Guest Column | April 7, 2014

IP Video: How To Keep Your Customer From Buying From A Big Box Store

By John Callahan, Distribution Field Sales Manager, Arecont Vision

What is the difference between a system purchased from a department store and from an integrator?

The first major difference is the quality of the equipment and the warranty behind it. When you buy a video surveillance solution from a systems integrator, you are generally purchasing professional-grade equipment that is designed to operate 24/7/365. The video systems sold in big box stores have a much shorter life expectancy because of lower-quality components. The chips, circuitry, hard drives, and other components within these products are not professional grade. Most often they carry a one-year warranty.

Video surveillance systems sold through big box stores are predominantly analog with poor image quality and limited functionality. Without detailed video, these systems do not provide the resolution needed to clearly identify individuals and to document incidents. These low quality systems are typically sold in a one-size-fits-all kit with global settings, limited lens options, and precut cables, which is another reason why they seem relatively inexpensive. In the real world, “cookie cutter” solutions can’t possibly meet users’ specific video surveillance performance and coverage needs.

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