Bosch Low Cost Encoders

Author: Ethan Ace, Published on Feb 26, 2013

Many lament that encoders are so expensive. Indeed, a recent fascinating IPVM discussion examined why encoders typically are so much more expensive than DVRs even though a DVR is an encoder plus VMS software and storage. During the discussion, we found that Bosch has recently introduced a very low cost encoder. In this note, we compare its spec to previous Bosch encoders and to the lowest cost offerings from Axis and Avigilon, evaluating tradeoffs and potential.

Product Overview

The Bosch X16 XF E is a 16-port 1RU encoder with the following key features:

  • H.264 dual stream at 4CIF resolution on all channels: one stream up to 30 FPS, with a secondary stream up to 7.5 FPS.
  • I/O (4 in/1 out), audio (2 in/1 out), and serial ports.
  • Single Gigabit Ethernet port (10/100/1000).
  • Fixed at sixteen inputs, with no options for lower port counts.

The X16 will be available in Q1 2013, with an MSRP of $1,790 USD, and an estimated street price of ~$1,200.

Compared to Other Bosch Models

Previously, Bosch's only 16-port offering was the modular VIP-X1600, a single rack chassis which accepts up to four 4-port encoder modules. The X1600 has some features which the X16 lacks, such as two full frame rate streams per channel, redundant power and Ethernet connections, and option integrated analytics. However, it is much pricier, with a fully loaded 16-channel rack totalling about $4,500 USD online, nearly four times the price of the XF E.

Competitive Comparison

The X16 competes favorably with two of the low-cost encoder leaders, the Axis M7010 16-channel encoder, and Avigilon's H.264 encoders. These models compare in price as follows:

  • Bosch X16 XF E: ~$1,200 estimated street price
  • Axis M7010: ~$1,900 online
  • Avigilon H.264 encoder x4: ~$1,200 estimated street price (~$300 x4)

However, users should note there are several feature differences between these models:

  • The Axis M7010 allows for one H.264 stream and one MJPEG stream, but only at a framerate of 15 FPS per channel, versus 30 FPS using the Bosch XF E. The M7010 also supports microSD storage on-board, where the XF E supports "edge recording" via iSCSI. Indeed, the Bosch's feature sets are also comparable to Axis's more expensive P7210.
  • Most notably, when using Avigilon encoders with Avigilon software, users must only pay for one camera license, instead of four, potentially a substantial savings on VMS costs. Avigilon's encoders support audio in and out, as well as digital in and out on each channel, versus the shared ports of the XF E. Finally, Avigilon's encoders are 4-channel units which may be racked together, twelve in a single rack space, so 16 ports would use 2RU, instead of 1RU.
  • Both Avigilon and Axis require an Ethernet port per four channels, as opposed to the single gigabit port used by the X16. Bosch has an advantage in that fewer ports are required, which may be especially key in larger systems, as a 4x increase in port count may lead to additional switches being purchased. Even for sixteen channels, a 100 Mbps link should provide around 4 Mb/s throughput to each camera, which is generally more than sufficient for standard definition streams.

Potential Impact 

Undoubtedly, the X16 XF E does much to strengthen Bosch's position in the encoder market, where they have previously had few low-cost options, if any. Additionally, given its strongly competitive pricing, we expect it to be attractive from integrators and end users, especially considering the price-sensitive nature of analog-to-IP upgrades.

Comments (7) : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Axis Supports HD Analog on Apr 15, 2019
In 2017, Axis declared 'Everything is IP': Now, in 2019, Axis has released support for HD analog, with their new encoders.  Why the change?...
Ubiquiti Favorability Results 2019 on Feb 18, 2019
Ubiquiti has quietly grown into a $1+ billion annual revenue company, with offerings across wireless, wireline network and video surveillance (see...
WDR Tutorial on Jan 11, 2019
Understanding wide dynamic range (WDR) is critical to capturing high quality images in demanding conditions. However, with no real standards, any...
Worst Products Tested In Past Year on Jan 09, 2019
IPVM has done over 100 tests in the past year. But which products performed the worst? Which ones should users be most aware of? In this report,...
2019 Video Surveillance Cameras Overview on Jan 07, 2019
Each year, IPVM summarizes the main advances and changes for video surveillance cameras, based on our industry-leading testing and...
Network Cable Shootout - Belden, Commscope, Hikvision, Honeywell, NavePoint CCA, Windy City Wire on Dec 17, 2018
Every IP camera install needs UTP cabling. But how much of a difference is there between dirt cheap generic cables found online and the bigger,...
Hanwha L Series Lowest-Cost Camera Tested on Dec 04, 2018
Hanwha has released their lowest-priced IP camera line ever, the L series, that competes on price with low cost competitors Dahua and...
Ideal SecuriTest IP Vs Unbranded IP Camera Install Tool Tested on Nov 21, 2018
In our recent IP camera installation tool shootout, multiple members questioned the Ideal SecuriTest IP's features compared to low-cost unbranded...
Best Alternatives to Banned Dahua and Hikvision on Oct 17, 2018
With the US government ban and a growing number of users banning Dahua and Hikvision, one key question is what to use for low cost? While Dahua and...
Network Cable Testing Guide on Oct 02, 2018
Proper cable installation is key to trouble-free surveillance systems. However, testing is often an afterthought, with problems only discovered...

Most Recent Industry Reports

H.265 Usage Statistics on Apr 19, 2019
H.265 has been available in IP cameras for more than 5 years and, in the past few years, the number of manufacturers supporting this codec has...
ACRE Acquires RS2, Explains Acquisition Strategy on Apr 19, 2019
ACRE continues to buy, now acquiring RS2, just 5 months after buying Open Options. One is a small access control manufacturer from Texas, the...
Access Control Course Spring 2019 - Last Chance on Apr 19, 2019
Register for the Spring Access Control Course. IPVM offers the most comprehensive access control course in the industry. Unlike manufacturer...
Riser vs Plenum Cabling Explained on Apr 18, 2019
You could be spending twice as much for cable as you need. The difference between 'plenum' rated cable and 'riser' rated cable is subtle, but the...
Verint Victimized By Ransomware on Apr 18, 2019
Verint, which is best known in the physical security industry for video surveillance but has built a sizeable cybersecurity business as well, was...
Milestone Drops IFSEC on Apr 18, 2019
Milestone has dropped out of Europe's largest annual security trade show (IFSEC 2019), telling IPVM that they "have found that IFSEC in EMEA no...
The Fastest Growing Video Surveillance Sales Organization Ever - Verkada on Apr 17, 2019
Verkada has the fastest growing video surveillance sales organization ever. In less than 2 years, they already have more salespeople in the US...
Door Operators Access Control Tutorial on Apr 17, 2019
Doors equipped with door operators, specialty devices that automate opening and closing, tend to be quite complex. The mechanisms needed to...
Securadyne CEO: IPVM 'Entertaining For An Ignorant Few' on Apr 16, 2019
Securadyne's CEO Carey Boethel is unhappy with IPVM's report - Failed Integrator Rollup, Securadyne Sells to Guard Giant Allied. Indeed, he...
Dahua Repositionable IR Multi-Imager Camera Tested on Apr 16, 2019
Dahua has released their first repositionable multi-imager camera, the Multi-Flex 4x2MP, claiming integrated IR, true WDR, and flexible...

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