has a small market share and will always be small doesn't make it wrong for that reason alone - and that's the primary argument I seem to hear against it.

Well if you cannot take a joke or be poked then you are no fun at all. However you can always say that your keyboard was possessed. I never said I like IP or any other variation of security camera video other than American Made is fine with me. I just like comparisons to what could be, so to eliminate all the BS and look at the one scrappy opinion my keyboard agrees with is, drum roll please.....

All video devices form factored with an entire OS, network and ability to send and receive to any other bot(IoT) devices. This concept already exists in a crude iteration and most of us have already used it once or twice. The next time you take a selfie, stare deep into that lens because that is the next rung on the evolutionary ladder for many video, audio and sensors. That being opinionated, we can skip all archaic point to point cabling systems, IT and Cyber Security court jesters as well as everyone else not willing to look at something that have been drug outside the cave they live in to see the light.

If SDI is your financial tree that is bearing fruit, by all means take the money and run, good luck. Other than that it is just your opinion, my opinion and a few jokes, nothing personal.

I can take a joke, and I won't tell you not what to use your keyboard for. And 'Thank You' for responding to my opinion, truly.

I hope our discourse is useful however opinionated.


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