Worst Advice Ever

Author: John Honovich, Published on Apr 09, 2012

"Don't count analog video out yet" is the worst advice ever. Integrators who want to bankrupt themselves should jump on this immediately. Unfortunately, though, a US trade magazine has recently promoted this

Maybe if you are in a developing country this is good advice but in the US, it is a recipe for disaster. As we explained last year, the market has already tipped to IP cameras.

Like a video rental store, integrators can hang on to the stragglers and the poor but the market for new systems has clearly tipped to IP.

"Barriers to IP"

Here are some barriers the trade mag lists and our thoughts:

  • Dealers don't want to "deal with networking issues". Too bad for the dinosaurs. Networking talent is widely available now. If those dealers refuse to evolve, their competitors will eat their lunch. We examined this point in the Tri-Ed terrible advice post.
  • PTZ Latency: Survey results show PTZs are a small and declining part of the market. Plus, latency is an issue with today's digitized analog systems as well.
  • Coaxial Cable Still in Place: Our survey results show most integrators replace anyway for a variety of reasons. Plus, Intersil's entrance into the market in the last year has driven a radical drop in coaxial adapter pricing (see our reviews on Sony IP coax cameras and Altronix's converters).
  • Cheaper for Small Systems: The best defense for analog. Unfortunately, this means significantly worse video quality than having an IP / MP system. By the way, as we recently reviewed, watch out for Ubiquiti's super inexpensive HD IP cameras which are rapidly cutting into this last holdout.
  • Analog Prices Dropping Faster than IP: What's really happening is that the analog market has shifted from $250 professional CCTV cameras to $50 simple cameras. Users wanting high quality cameras have mostly shifted to IP because of better quality and richer featuresets. Those remaining are primarily driven by super low pricing.
  • "In a lot of environments", SD "gives the video quality you need": And yet the repeated criticisms of video surveillance quality being terrible shows that this is not the case. Any SD camera FoV more than 5 or 6 feet is going to have difficulty capturing important details but almost all cameras have 10 foot or wider FoVs. Plus, newer MP cameras are making 'beautiful' video commonplace.

Market Share

The strangest claim made in the trade mag article is that "analog is holding on to marketshare'. I literally know no professional analysts or investors who believe that. The growth in video surveillance is in IP cameras. The top growing companies overall are IP ones - Axis, Avigilon, Vivotek, etc. Plus, the big CCTV incumbents are desperately trying to hold their ground by increasing IP camera sales to drop steep declines on the analog side.

The most misleading part is munging numbers from China and the developing word with local markets. For US and Western European audiences (who are the overwhelming readers of security sites), what really counts is what is happening in their home markets. And in those areas (save the UK), the shift is very strong to IP cameras. China might be a bubble or a great boom but to an integrator or end user in Chicago, it does not matter at all.

Where to Go

The trade mag concludes, "the old lion is still here, roaring just a bit less loudly." Those are some amazingly rose colored glasses. Analog is much closer to an endangered species getting closer and closer to extinction each year.

Market segments in decline are terrible places for businesses as growth can only come from truly extraordinary efforts. For most, it is like being dragged down by a boat anchor.

Using analog, much like buying DVDs, does not make one a bad person. It is just that the technology has simply been surpassed. Do not confuse the transition cycle to a new technology with a last gap comeback for a dying one.

UPDATE: After this critique, now that US trade magazine has changed its position on analog, equivocating, "While [analog] will certainly be surpassed by IP video, is surprisingly still being used by some installers and end users"

UPDATE 2016: Analog is back, not the SD analog SIW trumpeted but a newer HD version.

Comments : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Resolution Usage Statistics 2018 - Moving Up From 1080p on Jan 22, 2018
In 2016, IPVM statistics showed the most common camera resolution used was 1080p, rising from 2014's 720p. Now, new IPVM statistics of 200+...
VSaaS Usage Statistics 2018 on Jan 18, 2018
VSaaS has been a 'next big thing' for more than a decade. The prospect of managing, storing and streaming video from the cloud rather than...
Axis: "It’s A Question Of Trust And Who You Want To Be Associated With" on Jan 17, 2018
Who do you trust? Who do you want to be associated with? Axis is raising hard questions to start 2018. In this note, we examine these questions,...
'Defiant' Hikvision 'Strikes Back' At WSJ And US on Jan 16, 2018
The fight is on. Hikvision and their owner, the Chinese government, 'strikes back' against the Wall Street Journal and US politicians raising...
This High Schooler Is Excited About His Future Security Career on Jan 15, 2018
A common lament is that smart, young people have little interest in surveillance systems. In fact, discussions like Should Talented Young People...
Security Integrator Project Management Certifications on Jan 10, 2018
Certifications are a common option for technology professionals looking to improve skills and gain validation. But how about for project...
Chinese Government Attacks Western Reports on Jan 03, 2018
The Chinese government is angry at the BBC and WSJ's reporting on Chinese video surveillance (see BBC Features Dahua and WSJ Investigates China's...
Strong Outlook For 2018 on Dec 27, 2017
Integrators entered 2017 with a positive outlook on the industry. During 2017 we saw the race to the bottom hit bottom, cyber security...
NVRs - Embedded vs Separate PoE Switch (Statistics) on Dec 21, 2017
Many NVRs now offer PoE switches embedded, allowing IP cameras to be connected directly to the recorder. On the plus side, these units can...
Industry Vet Buying Integrators For New Conglomerate (DFENDUS) on Dec 21, 2017
Industry veteran Dan Marston has started a new company, DFENDUS, with the specific goal of buying up integrators to form an operating...

Most Recent Industry Reports

PoE Powered Access Control Tutorial on Jan 19, 2018
Powering access control with Power over Ethernet is becoming increasingly common.  However, access requires more power than cameras, and the...
If You Have 4 Cameras, You Can Throw Them Away, If You Have 400, They Throw You Away on Jan 19, 2018
Do users care about anything but price? Do user care about cybersecurity? Do users care about trusting their supplier? These have become...
Chinese Government Hikvision Surveillance System On US Government Network on Jan 18, 2018
Hikvision, the Chinese government-owned manufacturer, has publicly claimed that their products are running on a US government network. Moreover,...
Winter 2018 Camera Course on Jan 18, 2018
Learn video surveillance and get certified. Register now. Save $50 on the course, ending this Thursday the 18th, plus get access to 2 class times...
VSaaS Usage Statistics 2018 on Jan 18, 2018
VSaaS has been a 'next big thing' for more than a decade. The prospect of managing, storing and streaming video from the cloud rather than...
Vivint Streety Video Strengthens Door Knocking on Jan 17, 2018
Vivint is famous (or infamous depending on your perspective) for mastering large scale door to door selling. The company has skyrocketed from a...
Axis: "It’s A Question Of Trust And Who You Want To Be Associated With" on Jan 17, 2018
Who do you trust? Who do you want to be associated with? Axis is raising hard questions to start 2018. In this note, we examine these questions,...
Software House Vulnerability Allows Inside Attacker To Open Doors on Jan 17, 2018
A vulnerability in Software House IP-ACM modules allows an attacker to potentially unlock doors, or perform other actions, on affected systems....
'Defiant' Hikvision 'Strikes Back' At WSJ And US on Jan 16, 2018
The fight is on. Hikvision and their owner, the Chinese government, 'strikes back' against the Wall Street Journal and US politicians raising...
The 2018 Surveillance Industry Guide on Jan 16, 2018
The 300 page, 2018 Video Surveillance Industry Guide, covering the key events and the future of the video surveillance market, is now available,...

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