Videofied Major Video ImprovementsBy Ethan Ace, Published on Mar 26, 2013
Videofied has announced major improvements to its line, including live viewing, day/night sensors, and increased resolution, aiming to close the gap between it and traditional surveillance systems. In this note, we examine these new developments, analyzing how this changes Videofied's positioning, concluding with a comparison to VideoIQ for use in video verification.
Live Remote Viewing
Remote viewing capability is the biggest fundamental change to Videofied's offering. Previously, devices sent video on alarm only, with users not being able to view MotionViewers otherwise, handicapping it as a general purpose surveillance camera. However, there are several requirements which must be met for this:
- Most importantly, a new third generation control panel is required. These panels are functionally similar to existing XT-IP panels, with the addition of remote viewing capability. This feature will not be available on existing equipment.
- Second and third generation MotionViewers must be used. First generation models (DCV600/650, sold prior to 2012) are not supported.
- The panel must be connected to AC power. When running on battery, Ethernet and cellular are kept turned off except during alarm and routine tests, thus making live viewing impossible.
Remote viewing of either video (5 FPS) or snapshots is available, along with arming/disarming and system status. Apps are available for both iOS and Android [link no longer available], with dealers setting the monthly end user fee depending on usage, generally in the range of $5-10 according to Videofied. This is separate from any central station monitoring fees users may pay.
New Indoor MotionViewer
Along with remote viewing capability, Videofied has announced a new indoor MotionViewer [link no longer available]. This new model features several key improvements over past generations:
- VGA resolution: Previous generations transmit 320x240 video only, making this a 4x improvement in pixel count.
- Day/night capability: Existing MotionViewers are monochrome only, with no option for color video. This new generation features day/night operation, switching to monochrome in low light conditions.
- Faster transmission: The MotionViewer's wireless baud rate has been increased 6x, for live remote viewing and faster transmission to the central station, potentially reducing delay between alarm and response.
- Lower power consumption: New MotionViewers require two lithium batteries, instead of three required in previous generations, while still claiming five year battery life (based on daily remote look-in and weekly transmission tests).
The new color MotionViewer is scheduled to ship Q2 2013, with an estimated street price of about $100 USD. This is about half the cost of old model indoor MotionViewers, which had an approximate street price of ~$200.
One of the most common comparisons to Videofied is VideoIQ, since both are regularly cited as preferred systems for remote monitoring. However, the two have fundamental differences.
- VideoIQ uses video analytics for detection, with rules such as tripwires, direction of travel, loitering, etc., while Videofied uses only the built-in PIR for motion detection.
- Videofied allows live look-in only, with no option to record video, aside from short clips sent on alarm or saved on look-in, while VideoIQ is intended for longer-term retention, with video stored in the camera or encoder.
- VideoIQ cameras are available in up to 1080p resolution. Videofied is limited to VGA on interior MotionViewers, and QVGA (320x240) resolution in outdoor models.
- Videofied's MotionViewers claim detection range up to a maximum of 40' across a 90° angle. By contrast, VideoIQ claims detection up to 260' using standard definition cameras, and up to 500' using their iCVR HD, across 33° HFOVs.
Pricing of the two also differs greatly. A Videofied system with four indoor MotionViewers has a street price around $1,000 USD. VideoIQ cameras and appliances are priced well above this, with standard resolution cameras starting around $1,100, and HD cameras costing up to about $2,200, depending on on-board storage capacity. VideoIQ also offers the Rialto A4 4-port encoder appliance, with pricing starting at $1,960 for the 40GB model.
Ultimately, aside from price, the decision to use either Videofied or VideoIQ depends on a number of key factors:
- Coverage area size: VideoIQ continues to cover a much larger detection area than Videofied.
- Can cameras be cabled? If wireless is required, Videofied is likely a better option, since sensors are battery powered, requiring no infrastructure (though may be powered via 12VDC if desired).
- Is archiving required? If so, Videofied is only usable with workarounds, while VideoIQ archives video and allows search and export as other standard surveillance do.
- Are other sensors required? If sensors such as door contacts, smoke detectors, or other devices are required, Videofied is a better option, as VideoIQ has a limited number of inputs, which can report only that the input is active, not the type of alarm it is.
- Does the system need to be armed/disarmed? While keypads and switches may be connected to a VideoIQ iCVR to enable/disable analytics, this does not offer multiple users, access levels, or logging Videofied does.
Videofied's offering of increased resolution, color video, and live look-in represent a major shift in their competitive positioning, removing multiple criticisms often aimed at their offering. This, plus a reduction in the price of new indoor MotionViewers, will significantly broaden their appeal.