Bosch Advantage Line Additions

By Ethan Ace, Published Aug 26, 2012, 08:00pm EDT

Over the last year, Bosch has aggressively promoted its 'Advantage Line' on the Internet and in trade shows, including a massive tower at ISC West 2012 [link no longer available]. Now, they have expanded this line with 5 new cameras [link no longer available]. In this note, we examine the key features of the release, how this impacts Bosch's positioning and how it compares to other big name brands.

Overview

This release includes five new cameras [link no longer available] - 4 domes, 1 bullet, from 720p to 5MP:

  • NDN-265-PIO 1MP/HD 720p IR Dome ($940 MSRP), 2.7-9mm varifocal lens, true day/night, up to 50' IR range
  • NTC-265-PI 1 MP/HD 720p IR Bullet ($900 MSRP), 3.7-10mm varifocal lens, true day/night, up to 82' IR range
  • NDC-274-P 2MP/HD 1080p MicroDome ($750 USD MSRP), 4.37mm fixed lens, color only, MicroSDXC slot
  • NDC-274-PT 2 MP/HD 1080p Outdoor MicroDome ($810 MSRP), 4.37mm fixed lens, color only, MicroSDXC slot
  • NDC-284-PT 5 MP Outdoor MicroDome ($870 MSRP), 3.74mm fixed lens, color only, MicroSDXC slot

All models feature H.264 Main Profile, as well as MJPEG streaming and ship with a free 16-channel Bosch Video Client license. Bosch Video Client allows viewing of live and archived video directly from camera edge storage, creating a serverless surveillance system (similar to Axis Camera Companion). BVC also supports ONVIF cameras and Bosch's 700 series recorders.

All models are scheduled for release in Q3 2012.

Positioning Changes

This release addresses some key gaps in Bosch's Advantage Line, introducing some models which other manufacturers, such as Axis, Panasonic, and Sony, have had available for some time:

  • Outdoor megapixel options: Prior to this release, the Advantage Line had only three megapixel options, two box cameras, and one dome, with no outdoor options. Integrators seeking an outdoor Bosch megapixel option needed to use the FlexiDome HD, instead. Now, with four of five new models being outdoor-rated, this gap is narrow greatly.
  • IR options: As we have seen in releases from Axis, Panasonic, and others, built-in IR is a growing trend this year. The Advantage Line previously only offered IR illumination in standard definition cameras. This release adds two models of HD camera with IR illuminators to the line.
  • Compact domes: Another growing trend is compact, lower-cost domes, or microdomes, with a number of manufacturers releasing cameras in this form factor this year. Previously offering no compact dome options, Bosch has caught up to this trend with these new models.

SDXC Edge Storage

Bosch's inclusion of SDXC slots on most of these models, instead of SDHC found in most cameras, provides some advantage for those looking to build a decentralized surveillance system. Instead of the 32GB limit found in SDHC cards, SDXC have a theoretical limit of 2TB, making retention of video for longer periods at higher bitrates and resolutions much more practical. More practically, today, SD cards of 64GB are widely available. Combined with Bosch's free edge recording, this provides a similar solution to Axis Camera Companion (though with greater edge storage size support and a better thick client but with higher camera prices and no mobile client).

Competitive Comparison

This release adds a number of lower-cost options to the Bosch portfolio, in line with some competitors, though they still lag behind Axis' recent M3004/M3005 minidomes. Given MSRP and online pricing of other Bosch products, we expect the NDC-274-P 1080p minidome will sell for about $400-450 online. This is moderately lower than Sony's SNCDH210 (~$450-500 online), while the Axis M3005 sells for below $400.

Overall, while these 5 models do not leapfrog existing megapixel suppliers, they do provide Bosch a broader foundation to compete on the IP side. We do not expect that these models will motivate many to switch but we do think these will provide a solid offering for existing Bosch customers / dealers.

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