Can Everfocus Make Megapixel Simple and Inexpensive?

Author: John Honovich, Published on Jun 28, 2009

Two key problems for megapixel cameras are (1) their substantially increased cost relative to analog cameras and (2) the complexity of using IP. 

For the high end, this is not a problem. Indeed, the use of IP can be a benefit for larger corporations.

However, for the lower end, the 'budget' segment, cost and complexity are a significant barrier (even inexpensive 1080p cameras like the Vivotek IP7161 are twice the cost of an analog camera). Indeed, the traditional strength of Everfocus is providing inexpensive basic products like $1,000 USD 16 channel DVRs for this part of the market.

With the recent launch of the HDcctv Alliance and Everfocus' key role, Everfocus is positioning itself to be at the forefront of simple and inexpensive megapixel solutions.

At the lower end of market, I believe that Everfocus has a strong chance to accomplish this and dent the expansion of IP into this portion of the market.

Company Overview of Everfocus

Everfocus is a fairly large company. According to the 2008 ASMAG Security 50, Everfocus ranks 19th among security manufacturers with over $100 M USD revenue. This is ahead of companies like March Networks, Vicon, Vivotek and Mobotix.

According to Everfocus, approximately 2/3rd of the companies revenue is from branded business while 1/3rd is from OEM/ODM partnerships.

Everfocus is a publicly traded company on the Taipei stock exchange. Financial reports are available (though only in Chinese). According to their most recent report (their Q1 2009 statement), revenue dropped about 10% compared to Q1 2008 (from $614M NTD to $555M NTD).

Everfocus is one of the 4 founding members of the HDcctv Alliance. Additionally, the Chairman of the HDcctv Alliance was until a few months ago, an Everfocus executive.

Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox
Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox

HDcctv Everfocus Product Overview

According to Everfocus, their HDcctv product offering is likely to consist of two major components:

  • Expansion of their branded line for value/entry level markets: Everfocus offers a number of DVR series - all quite inexpensive (usually $2,000 or less per DVR), none providing enterprise management nor extensive 3rd party integration. They will offer HD versions/models of their DVR lines that add in a fixed number of HDcctv inputs. While exact inputs have not been publicly released, combinations of HD and analog inputs will be provided such as 2 HD and 6 analog or 4HD and 12 analog, etc. Recording will likely go up to 1080p with low frame rates (7.5 fps or less). Cost is only projected to be slightly more than current analog versions. A similar approach is planned for HD cameras with resolutions up to 1080p and cost moderately more than analog cameras (but far less than IP).
  • Tribrid DVRs will be introduced but primarily offered through their ODM/OEM partners. These units will support analog, HDcctv and IP cameras. Some of these units may offer modular card inputs that allow users to add HD inputs over time as they expand their use of HDcctv cameras.

Competitive Comparison to IP Megapixel Offerings

Analog CCTV is especially strong in the low end of the market where small camera counts, installation simplicity and low cost are key. Today, you can buy a 16 channel DVR for $1,000 to $2,000 USD, cameras at $200 USD each (or less). A low level technician with minimal IT skills can wire and set up an 8 channel system in a day (depending on the length/complexity of the cable runs, etc.).

The strongest alternative from the IP side are the budget offerings that companies like ACTi, Vivotek and DLink offer. The key elements of these offerings are:

  • Using a PC as the DVR, eliminating the cost of buying a dedicated/specialized DVR.
  • Providing free IP video surveillance software for use with the vendor's own IP cameras. This essentially means the material cost of the IP 'DVR' is simply the price of the PC.
  • Providing lower cost IP megapixel cameras. 1.3 MP cube cameras routinely run in the $200 - $275 USD price range. 1.3 MP Box cameras that allow for varifocal lenses are usually in the $300 - $400 USD price range. Finally, 2MP / 1080p box cameras are starting to come into the market at just under $500 USD.  These are fairly inexpensive, often 50% of the price of the premium IP camera vendors such as Axis, Panasonic and Sony.

Until the launch of HDcctv, IP had a clear advantage in resolution. Analog systems might be cheaper or simpler but IP could offer significantly higher resolution. Higher resolution IP cameras often result in less total cameras needed, providing a lower total system cost.

With HDcctv, the resolution advantage of IP is eliminated. The choice now shifts to cost. HDcctv manufacturers, including Everfocus are claiming HDcctv cameras will only 20-30% higher price than comparable analog cameras. This would put these cameras significantly less than even the budget IP megapixel options available. More important is the cost on the DVR side. Everfocus claims that a low frame rate DVR with a few HD inputs would only be slightly more than a traditional DVR.

The likely tradeoff HDcctv presents is lower cost and installation simplicity vs. reduced frame rate and camera input restrictions. At the lower end of the market, I do not think HDcctv's drawbacks will be especially painful. On the other hand, the lower cost and the plug and play setup of non-IP systems will be attractive. This will be especially desirable to traditional security/alarm installers who can use their existing staff without significant investment into IT training.

How this Impacts IP Manufacturers

The high end of IP camera manufacturers do not respect and are not interested in this market segment. This is what they often derisively refer to as the 'mom and pops' and the liquor stores of the world. Companies like Axis will probably be fine with this market segment choosing HDcctv (though it has the potential to cut into the value proposition of their managed video/STS offerings).

The budget providers of IP are the ones with the most at risk here. Companies like ACTi are focused on converting the lower end of the market to IP and to motivating security dealers to move to IP. A simple, inexpensive non-IP alternative could be a major barrier to IP growth in these segments.

3 reports cite this report:

HDcctv Product Pricing and Availability Examined on Jul 29, 2010
HDcctv product release is likely to start this quarter. However, information from providers reveals significant concerns about the cost...
Survey of Asian Hybrid DVR Manufacturers on Oct 10, 2009
Given the large number of DVRs produced in Asia, it is not surprising that Asian manufacturers would be keenly interested in the development of...
CSST - China Video Surveillance Offerings Examined on Aug 11, 2009
CSST is one of the biggest and fastest growing security companies in the world. Founded in 2001, last year CSST generated over $400 M USD revenue....

Related Reports on HD Analog

Hikvision HDTVI Power Over Coax Tested on Feb 05, 2019
After years of delay, Hikvision's Power Over Coax (PoC) HDTVI models are finally shipping, aiming to make HD analog installs as simple as PoE, with...
8MP HD Analog Tested (Dahua / Hikvision) on Jan 30, 2019
HD analog has promised higher resolution for years, but has lagged substantially behind for years. Now, both Dahua and Hikvision have started...
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...
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...
Top Manufacturers Gaining and Losing 2018 on Nov 26, 2018
This is the 5th year IPVM has tracked manufacturers gaining and losing: Top Manufacturers Gaining and Losing 2014 Top Manufacturers Gaining 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...
IP Camera Installation Tool Shootout - Avigilon, Axis, Ideal, Hanwha, Triplett, Veracity on Oct 23, 2018
Setting up IP cameras has historically been challenging, with techs often precariously using a laptop on a ladder or lift. Some options for install...
Hanwha Mega ISC West Product Releases on Apr 05, 2018
While overall new product releases have been slowing over the past few years, Hanwha is releasing a slew of 6 new offerings for ISC West,...
This Manufacturer Shuns IP Cameras 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...
2018 Video Surveillance Cameras Overview on Dec 11, 2017
This report concisely explains the developments for surveillance cameras offered in 2017 and the state of offerings going into 2018, including...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Eagle Eye Favorability Results 2019 on Mar 21, 2019
Eagle Eye has been the biggest spender in the cloud VMS market including (via their owner) acquiring Brivo for $50 million and CameraManager from...
Large Hospital Security End User Interview on Mar 21, 2019
This large single-state healthcare system consists of many hospitals, and hundreds of health parks, private practices, urgent care facilities, and...
Silicon Valley Cybersecurity Insurance Startup Coalition Profile on Mar 20, 2019
Many industry people believe cybersecurity insurance is not worth it, as the voting and debate in our Cybersecurity Insurance For Security...
Covert IP Camera Shootout - Axis, Hanwha, Hikvision, March, Vivotek on Mar 20, 2019
Covert cameras were one of the last holdout areas for analog cameras. However, in the past few years, IP / HD covert cameras have become...
Top Metrics For Ensuring Integrator Profitability - Statistics on Mar 20, 2019
How do integrators ensure the profitability of their projects? As part of our profitability study, 100+ integrators answered the following...
Avigilon Launches 'Renewed Products Program' on Mar 19, 2019
There are lots of 'pre-owned' cars but pre-owned IP cameras? While such programs are common in other industries, in video surveillance, they are...
Hanwha Tax Evasion Probe, Camera Division Implicated on Mar 19, 2019
A Hanwha group subsidiary was raided as part of a tax evasion probe. While a Korean news media report listed the raided entity as 'Hanwha...
Genetec Security Center 5.8 Tested on Mar 19, 2019
Genetec has released Version 5.8. This comes after a wait of more than a year that caused frustrations for many Genetec partners. Our previous...
Retired Mercury President Returns As Open Options President on Mar 18, 2019
Open Options experienced major changes in 2018, including being acquired by ACRE and losing its President and General Manager, John Berman who...
Large US University End-User Video Surveillance Interview on Mar 18, 2019
Schools have become targets in modern days of active shooters and terrorist fears. The need for video and access security is high. Universities...

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