Testing EzWatch's Analog CCTV Kit

Author: Scott Oie, Published on Nov 17, 2009

The future may belong to IP but the present is still dominated by analog cameras. In this report, we test one of the least expensive analog CCTV camera kits (EZKIT1/4-OUTDOOR) from online retailer EzWatch Pro. The kit includes a 1 channel capture card, 1 IR bullet camera and 100' of siamese cable.

We bought the kit for $189. EzWatch was selected because they offered an inexpensive kit and seem to be popular online (tens of thousands of US monthly visitors to their website).

Our key findings include:

  • The kit was easy to setup so long as you have a spare desktop PC
  • Daytime quality was lacking, with significant artifacts and issues
  • Nighttime quality was strong, meeting the manufacturer's specification
  • EzWatch OEMs a version of NUUO, see our NUUO test results for a review
  • Remote viewing setup requires networking expertise

Product Overview

The kit covered in this test is the 1 Outdoor Camera System Value Grade. It includes a weather sealed IR bullet camera, 1 channel PCI video capture card, VGA dongle (4 BNC and 1 audio pigtails), monitoring software, power supply, and a 100' siamese cable (BNC and power connectors). This system has an upgraded option for a capture card supporting 4 video channels, which retails on their site for $388.00. 

Individually, the IR bullet camera cost $94. Entry level indoor domes cost $76.

The video below shows the product components:

Video Quality

The video quality of the bullet camera is fair for general use but is not adequate for mission critical surveillance tasks. Download a package of 4 video clips from the camera

  • The overall image looked faded and muddy.
  • The color representation presented on screen in natural light made my dark grey pants look navy blue.
  • When natural or artificial light was in scene, a blue haze was visible on screen.
  • When a strong light source was directly in scene, a significant amount of banding artifacts was observed around the light source.
  • The camera tested well in night vision mode.
  • The camera's IR LED array was visible in the dark. Note this point if you are considering this kit for covert operation.

See the video below:

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

Physical Installation

The overall installation of the kit was fast and easy:

  • The video capture card was installed in a free PCI slot in the desktop, and no additional wiring was necessary inside the PC.
  • The VGA dongle with four BNC pigtails was connected to the back of the capture card. Note that the capture card had only one 25 pin input for the VGA dongle.
  • The included 100' siamese cable was pre-terminated, which took away the need to purchase specialized tools and facilitated the ease of installation. The camera power supply and BNC pigtail connectors were inserted on one end of the siamese cable and the other end connected to the camera.
  • The bullet camera has a fixed 3.6mm lens enclosed in an environmentally sealed housing. There is no physical adjustments available; therefore, no technical prerequisite is required to install and setup the unit.
  • A mount with a swivel base was included with the bullet camera.
  • Installation of the driver software was standard and no problems were observed.

The monitoring software is windows based and requires at minimum: Windows XP Home, Intel Celeron 1.6Ghz processor, 512MB RAM, 80GB HDD, and 1 PCI slot. One crucial point to note is the software is not compatible with 64 bit Windows OS versions. This may be a major shortfall because most current home PC desktops for sale on the market are 64 bit systems.

Video Management Software Examined

The notable features and usability of the included software are noted:

  • In functionality, the monitoring software was almost exactly the same as NUUO, with the exception that our version only supported analog cameras. See our test results on NUUO.
  • Upon execution of the software, it immediately recognized the live camera feed. No setup with the PCI capture card driver was necessary.
  • The software includes additional features like people counting, POS search, and basic analytics.
  • When playing back video for review, a separate application is executed, as opposed to having everything done in a single, clean interface.
  • Monitoring application must be running for the system to record video. Recording stops if application is closed.
  • By default, the monitoring application, recording, and analytics features do not automatically startup when Windows starts. This setting can be changed to trigger automatic restart when Windows is started.
Comparison Against IP
Comparing the EzWatch kit to IP cameras raises 3 key issues:
  • Cost of analog cameras + encoders vs. IP cameras: While many analog cameras in a variety of form factors are available under $100, very few IP cameras are available under $200 (and those are almost only cube cameras). Specifically, compared to the analog IR bullet tested here, the least expensive IP one looks to be $300 (the Vivotek IP7330). Offsetting the savings on the cameras is the price of the analog capture card which costs approximately $100 per channel from EZWatch. On a per camera basis, analog is the same to $100 less per IP camera (depending on the form factor).
  • Convenience of not having to use a capture card: IP does not require a capture card whereas analog needs it for both live viewing and recording. The analog capture card forces the use of a dedicated desktop while IP requires no dedicated computer for viewing and flexibility in switching computers or using a laptop for periodic recording.
  • Flexibility of recording software: Any analog manufacturer's cameras can be supported  vs. only a single IP camera manufacturer's cameras. Low cost analog cameras from various manufacturers can be mixed and matched. By contrast, low cost analog cameras are only compatible with other products from their own manufacturers. (This can be overcome with 3rd party VMS software but licensing for that costs $100 per camera or more).

2 reports cite this report:

Readers Respond: 134 Votes, 25 Comments Examined on Feb 14, 2010
Over 100 people voted and more than 25 left detailed comments to our recent question/discussion. In this post, we review and respond to the...
Top 5 Reasons Analog Cameras are Easier to Install than IP on Jan 15, 2010
While IP has many advantages over analog, ease of installation is not one of them. IP cameras are far harder to install even if the installer has...

Related Reports

Directory of Video Intercoms on Nov 13, 2018
Video Intercoms, also known as Video Door-Phones or Video Entry Systems, have been growing in the past decade as more and more IP camera...
Axis 2N Intercom Tested on Nov 08, 2018
Axis expanded its video intercom business buying Czech-based 2N in 2016. Despite competing against owner Axis' intercoms, 2N recently registered as...
Ubiquiti Protect Video Surveillance Profile on Nov 07, 2018
Ubiquiti has now been in the video surveillance market for 7 years (see our first coverage back in 2011). In that time, the company's revenue has...
Dahua Dual Imager Dome Camera Tested (HDBW4231FN-E2-M) on Nov 07, 2018
Dahua has introduced a dual-imager dome model, the HDBW4231FN-E2-M, with two independently positionable sensors including integrated IR, not found...
Directory Of Video Doorbells on Nov 06, 2018
Video doorbells are one of the fastest growing categories in video surveillance, especially among residences. The optimal placement of these...
Winter 2019 IP Networking Course on Nov 05, 2018
This is the only networking course designed specifically for video surveillance professionals.  Lots of network training exists but none of it...
Solar-Powered, Smart-Phone-Based Access Kit (VIZPin) Examined on Nov 02, 2018
Cloud-based access control company VIZPin is releasing a solar-powered and smart phone based access control system for gates and other remote...
Video Surveillance Hard Drive Failure Statistics 2018 on Nov 02, 2018
Hard drive failures can be significant service problems but how common of an issue are they in video surveillance? How long do drives last when...
Directory of Access Control and Intrusion Startups on Oct 30, 2018
This directory catalogs access control and intrusion detection startups IPVM has found noteworthy. The directory is provided for your review to...
ADT Acquires Red Hawk, Becomes Billion Dollar Commercial Business on Oct 25, 2018
With its ~7th commercial acquisition in the past year, ADT is transforming itself from a residential provider to a commercial player with now more...

Most Recent Industry Reports

'Sticker' Surveillance Camera Developed (CSEM Witness) on Nov 16, 2018
The Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM) has announced what it calls the: world’s first fully autonomous camera that can be...
ISC East 2018 Mini-Show Final Report on Nov 16, 2018
This is our second (updated) and final show report from ISC East. ISC East, by its own admission, is not a national or international show, billed...
Facial Detection Tested on Nov 16, 2018
Facial detection and recognition are increasingly offered by video surveillance manufacturers. Facial detection detects faces in an image/video...
Throughtek P2P/Cloud Solution Profile on Nov 15, 2018
Many IoT manufacturers either do not have the capabilities or the interest to develop their own cloud management software for their devices....
ASIS Offering Custom Research For Manufacturers on Nov 15, 2018
Manufacturers often want to know what industry people think about trends and, in particular, the segments and product they offer.  ASIS and its...
Hikvision Silent on "Bad Architectural Practices" Cybersecurity Report on Nov 14, 2018
A 'significant vulnerability was found in Hikvision cameras' by VDOO, a startup cybersecurity specialist. Hikvision has fixed the specific...
French Government Threatens School with $1.7M Fine For “Excessive Video Surveillance” on Nov 14, 2018
The French government has notified a high-profile Paris coding academy that it risks a fine of up to 1.5 million euros (about $1.7m) if it...
Integrator Credit Card Alternative Divvy on Nov 13, 2018
Most security integrators are small businesses but large enough that they have various employees that need to be able to expense various charges as...
Directory of Video Intercoms on Nov 13, 2018
Video Intercoms, also known as Video Door-Phones or Video Entry Systems, have been growing in the past decade as more and more IP camera...
Beware Amazon Go Store Hype (Tested) on Nov 13, 2018
IPVM's trip to and testing of Amazon Go's San Francisco store shows a number of significant operational and economic issues that undermine the...

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