2010 Spring Surveillance Trends

Author: John Honovich, Published on Apr 01, 2010

Emerging from ISC West, a number of clear trends will likely impact purchasing decisions over the next 12 months. In this premium report, we examine the 6 key factors, including positive and negative trends

Poll: Which trend will have the most impact on video surveillance purchases in 2009?

  • Megapixel Cameras: 58%
  • Hybrid DVRs: 20%
  • Video Analytics: 9%
  • Intelligent/Advanced Storage: 7%
  • Other: 6%

[With 100 responses, poll is now closed. Poll is not scientific.]

Positive Trends

  • Widespread hybrid DVR product releases shifts video recording purchases
  • Widespread H.264 megapixel camera product releases shifts camera purchases
  • Lenel/OnSSI, Arecont's Price Cuts and Avigilon's open IP support impact competitive positioning of camera / video management vendors
Negative Trends
  • Lack of innovation in video analytics signals worse short term future
  • Over hype of high end storage (Pivot3, Intransa, TimeSight) will result in disappointment
  • Over hype of PSIM will result in disappointment

Our focus is what products or technologies will have the biggest short term impact (1 -2 years), not what will revolutionize the industry in the long term. The goal of this is to help industry professionals identify what products or companies are most worthy of immediate consideration for purchasing or partnership.

Determining what is Hype vs. Real

While manufacturers spend heavily on hype, the most powerful emerging trends are almost always driven by rapid product advancements. Since the trade press amplifies vendor pronouncements, vendor marketing dollars easily and repeatedly distorts positioning in favor of companies marketing heavily. Unless those pronouncements are accompanied by major advances in technological capability or reductions in cost, the likelihood is high for disappointment.

Real trends consist of technological advances adopted by numerous vendors making it easy and inexpensive to deploy the new technology.

Example: Contrasting Megapixel to Video Analytics

5 years ago, video analytics was viewed as far more exciting than megapixel cameras. However, it's clear now that megapixel is far more important and widely used in video surveillance than video analytics. Why was video analytics the hot product then? Answer: Because that's where the VC money was. Startups had tens of millions to spend on sales and marketing and they successfully used this to generate hype. However, when you contrast the technological progress, megapixel's advances have been dramatic where video analytics has not changed substantially. Because of that, camera vendors are all rushing out megapixel products now.

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

With this approach, let's examine the key trends:

Trend 1:  Widespread hybrid DVR product releases shifts video recording purchases

Hybrid DVRs offer a less expensive migration to IP video. We have been previously discussed advantages of hybrid systems and how hybrid systems are helping DVRs make a comeback

What ISC West and the last few months showed is that many manufacturers are releasing hybrid products. The traditional valid objection to hybrid DVRs is great concept but limited product offerings. This is clearly rapidly changing with a number of recent announcements:

Not only are the number of options increasing but the price point is also decreasing. By the end of this year, there will be many options on the market for 16 channel hybrid DVRs for dealers to purchase at $3,000 USD or less.

This will help incumbent manufacturers somewhat but also newer entrants of DVR appliance manufacturers who have concentrated on hybrid from the beginning. As hybrid DVRs become more available, expect software only providers to be pressured to provide a hybrid offering of their own.

Trend 2: Widespread H.264 megapixel camera product releases shifts camera purchases

For the last year or two, megapixel has become an increasingly popular (and fast growing option) for security buyers. We recently recommended megapixel as a key product offerings for success during the recession. Two key issues for megapixel cameras have been (1) limited manufacturer offerings and (2) the costs of using inefficient MJPEG for recording (H.264 cuts storage costs compared to MJPEG).

ISC West continues the explosion of new megapixel product offerings available, almost all now being developed using H.264 including:

With so many options now available, it will become significantly easier for existing deployments to use megapixel. Plus, megapixel and hybrid DVRs will reinforce the benefits of each other as they can be combined together in existing systems.

Trend 3: Competitive positioning of camera / video management vendors shifting

I see 3 new announcements from ISC West having a short term impact on the industry: Avigilon's support of 3rd party cameras, Arecont's dropping prices and Lenel OEMing OnSSI.

The main criticism against Avigilion has been their historical inability to support 3rd party IP cameras. Being locked in to only Avigilon's cameras has created anxiety in some and inability to support certain projects. By releasing support for 3rd party cameras, this will significantly expand the attractiveness of Avigilon and make it a greater threat/alternate to market leaders such as Milestone and Genetec.

Arecont has always been known for its low prices and its growth has been powered by that. Now, Arecont has publicly declared that they will lower their prices more on their H.264 line. Not only will this further increase Arecont's attractiveness, expect at least some of the less strong competitors match the price decreases. While this will be bad for margins, it should be good for buyers looking to start using megapixel.

Trend 4: Lack of innovation in video analytics signals worse short term future

ISC West demonstrated very little innovation in video analytics. The only company claiming any type of major advance was BRS Labs. As I wrote in my new product review, significant risks exist with BRS Labs both in terms of their ability to deliver on their claims and their capability to work cost-effectively with existing deployments.

None of the traditional large video analytics vendors (e.g., OV, ioimage, Agent Vi, Mate, Cernium, Vidient) had significant announcements. Perhaps it should not be surprising given the fact that a majority of them had significant downsizing/ adjustments in the last year. 

Nonetheless, without new developments and advances in video analytic performance, it is difficult to see what will drive video analytics in the near future. 

For contrasting coverage see SIW's update on video analytics. They claim that "most people in the industry believe the outlook for analytics remains good" however they go on to only cite people who sell video analytics. The article does show, that outside of BRS Labs claims, there is not much new. Plus, multiple manufacturers cite lack of education as a problem. Simpler to setup, more accurate products is the only long term solution to the perceived 'education' problem. Unfortunately, the new product announcements show that such solutions are not being broadly developed and released.

While I think video analytics as a segment will survive, it is clear that the original investments in video analytics were many years too early. It is likely to take another number of years before video analytics really becomes a major force in video surveillance.

Trend 5: Over hype of high end storage (Pivot3, Intransa, TimeSight) will result in disappointment

With Pivot 3 winning best in show and TimeSight winning best video surveillance device, ISC West will grow interest around video surveillance storage.

While storage is an important element in video surveillance, storage constraints are largely being overcome by (1) rise of software only cutting down storage costs, (2) natural fall in hard drive prices and (3) the use of H.264 for megapixel cameras. Software only as a viable option is cutting down the prices and restrictions traditional DVR appliance vendors imposed on customers. This is being seen in the pricing for the newer hybrid DVRs.

Pivot3 and TimeSight were both covered in the new products review.

While Pivot3's serverless computing offering can modestly reduce costs, the benefits tend to be limited to large camera counts in a single facility. Plus this adds additional complexity of managing the VMS application as virtual slices running on Pivot3's server array. I do think large sites should consider using it but it's not close to being a game changer as a Best in Show award tends to imply.

As for TimeSight, sophisticated buyers and integrators will find it very heavy on marketing claims but light on true differentiated advantages (see the new products review).

Similarly with Intransa, the marketing spend is high for their StarterBlock small site solution but the pricing is high relative to other simpler options.

A lot of momentum right now for these companies reflects their heavy sales and marketing spend from large VC rounds. While I think storage is an important element of video surveillance, I see most users continuing to use less exciting but good enough VMS systems and commodity storage (whether DAS, NAS or SAN).

Trend 6: Over hype of PSIM will result in disappointment

PSIM is a bizarre market segment. The technology suffers from the same problems it did 5 - 10 years ago but vendors keep pushing these solutions. This week, it resulted in coverage in numerous publications: PSIM Update from ISC West (from SIW), another PSIM discussion at ISC West and SSN discussing PSIM.

The challenge, though, is that the marketing does not reflect technology improvements. While PSIM suppliers add more bells and whistles, the products remain very expensive and difficult to integrate (see the problems of PSIM). None of the announcements at ISC West resolved or changed these fundamental issues.

Ironically, what would solve these problems is broadly adopted standards but not just for IP cameras. You would need standards for DVRs, IP video software, access control, alarm monitoring, etc. Once and if you had that, PSIM systems could become very widely deployed at low costs. Until then, this is destined to remain a product for high end use while most customers get their PSIM abilities as extra functionalities from their access control systems.

11 reports cite this report:

Winners and Losers Fall 2011 on Sep 25, 2011
Now that the dust has settled from the new announcements of the last month, we can better understand the impact on the overall video surveillance...
Where's the Real Innovation in Video Surveillance? on Mar 23, 2010
It's a puzzle - do the lack of strong new product announcements at this year's first security trade show mean a lack of new innovation in video...
New Video Surveillance Products Spring 2010 on Mar 23, 2010
The following report provides a directory and analysis of new video surveillance products announced in 2010. The current version focuses on...
IP Video Sales Rebound, Analog CCTV Continues to Fall on Mar 17, 2010
An important market shift for the video surveillance market is occurring. In the last 6 months, while IP video sales have rebounded, analog sales...
IP Camera 2009 Mid Year Review on Jul 26, 2009
Megapixel was the most dominant trend in IP cameras over the first half of 2009. So dominant was megapixel, that not only did most manufacturers...
VMS / NVR / DVR 2009 Mid-Year Market Review on Jul 19, 2009
Over the first half of 2009, improvements in deployment simplicity was the strongest theme for video management systems. While few to no...
Video Analytics 2009 Mid-Year Market Review on Jul 12, 2009
The last six months were rough for video analytics. Little good news and lots of public recognition of video analytic troubles. In our own recent...
Top 5 IP Camera Problems: 2009 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...
HDcctv: Non-IP Megapixel Coming to Video Surveillance? on May 16, 2009
Will non-IP cameras soon provide megapixel resolution? It sounds strange and almost a contradiction in terms. Today, only IP cameras provide...
SecuTech Asia 2009 Conference Report on Apr 23, 2009
While not very well known in the US and Europe, SecuTech is a suprisingly interesting and strong security industry conference. This...
ISC West 2009 Announcement Directory on Apr 01, 2009
This report provides a directory of over 60 links to manufacturer announcements and the best reports from the ISC West 2009. The goal is to...

Related Reports

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...
Verint Victimized By Ransomware on Apr 18, 2019
Verint, which is best known in the physical security industry for video surveillance but has built a sizeable cybersecurity business as well, was...
Securadyne CEO: IPVM 'Entertaining For An Ignorant Few' on Apr 16, 2019
Securadyne's CEO Carey Boethel is unhappy with IPVM's report - Failed Integrator Rollup, Securadyne Sells to Guard Giant Allied. Indeed, he...
Alarm.com Favorability Results 2019 on Apr 15, 2019
The once dot com startup has evolved to become a core provider for home security and is now expanding into commercial. In their first entry in...
ISC West 2019 Report on Apr 12, 2019
The IPVM team has finished at the Sands looking at what companies are offering and how they are changing their positioning. See below for 50+...
UK Installer CCTV Aware - Flat Pricing, No Salespeople on Apr 10, 2019
This is a different kind of company. They do flat pricing, they do not have any salespeople and 50% of their sales are sold and booked...
Bosch AI Camera Trainer Released And Tested on Apr 09, 2019
Bosch is releasing a highly unusual new AI feature - 'Camera Trainer'. Now, coming as a standard feature in Bosch IVA/EVA analytics, one can train...
The Hanwha Techwin Million Dollar ISC West Booth on Apr 05, 2019
One million dollars for 2 and 3/4 days. That is what Hanwha will pay for its ISC West 2019 exhibition. While the event is free for most...
Airship VMS Profile on Apr 03, 2019
Airship has been developing VMS software for over 10 years, however, with no outside investment, and minimal marketing, the company is not well...
Favorite Video Storage / Server Manufacturers 2019 on Mar 25, 2019
189 integrators answered this question: "What is your favorite storage device / server manufacturer for recording video? Why?" In general...

Most Recent Industry Reports

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 Access Control Course. IPVM offers the most comprehensive access control course in the industry. Unlike manufacturer...
Riser vs Plenum Cabling Explained on Apr 18, 2019
You could be spending twice as much for cable as you need. The difference between 'plenum' rated cable and 'riser' rated cable is subtle, but the...
Verint Victimized By Ransomware on Apr 18, 2019
Verint, which is best known in the physical security industry for video surveillance but has built a sizeable cybersecurity business as well, was...
Milestone Drops IFSEC on Apr 18, 2019
Milestone has dropped out of Europe's largest annual security trade show (IFSEC 2019), telling IPVM that they "have found that IFSEC in EMEA no...
The Fastest Growing Video Surveillance Sales Organization Ever - Verkada on Apr 17, 2019
Verkada has the fastest growing video surveillance sales organization ever. In less than 2 years, they already have more salespeople in the US...
Door Operators Access Control Tutorial on Apr 17, 2019
Doors equipped with door operators, specialty devices that automate opening and closing, tend to be quite complex. The mechanisms needed to...
Securadyne CEO: IPVM 'Entertaining For An Ignorant Few' on Apr 16, 2019
Securadyne's CEO Carey Boethel is unhappy with IPVM's report - Failed Integrator Rollup, Securadyne Sells to Guard Giant Allied. Indeed, he...
Dahua Repositionable IR Multi-Imager Camera Tested on Apr 16, 2019
Dahua has released their first repositionable multi-imager camera, the Multi-Flex 4x2MP, claiming integrated IR, true WDR, and flexible...

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