ABI Research: Network Cameras to Trump Analog by 2014

The video surveillance industry has been hit quite hard by the global recession. ABI Research, in a newly-released study, has lowered its overall market growth forecasts substantially since it last surveyed the industry early in 2009.

"Network camera growth in particular has slowed relative to earlier forecasts," said Practice Director Dan Shey, "in part because analog cameras are cheaper. Certainly IP is the technology of the future but its previous explosive growth has moderated." The firm now calculates 2014 as an "optimistic” tipping-point at which network camera shipments may outnumber those of analog cameras.

2010 is still recessionary, but quarterly reports indicate business starting to pick up, and the firm forecasts tremendous growth in cameras from 2011 to 2013, including many greenfield IP installations. Also, there is an 8-to-10 year replacement cycle for analog cameras, and many will be reaching their retirement dates soon. "HD systems are growing in popularity," said Shey. "Buyers understand the HD concept because they're buying it for home use." HD also provides better visual material for software analysis.

A very hot part of this market is storage. As IP systems are adopted, more NAS and SAN storage systems will be used. That will bring down prices because these networks will be based on open standards rather than proprietary systems.

Government purchasing has remained strong. Other verticals such as banking and retail, are still recovering.

"Among video surveillance vendors, HP is very well positioned. It offers storage, and servers that could be used for storage. It acquired 3Com, which gives it access to video surveillance equipment developed in China as part of a joint venture. So it is well placed to offer a one-stop shop for complete solutions," Shey said.

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