Tutorial 4- Small system cost comparison

  • 3 Options - Local NAS, Local PC or Hosted Server  
  • We provide 2 graphs to illustrate the cost of 3 options for constructing a video surveillance system with 4 and 8 cameras respectively.
  • We have not included DIY in this comparison.
  • We have included the cheapest NAS-1 and a better NAS-2 for this illustration.  Both NAS have limited functions but NAS-2 provides redundant hard disks to store video footage.  Both NAS may not work with most high spec cameras.  
  • PC is a dedicated PC for recording video surveillance and is not one used for other uses.  It is fine for a small video surveillance system.  
  • Hosting refers to having the recorder server outside of the office.  We do not refer to cloud computing here because we are aware that video records are not a commodity.
  • Prices do not include GST, and they are typical but not actual.

The 1st graph provides the cost assumptions made in this illustration.  We can see that the recorder prices vary quite significantly from $200 to nearly $3000.  We assume the same set of cameras for 3 graphs of 4 cameras and double the set for 2 graphs of 8 cameras.  There are 2 indoor and 2 outdoor high quality 1.3 Megapixel cameras.  Similarly we assume the same labour cost for 4 cameras and double for 8 cameras. We add a very small cost for end user training at the phase of handing over the system to the end user.  The total is only the construction cost and it does not include operation and maintenance costs after handing over.  The graph shows that the 3 total prices for 4 cameras are very close and the 2 total prices for 8 cameras are also very close.  


The 2nd Graph takes a different perspective.  It shows the how the price of each approach came about.  It shows that camera price is the most significant. This makes sense because the camera is the capturing device and we expect to use good cameras that are not cheap to buy.  Labour price for installing 8 cameras is double of 4 cameras. This makes sense too because we are not able to produce any economies of scale at the low level. Labour price is higher than recorder price, and this is the most interesting point to note.


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