Bosch Low Cost Encoders

By: 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

Hikvision 4K Camera Shootout on Aug 02, 2019
With their latest Smart Series 5 cameras, Hikvision is claiming cameras "fully loaded" with "state-of-the-art technology for high performance and...
Dahua ePoE Long Distance UTP / Coax Tested on May 03, 2019
Dahua's Enhanced PoE (ePoE) line is claiming extended video and power transmission over 600m without repeaters, with devices interchangeable via...
Top Hikvision Proponent Nelly's "GoSwift" Elsewhere on May 03, 2019
Sean Nelson of Nelly's Security has made a name for himself and his company as a proponent of Hikvision, such as this notable 2017...
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...

Most Recent Industry Reports

TMA Apologizes to Amazon / Ring on Aug 23, 2019
Not only is Amazon / Ring making major incursions into the residential security market, the organization representing the biggest incumbents, The...
China Dahua Replaces Their Software With US Pepper on Aug 22, 2019
What does a US government banned company do to improve its security positioning in the US? Well, Dahua is unveiling a novel solution, partnering...
Security Integrators Outlook On Remaining Integrators In 2025 on Aug 22, 2019
The industry has changed substantially in the last decade, with the rise of IP cameras and the race to the bottom. Indeed, more changes may be...
First GDPR Facial Recognition Fine For Sweden School on Aug 22, 2019
A school in Sweden has been fined $20,000 for using facial recognition to keep attendance in what is Sweden's first GDPR fine. Notably, the fine is...
Anyvision Facial Recognition Tested on Aug 21, 2019
Anyvision is aiming for $1 billion in revenue by 2022, backed by $74 million in funding. But does their performance live up to the hype they have...
JCI Sues Wyze on Aug 21, 2019
The mega manufacturer / integrator JCI has sued the fast-growing $20 camera Seattle startup Wyze. Inside this note: Share the court...
Dahua 4K Camera Shootout on Aug 20, 2019
Dahua's new Pro Series 4K N85CL5Z claims to "deliver superior images in all lighting and environmental conditions", but how does this compare to...
ZK Teco Atlas Access Control Tested on Aug 20, 2019
Who needs access specialists? China-based ZKTeco claims its newest access panel 'makes it very easy for anyone to learn and install access control...
Uniview Beats Intel In Trademark Lawsuit on Aug 19, 2019
Uniview has won a long-running trademark lawsuit brought by Intel, with Beijing's highest court reversing an earlier Intel win, centered on...
Suprema Biometric Mass Leak Examined on Aug 19, 2019
While Suprema is rarely discussed even within the physical security market, the South Korean biometrics manufacturer made global news this past...

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