Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

Help me help a friend !! IP bundle costs.

Recommended Posts

Just discovered this forum and learned a lot in the last couple days reading through posts, as i'm pretty new to the cctv world.

A friend asked me to help them by recommending a "budget" system for their small business. The best thing is to tell him seek out an expert and let's stay friends .. lol ... , but they are on a budget, and experts are few, far between and expensive around here.


He's seen the cheap $250 systems and the knee jerk reaction was to buy one of those.

I advised strongly against it based on some of the footage i've seen online and the comments on this forum.

They need to cover a moderately lit area at a plant shop in a rural area, need to be able to make out faces and/or license plates of thieves or vandals who approach the shop.


The main challenge from what i've gathered so far is their budget topping off at about $500-$600 for the equipment and the number of cameras needed.

Based on the coverage area they need five or possibly six cameras to view all the potential problem areas.

it is possible to get a bundled 8-ch analog system within the $600 equipment budget, but i'm thinking that they need the resolution of at least a 720p IP system.


Looking at the "budget" bundles out there the 4-ch 720p systems (with 4 cameras) can be had for $350 -$400

E.g Zmodo 4CH 720P PoE for $350 with 1TB, 4 cameras and NVR



but oddly, once you go to 8-ch systems, the prices are quite disproportionate -- ($1000 and up).

E.g Swann 8CH 8CAM 720P NVR is $1200


Even if you look for an 8-ch bundle capable equipped with 4 cams, these start at about $750 to $800

My friend needs 5 cams so he's looking at $850 at least then. !!


So i have this crazy thought, and would like an opinion.

What if he purchased two of the 4 camera IP bundles ?!


For 2x$350 he now has the 5 higher res cameras that he needs, plus three extra for expansion and is only $100 over budget.

He has redundancy (no single point of failure), plus he can hide away one of the NVRs in a different place if someone found and disabled the first one.


Presumably the 2 boxes can be accessed simultaneously from a remote location as each has it's own IP address

The only downside i can see is that in the event of a break in they'd be looking through two sets of stored footage.


Are there any other issues?


Thanks in advance for your help.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think your expectation outstrip your budget completely. Oh sure you'll get a system that is useful

and will be better than nothing, but ONLY JUST. The best you can hope for with a kit is a COMPROMISE...


You are demanding spcific requirements and that my friend costs money and takes experience.

So what your friend is basically saying id=s I want you to advise me but I am not prepared to pay for

your advice. good hunting.


Your first reaction was correct, find a local professional tell him exactly what is required and agree a budget

to include the installation and setup of the CCTV. Even if you can't, I can see where your friend is going here

first you'll end up advising then you'll wind up being on 24 hour call out when he needs help.


If you advise and it all goes tits up who's going to get the blame? DEAD RIGHT, IT'S YOU

GIve him your original advice and the url of the forum let HIM be responsible and do the legwork.....


Do you now see why your original response was the correct one? walk away from it.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Zmodo is like a Honda Civic with no air conditioning, no power windows, nothing extra.


Swann is like a Honda Accord with modern comforts


In other words, you can't use the pricing for zmodo to judge all other cctv, they are at the bottom of the heap, below them you'll get into no-brand cameras/dvrs from who knows where..

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the responses so far.


Numb-nuts, i agree, i've given all the disclaimers and will take NO responsibility.

It's a very small family owned shop, i know the guy from way back and he'd rather hear what i have to say than no recommendation at all since a cctv consultant for this situation is out of his reach.

Incidentally, the potential liability in loss of merchandise isn't that great at any time and the system is more about deterring than apprehending. Still they'd like to know who are the potential perpetrators who want to take their best orchids.



Thanks for the brand info

i realize that they are shopping at the bottom of the heap and i've told him so.

I face the same challenge where we provide IT solutions mainly to larger enterprises. There are considerations now about servicing SMB markets, the problem is that in some areas these smaller companies have some of the same needs as larger enterprise customers but less available "wallet spend". Nevertheless someone has to find solutions for them!!


So, about the zmodo 720p do they may have less reliability than the other manufacturers. Where are their compromises, in the camera quality (lens? DSP?), NVR?




Finally would it be a significant compromise if they went to a 960H 700 HL analogue system instead of the 720p?

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites



I think that's your best bet for price/quality/and service (tech support service probably not that good, but this thing isn't too hard to figure out)


I don't know how costco does it, but their markup is very low, truly at wholesaler level. But they make money from membership fee instead.


This is HD analog (or aka HD CVI) and the makers behind it is a company called Dahua, which is not bad.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites


Thanks for the link. That's a really good price.


From what i see this is not 960H, but claims better resolution, 720P yet isn't IP.

Is it some proprietary protocol between camera and DVR?

Edited to add:

I guess it must be HD-SDI? Still learning bit by bit. (no pun intended..lol)


Also i see there is a Lorex equivalent on the same page with the same specs for $100 less.

Is the Qsee significantly superior, or is the Lorex brand worth having a look at? Spec wise they look very similar.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

There is no guilt in having a tight budget for whatever reason. From the perspective of shopping at the lower end, there's no shame there either, just remember to lower the expectations accordingly. Don't expect bells and whistles. Don't expect to be reading number plates or identifying individuals by their facial features, (clothing maybe) unless they are right in front of a strategically placed camera.

With a realistic expectations you can then move forward and not be disappointing.


In my experience, clients want to spend little and expect a lot. When something happens and the system doesn't meet their expectations

the first person to blame is the person that supplied the system. They NEVER blame their budget but frankly thats the root of the problem of end users being disappointed with the performance.


A budget system can be used to good advantage if you understand it's limitations.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Lorex one is the same except it comes with 1 TB instead of 2 TB, but that's only worth like $20-30. They should be the same stuff because HD analog (HD CVI) is made by a company called Dahua, which is sold under other brands like Qsee, Lorex, GSS cctv, Gen IV, IC Realtime and low end Flir DVR.


So if you have membership try out the lorex one.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this