IP Camera Systems: Proprietary Versus Open Systems

Comparison of Open to Proprietary IP Camera Systems

IP Camera Systems: Open Versus Closed
Open Versus Proprietary IP Camera Systems

An IP Camera system includes network-attached IP Cameras, the PoE network, and Video Management Software or Network Video Recorder. IP Camera Systems have historically been designed as “open systems” with many manufacturers’ cameras and video recording software. A few manufacturers have bundled IP cameras into their VMS solutions and provided proprietary systems. They have traded easy implementation for flexibility.

This article describes and compares open systems to proprietary IP Camera System solutions.

Proprietary IP Camera Solutions

 Verkada, Rhombus, and others provide an integrated surveillance solution that utilizes proprietary cameras and devices. Here are the pros and cons of this type of solution:

Proprietary IP Camera System
Proprietary IP Camera System

Pros of Proprietary IP Camera Solutions

Integrated Solution: Proprietary systems often offer seamless hardware and software integration, ensuring that all components work together without compatibility issues.

Dedicated Support: Manufacturers provide support for their specific products, which can lead to more efficient troubleshooting and technical assistance.

Cons of Proprietary IP Camera System Solutions

Limited Flexibility: Users are typically limited to the cameras and software from the same manufacturer, reducing the options for upgrades or integration with other systems.

Higher Cost: Proprietary systems can be more expensive in initial setup and long-term maintenance due to the lack of competition within the ecosystem.

Vendor Lock-in: Being tied to a single vendor for upgrades, repairs, and expansions can be limiting and potentially risky if the vendor discontinues a product line or goes out of business.

Less Innovation: Closed systems might not adapt as quickly to market changes, potentially lagging in the latest technological advancements.

Proprietary IP Camera System Summary

Proprietary IP Camera Systems provide advantages for people who want an integrated solution from a single manufacturer. Unfortunately, closed systems lock you into a single source that limits technology advances offered by competitive solutions.

Open IP Camera System Solutions

An open IP Camera System uses IP cameras from many manufacturers and recording solutions that provide on-site or cloud video storage.

Open IP Camera System
Open IP Camera System

Pros of Open IP Camera Solutions

Flexibility and Scalability: Open systems allow for a mix-and-match approach, enabling integration with various products from different manufacturers. A specific solution can be created that meets your exact requirements. There are covert hidden cameras and long-range night vision cameras available. Depending on your requirements, you can select cameras that cost between $150 and over $20,000.

Cost-Effective: They often offer more competitive pricing due to a broader range of product options and competition. You can select cameras for each surveillance situation instead of selecting from a few camera models.

Adaptability: Open systems can quickly adapt to new technologies and innovations, as they are not restricted to a single manufacturer’s roadmap.

Future-Proofing: Upgrading or expanding an open system is generally more straightforward and less costly, as it’s not limited to proprietary components. For example, it is easy to add the latest AI-enhanced camera solutions.

Cons of Open IP Camera Solutions

Compatibility Issues: Mixing products from different manufacturers can lead to compatibility challenges, requiring more system integration and configuration effort. However, compatibility issues can be eliminated by selecting cameras that conform to the industry standard ONVIF specification.

Varied Support Quality: Support can be inconsistent or fragmented, as it may have to come from multiple vendors with varying degrees of service quality. But, support can be easily managed by using a system integrator such as Kintronics.

Potential for Complex Setup: Setting up an open system can be more complex, requiring a deeper understanding of the different components and their interaction. A system integrator can help design, install, and support your system.  

Open IP Camera System Summary

Open IP Camera Systems are available from many different manufacturers and system integrators. They provide flexibility and cost benefits that aren’t available from a closed proprietary system. For example, there is a wide choice of IP Cameras, from fixed cameras to specialized long-range PTZ cameras that operate in total darkness. You can select systems that include very high-resolution cameras with very low-light level capability and sophisticated AI-enhanced cameras that detect anomalies, suspicious activities, or objects of interest, enhancing security and enabling faster response to potential threats.

Summary Open Versus Closed IP Camera Systems

The choice between a proprietary and an open system depends on specific requirements like integration ease, budget, flexibility, and security concerns. Proprietary systems offer a more controlled environment but don’t have the flexibility to meet particular needs or the ability to add the latest camera and software solutions easily.

If you would like help selecting the best IP camera system, please contact us at 1-800-431-1658 in the USA or 914-944-3425 everywhere else, or use our contact form.