IP vs. Traditional CCTV: An Industry Roundtable (part 1)

Integrators and manufacturers weigh in on the pros and cons of deploying the different video surveillance systems


3. How do you counter arguments from end-users that IP video is too costly to implement? Can you make a case for ROI?

Havlin: There have been studies done in the industry that show the break-even point to use IP video is at 40 cameras. The lower cost of CAT5e cable and lower labor costs offset the initial higher product cost. There are additional intangible savings in cost of administering a video system that you do not get with analog.
Gorovici: The case is made time and time again with each new IP-based system install. The equipment cost for an analog vs. IP-based solution is about the same. IP-based solutions prove their superior ROI sooner than an analog system once more cameras are installed and you need only add one license per camera — instead of buying a new 8- or 16-channel DVR for only a few new video streams. The IP-based system offers cost savings in a number of other important areas: When you need an upgrade for a new feature, like analytics, all you have to do is install new software. When you have to move equipment to a different area, no new cable has to be installed.
Banerjee: Choosing the right type of recording solution for your application can often reduce overall implementation and management costs of the system over time. Most of the cost and arguments against using IP video have been driven largely by PC-based NVR solutions that are expensive to acquire, install and most importantly, to maintain. Alternative recording methods that eliminate the NVR, including iSCSI disk arrays commonly used by IT to implement storage area networks, are available as a more cost-effective option. By eliminating the maintenance costs associated with NVRs and better using storage technology, you can lower the total cost of ownership of your system over time by up to 30 percent. But if a DVR is cheaper and adequately addresses the requirements of the application, then it’s also a viable option.
Rakow: The initial cost is about the same — there may not be a solid ROI argument to go with IP cameras, but it can certainly be demonstrated that it costs no more than analog.
Lavery: My counter-argument sounds like a clichA© but holds true: “Time is Money.” The time you save by viewing video remotely and the ease of filtering for useful events adds up in a short time to be a huge cost savings, especially with fuel prices as high as they are. In many cases, an IP infrastructure is already in place; therefore, the overall total cost becomes comparable to that of analog systems. The case for ROI is always difficult to determine in the security industry — the real question that needs to be asked is “What will it cost to NOT implement this technology?”
Nilsson: The question regarding cost of an IP-based system is probably the most common question we receive. While customers are interested in IP-based technology, they frequently think they cannot afford it. Often, users comparison shop only for cameras, and a network camera is 50 percent more expensive than its analog counterpart. However, when cabling, storage, video management and installation are taken into the equation, most systems beyond 32 cameras will be less expensive using IP. And if the twisted pair (Cat5 or Cat 6) cabling already exists in the building, which is the case in most new buildings, schools and offices, IP has shown to always be lower cost.
Forest: We do not encounter this objection. An ROI case is easily made when HD cameras cost the same as analog cameras but have three times the resolution and they can also leverage the existing IT backbone and expertise that already exists within most organizations.

4. How is IP video driving security convergence? Can end-users leverage analog technology in a similar way?