Online Video Surveillance Sales Comparison - Amazon, B&H, CDW, LTS, Super Circuits, More
By Derek Ward, Published Jul 31, 2019, 12:47pm EDT
IPVM has uncovered the key trends and top options being offered across commonly used surveillance sellers.
How has the market shifted since we originally conducted this in 2015? Where is IP vs analog? How about 1080p vs 4MP vs 4K? How many would be Dahua or Hikvision or Uniview?
IPVM received quotes and recommendations from 11 internet resellers, including:
123 Security Products
A1 Security Cameras
CCTV Camera Pros
We asked each sales rep for recommendations and pricing for an 8 camera system.
In this report, we show what vendors quoted us, compare trends from quotes and recommendations plus share our experiences talking to each vendor's salespersons. For comparison, we've included several security kits available off Amazon.
Regarding: The first kit IP kit from CCTV Camera Pros... it seems either: many security suppliers "forget" to add the hard drives (and later the end users will be in for a surprise when they install everything and find out the NVR cannot record anything, but can only live view the cameras) -OR- the suppliers just leave the hard drive out assuming the end users will shop around and buy the cheapest one from Amazon, etc. since margins on HDDs are not profitable at all, and therefore treated as "consumables" items that can be bought almost anywhere. Anyways, I think it would be safer to add "NO HDD, Call for info" as SCW did in their price quote to avoid misunderstandings/bad customer service and complains. It has happened to me before : (
Related to the fall of HD analog in online surveillance sales offerings, IHS says that HD analog sales fell last year:
global shipments of HD CCTV cameras, also known as analog HD cameras, fell in 2018.
One thing we notice is that literally no major manufacturer leads or even pushes HD analog. Even when we talk with Dahua or Hikvision reps, every time they lead with IP and are lukewarm, at best, when we ask about HD analog. One theory is that there is just so little money / commissions in HD analog. It's bad enough needing to sell $85 IP camera by the pallet full to make their number, imagine needing to sell $30 HD analog cameras...
20-40 is a rather wide range, but often customers give that sort of range, so this was a good test of real world customer behavior.
For full transparency, we don't quote the same resolution every time. if you had set the upper limit to 20-25 feet, we would have recommended 1080P because our values dictate that we try to find you our lowest cost product that meets your need. If you had said 75 feet, we would have recommended 4K fixed.
We try to let the customer dictate what solution we suggest, while still phrasing it in a way that is accessible to all levels of technical knowledge.
We try to phrase things that way to make the tech less intimidating to new users, when they call in. Many people often feel overwhelmed by all the options and confusing terminology.
That isn't to say that there's always value in dumbing things down. "Website readers" are far more comfortable with technical analysis than "immediate callers." Our bitrate articles are very popular and are a good deal more tech-heavy, for example.
PC-based solutions have not been a common budget/entry-level offering for many, many years.
This is, of course, different with larger camera count projects (say 20, 40, 80 cameras) but for 8 cameras the most common choice is clearly appliances, given the simplicity of setup and low-cost of the units.