Should Stolen DVRs Motivate a Move to VSaaS?

By John Honovich, Published Feb 21, 2010, 07:00pm EST

While some propose hosted video as a solution to stolen DVRs, the risk is low, steps to avoid are easy and the negative impact of such a transition is high.

From our experience and discussions with numerous integrators, the risk of a stolen DVR is statistically quite low. Since there are more than 5 million DVRs deployed around the world, DVRs will get stolen. Even if there have been hundreds of DVRs stolen, it's still statistically very low. We would be shocked if it was more than .1% of DVRs. (For background, you can see an anecdote on SSN).

That being said, we understand that sales people will pitch this because it does raises fear.

What makes the move senseless, if not destructive, is that the only way to eliminate the risk of a stolen DVR is to move the video off-site. To do so requires a network connection that 99% of SMBs or distributed sites do not have (and will not have for years to come). This is why many hosting providers place caps on the number of cameras supported (4 being the most common). Even with this cap of 4 cameras, this has an additional requirement of very low frame rates (under 5fps is common).

Hosting providers can overcome these quality limitations but only by placing the storage on-site. However, this places you right back to the same risk as a DVR.

Basically, eliminating the risk of a stolen DVR requires accepting lower camera coverage or lower video quality. When users understand the tradeoff, most will choose more cameras and higher quality, absorbing the low risk of a stolen DVR.

If you are really concerned about your on-site storage, get a lockbox, put in a locked closet or hide it somewhere. Far simpler solutions to an uncommon problem that the additional cost and restrictions of off-site video.

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