Milestone Arcus Hybrid DVR/NVR

By John Honovich, Published Apr 08, 2013, 08:00pm EDT

Milestone new VMS platform, Arcus, has gained huge attention, but the big question is who would partner with Milestone? Now, the first of them has been revealed. NAS provider iomega, now known as LenovoEMC, has partnered with Milestone to embed and resell Arcus [link no longer available] in their NAS appliances. In this note, we examine the details of the offering, how it compares to Milestone's traditional appliance options, Exacq and analog kit offerings.

LenovoEMC / Arcus

Milestone Arcus is being preinstalled on two of LenovoEMC's existing NAS devices (the 2 bay PX2-300d [link no longer available] and the 4 bay PX4-300d [link no longer available]) to create NVR appliance versions. In addition, LenovoEMC will offer Arcus as a software upgrade to their products. Finally, a 16 channel analog PCIe capture card is being offered that essentially converts the NAS into a hybrid DVR.

Features

The features will be consistent with Arcus general approach offering basic live and recorded video management across a broad number of 3rd party cameras (the support list is not finalized).

Pricing

The 2 bay, 4 channel, 4 TB version will have an MSRP of ~$1100 (though the unit can support / add more licenses/cameras). Individual Arcus camera license with one year of software upgrade will cost ~$45. The 16 channel analog PCIe capture card will cost ~$350.

Competitive Comparisons

While Milestone has a number of NVR appliance options, they have never been terribly inexpensive (e.g., JVC Enterprise NVR, Razberi, and Milestone's own Essential NVR). The least expensive was the Essential NVR but that's still about $3,000.

For Milestone, the LenovoEMC NVR becomes their least expensive, simplest to setup option by far (by 50% or more). It is a big breakthrough for them. Likewise, while LenovoEMC has been pursuing an NVR platform strategy recently, this gives them their most well known VMS offering. As such, it should help legitimatize and strengthen their mainstream appeal.

The analog capture card option, at a reasonable cost, gives Milestone their first low cost hybrid DVR, which should help it against Exacq and Avigilon for cost sensitive customers migrating from analog to IP. We expect this to be of special importance. However, the feature sets of Arcus are far more limited than what Avigilon and Exacq offer as well as what Milestone's own mainstream VMS line (XProtect) can.

On the other hand, the pricing remains relatively high for those using or considering analog CCTV kits. At $1100 for a 4 channel recorder, add in 4 low cost IP cameras and the total system is $2,000. This price is still a huge premium over what analog CCTV kits cost, as well as Axis Camera Companion offerings and 'Costco' HD kits.

While this partnership will not shift the market for truly budget buyers, it should help both Milestone and LenovoEMC strengthen their competitive positioning in the middle market and among traditional dealers.

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