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

ADT Launches Canopy - Professional Monitoring For DIY Devices on Jan 19, 2017
The intrusion industry has criticized DIY security systems for years, claiming systems like Canary or Scout cannot match professionally installed...
Geovision Launches Direct Cloud Offering on Jan 18, 2017
Add cloud, subtract integrator. Geovision has launched myGVcloud, an offering that allows consumers to buy cameras and cloud services directly...
Free VMS Software Directory on Jan 13, 2017
Many Video Management Software (VMS) providers offer free versions, either open source, for a limited number of cameras or for a limited amount of...
Video Surveillance Storage Duration Average Is 1 Month on Jan 06, 2017
IPVM statistics show that 1 month duration for video surveillance storage is, by far, the most common used. However, in contrast to 2012, there...
Calculating Video Surveillance Storage / Bandwidth on Dec 29, 2016
Calculating surveillance bandwidth is complex, and inexperienced users can easily underestimate bandwidth, leading to reduced storage durations...
CODEC Guide 2016 on Nov 30, 2016
CODECs are core to surveillance, with names like H.264, H.265, and MJPEG commonly cited. How do they work? Why should you use them? What issues may...
$38+ Million Funding Powers VMS Challenger IronYun on Nov 09, 2016
VMS and video analytics have received little funding this decade. However, one Taiwan startup, IronYun, has bucked this trend, with a relatively...
'Legal Protection' From Eagle Eye Contract Vault Examined on Nov 02, 2016
"I was promised the high-end model for the entry level price." "Nobody said there would be a monthly service fee when I signed...
Cisco Meraki Launches The Most Expensive HD Camera In Years on Oct 14, 2016
The video surveillance market is racing to the bottom, with 3MP IP cameras being sold for as low as ~$100 through distribution. Cisco is not...
VSaaS Startup Raises $5 Million For Global Expansion on Oct 04, 2016
There is money to be made in VSaaS. At least that is what the investors of Morphean believe. The Swiss company received a $5M investment to expand...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Vivotek Favorability Results on Jan 20, 2017
Financially, Vivotek is doing relatively well. The company did ~$130 million in 2015 revenue and 2016 revenue (through Q3 reported) was up more...
PR Firm: Don't Scrap PR Spending on Jan 20, 2017
PR is not dying, warns pleads PR firm. Take 40+ year old industry PR firm LRG, who recently lamented the 'misconceptions' that: Traditional PR...
Getting Started With Your IPVM Membership on Jan 20, 2017
Here's how to get started and get the most out of your IPVM membership. Books for Members All members can download the 3 member-only books below...
Jim Cramer Sucks Up To Knightscope on Jan 19, 2017
Credit must be given to Knightscope. They are raising money right now and despite their $80 million pre-money valuation against a lowly sub $1...
ADT Launches Canopy - Professional Monitoring For DIY Devices on Jan 19, 2017
The intrusion industry has criticized DIY security systems for years, claiming systems like Canary or Scout cannot match professionally installed...
Dahua (Un)Favorability Results on Jan 19, 2017
Dahua, the mega-Chinese surveillance manufacturer not primarily owned by the Chinese government has been trying to break out of the shadow of...
Paxton Hosted Access - Disruptive Low Dealer Pricing on Jan 19, 2017
Paxton is entering the hosted access game, with BLU, at a cost that is a fraction of key competitors. The different approach could be very...
Geovision Launches Direct Cloud Offering on Jan 18, 2017
Add cloud, subtract integrator. Geovision has launched myGVcloud, an offering that allows consumers to buy cameras and cloud services directly...
Anixter / Bosch Sells Direct to Amazon on Jan 18, 2017
Anixter regularly says they do not sell direct to end users or that they do not do it anymore. However, over the past year, Anixter has sold Bosch...
Smart Power Tools For Security Installs on Jan 18, 2017
Installing a smart camera? Perhaps you should use a 'smart' drill. The intelligent appliance / IoT trend has hit power tools. In this note, we...

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