What Differentiates Video Surveillance Products?

Author: John Honovich, Published on Apr 28, 2009

Figuring out how video surveillance products are different is a challenging task. While some products are literally the same, most of them are actually different. The tough questions are (1) how are they different? and (2) how important are those differences?

These may be the hardest questions in the video surveillance business. In last month's poll of over 100 premium subscribers (many of who are among the most experienced people in the industry), 96% requested more product comparisons and 91% requested product testing. In my own analysis, I continuously find this to be a difficult aspect of manufacturer reviews. This is one of the reasons I have decided to run and release product tests on an ongoing basis (see the Axis Q1755 test for the first one).

Goal

This report lays out the key elements in assessing differentiation of video surveillance products. In the public section, we examine the key issues for buyers and in the premium section, we examine the specific types and aspects of differentiation that integrators and manufacturers need to consider and provide.

For Video Surveillance Buyers

If you are buying video surveillance and do not have significant background in the field, evaluation can be tough. Look for these 3 things:

  • Ask manufacturers about why they are different. However, expect that they either (a) do not really know or (b) do know but will not tell you. The most important differentiation for most of them is that they have a meeting with you and their competitor does not.
  • Be careful about vendor supplied competitive evaluations. Manufacturers typically create a list of their features and their implementations and use that as the criteria. This almost always unrealistically skews the evaluation in their favor. If you know you want the product, great, use it to get management or financial approval. Otherwise, be skeptical of these documents.
  • Be careful about buying a full solution from a single manufacturer. Besides the risk of lock-in, the individual features tend not to be as strong as best-in-class products. Packaged solutions can make it simpler in the short run but worse for you in the long term.

Beyond that obviously look to online video surveillance reviews or ask questions at CCTVForum.

For Integrators and Manufacturers

For integrators and manufacturers, determining and establishing differentiation are critical to winning business.

******** *** *** ***** ************ ******** *** ********* ** * challenging ****. ********* ******** *** ********* *** ****, **** ** **** *** ******** *********. *** ***** ********* are (*) *** *** **** *********? *** (*) *** ********* are ***** ***********?

***** *** ** *** ******* ********* ** *** ***** ************ business. ** **** *****'* **** ** **** ********** ***********(**** ** *** *** ***** *** **** *********** ****** ** the ********), **% ********* **** ******* *********** *** **% ********* product *******. ** ** *** ********, * ************ **** **** to ** * ********* ****** ** ************ *******. **** ** one ** *** ******* * **** ******* ** *** *** release ******* ***** ** ** ******* ***** (*** ******* ***** ******* *** ***** ***).

****

**** ****** **** *** *** *** ******** ** ********* *************** of ***** ************ ********. ** *** ****** *******, ** ******* the *** ****** *** ****** *** ** *** ******* *******, we ******* *** ******** ***** *** ******* ** *************** **** integrators *** ************* **** ** ******** *** *******.

For ***** ************ ******

** *** *** ****** ***** ************ *** ** *** **** significant ********** ** *** *****, ********** *** ** *****. **** for ***** * ******:

  • *** ************* ***** *** **** *** *********. *******, ****** **** they ****** (*) ** *** ****** **** ** (*) ** know *** **** *** **** ***. *** **** ********* *************** for **** ** **** ** **** **** **** * ******* with *** *** ***** ********** **** ***.
  • ** ******* ***** ****** ******** *********** ***********. ************* ********* ****** a **** ** ***** ******** *** ***** *************** *** *** that ** *** ********. **** ****** ****** *************** ***** *** evaluation ** ***** *****. ** *** **** *** **** *** product, *****, *** ** ** *** ********** ** ********* ********. Otherwise, ** ********* ** ***** *********.
  • ** ******* ***** ****** * **** ******** **** * ****** manufacturer. ******* *** **** ** ****-**, *** ********** ******** **** not ** ** ** ****** ** ****-**-***** ********. ******** ********* can **** ** ******* ** *** ***** *** *** ***** for *** ** *** **** ****.

****** **** ********* **** ** *********** ************ ********* *** ********* ***********.

For *********** *** *************

*** *********** *** *************, *********** *** ************ *************** *** ******** to ******* ********.

[***************]

Differentiation ******** *** ** ** *********

*** ******* ** **** **** ************* ** *** ******* ***** surveillance ******* *************** ** **** *********. ***** **** *** *** they **, ***** ******* **** **** ******* *************** ** ** secondary **********.

'Sales' *************** *** **** *********

*** **** ********* **** *** ***** ************ ********* ** ** strengthen ***** ***** *** ********* *******. ****** ****** ***** ********* acknowledge ****, *** ******* ** **** **** ***** ********* ********** have *****-*****, ******** ***** ******** (**** ** *** ******** *** mediocre). ***** ***** ******** ******* * ******, ******* *********** ********* that ****** **** ** ********* *** ***** ** ***** ******** and ** ****** *** ******* ** ******** **** ** ***** accounts.

Large ********* *** ******* ** ******** ** ***** '***************'

************, **** *** ********** *** ***** ********. *********** *** ** hard ** ******, ********** ** **** ***** ********* ******, **** the **** *** ** *** *** ****** ** **** *** to ******* *** **** ** ***********. ****** ***** *** ********* programs **** *** **** **** *** ** ********** ****. ******* development *** ** ********* ********* *** **** ******* * ******** of *** ****** ** ***** ***********. (****: *** ********** ** **** ***************** *****)

****: *****'* * ****** ***** ****** ******* **** *** **** money *** ****** ****. **'* *** ******* ***** ****** *** better **** ********* ** ***** *********** *** ********** ****** (**** generally *** *** ****'* *** *** *** *****). *** ******* is **** ***** ** *** **** ******** ******* ** **** mature ********** ********** ** ***** ****** ********** ** ** ******.

The ********** ** ******* *************** ** ******

**** ** *** (*********) ******* ******* *************** ** *** ****, it **** ************ ****** **** ********* ** *** ******. *** Internet ** *********** *** ***** ** ****** *** *** **** of *** ***** *******. ** ****** *** *** ******** ****, they *** ******* **** ************ ******** *** ****** *************** *** lower ******. (****: **** ** * ** **** *** ****** that ** ******* *** ** **** ******** - *** *** classic ********* ** ******* *******).

*** ***** ************ ******** ** ******* ************ **** **** *** pricing ** ** *******. **** ** *** ******** **** **** the **** *** ********** ** **** ** ********* ****** **** lower ****** *** ****** ********* ** ***** ** ****.

**** ** ****** *** *** ** *** *******, *** **** beginning ** * ****** ** ******* ******* **** **** *****. As ********* *** **** **** *********** ***** ***** ********, *** power ** ***** ******* ************ *** ******** ************* **** ** undermined. **** **** *** **** **** ** **** ** **** completely *** ** ** ****** **** ***** ******** **** ****** increasingly **** **********, ******* *********** ******* ** ******** *********.

** **** ********, ******* *************** **** ****** **** ********* ** customers **** ** **** ** '***' *** * ******* ******* delivers **** ***** **** *** ******** ** *** *******'* ******** to *** ********'* *****.

Product *************** ** *** ****** ***** ********

******** *** ** ********* ****** ** ******* *************** *** * list ** ******** **** *** **** ***************.

*************, *** ******** ** ***** ************ ************* * ***** **** respond **** * **** ** ******** **** ***** ***** ***** product ***************.

The ********** ** *********** ** ******* ***************

*** ******* **** ******* ******** ** **** ***** ******** ****** be ********* ** *** ** **** *********** ** **** *** to ************* ***. ** *** ******** ** ********* ** **** IP ****** ** *** '******* ** ******** ****** *****', *** describe ***** ** ****** ***, ** ****, ******** * ******* of *** ****** ******* *******. **'* *** **** ***** **** describing ***** ********* ** * '**** ** ****** ******** ********' or ***** ********** ******* ** ******** **** '***** *** ***** investigations.' *** **** - *** ********* ** ***** ********** ** your *****.

*** ** ***** ********** *** ********** ** ********* ***** *** to ***** ************ *** ***** ******* ** ***** ******** **** continue ** ******** ** ****** *** ****** ************ ************* ******* finding *********** ** ***** ***.

Three ***** ** ******* ***************

**********, ** * ****** ***** ****** *** ***** ***** ***********, the **** *** ** ********* *********** ** ** **** ******** that **** * *** ***** ********* *******.

********* ****** ******** ***** ******** *** *** ****** ******** *** applications. ****** ** ****** **** *** ***************** ******* ******* ******** set *****. *** ********, *** **** *************** *** ***, *** worse *** **** ********** ***** ** *** *** *** **** computing ********* *** **** ** ******* **. (****: ***** *****-**** are *** ***** ** *** ****-******** ****** ************* *********.) **** *********** *** ******, ***** ********* **** **** ********* than ****** ***** ******** *** ** *********** ****** **** *********, the ******** **** **** *******.

** ****, ***** ************ ********* **** ** ********* ** ************ pick * ******** ***** *** ***** **** ****. * ********* three **** ** ***** **:

  • **** * ******* ****** *******
  • **** * ******** *********** / ********
  • *** * *** ******** *****

***** ********** *** ** ******** ******** ** ********* ****.

Differentiating ** ****** *******

******** * ********* ****** ********:

  • *********** / ***** ******: **** *** ****, ** ***** **********, limited ********
  • ***** *** ****** **** ********: ****** ****, ****** *****, ******** functionalities *** **** ******* *****
  • ********* / **********: **** ****, ******* ***** **, *********** *** party ***********, ******* *** *********** *** *********** ****

***'* ************************ ******** **** ** ******** ********* ****** ********. *****, **** win ******** ** *** *** *********/**********. *******, * ***** ***** their ****** ** **** ** ********* / **********. **'* *** because **** *** *** ********* *** ******* ***** **** ********** (scalability, ***** ***** ***********, ***.) *** **** ***** ****** ** corporations *** ***********. ***** **** ********* *** *** ***** *****, there's ** *** **** **** *** ******** **** ** *** long *** ******* *** **** *********** *** ******* ** ******** them ** ***** *** *** ******* * ******* *** ****** good ****** ******* *** ***. ********* *** ******* *** ****** to ******** ** ******** ******* (******* *************) *** **** **** be **** * ******* ***** ** *** ********* / ********** segment.

Differentiating ** *********** / ********

* ******, **** ******* *** ** ********* *************** ** ** choosing * ******** *********** ** ******** ******** (*.*., *********, *******, mobile, *******, ***.). **** ** ** ********** ****** ******** *** small ********** / *****-***. ******* *** ********* ** ******** ********* to *** ***** *******, ***** ********* **** ** ********* * foothold. ** ** *** ****** ** ** ** ** ******** focusing ******* *********** ** * ****** ********. (****: **** ** a ******* ****** ***** ******** ******* ********** *** *****)

**** ******* ********* (**** *********** *** *************) ***** ** *** better ****** ** ******* *********. ******, **** ** ******* *** biggest ******* * *** **** *** ********* ****** ** **** their ********.

* ********** **** ********* **** * *** ** ******** ** take *** ***** **** **** *** *** - *** ********** of ********* ******* ** *****. *** ******* ** **** **** behaviors *** ******* **** **** ******* ** ******* *** *********** of **** ******* ********. * ***** ********* ***** ********* ******* a ***** *** ******** **** **.********** * **** ******* ** ****. ****** ***** ********* ******* have ****** **** ******* ***** ***, *** *** **** ** their ***** ***** *** ******* **** **** ***** ***** ** on *** ***** ******** ** ***** ***** *********** - ** underserved ******* **** **** *** **** **** ****** ********* ******* differentiation.

Differentiation ** ******** *****

*** **** *** **** ********* ****** ******** *************** ** ** picking * *** ******** *****. ** *** *** **** * new *** ** **** ***** **** ** ******** ** *** existing ********* **** *****, *** *** **** **** ****** *********. The ****** ******* ** **** ********** *** **** **** ********* to **** ** ******* ******* ** ******* * ********** **** may *** ** ********** (******** *** *** ********* ******** ** crisis). **** ******* ** **** *** ********* ****** *** ****, allowing *** *** ******* ** ******. **** *** ********* ******* realizes *** *********** ** *** ******, ** ** ******* *** late. (****: **** ** * **** *********** ****** ************ **********)

*** ******* ********* ********* ** ***** ************ ** *** ****** of ******** **** ***** ********** ********. *** *** ********* ****** could **** ********* *** **** **** ********. *** ******* *** that **** **** ****** **** ***** ******* ** ******** *** would **** ******* ***** ******* ** **% ** **** (** giving ** *** ********* *****). *** ****** ** ******** ** a *** ********** ** ********* (**** *******, ********* *** **** more) *** *** *** ********** *********** *** *** ****** ****** share **** ***** *********** ******** ****.

******* ******* **** ** ****** ** ***** (**** *** **** 10 *****) ** *** ****** ** ******* ***** / ******** as * *******. ****** ***** ***** ************* ****** ********* ** US ******* *** ********* ** ******** ** ** ******* *** channel ********, ******* ***** ********* **** ****** ****** ******* *** month *** ******* *** ******** ************ *****. ****** **** **** difficult *** *********** *************, ******* ***** ** ******** ** *** very ****** ** *** ******** **** *********** *** ***** ***** restaurants ** *** *** ******** (*** ******** ** *****'* ****** leaders). **** **** ********** ****** ** **** ***** ********* **** move ** ******. *** ********** (**** ************* *** ***********) **** likely ****** ** ***** ***** ******* ******* *** ****** ******** are ************* *** *** ******* *** *** ******.

* ***** ******* ***** **** ********** *** ** *** ***** of *********** ** ** **** **** *****. ******* ***** **** so ******** *** *********** **-**** **** ** *********** **** **** are ******** ** *****. ******* ******* ** ********** ** *** up ** **** (*** ** ********), *** ***** ** *** integrator ******* *************. *** ******* ********* *** *** ******* (*** less ********) **** ********* *** ******** ** ***********.

*******, ******* ***** **** **** ***** ** *** ** **** point (** ***** *** ********* *** ******* ******** **** ******). Nonetheless, ** ** * *** ***** *** ** ********* **** term ************** ** ********.

Login to read this IPVM report.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts unique testing and research funded by member's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.

Related Reports

The 'Last Chance to Save' On Hikvision Is Here on Sep 29, 2016
It is over. After at least 8 across the board price cuts in the past 10 months, including an unprecedented back to back 20% off, Hikvision has...
Hiring Spree At Aimetis 6 Months After Being Acquired on Sep 28, 2016
Aimetis was acquired in April 2016, and is now expanding almost all of their departments, hiring employees from Axis and other industry...
Axis Secretly Paid Anixter Sales People To Push Axis NVRs on Sep 26, 2016
Internal Axis communication shows how Axis paid Anixter and Tri-Ed sales people with secret bonuses to push Axis NVRs. In this report, we examine...
ACTi Refuses Race To The Bottom, Shifts To Solutions on Sep 23, 2016
The original low cost IP camera disruptor was ACTi. Back in the 2008 - 2010 time frame, Taiwanese manufacturer ACTi challenged the Western and...
Milestone Ends Development of "Enterprise" VMS on Sep 22, 2016
Milestone 'Enterprise' was one of the first enterprise video management software offerings, selected by many early adopters of IP video. However,...
History of Video Surveillance on Sep 22, 2016
This is a concise history of video surveillance covering the past decade.  The goal is to help professionals newer to the industry understand...
Axis Launches IP Speakers on Sep 21, 2016
First, Axis introduced an IP horn, then it was video intercoms, and now it is Networked Speakers? While IP-based Public Address systems are not...
FLIR and Geovision Join the Hikvision Price Cut Race on Sep 20, 2016
Hikvision's price cuts are clearly a trend setter. After numerous and increasingly large cuts, the destructive cycle is accelerating. Last month,...
Hikvision Big Hire - Ex Ingram Micro Exec on Sep 15, 2016
Hikvision has made another major hire. This time is it Tom Burns, previously VP at Pivot3 and, before that, GM of mega distributor Ingram...
How To Become an 'Expert' In An Hour on Sep 02, 2016
If you want to be perceived as an expert in your market, speak at every event possible... the math is simple: when someone stands in front of an...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Arecont To Release Industries' Best H.265 Support on Sep 30, 2016
Go big, or go home. That seems to be Arecont's philosophy for H.265, they say they are working on the "best" H.265 implementation in the...
Wall Street Journal Runs Report on Dahua Hack on Sep 30, 2016
The Wall Street Journal is bringing attention to the massive Dahua attack we reported on Tuesday. In an Thursday article entitled, "Hackers Infect...
Dahua USA CEO Tim Wang, Where Is Your Integrity? on Sep 29, 2016
Dahua USA CEO Tim Wang and Dahua Director of Marketing Tim Shen shared their IPVM passwords extensively, resulting in Dahua USA CEO's account...
Allegion NDE Wireless Lock Examined on Sep 29, 2016
While wireless locks are one of the hottest areas of access control, two of its biggest challenges are high cost and limited integration with...
The 'Last Chance to Save' On Hikvision Is Here on Sep 29, 2016
It is over. After at least 8 across the board price cuts in the past 10 months, including an unprecedented back to back 20% off, Hikvision has...
Camera Calculator Class and IPVM Member Orientation October 2016 on Sep 28, 2016
Members, learn how to better design video surveillance systems and get the most out of your IPVM memberships with 2 upcoming live classes. Both...
Axis 4MP Camera Tested (M3046-V) on Sep 28, 2016
Axis has brought 4MP to its camera line in the new M3046-V, the highest resolution model in their revamped M30 series. We bought and tested this...
Hiring Spree At Aimetis 6 Months After Being Acquired on Sep 28, 2016
Aimetis was acquired in April 2016, and is now expanding almost all of their departments, hiring employees from Axis and other industry...
Hikvision Chairman Tours With Chinese Government Boss on Sep 28, 2016
Two China Communist senior officials toured Europe this summer, one was Hikvision's Chairman and the other was his boss, SASAC Director. In this...

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