Can Panoramic Cameras Replace 4 Channel DVRs?

By John Honovich, Published Dec 09, 2009, 07:00pm EST

In the December 2009 Mobotix Installer magazine [link no longer available], Mobotix contends that their Q24 cameras can replace 4 channel DVRs. It is an interesting argument worth examining.

The basis of the case lies in:

  • A 3MP Q24 camera costs about $1,000. An SD version of the Q24 (the Basic) is also available for about $650 but that version's resolution is too low to replace multiple analog cameras.
  • Mobotix does not require VMS server software to be loaded on a PC/server. Video management is embedded into the camera.
  • The Mobotix viewing/management software (MxControlCenter) is free.
  • Video can be stored inside the Q24 (up to 32 GB, sold separately) or to a NAS.

By contrast, a 4 analog channel DVR kit starts at $600 to $700 for the cameras, DVR appliance, cabling and 100-160 GB of storage.

While the analog system's installation cost will be more expensive, Mobotix offers significantly less storage and $300-$500 more for product cost.

The most significant benefit for the 4 channel analog kit is the ability to place cameras in different areas and on the other side of walls. By contrast, Mobotix's panoramic camera may provide greater resolution but the coverage is confined to the immediate vicinity of that one unit.

While Mobotix sees the small business market as a strategic emerging focus, the strength of this proposition is questionable.
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