This is intended as a brief review of Shaw’s SmartSureveillance Security Camera offering VS a system provided by Watchdog Loss Prevention Inc.
We cannot comment on the installation quality, the quality of the equipment or the user friendliness of the system provided by Shaw as we have not actually seen or worked with an installed Shaw SmartSureveillance system.
We can however comment based on a review of their public documentation of their offering. This comparison was originally done to as a sales tool for talking to an existing customer who was considering the Shaw offer. For the purposes of this article I am going to use the comparison developed for this customer.
1. Cost Comparison:
Shaw is offering their system for 24.95 per month per camera for 60 months or $29.95 per camera for 36 months.
This is basically a rental agreement, so you never own anything and their price does not include installation which will vary depending on your site. As of the date of this article, Shaw is offering an installation saving of $49.95 per camera if you sign up for 5 years, which may or may not be a good deal depending on what they charge you for installation.
In the case of our existing customer, the installation savings will not be a benefit because Shaw will need to rewire for the IP cameras. Watchdog can install HD cameras of higher resolution without running any new cable.
Below is my comparison of an 8-camera installation comparing eight of Shaw’s cameras recording to their cloud based system and 8 of our HD cameras recording on an 8 channel recorder with two Terabytes of memory.
So even over 36 months you are spending nearly $3000 more for the Shaw system than the Watchdog system. Remember the Shaw system is a rental so you will never own the equipment and it does not include installation. Note that on the Watchdog system you may require an additional monitor and/or UPS power supply if you do not have existing compatible equipment.
Unfortunately for Shaw it gets worse, the Shaw system does not include installation and in this case the Watchdog system does. Please keep in mind that installation costs will vary. In this case we are installing HD cameras on the existing cable; having to run new cable will increase the costs.
2. Camera Comparison:
Shaw is installing cameras that record at slightly less than 1-megapixel of resolution. Our quoted cameras are 2.1 megapixels of resolution. I believe Shaw is likely offering such poor cameras to more effectively store the video on their cloud storage.
The cameras provided by Shaw have their widest field of view at 80 degrees. You will require two Shaw cameras to monitor a full room. With our cameras you have a widest field of view of 90 degrees, so if 1 Watchdog camera is installed in a corner of the room, you will monitor the whole room at a higher resolution than 2 Shaw cameras.
3. Recording Comparison:
Shaw has a possible advantage in that they are cloud recording so that if someone were to break into your business they could not steal the recorder. I cannot say that this never happens however I can think of only a couple of times that a recorder has been stolen from one of our customers in my nearly 30 years in the industry. If this is a concern, Watchdog can install a recorder lock box for further protection.
According to information provided by Shaw they will record full time for 72 hours and then break out just the recording with motion for longer term storage. My interpretation of this would be that Shaw would provide roughly 15 days of recording based on 25% motion activity in your business.
I anticipate that using higher resolution cameras and a 2 Terabyte hard drive should provide about 1 month to 6 weeks of recording on a Watchdog system under the same conditions. Additional storage is available on our recorders. It is not clear on Shaw’s website if they can offer more storage.
It is also important to note that you must have Shaw Internet in order to take advantage of their camera cameras systems and with if you have more than 8 cameras they require you to upgrade your internet at an additional cost of approximately $21 per month.
Shaw appears to have a “one solution fits all” approach to their installations. Watchdog has many options available at a competitive price and you will not automatically need to upgrade your whole system.
In conclusion the CCTV package offered by Shaw is not competitive financially and offers you limited choice in terms of equipment offered.
For a free no cost no obligation evaluation of your security camera needs, please contact us at 604-515-1001.