security camera supplier


How does SCW compare to Bosch, Pelco, Honeywell, Sony, Samsung, and Axis?

Summary of what you get with SCW:

HD Quality

1080P at 30FPS on every channel
3MP at 20 FPS on every channel
4MP at 20 FPS on every channel

Name Brand Components

3 Year Warranty

Free Support

Never expires, US based, all inclusive, phone, chat, and email

A Short History of the Surveillance Industry

Bosch™, Pelco™, Honeywell™, Sony™, and Samsung™, make Analog and HD cameras. This guide covers how our HD IP cameras compare with theirs' with an emphasis on how this all came to pass.


Bosch, Pelco, Honeywell, Sony, and Samsung all make quality equipment.

These cameras have many different quality levels, but for the most part, they have generally kept a good name by using quality components in their equipment and by having good warranties* (*they will vary by retailer).

Bosch, Pelco, Honeywell, Sony, and Samsung have many lines of products at many different quality levels, however, for the most part, they have generally put kept a good name by using good quality components in their equipment.

Here's what we use in our equipment here at SCW:

Comparing Analog

In the late 1990's, each of these companies were leading producers in surveillance. They were doing in the range of 5-15 billion dollars a year in security products, and most of that was in analog cameras. Now, analog is bunny-ears TV quality (or worse) resolution that is straight video signal down a coper wire. Analog looks like this:

Cameras with a small number of TV lines (less than 500)

A face at 25 FT, recorded with a 480 TVL camera with a wide angle lens

Cameras with a large number of TV lines (700 or more)

A face at 25 FT, recorded with a 700 TVL camera with a wide angle lens


Around the same time, HD IP cameras were starting to take off. HD IP cameras have digital signal that goes down Cat5 cable. HD IP cameras look like this (although at the time, the top of the line models were about half this quality):

1080P Cameras (about 2.2MP)

A face at 25 FT, recorded with a 1080P IP camera with a wide angle lens

3MP Cameras (about 150% 1080P)

A face at 25 FT, recorded with a 3MP camera with a zoom lens

Most of these Brands, However, Don't Make IP cameras - Although They May Sell Them Under Their Brand Names

Here's some quotes from a well-known trade magazine talking about the lack of activity by the major brands with digital IP cameras.

In the $6-$7 billion video security business this year (2011), about two-thirds of the cameras in production are analog, says Scott Schafer.


“The traditional providers of video surveillance equipment were slow to embrace and promote IP products in years past,”


Why Didn't the Major US Brands Design Their Own IP cameras?

In retrospect, it is easy to criticize the decision. Very few people doubted that TV would fully transition to HD and the digital camera market had already transitioned, why would surveillance be different?

The big companies thought that surveillance would not transition to HD for several reasons:

Number one, the price was still high; you can afford to buying one expensive HD digital camera, buying 8-30 HD surveillance cameras was out of reach at the time - what they failed to see is how quickly price would change and how difficult it would be to jump in later.

Number two: the big guys' distribution networks is largely through installers who are often not computer savvy and early IP cameras were difficult to setup; the distribution network of installers were opposed to IP and, at the time, were a very powerful force in the industry (and still are). The two main distributor networks in the US are ADI and Tri-Ed, and they are billion dollar buying networks and largely set the prices for the industry.

Number three: the big US manufacturer's were already dealing with outsourcing problems and the cost of production driving up their analog products; In the late 1990's / early 2000's, they were already making a transition from US based production to overseas production. The people at the top had their hands full, and moving to IP cameras meant having to transition a massive amount of staff from electrical engineers to computer programmers at a time when they were already transitioning from American electrical engineers to Chinese or Indian electrical engineers.

There are companies that missed the whole curve (of the analog-to-digital transition) so they would have to source from a third-party company to get involved in it now,” Schafer says.


And that's what they did (and still do). Most of the big US brands now purchase their equipment from "The Big Three" Chinese manufacturers of IP cameras: Hikvision, Dahua, and TVT. These three companies make about 90% of IP cameras on the market.

How IP Took Off

Although Axis was the first company to create an IP surveillance camera in 1996, it was primarily a mainframe and printer company at the time. One of the first companies to truly take off in the IP world was Geovision - a Taiwanese company. In the early 2000's, Geovision rose to take a significant portion of the IP camera market, however, Geovision, recognizing that new companies would be entering the digital surveillance camera market, decided to charge a yearly fee for every non-Geovision camera you tried to get to work with a Geovision device.

There was a reason for this fee: it was very difficult to support outside manufacturer's products because everyone had a different language for communicating with their camera / NVRs.

In 2008, two industry groups were formed: the Open Network Video Interface Forum (ONVIF) and the Physical Security Interoperability Alliance (PSIA). Both of these had the idea of creating a common language, so that instead of hundreds of languages to support, there would only be one. ONVIF founders includes vendors such as Axis, Bosch, Canon, Sony, Cisco and Panasonic. PSIA's founding members include Honeywell, IBM, Stanley Security Solutions, Samsung and Texas Instruments. This was a big step forward and allowed better interoperability, however two competing standards for open communication across brands was not much better than none. The manufacturer's fought over which open standard would be used.

The revenue that Geovision was getting from licensing fees was so significant that they decided to keep charging them even after PSIA and ONVIF were created. This was a disastrous decision. In a few short years Geovision would have gone from market share leader in IP surveillance cameras to an afterthought because people did not want to pay their licensing fee. Meanwhile, "The Big Three," were winning a large percentage of market share, benefiting from a combination of lower cost of production from being in China, having patented many of their early inventions, and the desire for standardization. Because The Big Three fully embraced ONVIF together, PSIA became more of an alarm and biometrics standard.

Company Culture

When you purchase electronics, especially for something as complicated as a surveillance system, quality of the components is not your only consideration. Company culture also matters.


Bosch, Honeywell, Pelco, Sony, and Axis are primarily sold through retailers or a distribution network such as ADI or Tri-Ed. ADI and Tri-Ed are billion dollar distribution networks that negotiate prices on equipment for installers and surveillance experts; their primary role is to keep the retail costs high and the installer price low, so that their installer network can make profit selling the surveillance equipment. Bosch, Honeywell, Pelco, Sony, and Axis's do most of their business through ADI, Tri-AD and retailers, and so they care a lot about the price they sell the products to the distribution networks. The US manufacturers' don't sell much retail, which means that they don't care that much what the retail price is.

Here at SCW, our business model is a combination of both direct-to-consumer sales and bulk, institutional sales to stores and installers. We do not work with a distribution network.


Our support is included free with your order. It never expires.

To join ADT or Tri-Ed, you have to be a "value add," which means that you have to install, support, configure, or integrate the products. However, the costs, quality and availability for support will vary by the installer or retailer.


Our warranty is 3 years for all our digital products.

The warranties for the US manufacturers will vary by the installer or retailer.

That's why we're trusted by these companies:

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