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New study sets record straight: Costs of IP surveillance systems are lower than analogue systems

Published on 25 January, 2008

Axis Communications has released a study that shows an IP-based system of 40 cameras offers a lower total cost of ownership (TCO) than an analogue-based surveillance system.Axis Communications, the global leader in network video, has released a study that shows an IP-based system of 40 cameras offers a lower total cost of ownership (TCO) than an analogue-based surveillance system.  The study also shows that if IP infrastructure is in place, the IP-based video surveillance system will always cost less.

The study was commissioned by Axis in order to develop an understanding of the total cost of ownership for both an analogue surveillance system and an IP-based video surveillance system.  Factors such as system maintenance, video recording and playback, cameras, installation, configuration, training and cable infrastructure were assessed.

A dozen interviews were conducted with non-vendor industry participants such as security integrators, value-added resellers and industry analysts from different geographic regions in North America.  Participants provided feedback, validation and cost data in the form of request for proposal (RFP) responses.  The RFP was based on a typical deployment scenario that included a 40-camera surveillance system for a small to mid-size school campus. No existing cameras were said to be re-installed, and no premise wiring or infrastructure existed.

Findings showed that the cost to acquire, install and operate an IP-based system was 3.4 per cent lower than a traditional system consisting of analogue cameras and DVR-based recording.  Overall, an installation with 32 cameras is the break-even point for IP-based systems versus analogue systems.  An IP-based system will cost less than an analogue system if the installation includes at least 32 cameras.  With any installation between 16 and 32 cameras, the cost of IP versus analogue is similar although slightly lower for analogue systems.  The research also showed that in facilities where IP infrastructure is already installed, IP-based surveillance systems would always be lower cost, i.e. even for systems consisting of 1 to 32 cameras.

Fredrik Nilsson, general manager, Axis Communications, commented: "There is an overwhelming lack of knowledge about the total cost of ownership when it comes to analogue versus IP-based systems.  The study, which was led by an independent researcher, clarifies common misperceptions about pricing and validates the cost effectiveness of IP surveillance systems."

"There were many observations and cost considerations in the study that were non-quantifiable but showed major differences between the two systems.  Network cameras provide superior scalability, greater flexibility and image quality, also megapixel functionality.  In addition, IP systems typically include better maintenance and service agreements for the equipment, plus they can be remotely serviced over the network for easier maintenance.  IP systems clearly make the most sense both from an economic and technological standpoint."

Steve Gorski, managing director, Axis Communications (UK) Ltd, commented: "This study shows that on a like-for-like basis where cost is the only consideration, IP-based systems make sense at a relatively low number of installed cameras.   In our experience, most end-users will have some IP infrastructure to integrate into already which network cameras can immediate advantage of.  When you add in the wider benefits of IP-based systems, such as scalability, remote monitoring and image quality, solely basing a comparison on cost becomes less and less relevant."

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