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I have worked in the industry for about 2 years doing mostly commercial work. My knowledge of residential systems and brands is not very good. Im wanting to start doing side jobs and need help finding a solid brand to use. It would be for smaller residential systems (8 cameras or less). I have used Hikvision quite a bit for smaller commercial systems and I have always thought their brand offers a good balance of quality and price. 

What brand(s) would you recommend? I have read that lorex and swan are essentially Hikvision equipment. Is this true? Is it a comparable product? What is the difference between buying OEM vs buying from authorized retailer? I dont want anything gray market. Since this will be for sidework I cant use my company’s distributor.  

I have read some good things about Laview. Has anyone used this brand?

Thanks in advance 

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Most residential brands are just OEM's of either Dahua or Hikvision which are Chinese companies.

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