NLSS Launches Website: Products and Positioning Examined

Author: John Honovich, Published on Mar 12, 2010

NLSS, a new entrant with a track record of successful exits to larger corporations, has launched a public website, disclosing a number of previously unannounced products and providing more insight into their positioning. For background, see our original overview of NLSS. NLSS refers to their NVR / access control appliance as a "gateway".

[Note: this update was originally published on March 2, 2010 and updated on March 13, 2010]

Key new products disclosed in the website include:

  • HD Decoder: Designed to mount to back of an HD monitor, the datasheet vaguley note that the unit is capable of "Various models support from one to multiple HD 1080p, megapixel and/or SD streams." These are aimed for use in stores or small sites without available PCs. The HD decoder can be used without the NLSS Gateway and supports all 3rd party cameras/encoders that the Gateway supports. The HD decoder is scheduled for release in May 2010.
  • 2-bay Storage Array: A limited device with no IP network support and 4TB maximum storage (2TB if using RAID1). NLSS confirms that COTS NAS or direct attached storage arrays may be used with their gateway.
  • Touch Screen Monitor: A 1080p display with a built-in camera, DVD writer and wireless capability. Their goal is for this to "replace expensive legacy CCTV keyboards and controllers." If the customer is using PTZs, we are skeptical that this will match the performance of a controller. An external joystick will be supported.

In a conversation with NLSS, they projected release of their gateway for June 2010. They confirmed that the system will not integrate with Central Monitoring Station software.

NLSS continues to claim to provide every functionality in the industry though the website offers little details on their multi-site operation, remote access, remote backup, access control, their User Interace and video analytics.

In a related note, NLSS recently posted an op-ed piece on small business security where they argue that the SMB market is under-served as manufacturers focus on the enterprise market. Their suggest the key is, "to dramatically lower overall system costs, the answer is an integrated solution in which the costs of different components don’t add up." When NLSS discloses pricing, it will be interesting to see how low the price point truly is. 

A few important challenges not mentioned by NLSS in their piece:
  • SMB is dominated by analog cameras but NLSS requires external encoders to support those cameras (or rip and replace of them). This will be a significant extra cost.
  • Most SMB has video surveillance already deployed and many have access control as well. SMB end users may love their remote management or their analytics or their HD decoded (etc.) but many will demand to keep their existing equipment, blocking the use of NLSS in many (if not) most deployments.
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