Milestone Launches DVRs

By John Honovich, Published Sep 19, 2014, 12:00am EDT

So much for innovation and the open platform, Milestone has entered the DVR business.

In this note, we examine the upside for Milestone, the downside for its partners and what this further signals for the overall video surveillance market.

DVR Overview

Milestone is expanding [link no longer available] on its September 2013 release of NVR appliances, Husky, to include models with built in encoder cards.

[link no longer available]

Called Milestone Husky Hybrid [link no longer available], two models are offered: the M30, with 16 analog + 4 IP licenses, and the M50, with 32 analog channels + 16 IP licenses. Milestone says the analog licenses cannot be used for IP cameras, but additional IP licenses can be bought.

Pricing

The MSRP of the M30 Hybrid is $4,499 USD, and comes with 20 licenses, 4TB of storage and 8GB RAM.

End User / Integrator Benefits

Many users (and integrators) prefer 'all in one' appliances with encoder cards built in, to simplify setup and management of hybrid video systems. To that end, Milestone's move will increase their attractiveness to this group.

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Channel Conflict / Open Platform

However, Hybrid boxes place Milestone in competition with their encoder partners such as Axis, Bosch, Vivotek, ACTi, etc. Every hybrid unit they sell is a loss for one of their encoder partners.

This should not be surprising, because Husky NVRs also conflict with their server / storage partners. And, Milestone is, of course, now owned by a camera manufacturer.

Though many take a similar approach, the difference is that Milestone spent a decade arguing for the open platform, hardware agnosticism and the value of its partners. Now, this is being undone, step by step.

Weakening Analog Business

The attractiveness of hybrid analog / IP boxes is clearly on the decline.

Part of this is a natural technology progression as legacy analog deployed has gotten older and IP has become more cost effectiveness.

The other issue is the rise of analog HD offerings (CVI, TVI, AHD). These are becoming increasingly attractive, given their low cost and HD resolution for those looking to reuse coax cable or avoid IP cameras. Perhaps Milestone will add in hybrid CVI or TVI boxes in the future. For now, though, Milestone is launching against trend.

Stalling Innovation / Growth

Obviously, Milestone could have launched hybrid DVRs any time over the past decade. Doing it now is a business decision, not a technology development.

To us, what this reflects is a further decline in innovation and market growth. Instead of manufacturers differentiating themselves with unique features and technologies, they continue to follow each other, building increasingly similar offerings that will further push down prices.

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