Sony Hybrid Cameras: Game Changer or Disappointment?

Author: Ethan Ace, Published on Jul 09, 2012

For more than a year, Sony has been promoting its hybrid IP camera line as a novel way to reuse coax cable and ease the migration from analog to IP. Few, if any IP cameras, have Ethernet over Coax adapters built in, instead requiring adding external adapters. Finally, Sony's models are available and pricing has been released. Now, the real question becomes: What impact will these cameras have?

Hybrid Camera Overview

Sony's hybrid camera line builds an Ethernet over coaxial converter directly into the camera, using Intersil's Security Link over Coax (SLOC) chip. This reduces complexity and equipment required when reusing coax cable in IP surveillance systems, eliminating the need for external EoC converters.

Other products using Intersil's chip, such as the Altronix eBridge, will be fully compatible with these cameras, allowing for third-party accessory receivers in multiple-channel forms, instead of being limited to only Sony's 4-channel receiver. Users may see our original coverage of the Sony Hybrid line for more details.

Pricing

Compared to equivalent non EoC IP camera models, the EoC versions will add $150 - $200 cost per camer. The EoC models are roughly equivalent to current E series models, in box, indoor and outdoor dome, and PTZ cameras. MSRP prices are approximately $250 USD higher than their E series counterparts. For example, the SNC-ZB550, the hybrid version of the SNC-CH120 box camera, has an MSRP of $1,045 vs. $798. Based on online pricing of current products, we estimate a street price of about $730 for the SNC-ZB550, vs. $560 for the CH120, about a $170 difference. 

Compared to New UTP Cable

Using Sony's hybrid cameras is modestly more expensive than the average cost of running new UTP cables ($150 - $250). The Sony EoC offering adds ~$250 per camera to reuse the existing coax - with ~$170 on the camera side and ~$80 on the receiver side (e.g., an Altronix eBridge ($85 online) at the far end).

Taking a sixteen-camera system as an example, here are the comparative costs:

  • 16 x Sony ZB550 + 16 x Altronix eBrdige1CR receiver: $2,720 price premium + $1,360 = $4,080
  • 16 x UTP drop: $2,400-4,000

This makes the hybrid series more expensive than using UTP in many locations, especially when cable runs are shorter. If cable replacement is difficult or impossible, the hybrid series may be a good option.

Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox
Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox

Compared to Other EoC Converters

The main advantage is reduced space on the camera side. Instead of adding an external adapter, the adapter is integrated inside of the camera. For spots with limited space, this could be a key consideration.

Using Sony's hybrid cameras is generally more expensive than using an IP camera with a pair of Altronix eBridge converters. The $170 street price increase of the hybrid series is approximately equal to a pair of eBridges, but still requires a receiver at the head end. Receiver price will vary, depending on what model and channel count are used. Sony's 4-channel ZX104 adds approximately $200 per channel, while a single-channel Altronix eBridge sells for $85 online. Based on this pricing, integrators choosing to use the Sony line essentially pay for the convenience and easier installation of not having to install a converter at the camera end. This likely provides a slight reduction in labor, and may be especially useful when no space is a concern.

However, using Sony's own receivers does provide some advantages in larger systems. The ZX receivers require only one Ethernet port per four channels, unlike Altronix's four and sixteen channel eBridge models, which require a port for each camera. This may provide modest savings in larger port count systems, as fewer switches are required. In small systems, however, 16 cameras and under, this is unlikely to be a major factor.

Compared to using most EoC converters, hybrid cameras are less costly. On average, models from manufacturers, such as Veracity, Vigitron, and NVT, cost between $400-500 online. However, many of these models allow for PoE up the coax, eliminating the need for separate low-voltage power supplies. In retrofit situations, this may not be an issue, as existing power supplies may be used. Lastly, these converters typically lack the analog output Intersil-based models provide, which may be useful to users in live monitoring scenarios.

Recommendations 

Based on the pricing deltas above, Sony's hybrid line has poor competitive advantage compared to using any other IP camera with Altronix's eBridge, or other low-cost EoC converters. What may have been a strong advantage for Sony is instead a curious addition, likely to find most favor with integrators preferring Sony cameras, more than the market at large.

Using separate converters allows for both lower-cost cameras to be used, as well as higher-performance models with better wide dynamic or low light performance. However, users should beware when planning projects using EoC converters without PoE output (such as the eBridge), as an increasing number of cameras drop support for 12/24V low-voltage power, in favor of PoE-only operation.

Comments : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports on Power

Axis Supports HD Analog on Apr 15, 2019
In 2017, Axis declared 'Everything is IP': Now, in 2019, Axis has released support for HD analog, with their new encoders.  Why the change?...
Pole Mount Camera Installation Guide on Apr 11, 2019
Poles are a popular but challenging choice for deploying surveillance cameras outdoors. Poles are indispensable for putting cameras at the right...
Large Hospital Security End User Interview on Mar 21, 2019
This large single-state healthcare system consists of many hospitals, and hundreds of health parks, private practices, urgent care facilities, and...
Retired Mercury President Returns As Open Options President on Mar 18, 2019
Open Options experienced major changes in 2018, including being acquired by ACRE and losing its President and General Manager, John Berman who...
Private School IT Manager Surveillance Interview on Feb 22, 2019
This IT manager describes himself as the "oft-maligned IT person" whose "opinions may not always be appreciated by the integrator crowd." But he is...
Outdoor Camera Mounting Hardware Guide on Feb 21, 2019
Mounting cameras outdoors can be challenging, requiring understanding different types of equipment and methods. In this guide, we teach this...
BluB0x Company Profile on Feb 20, 2019
BluB0x has doubled in revenue every year since its founding in 2013, according to CEO Patrick Barry. We originally reported on them in 2015. At the...
Security Installation Tools Guide - 22 Tools Listed on Feb 19, 2019
In this guide, we cover 22 tools that security installers frequently use. This is one part of our upcoming Video Surveillance...
Cisco Meraki Cloud VMS/Cameras Tested on Feb 13, 2019
Cisco Meraki says their cameras "bring Meraki magic to the enterprise video security world". According to Meraki, their magic is their management...
Dahua Intercom Tested on Feb 07, 2019
Video intercoms are a growing market with video surveillance manufacturers expanding into this niche. IPVM is continuing its series of video...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Ex-Integrator Now Growth Strategist Interviewed on Apr 24, 2019
For more than a decade, Scot MacTaggart was a security integrator (at PA-based PSX). In late 2018, he left the industry. He is now a Growth...
19 Facial Recognition Providers Profiled on Apr 23, 2019
IPVM interviewed 19 facial recognition providers at ISC West to understand their claimed accuracy, success and positioning. 9 from China, where...
Locking Down Network Connections Guide on Apr 23, 2019
Accidents and inside attacks are risks when network connections are not locked down. Security and video surveillance systems should be protected...
Hikvision Admits USA Sales Falling on Apr 22, 2019
Hikvision, in a new Chinese financial filing, has admitted that its USA sales are now falling. Less than a year after the US government passed a...
Speco Ultra Intensifier Tested on Apr 22, 2019
While ISC West 2019 named Speco's Ultra Intensifier the best new "Video Surveillance Cameras IP", IPVM testing shows the camera suffers from...
Arecont Favorability Results 2019 on Apr 22, 2019
Arecont's net negativity remained the same in IPVM's 2019 integrator study, though integrator's feeling became relatively more neutral compared to...
H.265 Usage Statistics on Apr 19, 2019
H.265 has been available in IP cameras for more than 5 years and, in the past few years, the number of manufacturers supporting this codec has...
ACRE Acquires RS2, Explains Acquisition Strategy on Apr 19, 2019
ACRE continues to buy, now acquiring RS2, just 5 months after buying Open Options. One is a small access control manufacturer from Texas, the...
Access Control Course Spring 2019 - Last Chance on Apr 19, 2019
 Register for the Spring 2019 Access Control Course----Closed IPVM offers the most comprehensive access control course in the industry. Unlike...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact