Chinese Wireless Cameras Reach Home Security
By Tim Shen | Date:
To deliver peace of mind, security cameras play an important role in home security equipment. Cameras provide images that homeowners wish to monitor while they are away to relieve their minds. These cameras are popular in the American or European markets. In this article, we update you on what Chinese suppliers have to offer now.
The application of wireless technology to digital video allows surveillance network operators to dramatically reduce installation and maintenance costs associated with cabling and associated infrastructure. It also removes the possibility of downtime caused by cable malfunction or sabotage. Operators can also leverage existing wireless equipment, such as metropolitan area networks or corporate wireless LANs, for surveillance network use.
Users equipped with a wirelessenabled laptop and the requisite software can perform remote monitoring from anywhere within the wireless network's coverage area. Furthermore, wireless CCTV systems are highly scalable, allowing new camera units to be integrated into the system without additional cabling, routing or infrastructure expenses.
Home surveillance devices, such as baby monitors and wireless cameras with mobile LCD displays , are becoming popular. Many Chinese manufacturers are, therefore, turning their attention to these wireless home security markets, especially overseas. "Lianyida (LYD), located in Shenzhen, China, started manufacturing small-size cameras since 2000," said Deng Mingyou, General Manager at Linyida. "In the early '90s, the Chinese government strictly prohibited development of small-sized or miniature cameras for private and general public usage. Therefore, the regulation has made LYD quite different from other mainland manufacturers, starting its business to the overseas market instead of to the domestic market. To date, more than 90 percent of LYD's shipments are to the overseas market under its own brand name LYD."
As 90 percent of sales go to mature markets, including the U.S. and Europe, LYD is optimistic about a rise in emerging markets, such as Russia, Brazil and the Middle East. "Our annual production is roughly 1 million pieces," Deng said. "We have no local distributors or partners at any foreign countries so far, since home security cameras are easy to install and have high stability. On average, only one camera malfunctions for every 1,000 pieces. Besides, through our Web site, our customers can place orders with our prompt response." "Generally speaking, the overseas wireless home security market is bigger than the Chinese market," said Lucia Zhao, Manager of Overseas Department at Goscam (Gospell Smart-home Electronic.) "With stronger demand in the foreign market, our home security wireless cameras make up around 80 percent of our sales to the overseas market."
LYD has deployed CMOS image sensors for their compact size and low price since they started business. Deng pointed out that cameras for home security do not require high-resolution like professional ones. And therefore, the price and performance of CMOS is adopted more widely than CCD sensors.
"We have been cooperating with an U.S. sensor manufacturer OmniVision which enjoys more than 80 percent market share for home security camera sensors," Deng said. "We provide the most popular wireless cameras with 0.3 megapixel. Furthermore, CMOS stability has been enhanced greatly, such as not being affected by static."
According to Deng, PCB board design and frequency interference are crucial elements for selecting a good wireless camera. LYD uses 2.4G frequency which generates 10 milliwatts, complying with U.S. FCC regulations. It ensures stable transmission frequency within 10 meters.
Previously, home security offered only audio with conventional analog signals, as it could not support both audio and video. Digitization, however, enabled video surveillance. In fact, this was the most powerful evolution in the field. As IP technology matures, Chinese manufacturers have developed new wireless home security products with IP functions, allowing users to watch their houses via the Internet or cell phone. Deng have pictured its product lines, migrating from wireless analog to digital. "The main obstacle, for now, is the compression technology for wireless digital camera is not yet reliable and mature," he said. "Besides, the price will be three to five times that of analog wireless cameras. Therefore, price would be a concern for the consumer market." In Deng's prediction, it will take three years to migrate its analog wireless cameras to IP ones for home security market.
"With our ongoing technology development, we make our products more stable and with higher performance in transmission distance and display," Zhao said. "We also have added more functions based on our customer feedback, such as IP-rated (waterproof), PTZ function, motion detection alert and so on. Furthermore, our product design and appearance have been suited for the consumer market. In our next steps, we would like to invest more on development, migrating analog to digital products."
Zhao also emphasized its quality control system for products. "Our quality management is based on ISO-9001 to ensure our product quality. To date, we have provided 100 percent qualified products. We have also passed the RoHS and WEEE certificates for European market," she added.
Home security products succeed with cheap prices, a stylish appearance, simple installation, user-friendly interfaces and other useful functions. As required safety levels are not as high as professional security level, Chinese manufacturers are relying on manufacturing advantages to create quality wireless home security products.
Goscam offers several wireless security cameras, such as wireless baby monitors, IR outdoor cameras, 5.8 GHz and 0.9 GHz cameras, Li-battery cameras, multi-cameras, ultra-small cameras and even network wireless cameras. "Goscam launched its first wireless camera in 2003," Zhao said. "It was about the time that demand was growing in the overseas market. By focusing on the foreign DIY market, we have developed a wide product line to satisfy customer requirements. Goscam's values are close to user requirements, including attractive and stylish designs, stability, high performance and multi-functional products."
LYD has a wide range of wireless security cameras, including LCD wireless kits and a night vision series. For example, LYD's LCD wireless kit allows users to see and hear what is happening on its handheld monitor, giving users portable video surveillance. A 2.4 GHz system includes a high-resolution camera with a built-in microphone and a 2.5-inch color TFT-LCD monitor. This system also includes a built-in DVR, with functions to set recording to manual, motion detection or schedule recording times. The use of memory cards allows for recording storage and portability.