Buyers can expect more widescreen models with 3G capability and enhanced video recording and playback.Product differentiation is defining the R&D direction for China’s LCD-DVR combo industry. Besides strengthening digital video recording and playback capability, manufacturers are integrating touchscreen interface, 3G support, widescreen monitors and LED backlight.
Many makers have released 18.5, 19, 21.5 and 22in widescreen models. The first two categories, in particular, are expected to replace traditional 15 and 19in rivals. Panels of the former configuration deliver better resolution and a larger display area than 15in conventional options but cost lower. Widescreen 19in panels with 1440x900 pixels are less expensive than regular 19in variants, and are just about 5 percent more than 17in screens.
Shipments of 18.5 and 21.5in widescreen monitor panels grew 23 and 95 percent, respectively, in 2010, while those of 17in conventional screens fell by 20 percent, according to DisplaySearch. Given their outlay advantage and abundant supply, manufacturers predict widescreen LCD panels will corner a large slice of the LCD and DVR combo market in the next two years.
A strong indication of this trend is the fact that some makers have released widescreen units. Shenzhen Qianghua Technology Development Co. Ltd’s KT1916L model uses a 19in 16:9 LCD. It packs H.264 compression, 16-channel video input, dual-streaming, 10/100Mbps IP networking, PTZ control and mouse operation. Zhejiang Dahua Technology Co. Ltd has also unveiled its DH-CVRXX04 series, which has an 18.5in display with 1366x768-pixel resolution.
Another emerging trend is LED backlighting. LCD panels equipped with this environment-friendly component enjoy a wider color spectrum and longer life span than traditional ones based on CCFL. With the former increasingly utilized in consumer electronics, China LCD-DVR combo makers are preparing to employ the same in their forthcoming models, some even eyeing rollouts in 2H11 or early next year. The main obstacles to adoption are the high cost and stability issues, especially in harsh environments. As regards the first, rates have been dropping steadily since mid-2010 as a result of LCD panel vendors’ continued efforts to promote the new technology.
Manufacturers are also actively exploring touchscreens to simplify operation, especially for nonprofessional users. An example is Shenzhen Sanan Technology Co. Ltd’s recently released second-generation series with a 15.6in LCD. The unit has 4, 8 or 16-channel video input and H.264 compression.
To maximize the advantages of wireless connectivity, suppliers are introducing 3G support to enable remote surveillance via the Internet and 3G network. Models with this feature promise ‘anywhere, anytime’ connection and work with various mobile platforms, including iOS, Android, Windows Mobile and Symbian.
Some makers offer 4 or 8-channel LCD and DVR combos with four to eight CCTV cameras. Buyers may dictate the specifications of each product in the kit depending on their budgets and security requirements.
Weak demand has limited growth and activity in China’s LCD-DVR line. Most manufacturers are LCD monitor or DVR specialists that do not pursue the sector as a core business. The rising number of homes and small establishments requiring high-performance yet low-cost and easy-to-use models, however, is generating market momentum and encouraging new players. Analysts predict two-digit growth rates for production this year and next.
There are at present 50 suppliers of the line in China, the majority of which are based in Guangdong province. Zhejiang province and Tianjin, both home to a robust DVR industry, also host a good number of manufacturers. Major companies either concentrate on monitors or explore new DVR technologies, as reflected by Satow Electronic Co. Ltd and Zhejiang Dahua, respectively.
China’s selection is dominated by LCD monitors with built-in DVR modules. Although most models look like regular LCD monitors, many units are equipped with control buttons on the front panel for easier operation. The screen size ranges from 15 to 19in. PTZ control, 4 or 8-channel video input, MPEG-4 or H.264 compression, and 10/100Mbps networking are standard.
These traditional LCD monitor-based variants are designed for business establishments and facilities that do intensive monitoring but require basic video recording and playback. To match growing demand for more and improved DVR functions, specifically stronger video recording capability, some makers offer versions built on stand-alone DVRs. These enable minimal monitoring and have basic display functions. A few models incorporate small or medium LCD screens.
DVR-based solutions share the same features as mainstream stand-alone DVRs. Units support 4 to 8-channel video input, H.264 and MPEG-4 compression, CIF and D1 recording, multistream encoding, IP network transmission and management, and PTZ control. They have one or two 3.5in HDD cabinets, more than 1TB storage capacity, and audio and alarm I/O. The screens, which range from 4.3 to 10in, may be embedded, attached or come in fold-out form. The resolution is 480x234 to 800x600 pixels.
The model SA-2604B LCD DVR combo from Shenzhen Sanan has a 4.3in embedded LCD on the front panel. It integrates H.264, CIF resolution and 4-channel video input. Network surveillance and management, and data backup via the built-in DVD recorder or USB interface are enabled. Another release, the SA-2704 model, has a 7in foldable LCD that can be stored in the DVR housing.
Shenzhen Shenshiyin Electronic Technology Co. Ltd’s SY-Com04 model has an attached 10.5in screen that can swing up to 90 degrees and fold up or down. The device supports 4-channel video input and H.264.
Variants for home-use and other low-end applications have simple designs but promise ease of operation. These LCD monitor-based products typically have 7 to 12in screens, 2 to 4-channel video input, MPEG-4 compression, CIF to VGA recording resolution and SD card storage.
The Jit-M702SDW model from JIT Electronic Co. Ltd, for instance, is equipped with a 7in LCD screen with 480x234-pixel resolution and up to three 2.4GHz cameras. It has a built-in wireless transceiver, an SD card slot and a video recorder supporting AVI format.
Realdream Electronics Co. Ltd offers LCD-DVR combos with 7, 10 and 12in LCD screens, and 2 or 4-channel video input.
Prices are largely dictated by the screen size and DVR capacity. Variants with 17in displays, 4 or 8-channel video input, MPEG-4 or H.264, CIF or D1, one or two built-in HDDs, networking function and PTZ control range from $250 to $300. Widescreen 19 or 22in units integrating 8 or 16-channel video input, H.264 and D1 are positioned as high-end and are between $300 and $500. DVR-based types go for $150 to $200.
Makers foresee rising production expenditure but do not plan to implement upward price adjustments. They will instead develop new and more advanced models to boost sales and maintain profitability.
In Taiwan, combination LCD and DVR products are regarded as a niche security device for home and SME applications. They are used by the police, and patrol or security guards for special purposes. Some units also serve as car recorders.
NVRs form the bulk of supply. These boast wired and wireless connection via Ethernet and 3G, respectively. The last allows the product to connect to mobile phones for realtime surveillance.
Several makers also provide analog and hybrid DVR/NVRs. Models for indoor use typically come with 7 to 22in screens, with mainstream units adopting 7, 17 and 19in displays. Most recent releases are 19 and 22in configurations.
Versions with panels 15in and bigger support 4, 8 or 16-channel simultaneous recording and playback. Intermediate variants featuring 7, 8, 10.2/10.4 or 11in displays offer the same capability in 1 and 4-channel setup.
Some companies carry portable devices with 2, 2.5 and 3.5in screens and 1-channel simultaneous record and playback. Designed mainly for car and police requirements, several units in this category are equipped with cameras.
As the most widely used video compression format, H.264 delivers smooth network transmission and enables remote viewing for realtime monitoring via the 3G mobile phone system. Other models support M-JPEG and MPEG-4. Video resolutions include half D1, D1 and 720p at 30 and 60fps.
Touch GUI, which simplifies installation and operation, is fast becoming the interface of choice, particularly for home- and SME-targeted equipment. A typical unit also has a keyboard, mouse and remote control.
Most LCD-DVR combo models are equipped with HDDs or flash memory for storage but also support USB flash for backup and playback on a PC. Some portable devices have an SD card interface. Aside from a USB port, an eSATA slot is available for data backup and system upgrade. Some versions integrate Central Management System to control multiple DVRs over a network. Users can choose from several recording modes.
Units with 7in displays are priced between $260 and $300. Models with 19in screens are $400.
Elitar Electronic Co. Ltd
Elitar Electronic Co. Ltd
Neotech Photoelectric Inc.
Shenzhen Shenshiyin Electronic Technology Co. Ltd
Shenzhen Sanan Technology Co. Ltd
Shenzhen Sanan Technology Co. Ltd
Shenzhen Sanan Technology Co. Ltd
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