Worst Advice Ever

By: 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 : Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

IPVM To Disrupt Trade Shows With Launch of Online Shows on Mar 17, 2020
IPVM is launching Online Shows, a series of ongoing events that allow sellers...
Verkada: "IPVM Should Never Be Your Source of News" on Jul 02, 2020
Verkada was unhappy with IPVM's recent coverage declaring that reading IPVM...
"He Is An Idiot!" Exclaims SIA Director John Mack on Mar 23, 2020
Here is another inside look into the "leaders" of the security industry. SIA...
Fever Camera Sales From Integrators Surveyed on Jun 01, 2020
Fever cameras are the hottest trend in video surveillance currently but how...
Terrible Convergint Coronavirus Thermal Camera Recommendation on Apr 01, 2020
A week after Convergint disclosed falling revenue, pay and job cuts,...
Disruptive Free Lead Generation Added To IPVM on May 15, 2020
IPVM has added lead generation for sellers, for free, disrupting the...
ISC News Fakes Fever Screening, Falsely Quotes FDA on Jun 18, 2020
ISC News, the Reed publication behind the ISC East and West trade shows, has...
Convergint Refuses To Fix Faked Fever Marketing, FTC Complaint Filed on Jun 19, 2020
Since Convergint has refused to fix their faked fever camera marketing, IPVM...
Anixter Runs Fake Coronavirus Marketing Using Shutterstock Watermarked Images on Jul 24, 2020
Coronavirus faked marketing is regrettably commonplace right now but Anixter...
Disaster At ISC West: Reed And SIA Burn Manufacturers on Mar 16, 2020
ISC West is a disaster but there's a winner for now. Reed and SIA have burned...
Favorite Video Analytic Manufacturers 2020 on Feb 25, 2020
Video analytics is now as hot as ever, driven by the excitement of advancing...
Avigilon Now Available At ADI In EMEA, Not Americas on Jul 21, 2020
ADI, the home for Dahua and Hikvision flash sales, is now selling Motorola...
Facial Recognition: Weak Sales, Anti Regulation, No Favorite, Says Security Integrators on Jul 07, 2020
While facial recognition has gained greater prominence, a new IPVM study of...
Verkada Raises $80 Million, Triples Valuation To $1.6 Billion on Jan 30, 2020
Verkada's rocketing valuation continues. 9 months ago, they got a...
Wrong Dahua Australia Medical Device Approved on Jul 20, 2020
Dahua's body temperature system is now in Australia's medical device...

Recent Reports

Dangerous Hikvision Fever Camera Showcased by Chilean City on Aug 07, 2020
Deploying a fever camera outdoors, in the rain, with no black body, is...
"Grand Slam" For Pelco's PE Firm, A Risk For Motorola on Aug 07, 2020
The word "Pelco" and "grand slam" have not been said together for many years....
FLIR Stock Falls, Admits 'Decelerating' Demand For Temperature Screening on Aug 07, 2020
Is the boom going to bust for temperature screening? FLIR disappointed...
VSaaS Will Hurt Integrators on Aug 06, 2020
VSaaS will hurt integrators, there is no question about that. How much...
Dogs For Coronavirus Screening Examined on Aug 06, 2020
While thermal temperature screening is the surveillance industry's most...
ADT Slides Back, Disappointing Results, Poor Commercial Performance on Aug 06, 2020
While ADT had an incredible start to the week, driven by the Google...
AHJ / Authority Having Jurisdiction Tutorial on Aug 06, 2020
One of the most powerful yet often underappreciated characters in all of the...
SIA Coaches Sellers on NDAA 889B Blacklist Workarounds on Aug 05, 2020
Last month SIA demanded that NDAA 899B "must be delayed". Now that they have...
ADI Returns To Growth, Back To 'Pre-COVID Levels' on Aug 05, 2020
While ADI was hit hard in April, with revenue declining 21%, the company's...
Exposing Fever Tablet Suppliers and 40+ Relabelers on Aug 05, 2020
IPVM has found 40+ USA and EU companies relabeling fever tablets designed,...
Indian Government Restricts PRC Manufacturers From Public Projects on Aug 04, 2020
In a move that mirrors the U.S. government’s ban on Dahua and Hikvision...
Directory of 201 "Fever" Camera Suppliers on Aug 04, 2020
This directory provides a list of "Fever" scanning thermal camera providers...
Face Masks Increase Face Recognition Errors Says NIST on Aug 04, 2020
COVID-19 has led to widespread facemask use, which as IPVM testing has shown...
Dahua Loses Australian Medical Device Approval on Aug 04, 2020
Dahua has cancelled its medical device registration after "discussions" with...
Google Invests in ADT, ADT Stock Soars on Aug 03, 2020
Google has announced a $450 million investment in the Florida-based security...