Exacq's Low Cost LC vs Milestone Arcus

By Sarit Williams, Published Aug 07, 2013, 12:00am EDT

A key Exacq competitive advantage has been their appliance lines, especially compared to Milestone, who essentially had none (i.e., the HP workstation). However, this spring, Milestone released Arcus, a new VMS platform, embedded into third party devices such as from LenovoEMC and Razberi. Now, Exacq has released LC, its lowest cost line yet. In this note, we examine the positioning of the LC series comparing it both to Milestone Arcus offerings and to Asian NVRs.

LC Product Overview

LC offers IP only or hybrid DVR versions:

  • Camera Channels: range from 8-16 channel add-ons, but both include 4 IP camera licenses bundled
  • Storage: 1-3TB single hard drive 
  • Pricing: IP only MSRP $1500- $2000, Hybrid MSRP $1750 - $2500

The boxes are relatively small - 11.5" x 10.8" x 2.5". Image below:

Compared to Milestone Arcus

While the price range and hardware options are similar (Arcus LenovoEMC comes with an encoder card/ hybrid DVR option), a few important differences exist:

  • Software Sophistication: Exacq's included software (Start) offers much greater functionalities than the basic Arcus offering. Additionally, upgrading to higher end Exacq offerings is straightforward while Arcus appliances will require Interconnect.
  • Vendor Options: Exacq bundles / sells both hardware and software while Milestone Arcus software is preloaded and sold by multiple hardware manufacturers. This may make Exacq easier to support and troubleshoot but may provide Milestone users with more hardware / model options.
  • PoE switch: Arcus Razberi has a built in PoE switch while Exacq and Arcus LenovoEMC do not. Razberi's approach can reduce total cost and setup complexity though it could increase reliability concerns and servicing challenges.
  • CPU / RAM: The LC uses an Intel Celeron processor (2.5Ghz) and 2GB of RAM, while the Razberi uses at least 4GBs of RAM and Atom processors for 4 and 8 port versions with i3, i5 or i7s for larger camera count versions.
  • Headed Operation: Exacq LC and Razberi allow local viewing while LenovoEMC does not. This could be a key factor for small businesses who do not want or have a separate PC to monitor cameras.
  • Storage Redundancy: Arcus LenvoEMC offers various storage redundancy options (as a NAS appliance) while Exacq EL and Razveri are JBOD.

Market Impact

With both Exacq and Milestone now offering low cost appliances, it expands options for price sensitive applications, dropping the 'low cost' street level to the $1,000 - $1,500 range. Not only should this help users but it will likely motivate other major Western manufacturers to respond. 

However, the threat and opportunity remains for 'super' low cost NVR appliances offered for less than $1,000 to continue to grow at a further price discount.

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