At CES tradeshow, home security video goes DIY

LAS VEGAS - As costs come down, home security suppliers are attempting to broaden their distribution to reach do-it-yourself consumers and small-business owners who shop at retail.

During International CES, here, this week will witness the rise of digital wireless systems that use 2.4GHz frequency-hopping technology and have made the products easier to install and more user friendly, said Raj Jain, president, SVAT. Systems can range from video baby monitors to multiple camera systems tied into a networked DVR and LCD monitor. Hard-disk-drive manufacturer Seagate released a new drive last year designed specifically for the home-security DVRs.

IP-enabled systems, which let consumers monitor their premise through a Web browser or mobile phone, are also growing in popularity, said Gilad Epstein, product management director, Lorex.

Video monitoring, whether over IP or digital wireless, puts the onus on consumers to notify the police in the event of an emergency. Monitored systems, typically the domain of professional installers, have also gone retail. Companies such as Laser Shield and InGrid offer kits with monthly monitoring from third party call centers.

Roughly 25 percent of U.S. households have some form of security system, Jain said. Security sales are often counter-cyclical, he added. When the economy crashes, crime goes up and consumers opt to self install instead of hiring professional installers, he said.

At CES, SVAT will show its new Defender Sentinel 10, which combines a 320GB digital video recorder, 19-inch LCD monitor and four wired surveillance cameras. It retails for $2,229.

Lorex's new LNE3003 IP camera ($230) can be connected to home networks via Ethernet or Wi-Fi. Footage can be viewed via Web browser or 3G mobile device.

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