Why not put the DVR on the wall?

Does new panel-based model from Speco just make more sense?
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Thursday, September 10, 2009

AMITYVILLE, N.Y.—What if a DVR didn’t look like a DVR? What if it looked like an alarm panel? That’s the question Speco Technologies poses with its new covert, wall-mounted H.264 DVR. You don’t let your end users monkey around with their alarm panels—why let them monkey around with the DVRs?

“Now, you put it on the wall,” said Speco VP of sales and marketing T.J. Dickson, “the dealer takes the remote control and programs it, gets it on the local area network, locks up the box, then goes to the PC and does the rest of the configuration there via web browser. Then the installer retains the admin rights so no one can screw it up, and then just makes the user a user, giving him some rights to do what he needs to do, but not affect the actual configuration.”

Dickson said this furthers many installers’ goals of creating more recurring revenue and getting away from simply making money on product-sale margins.

“It’s CCTV as a service,” he said. If dealers want to install the unit below cost and charge a monthly rate, “they can recapture that money,” similar to the way burglar alarms are sold. But, he said, “some of the days of giving away the alarm panel are there, but some guys aren’t giving it away any more, and there’s no reason to give this away.”

The DVR on the wall also protects against DVR theft, which is an increasing problem as thieves seek them out, both to keep from being caught and to resell them on eBay. While many end users are now putting the DVR in lock boxes, they are cumbersome and costly, Dickson said.

He said the product is targeted toward the high residential/light commercial space, “and that’s what alarm dealers are familiar with. It’s just like the burg panel, and how do they deal with that? They program the keypad, say, ‘OK, Mr. Customer, here’s your passcode—don’t ever touch that box on the wall.”