Grandstream IP Camera OverviewBy: Ethan Ace, Published on Aug 28, 2011
Over the past few years, IP Telephony supplier Grandstream has rolled out a number of IP video surveillance cameras. In this note, we look at why Grandstream's low cost and interoperability support makes it one of the more promising small entrants to consider for budget applications.
Grandstream offers a small line of IP cameras, consisting of nine models [link no longer available]. This range covers the typical cube, box, and dome form factors, and standard definition through 1080p resolution. The entirety of the line is ONVIF-compliant, and Grandstream, having roots in voice over IP, has equipped all cameras with bi-directional SIP-compliant audio.
The most unique products in the Grandview range are the GXV3611 [link no longer available] minidomes. Available in standard def as well as 2MP, the 3611's build a microphone and speaker into the dome, as well as a smoke detector. This is the only product we are aware of which combines camera with smoke detector, and it is a rather strange addition. The smoke detector is not UL-listed, complies to no codes, and provides no local audible or visible annunciation of alarm. Upon activation, the smoke alarm may trigger recording, call a selected phone, trigger the built-in relay output, and other actions. Users should be extremely careful if planning to deploy these cameras for use as smoke detectors, as they would be allowed by local authorities under almost no circumstances.
Comparing the Grandstream line to other offerings, we find that these cameras are extremely cost competitive.
- The GXV3611_HD [link no longer available], the 2MP minidome discussed above, may be found for as little as $150 online, for example. This is $100 less than a Vivotek FD8133 can be found online.
- The GXV3651_FHD [link no longer available], a full HD box camera retails for approximately $500 online. Compared to the Vivotek IP8161 (around $485 online), Grandstream is similar in price. Comparing it to the Axis P1346 and Sony SNCCH220, two of the most often used HD cameras, the GXV3651_FHD is between $250 and $400 cheaper.
Based on comparative pricing, Grandstream is worth considering. Plus, since they support ONVIF, it is possible to integrate with many VMS systems (though not guaranteed given the immature state of ONVIF integration today). We have done no testing of Grandstream cameras, and as such, cannot comment on their quality. We will consider Grandstream for future testing. Grandstream does have a number of live online demos [link no longer available], however, so end users may check out video quality for themselves.
Grandstream's SIP capability is rare, so users specifically seeking a SIP-enabled camera will find the line attractive. Given this functionality, the GXV3615 cube camera [link no longer available] ($115 online) could be a reasonable choice for an entry phone, with its built-in speaker and microphone. Overall, though, while this may be useful for specific applications, we do not believe it is an extremely compelling feature for all end users.