IP > Analogue?
There’s long been an expectation in the market analogue cameras would die out completely but that’s not been the case. However, while analogue is still being used in certain applications, its volumes are rapidly shrinking.
AS we mentioned last month, 2014 was the year IP was going to overtake analogue as the predominant camera technology. Because the pace of change has been very slow, many people may have felt the swing would continue at the same steady rate but that does not seem to be the case. Instead, growth in IP sales has accelerated.
SEN spoke to a number of surveillance distributors to get a feel for how their sales were tracking when it came to analogue vs IP. While their experiences were variable, it’s clear that the majority of our bigger players do most their camera sales in IP. Something that was unexpected though, was that HD-SDI is making inroads – for some distributors, it’s now a bigger slice of sales than analogue.
Peter Grimshaw of CSD says the percentage of IP cameras the company sells compared to analogue is approximately 90:10 in favour of IP.
“Comparatively, our analogue versus IP figures 2 years ago were around the 30:70 mark so there is a definite trend towards IP cameras and we have noticed the analogue market shrinking dramatically over the past few years.”
There’s an industry theory that a core of traditional installers continue to use analogue cameras and Grimshaw says this group may be traditional techs who may not be proficient with IP networks and do not have the ability or confidence to install IP systems.
“Within the CCTV subsection of the market there are some integrators that are chasing low cost systems who do use analogue, however, we’re finding that in most cases these are predominantly domestic or minor expansions of existing analogue systems. Most installations above 8 cameras are now IP.
Does CSD have any new analogue cameras planned or just released?
“There may be some small variations to existing models that we currently stock, but at this stage we are not planning to release any new analogue camera ranges,” Grimshaw says.
“IP seems to be growing at around 20 per cent per annum and analogue is definitely declining to a near insignificant level”
Over at Video Security Products, Zaki Wazir says around 70 per cent of the company’s camera sales are IP with analogue now being only 10 and HD-SDI making up the balance.
“IP seems to be growing at around 20 per cent per annum and analogue is definitely declining to a near insignificant level,” says Wazir. “We as a company are wanting 100 per cent of all new systems we sell to be IP and/or DH by 2016. We will still carry some analogue for existing systems, however.”
Does VSP see a particular group of installers who continue to use analogue?
“No, it I wouldn’t say it’s a particular group,” he says. “The little analogue that we do sell is spread across our entire client base.”
Something else is that the analogue VSP sells is only used in smaller applications.
“Certainly, we haven’t sold any analogue based system with over 20-30 cameras for quite some time,” says Wazir. “We also have a very strong HD-SDI range which is quickly eating into our analogue sales. HD-SDI has definitely expedited the death of analogue.
“We definitely don’t have any plans to release any new analogue cameras- there just isn’t the need. IP will be our main offering and HD-SDI will replace analogue in the 4-16 camera space where the installer is retrofitting into existing sites.”
“We also have a very strong HD-SDI range which is quickly eating into our analogue sales. HD-SDI has definitely expedited the death of analogue”
But things are different for Steve Malesevic over at Bosch Security Systems, who says the company still does good sales in analogue. Perhaps a factor here is that Bosch’s analogue cameras have such a good reputation that anyone wanting an analogue camera knocks on Bosch’s door.
“It’s still more analogue than IP for us right now but you can see in the sales figures that IP is rapidly increasing and the analogue is diminishing but not at the same rate the IP is increasing,” Malesevic says.
“We find if the infrastructure is too costly to replace in terms of the cabling, then a lot of people are going to stick to the analogue. But the new projects coming out are using IP more often. Analogue ultimately will be used on smaller installations.
“In terms of the percentage of IP cameras we sell compared to analogue I’d say right now it’s about 50/50, with IP growing at about 8 per cent year-on-year. The percentage of analogue cameras is not shrinking much – it’s been stable over the last 2 years, perhaps reducing by 2 per cent annually.”
One thing that only Bosch, Samsung, AD and a handful of manufacturers are doing is releasing new analogue cameras. In the case of Bosch, the new 720-line analogue units will replace all Bosch’s older analogue gear.
“We’ve released a bunch of 960H cameras and corresponding DVRs – 720-line at the camera and recorded at 650 lines,” says Malesevic. “It’s a whole range of new cameras. All our older analogue stuff is being phased out for the 960H (720TVL) product line.”
When it comes to IP, Malesevic thinks there are some smaller installers who stick to analogue because it’s easy and they know it.
“There are still many installers out there whose skill set is analogue – they don’t understand IP addressing schemes, subnet masks and all the rest,” he explains. “You do have to plan out a networked system so if an installer can’t afford to bring in an IP expert then they will stick with what they know.”
According to Malesevic, installers do need to understand the basics of IP networking.
“It’s hard to step someone through that over the phone. But if they have the basics we can help. If the integrator is struggling we can offer onsite support. We can offer assistance through tech support. There are some small installers who don’t want to try to understand IP.”
Lou Mavrelis at Hills’ Pacific Communications says the company is seeing a decline in the number of analogue devices and definitely a stronger uptake of IP products.
“Analogue pricing is going down as manufacturers try to capture as much of the market share as possible. Over the next 12 months we will see an increase in standalone NVR’s replacing the traditional analogue type DVRs.”
Growth is Kieron McDonough’s prediction for the next 12 months and he says the divide between analogue and IP will also increase with more and more sales to IP.
Samsung's sparkling new BEYOND Series 1000-line analogue camera
Meanwhile, Rob Rosa says QSS is very strong in IP sales but there’s still a lump of analogue business being done.
“We would have a split of around 40 per cent analogue to 60 per cent IP camera sales. This number is growing each month in favour of IP and many new sites and projects are all IP now. But analogue is not dead yet.
“For QSS our IP camera growth is strong,” Rosa says. “We have been seeing growth in this IP range of around 20 per cent in the last 6 months which is pleasing. The fact that we have increased our product offering such as AD, DVTEL, FLIR and expanded our own QVS Alumia-Net range definitely has helped in this area. Becoming a Bosch distributor will continue to assist our growth in the IP space.”
According to Rosa, in the past 6 months QSS has seen a slow decline in analogue.
“That move is low single digits so it hasn’t been one of an alarming nature,” he explains. “I dare say that this will start to move south in the next coming months but to what extent remains to be seen. I recall a couple of years ago being asked a similar question as were some other industry people and looking back at my notes we were not too far off with our comments – those being that it would take a couple of years to start feeling a drop in analogue.
“I feel we are on the cusp of it now but how much it will drop off, is the question. I also remember the timelapse VCR and multiplexer days when the DVR was first introduced. It took quite a while for it to completely take over.”
According to Rosa, some clients will continue to use analogue and he believes this may be because they just don’t have the applications that require an IP solution.
“It could involve a simple retrofit whereby the application doesn’t justify the whole IP thing,” Rosa says. “Some installers are also more comfortable with analogue systems and haven’t got a requirement (or client base) that needs the IP system. Eventually this will need to change as the blue cable becomes the standardised cable that is installed.
“I also think that comfort plays a part of it. Some people are very knowledgeable in analogue systems and they wish to remain there for the time being as some of their clients do not wish to change or have the need for IP at this stage. Small applications also may not justify the investment of IP.”
Do you see analogue being used in small applications only?
“Good question and I believe that it will remain in that space,” Rosa says. “Imagine trying to justify a large installation with analogue cameras and recording devices. Analogue for small applications is well suited and if you require limited resolution and feature set then small applications are ideal and also retrofit sites that fit the above criteria.”
And do you have any new analogue cameras planned or just released?
“Absolutely – we have a range of AD, Bosch Advantage Range and QVS Alumia which provide a very cost effective analogue solution,” Rosa says. “While we don’t believe this will be a growth area overall, we still have a large range on offer and given we still sell a fair bit of analogue equipment, we need to ensure when new products are released, we are at the front of technology at the right price with the back end support. While we still have demand for analogue we will continue to invest in finding the best products on offer.”
By John Adams
“We have around 40 per cent analogue to 60 per cent IP camera sales. This number is growing each month in favour of IP and many new sites and projects are all IP now. But analogue is not dead yet”