In a DIY Surveillance Market, How Does Crystal Vision Make a Better System?

Crystal Vision designs plug-and-play surveillance

Can consumers find a high quality, plug-and-play video surveillance system?

Historically, the surveillance market and the consumer electronics market had very little in common.

For years the surveillance market has been supported by highly-technical system integrators. These are companies that offer design, installation and maintenance of surveillance systems. Whether you needed a new GSOC (global security operations center) for your global company or just a few cameras to monitor your convenience store, you would typically rely on a licensed integrator to design, purchase, install, integrate and maintain your system.

Meanwhile, the burgeoning consumer electronics world was headed in a completely different direction. The way most consumers will buy TVs, phones, tablets, laptops, smart appliances, smart speakers and all those cool new gadgets has been through retail stores. These stores usually don’t offer a high degree of technical support — because they don’t need to! In the consumer electronics market, two key things had happened simultaneously: high-tech electronic products became much easier to integrate, install and maintain; and the average gadget consumer was quickly becoming more and more tech-savvy. When purchasing a new phone or gadget, we expect the associate at the retail store to be able to answer basic questions. But we know what we’re doing, and what we want. We don’t expect retail associates to be certified network technicians; they don’t need to explain how to connect the device to our network because we know it won’t be a problem.

Today we’re witnessing a convergence of sorts between how these two markets operate.

Why security and surveillance systems are becoming a DIY market

Today, surveillance is becoming increasingly DIY. This new generation of tech-savvy consumers now expect surveillance products to be as easy to integrate and reliable as their other daily electronic devices. The companies that recognize this will be able to capitalize on this new trend.

But being plug-and-play represents only half of what today’s customers demand. They also expect reliability and quality. An attractive DIY surveillance system must be affordable, easy to integrate and install, and must also be rock-solid reliable.

When you’re trying to promote a true DIY surveillance system, and competing for business in today’s fast-moving and ever-shifting global market, it can be difficult to win the mindshare of today’s consumer. And even harder to provide what they want at a low cost.

When walking through any of the major large electronics stores, the typical customer can feel lost in a sea of competing low price tags, and overwhelmed by exciting feature descriptions on the boxes — even when features between different device offerings might be very similar.

Consumers understand today that NVRs are much lower cost than just a few years ago. Just over a decade ago, we were advertising gigabytes of video storage capacity, not terabytes — and the costs seemed staggering to many consumers, which made it difficult to serve the low- and medium-sized customers. Likewise, these days it’s not hard to find high-resolution, megapixel cameras for under $100. So what is the “value-proposition” that today’s surveillance solution providers can offer?

What makes one low-cost surveillance system better than another?

Price and cost of ownership will always be very important, but what can a manufacturer do today, to set itself apart from the competition?

Crystal Vision trusts in Seagate and chose to integrate Skyhawk — the industry’s most proven security-and-surveillance-optimized hard drive — because they recognize their key market customers demand a solution that will be reliable and built to last.

Why SkyHawk? “We only use SkyHawk because these drives are built specifically for the workloads of a surveillance application. Our systems must perform 24/7/365,” says Peter Park of Crystal Vision. “The SkyHawk surveillance drives provide a much better workload rating, relatively low power consumption, and provide our customers with long-term drive reliability.”

Crystal Vision Technology, Inc. has established itself as a major contender in the market. Founded as an importer and a national security distributor in 2008, Crystal Vision quickly adapted to the market’s changing demands by offering a diverse portfolio which allowed them to reach a broader spectrum of customers.

Crystal Vision offers uniquely simple, low-cost, true DIY surveillance solutions, with Seagate’s award-winning Skyhawk hard drives at the core of their systems. This approach to their market offers uncommon product value and feature sets. Crystal Vision focuses on providing professional-grade, affordable solutions to a wide range of end-users, including small and medium-sized businesses, schools, retail, banking and residential.

Their customers recognize the value of Crystal Vision’s design philosophy — to make a better system by carefully selecting the best components.

All weather day and night surveillance cameras

How to make a better system, by carefully selecting the best components

Preventing dropped frames is a critical issue for surveillance video applications. Lost video is a big problem with some low-cost, DIY products.

When you design a system to serve a specialized application, it’s important to use storage devices designed to serve that application. Crystal Vision uses only Seagate Skyhawk hard drives, ensuring their customers will rarely have to worry about video loss or dropped frames. Competitive products cut costs by using non-surveillance, desktop PC hard drives.

Seagate Skyhawk with ImagePerfect firmware is designed for the rigors and required workloads expected from a surveillance application. SkyHawk helps minimize dropped frames and downtime with a workload rating three times that of non-surveillance-optimized drives, while supporting up to 64 HD cameras. Optimized for DVRs and NVRs, SkyHawk was the industry’s first hard drive designed from the ground up for capturing video surveillance footage, and has been the leader in offering the industry’s highest capacities. SkyHawk’s exclusive ImagePerfect firmware enables smooth, clear video streaming for always-on surveillance environments.

And thanks to the reliability of Skyhawk drives that are tuned for 24×7 workloads, Crystal Vision is able to offer their customers peace of mind with a 3-year warranty on NVR storage, while many competitors typically offer only 1 to 2 year support. Seagate is also the only storage device maker to make it easy to protect your surveillance data against the unexpected, with an optional Rescue Data Recovery Service plan.

SkyHawk 14TBFocusing on product development

Crystal Vision focuses on product development, instead of outsourcing production. When a system builder relies solely on outsourcing, they often work with a single security camera manufacturer, bring the product over, and put their logo on the box. Unfortunately, with a system builder that hasn’t made any investment in the product’s development, if a technical issue arises there’s often no solution available.

Unlike lower-end competitors, Crystal Vision works closely with different best-of-breed technology partners and vendors. They evaluate components, and all product development is done in-house. They choose the best hardware and software solutions to suit their system design, and provide direct customer support as a single brand.

Crystal Vision develops true surveillance-grade solutions for DIY consumers

Crystal Vision insists on Seagate SkyHawk surveillance-optimized hard drives as an ideal high-performance solution with unmatched reliability, designed for ease-of-use and to meet the high demands of DIY surveillance consumers.

Crystal Vision’s low-cost, feature-rich, simple-to-install surveillance systems — with Seagate’s purpose-built SkyHawk hard drives integrated — provide the solution of choice for thousands of consumers in the SMB and SOHO markets. The systems provide their customers with high-end performance, at a cost attractive to the current aggressive DIY surveillance market.


About the Author:

Carey Thomas Lefebvre