Top 5 IP Camera Problems: 2009

Author: John Honovich, Published on Jul 12, 2009

In the last year, IP cameras have made great strides and while there are still important barriers that constrain broader use, problems are dimishing.

Last year, we examined the top 5 problems of IP cameras. In it, we cited: (1) IP cameras being too expensive, (2) storage too expensive, (3) smart cameras not widely available, (4) limited DVR support and (5) lack of integrator training. Major progress has been made on 3 of these 5 items. However, the economic meltdown has generated a new problem.

IP Cameras Too Expensive

In the last year, there has been a massive increase of IP and megapixel products in the marketplace (see our trends analysis and ISC West new product review for details).  The price premium over analog still exists. However, with lower cost IP cameras becoming more generally accepted, the premium over analog is significantly lower. While this is not good for Axis and other premium products, it has delivered dramatic growth to companies like ACTi and Arecont who focus on inexpensive IP and megapixel cameras.

Storage Too Expensive

Last year, we looked at the promise of megapixel but noted the problem with massive storage costs. At that time, the first H.264 multi-megapixel cameras were announced (Arecont) but none had yet been delivered in production. A year later, not only is Arecont shipping H.264 multi-megapixel products but so too does Axis, Basler, Cisco, March Networks, Pelco and Sanyo (to name a few). While there are still concerns with how much efficiency is gained and what side effects exist (see our test results from Arecont H.264 and Axis H.264 cameras), there is no doubt that H.264 multi-megapixel is here and that it will continue to gain ground.

Indeed, megapixel is the hottest market segment in the industry.

Smart Camera Infancy

Clearly, little progress here. If video analytics could be broadly and cost-effectively deployed on IP cameras, this would be a major driver in a shift to IP. Unfortunately, there's been few developments on this front and a general stagnation of the video analytics market.

Limited DVR Support

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

DVR support has exploded with nearly every major DVR supplier releasing hybird DVRs or adding IP support to their existing DVRs (see the hybrid DVR trends analysis for details).

Not only that, software only providers are making it easier to deploy their software by pre-loading it onto NVRs (see Intransa's NVR appliance partnership with Genetec, Milestone, OnSSI, etc.)

Neither are perfect and there are still limitations with many hybrid DVRs. However, both of these moves help make migrating to IP cheaper and less complicated.

Lack of Integrator Training

Certainly, more and more integrators are receiving training with manufacturers expanding classes and programs. On the other hand, there has not been any real breakthrough. At best, it's steady progress. 

One negative force is cut backs on training expenses as integrators attempt to reduce costs in the declining global economy of the last 12 months.

New Problem - Recession and the "New Normal"

The biggest new problem IP faces is the recession forcing cut backs on new deployments and less money for upgrades. Specifically, new construction has been a 'sweet spot' for IP cameras because of the advantages of not having to be compatible with existing analog systems. In stronger economic conditions, organizations could more easily justify a forklift upgrade - undoutedbly many are now being forced to be more economical and tactial in their upgrades.

This has been reflected in the revenue numbers. While analog CCTV companies had weak growth before the recession (generally 0-10%), their growth rates have mostly remained in that zone. By contrast, IP camera companies have generally seen their growth rate drop dramatically from 30%-50% to half those rates. Still faster than analog, of course, but a smaller gap than before. For IP to 'take over' quickly, it needs a dramatic increase in growth rate of 30% or more.

Plus 'green shoots' or not, most reasonable people believe that global economic growth rates are unlikely to return soon to that of the middle of the decade. Lower economic growth will drag IP growth and incent retaining the status quo - that is, analog CCTV.

Conclusion

While problems remain, the gap is closing. Last year, we claimed that 3 factors had to be met for IP cameras to be selected by the majority of customers:

  • Standard Definition IP Camera only costs $100 more than equivalent Analog Cameras
  • Megapixel cameras support H.264 and H.264 has no serious side effects on client or servers
  • Smart Cameras are widely available and the analytics work reliably

On the first 2 of the 3, significant progress has been made and while neither has been met currently, it's likely that both will be achieved in the next 2-3 years.

Related Reports on Storage

ZKAccess Control Tested on Dec 04, 2017
China manufacturer ZKTeco / ZKAcces has been expanding in the West, offering a low-cost access control platform. But how good is it? And how does...
Hazardous & Explosion Proof Access Control Tutorial on Nov 27, 2017
Controlling access to hazardous environments require equipment meeting specific ratings that certify they will not start fires. Understanding those...
Amazon Cloud Cam Is Poor (Tested) on Nov 17, 2017
Retail behemoth Amazon has entered the surveillance market with the Amazon Cloud Cam, the eyes of its just-announced Amazon Key delivery...
Milestone XProtect Essential+ Free VMS Tested on Nov 09, 2017
Milestone continues to expand its aggressive free and low-cost offerings, with this year, Milestone releasing XProtect Essential+, part of their...
Top 2017 Trends - Cyber and Analytics on Nov 09, 2017
The 2 clear top 2017 trends, according to IPVM integrator statistics are: Cyber Security Video Analytics This is a change from 2016...
Smart Codec Usage Surges - 2017 Statistics on Oct 25, 2017
Smart codec usage has surged in 2017, new IPVM statistics show. Smart codecs are less than three years old, starting in 2015 with Axis. Now, smart...
Verkada, Silicon Valley VSaaS Startup, Targets Enterprise on Oct 19, 2017
Verkada says they are building an enterprise-class VSaaS offering, calling it "The new platform for video security". This is a departure from the...
Exacq M Series Low Cost NVR Tested on Oct 12, 2017
With recent cyber security issues hitting NVRs and cameras from low cost leaders Dahua and Hikvision, users are increasingly seeking alternatives...
Genetec Launches Streamvault Hardware Revamp on Oct 10, 2017
Genetec is launching a new series of hardware appliances, dubbed "Streamvault", with updated capabilities and design. These units will replace...
Deep Learning Startup Umbo Raises Prices 733% For Analytics on Oct 02, 2017
While the industry overall trend is racing to the bottom on price, deep learning startup Umbo is taking the alternative approach, raising prices on...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Hiring Camera Calculator Product Manager on Dec 12, 2017
We are working on making the Camera Calculator even better and hoping you can help us find the right person to join our team. IPVM is hiring a...
Testing $20 WyzeCam, The Money Losing Amazon Vet Startup on Dec 12, 2017
This startup is perfecting the old adage: We lose money on every sale, but make it up on volume But it is no joke. The company, Wyze Labs, is...
Xiongmai New Critical Vulnerability - Same Manufacturer Whose Products Drove Mirai Botnet Attacks on Dec 12, 2017
The Chinese manufacturer whose products were primarily responsible for the 2016 Mirai botnet attack has a new critical vulnerability, confirmed by...
Robot Vandalism on Dec 11, 2017
Vandalism of security systems is a common concern. It is so common that camera vandalism statistics show that designers routinely sacrifice camera...
Access Controller Software Guide on Dec 11, 2017
Properly configuring access controllers software is key to a professional access system. These devices have fundamental settings that must be...
2018 Video Surveillance Cameras Overview on Dec 11, 2017
This report concisely explains the developments for surveillance cameras offered in 2017 and the state of offerings going into 2018, including...
Imperial Capital Security Investor Conference Review on Dec 08, 2017
Investment bank Imperial Capital holds an annual Security Investor Conference where 60+ companies present, including this year: IPVM bought a...
Integrator GPS Vehicle Tracking Statistics and Success Examined on Dec 08, 2017
GPS vehicle tracking is a growing but somewhat controversial topic. On the plus side, tracking may increases productivity by providing greater...
Hikvision NA Biggest Sale of 2017 on Dec 07, 2017
Hikvision North America has been relatively disciplined the past 5 months, reducing the number of sales and the breadth of what is on sale. No...
Security Integrator IT Expertise Statistics on Dec 07, 2017
20 years ago, putting physical security systems on IP networks was just emerging. Today, almost every system is networked in some way, IP cameras...

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