Dont pay twice, avoid hybrid and go for IP CCTV

The first part of Controlware Country Manager Mark Harraway’s “Why go hybrid?” article as published in the September edition of Professional Security Magazine.

There has been a lot of talk within the trade about the future roadmap of systems and the industry seems to have adopted a message of Going hybrid in order to manage the migration to IP.  While I welcome the fact that the industry has accepted that IP is the future of CCTV and integrated security solutions, I am disappointed that the industry seems to be pushing end users and consultants down the road of hybrid recording solutions to bridge the gap between analogue and IP, just like it did in the disjointed evolution of telephony and broadcast, instead of enabling and future-proofing its customers with IP based solutions now.

I suspect that hybrid technology is mostly being promoted for the simple reasons that the majority of manufacturers don’t have a pure IP offering, or the expertise to support IP deployments, and this is a quick fix for them until they develop their capabilities; or they are trying to ensure that customers are tied to their solutions, rather than having the ability to maximise their budget in a competitive IT market. If so, this will mean that until these manufacturers have caught up with the rest of the IP industry, end users will, effectively, end up buying the same systems twice.


12 Responses to Dont pay twice, avoid hybrid and go for IP CCTV

  1. I think hybrid makes good economic sense for most customers.

    As a counterpoint to your claim that manufacturers are promoting hybrid due to a lack of IP offerings, why did Genetec just release a hybrid DVR? Do you think Genetec does not have the expertise to support IP Deployments?

    For a general overview of the economic benefits of hybrid DVRs, see:

    For specific coverage of Genetec’s hybird DVR, see

    • controlware says:

      Hi John, I would agree if by hybrid you mean using encoders and keeping existing analogue cameras at the network edge. We find that many end-users want to benefit from scalable storage and if it is based on off the shelf server and RAID components then costs and are reduced too which is so much the better.

  2. I do not mean encoders. I specifically mean hybrid DVRs.

    Tell me, why did Genetec launch a hybrid DVR? Is it because they don’t have pure IP offering or is it because a large segment of the market finds more value in hybrid DVRs than analog cameras plus encoders?

    • controlware says:

      Hi John,

      Have you looked at the spec sheet? Its a server with built in encoders! Kind of puts your statement about “a large segment of the market finds more value in hybrid DVRs than analog cameras plus encoders?” into perspective. Seeing as here they are the same things.

      It is actually powered by Genetec but an ionodes product – supports up to 32 chennels but go above 8 and you need a switch and then you need encoder modules to convert from analogue too. Strangely on the ionodes page it says it supports 24 IP cameras.

      Anyway, this is the type of solution we would propose with all the same components but not in the same box, without wishing to criticise a manufacturer what you have there is a singlepoint of failure.

      Yes in the truest sence of the word it is “hybrid” but those are not the same systems as we are talking about in the article. We were talking about DVR’s with a NIC card in them, hence very limited.

      • The single point of failure is accepted to most organizations that have a small number of cameras (8-16) per location (common in distributed environments such as banks and chain retailers).

        In these locations, the lower cost and simpler deployment of an all in one hybrid DVR are generally preferable.

      • controlware says:

        Hi John, for orgs that have a signle location and have 8-16 cams I cans see why they would accept a single point of failure as a consequence of buying a entry level solution. However to say that banks and retaillers would accept this is questionalble in our experience as CCTV is misison critical in both verticals to prevent crime and shrinkage.

        I am sure they would prefer the lower cost but not the single point of failure that goes with it. We generally work in the 50 cameras plus market and for the orgs we talk to their CCTV is important and therefore must be resilient.

      • I can tell you from personal experience of working with dozens of the largest US banks that they 98%+ continue to use DVRs for their branches.

        The cost increase to go from a DVR in each branch to a redundant server design at each branch is extremely significant and very difficult to justify.

        This is standard for all the major vendors for banking including Verint (NetBoxes) and March (R5 appliances). This also will benefit Genetec’s hybrid DVR.

      • controlware says:

        Hi John,

        The single DVR is still a single point of failure. With our customers we see resilience is becoming more important but I guess there are a number of factors that come into play here including budget etc. as you mention.

        What about distributed off-site storage in the US? I would have thought that would be popular given your stronger telecoms infrastructure.

        What makes the Genetec box hybrid? The spec sheet explains that it is not hybrid at all just includes the encoders that would normally be distributed in an IP solution in one box. Still needs a switch and the way it supports analogue feeds is with encoders.

      • Off site storage is rarely used in the US as the telecom infrastructure is generally not strong. I think the US is not even ranked in the top 10 globally for broadband connectivity.

        Most banks, branch officers and chain retailers have only DSL or cable modem (under 1 Mb/s). This makes off-site storage practically impossible.

        As for “hybrid”, what makes a product hybrid is:

        (1) encoding of analog video feeds and
        (2) storage of both IP and analog feeds in a single appliance that
        (3)has VMS software preloaded.

        There’s no ‘official’ definition but it’s what most people commonly refer to when they say hybrid.

        The Genetec SV-3200 meets these criteria. Using a rack of encoders with a separate server does not.

  3. […] often be the most cost-competitive solution… Having questioned the marketing drive for Going Hybrid that we serialised from 5th – 9th October we now turn our attention to some of the cost based […]

  4. shylove says:

    This is a great post. Thank for your sharing. after i read this, i thing i agree with you.

  5. cctv says:

    Thank for share.

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