Is the HDcctv Alliance Shooting Itself in the Foot?

By John Honovich, Published Sep 28, 2010, 08:00pm EDT

We believe that the HDcctv Alliance's uniquely combative PR strategy is hurting their cause. The Alliance is the first industry group to aggressively use social media and guerrilla marketing to share their message. However, their approach focuses on repeatedly criticizing IP, usually on questionable grounds, rather than clearly communicating their own advantages. This has engendered significant ill-will, nicely demonstrated by a thread on HDcctv at the analog friendly CCTVForum.

A recent example nicely demonstrates their approach. An HDcctv member attacked IP camera 'standards' for needing plugfests, "the standards must be pretty weak if you need to have plugfests to to test interoperability." This, despite the well known property that plugfests are commonplace across IT. The HDcctv member further claimed [link no longer available], "SDI, HDMI, USB, FireWire, NTSC, PAL, Component Video, S-Video, DVI, Video standards dont seem to need Plugfests." This despite, the obvious, overwhelming evidence that HDMI, USB, Firewire, etc. all had extensive plugfests when they were first developed. HDcctv will have to have plugfests as well if they get beyond a small number of production products and want to ensure problem free interoperability.

Further examples are numerous in the HDcctv Alliance LinkedIn group [link no longer available] where the Alliance regularly criticizes IP and poorly defends their own limitations.

Now, an HDcctv member is claiming that, "IP for Camera's in Mainstream CCTV is dubious." This is such a crazy statement that I am actually shocked that it was made. Why do you think all the analog companies are spending huge marketing dollars pushing IP? Because it's some minor niche application? Look at new projects across the world. IP is surging and increasingly commonplace. Take a quick glance at project references for just two IP vendors, Axis [link no longer available] and ACTi, showing thousands of deployments across every market segment.

We are dissapointed with the approach of the HDcctv Alliance. IP cameras have real shortcomings and a strong alternative would greatly benefit the market (We were the first organization to report on HDcctv (back in May 2009) and continue to provide the most original coverage on them). However, major questions exist on their competitiveness, compatability and cost. Unfortunately, rather than addressing them and buillding confidence, they attack IP as a smokescreen. Outside of the HDcctv Alliance, it's no secret that IP sales are doing well and that MP IP is the fastest growing market segment. Far better would the Alliance be to praise MP IP and focus on how they are an even better option for delivering MP.

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