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

IACP 2018 Police Show Final Report on Oct 08, 2018
IPVM went to Orlando to cover the 2018 IACP conference, the country's largest police show (about as big as ASIS), examining the 700+...
Dell Launches IoT for Surveillance on Sep 05, 2018
Historically, Dell has been a PC and server provider (e.g., "Dude, you're getting a Dell") and widely used for surveillance storage. However, in...
Synology Surveillance Station VMS Tested on Aug 22, 2018
With so many low-cost NVRs and enterprise VMSes, is there any place in the market for NAS-based VMSes? Recently, IPVM bought a Synology NAS for...
2Gig Gun Lock / Motion Detector Tested on Aug 17, 2018
Safer guns for families and an opportunity for security dealers to sell more services? That is the aim of Nortek's 2GIG 'Gun Motion Detector'...
Cut Milestone Licensing Costs 80% By Using Hikvision and Dahua NVRs (Tested) on Aug 13, 2018
Enterprise VMS licensing can be quite expensive, with $200 or more per channel common, meaning a 100 camera system can cost $20,000 in VMS...
Milestone / Canon Spinout Arcules Cloud Launch on Jul 30, 2018
Canon and Milestone's VSaaS Startup spinoff Arcules launched their platform at Google Cloud Next. IPVM spoke with CEO Andreas Pettersson about the...
Eagle Eye Networks Cloud VMS Tested on Jul 26, 2018
Eagle Eye has become one of the most significant players in the industry in the past few years: Eagle Eye's Owner Acquired Brivo Eagle Eye...
Directory of Video Surveillance Startups on Jul 18, 2018
This directory provides a list of video surveillance startups to help you see and research what companies are new or not yet broadly known entity...
Axis ~$100 Camera Tested on Jul 17, 2018
Axis has released their lowest cost camera ever, the Companion Eye Mini L, setting their sights on a market dominated by Hikvision and Dahua. Can...
UK VSaaS Startup Ocucon on Jul 03, 2018
Decreasing exposure to fraudulent slip-and-fall insurance claims and lawsuits is one of the oldest selling points of video surveillance for retail....

Most Recent Industry Reports

Startup SafePass Profile on Oct 19, 2018
A major problem with visitor management is that the systems mostly require adhesive printed paper labels and paper logs, creating waste and an...
China Is Not A Security Megatrend, Says SIA on Oct 19, 2018
The US Security Industry Association has released its 10 "Security Megatrends" for 2019. SIA declares that these megatrends, such as "Advanced...
Hanwha Dual Imager Dome Camera Tested (PNM-7000VD) on Oct 18, 2018
Hanwha has introduced their first dual-imager model, the PNM-7000VD, a twin 1080p model featuring independently positionable sensors and a snap-in...
Camera Height / Blind Spot Added to IPVM Camera Calculator on Oct 18, 2018
IPVM has added camera height and blind spot estimation to the Camera Calculator. This is especially helpful for those who need to mount cameras up...
Axis Strong US Growth, Flat EMEA - Q3 2018 Financials on Oct 18, 2018
This spring, Axis had its best financials in many years (see Axis Strong Q2 2018 Results). However, over the summer, Axis had many products sold...
Best Alternatives to Banned Dahua and Hikvision on Oct 17, 2018
With the US government ban and a growing number of users banning Dahua and Hikvision, one key question is what to use for low cost? While Dahua and...
Video Quality / Compression Tutorial on Oct 17, 2018
While CODECs, like H.264, H.265, and MJPEG, get a lot of attention, a camera's 'quality' or compression setting has a big impact on overall...
Knightscope Winning Investors, Struggling With Growth on Oct 16, 2018
While Knightscope's new financials show the company only winning 11 new customers in the past 12 months, the company continues to win new...
Integrator Laptop Guide on Oct 16, 2018
This 18-page guide provides guidance and statistics about integrator laptop use. 150 integrators explained to IPVM in detail about their laptops,...
Huawei Admits AI "Bubble" on Oct 16, 2018
A fascinating article from the Chinese government's Global Times: Huawei’s AI ambition to reshape industries. While the Global Times talks about...

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