First Ever Video Surveillance Buyer's Guide

Author: John Honovich, Published on Oct 04, 2011

We are proud to announce the industry's first Video Surveillance Buyer's Guide, a 30 page report that provides clear recommendations on what to buy amongst 40 of the market's best known surveillance manufacturers.

Our Video Surveillance Buyer's Guide helps those new to surveillance quickly understand the main issues and best products to consider. Here are the key features of the Guide:

  • Succinct: In an hour or two, the reader will learn what painful problems to avoid and the plus and minuses of the most frequently used products in the industry.
  • Recommendations: We provide clear recommendations on what manufacturers are safe, those that are merely acceptable and those that are risky. 40 manufacturers are covered - the top 25% received safe ratings, the middle 35% received acceptable ratings and the bottom 40% received risky ratings.
  • North America Focus: The companies reviewed are from around the world but only included if they actively sell their products in North America.
  • Professional Only: This Guide is for professional projects using from 4 - 400 cameras. Smaller projects for residential or home office are excluded.
  • IP Camera Focus: Only IP cameras are considered. They are by far the most common (and generally correct) choice in North America today for professional projects.
  • References for more: The guide provides references to our original unique research allowing readers to drill into more advanced information so they can learn more, if they want, about what they want.

The goal of the guide is to allow a surveillance novice to absorb the most important lessons of our thousands of hours of testing and research in an about an hour. We purposely made it as focused as can be so you can get the key points and understand the most difficult issues.

Type of Recommendations

We offer 3 categories of recommendations. Since many applications exist and this is a general purpose guide, we focus on 3 broad categories:

  • Safe Choices: In each product category, these are manufacturers who have proven to work well in the field, have broad interoperability and wide mainstream usage. We are highly confident that these products will work well though, of course, we cannot in the Guide determine the absolute best for your specific needs.
  • Acceptable: These are manufacturers whose products should be OK but suffer one or two major deficiencies relative to the top tier safe choices. We recommend users carefully consider the drawbacks we detail.
  • Risky: These manufacturers, while well known, have multiple major deficiencies. We recommend to avoid them, when possible, in favor of safer choices.

For IP cameras and VMS systems, we provide a summary table. Here is a preview of what it looks like:

Usage of Recommendations

These recommendations are intended only for the personal use of members. No one is ever authorized to use them for promotion, press releases, marketing materials, etc. Our goal here is to help non-insiders to quickly get a sense of what to consider.

Product Categories

When buying video surveillance products, there are 3 main product choices. We break down our recommendations for each of these groups:

  • IP Cameras: These are the devices that are going to capture video throughout one's facilities
  • VMS Software: This is the application that will record, manage and let you retrieve video.
  • Computer Hardware: This is the machine that will run the VMS software and store the surveillance video.

Companies Covered

The Buyer's Guide covers 40+ total companies. Here they are broken down by category:

IP Cameras

  • ACTi
  • American Dynamics
  • Arecont Vision
  • Avigilon
  • Axis
  • Basler
  • Bosch
  • Cisco
  • DVTel
  • HikVision
  • IndigoVision
  • IQinVision
  • Mobotix
  • Panasonic
  • Pelco
  • Sony
  • StarDot
  • Verint
  • VideoIQ
  • Vivotek
VMS Systems
  • 3VR
  • Aimetis
  • American Dynamics
  • Avigilon
  • Axxonsoft
  • Cisco
  • DVTel
  • Exacq
  • Genetec
  • IndigoVision
  • IPConfigure
  • Luxriot
  • Milestone Systems
  • Mobotix
  • NICE
  • Nuuo
  • OnSSI
  • Pelco
  • Verint
  • Vicon
Hardware
  • Dell
  • HP
  • White Box
  • Intransa
  • Pivot3

Key Buying Issues

In addition to product recommendations, for each category, we list the top buying decisions that need to be made within each product category.

How to Get the Guide

The complete guide is available inside to all Pro Members.

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