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Pro Grade vs. Consumer Grade

Backstreet Surveillance is a nationwide professional equipment manufacturer and distributor. We offer high performance Professional Grade equipment. We do not compete with big box stores and price point Consumer Grade prepackaged kits. They are completely different products, providing completely different performance levels.

Our specialty is providing top performing professional grade systems at the lowest possible price. We tailor each system to the needs of our customers and support them with our award winning USA based technical department. No wholesale, middlemen or dealers are involved. This eliminates costs that many of our competitors simply pass on to the customers; instead we pass the savings on to you!

In short, our equipment is based on true value; performance + low price = value. Big box stores and companies like Lorex base equipment selection on low price alone and offer zero customization. The result; we replace Lorex and systems purchased from big box stores every single day. The following explains in detail.

There are two categories of video surveillance equipment on the market...and they are both created with completely different goals in mind.

Types of Suppliers

Professional grade equipment is simple. The electronics are designed for performance and the price is based on the cost of the electronics.

Consumer grade equipment is based on a preselected sale price. Then the electronics are designed to “fit” within that preselected price. This is why we often see price structures such as $399, $599, $899, $1099, $1499; the price was preselected and the product designed to fit within the price. Often the result is inferior electronics that never produce the level of performance the marketing literature boasts.

For example one consumer grade camera our Backstreet technicians were testing generated so much heat after just a few minutes of operation, you literally could not touch it. This extreme operating temperature degraded the cameras performance and shortened the life of the camera. Clearly parts of the electronics had been "trimmed" such as "Heat Sinks" (which absorb and reduce heat) so the cost of the electronics could fit into a sale price.

This brings us to the industries golden rule: when it comes to video surveillance equipment, price and performance are directly linked.

Consumer grade equipment is provided by brands such as Lorex, Q-See, Swann, and Uniden. They are sold through big box stores such as Amazon, Costco, HomeDepot, Sams Club and others.

Retailers offering consumer grade equipment

Consumer grade systems have several limitations you should be aware of. For example:

  • The prepackaged kits cannot be customized. The cameras cannot be selected specifically for their task and something as simple as needing a longer cable can become a real problem.
  • The DVR or video recorders are stripped down models with limited features and often they cannot record at the same resolution the cameras are producing.
  • The retailer provides zero technical expertise or support. This can become a real problem when you need some basic advice or help with features such as remote viewing setup.

The following are actual reviews from customers who bought one of the leading "Consumer Grade Systems". As you can see the reviews show a consistent failure to meet customer expectations.

Lorex Customer Reviews.

Because of the limitations of consumer grade equipment, we will base all the information in this guide on professional grade equipment and suppliers.

Check out Backstreet's latest reviews!

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