Which Video Surveillance Brand is Right for You?

Piecing together an IP security camera system can be a bit overwhelming, especially for first timers. In this blog post series, we're going to talk about all the products you need for your security system across a wide variety of scenarios. But before we can do that, we have to find out which video surveillance brand is right for you.

We have three main surveillance product lines here at Nelly's Security, and each brand serves a different purpose and caters to different people. In a nutshell...

H-Series Products
R-Series Products
Uniview Products
  • H-Series is our mid-range product line that gives you a considerable amount of features without too steep of a learning curve.
  • R-Series is our budget-friendly and beginner-friendly option, geared toward simplicity and aesthetics.
  • Uniview is our surveillance line primarily intended for power users and enterprise installations, but can still be used for some residential and small business applications.

But there's more to it than that. So keep reading, or watch the video below, to learn all about the nuances of these three brands, including their recommended applications, pros, and cons.

First, let's start with our H-Series.

H-Series is where it all began. It's our largest and longest running product line that has stood the test of time. These cameras are great options for just about anyone, whether you're a complete beginner or a surveillance pro. They're powerful cameras with plenty of features, but they're still approachable and easy to manage.

We recommend these products for all installation types, including residential installations, small business installations, and some large corporate installations.

H-Series Recommended Installation Types

H-Series Pros

This line has been around the longest. That's a pro for a couple of reasons. First, it means we have a ton of H-Series products. Second, it means we have a ton of resources and guides for these products. You can read all of our guides at our help center.

Another pro is we have many different types of cameras. We have your standard fixed and motorized lens bullets, turrets, and vandal domes. But we also have specialized cameras, such as our ONVIF compatible and fee-free video doorbell, our active deterrence camera with smart motion detection, our indoor wi-fi cube camera, our License Plate Recognition camera, and of course our NiteColor camera that sent waves through social media a few months back. If you're interested in any of these cameras, even if you think you will be later down the road, then you may want to start your system with H-Series products.

Finally, these products have a hassle-free three year warranty. If anything goes wrong with your product in the first three years, within the confines of regular use, we will replace it free of charge. You can learn more about our warranty and return policy here.

H-Series Pros

H-Series Cons

While anyone can figure out how to use these cameras, they don't cater well to the technologically challenged. If you're not used to computers, there can be a bit of a learning curve with these cameras. On the other hand, don't feel like you're going to have to figure it all out by yourself. Our team of experts is here to help you with lifetime tech support.

These cameras and recorders have a lot of features, but they're not the most feature-packed products that we have. The options and settings available to you with these cameras are suitable for most situations you'll encounter. But if you need the most features possible for your surveillance system, then H-Series may not be for you.

H-Series Cons

Let's Move On to our R-Series Line

We added R-Series to our catalog toward the beginning of 2019, and it was an instant hit with many of our customers. These cameras quickly became some of our best sellers. We brought R-Series on as our beginner and budget-friendly option. These products are designed to be simple and cost-effective while maintaining all the basic features that most people will need.

Often times, when a company releases budget options for their products, there's a huge loss in quality. That's not the case with the R-Series. We chose to make a reduction in quantity and not quality. What do I mean by that? Our R-Series cameras are very stripped back when it comes to features. They have all the features that most people need, and that's it. This is how we're able to make these cameras available for cheaper without losing any of the build quality or image quality.

We recommend these cameras primarily for residential installs, although they will also work for certain small business installations, as long as you don't exceed 32 cameras.

R-Series Recommended Installation Types

R-Series Pros

The first pro is their form factor. These are very nice looking cameras. They have a great, modern design. They have durable, all-metal construction. They're nice and compact. Even the big motorized varifocal-lens cameras are pretty small and manageable compared to other comparable products.

These cameras are very easy to install and add to your network. You won't have to mess with any IP configuration or anything like that. All you need to do is plug your camera into the back of your NVR and scan it with your mobile device. We also have a computer application for viewing and managing your cameras and recorders, so you never have to mess with config tools and web browsers if you don't want to.

It's also very easy to use. These cameras, for the most part, are ready to go out of the box. You won't have to spend a whole lot of time setting it up. The fact that there are just a few features means you won't get lost in the menu.

The final pro is the price. I mean, these are some of the best prices for any IP security camera on the web. All of our standard fixed lens 4K models are under $100. You can't beat that!

R-Series Pros

R-Series Cons

As I mentioned before, there really aren't that many features. To some people this is a pro. To others, not so much. If you're used to video surveillance systems, you'll find that these products are lacking several features that you're probably used to.

For instance, these cameras have no smart events, so you're limited to its pixel-based motion detection grid. While this is sufficient for many people, who just want to record what's happening on their front lawn, it's a bit outdated. Basic motion detection is quickly being replaced by intelligent events like line crossing and intrusion detection, which you can use to have much more control over your camera's recording events. The fact that the R-Series cameras don't have these features just means you have less control. Which, again, could be a pro or a con, depending on what you're looking for.

These cameras also lack MicroSD card slots. That means if you want to record anything at all, you'll need to connect this to an NVR.

Next, our R-Series products are pretty limited in scope. At the time of this recording, we only have your standard fixed and varifocal lens bullets, turrets, and vandal domes.

Finally, keep in mind that our R-Series products only come with a one year warranty.

R-Series Cons

Now, to our newest line of surveillance products, Uniview.

We took on Uniview products at the beginning of 2020. These are still new products both to us and our customers, but we've been learning a lot about them. Every week I feel like we learn something new about these cameras, which should tell you a lot about this product line. Our Uniview products are our most feature-packed cameras and recorders. We brought this brand into our warehouse with the power user in mind. If you're someone who really likes to tinker with their security products, if you want the most flexibility and control possible, then Uniview is definitely worth a look.

These products are great for large corporate and enterprise installations. But that's not to say you can't use these on smaller business or residential applications. You absolutely can. Just keep in mind that some of their features are more geared toward larger businesses.

UNV Installation Types

Uniview Pros

These cameras are feature-packed and ready to do just about any job. It's got all the standard intelligent events, like line crossing, intrusion detection, region entrance, etc. But it also has some unique events, like people counting and face detection, that just give these cameras more power in a commercial setting.

It also has a complex menu system that's surprisingly easy to navigate. They give you a ton of shortcuts and common configuration menus that allow you to get to where you need to go in as few clicks as possible.

If you're a security installer, Uniview has a few other perks that can help you in your business. For instance, Uniview has a protected sales channel, which means your customers won't be able to Google your products to find cheaper versions.

These cameras are also very versatile for any scenario. So whether you're installing cameras residentially, corporately, or even in a US government setting, you can use these cameras for just about anything.

Also, like our H-Series cameras, these come with the full 3 year warranty.

Uniview Pros

Uniview Cons

The learning curve is pretty steep. If you've used security cameras before and you're somewhat comfortable navigating the interface, then you won't have any issues. You'll be familiar enough with it to get around. But if this is your first security system ever, it may take you a little while to learn the ropes.

While the amount of features is a pro to some people, for other users it might appear a bit bloated. If you're a casual user, you may find that your camera has way more features than you will ever use.

Another potential con is the amount of available products. Since this is our newest line, it's still growing. Right now we don't offer the full Uniview catalog. We have all the standard fixed and motorized lens cameras, and we do have several additional cameras, such as PTZs, fisheye lenses, and a panoramic camera. However, we do plan on adding to this product line in the future. This blog post was last edited in May 2020, so we'll continue to update this post as we get more products in.

Uniview Cons

Wrapping It Up

Well, that's about everything there is to know about our three product lines, H-Series, R-Series, and Uniview. Let's sum it all up.

If you're a complete beginner to video surveillance and just want something simple that can record what's happening around your house, you may be interested in our R-Series products. If you don't want a ton of features, if you want something more minimalist, if you want something very easy to use, or if you want the best bang for your buck, R-Series just might be the brand for you.

If, on the other end of the spectrum, you consider yourself a tinkerer, if you're looking for the most possible features in a surveillance system, if you want something flexible that gives you as much control as possible, you're looking for a Uniview system. Especially if you do this for a living, or if you think you might do this for a living, Uniview gives you the most installation flexibility out of any of our product lines.

But maybe you're not on either end of the spectrum. If you find yourself right in the middle, if you want something with enough features to give you a considerable amount of control over your system, maybe you're okay with a bit of a learning curve, or maybe you're already pretty comfortable with technology, and especially if you're interested or think you may be interested in some of our specialty cameras, like the doorbell, H-Series may be for you.

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Pro

For Beginners: R-Series

Click below to see all R-Series IP cameras and recorders.

Click to view all cameras
Click to view all recorders

For the Intermediate: H-Series

Click below to see all H-Series IP cameras and recorders.

Click to view all cameras
Click to view all recorders

For the Pro: Uniview

Click below to see all Uniview IP cameras and recorders.

Click to view all cameras
Click to view all recorders

Are These Brands Compatible With Each Other?

A final note on brands: we often get asked if these product lines work together, and the answer is yes... and no.

So, let's say you have an H-Series recorder with some H-Series cameras. You can still get a standard R-Series fixed lens camera, and it would work just fine with your H-Series recorder.

But let's say you have an R-Series or Uniview recorder. If you start investing in some of the speciality H-Series cameras, you'll have less compatibility with third party NVRs. For instance, you will be able to use your Active Deterrence camera as a standard bullet camera if you connect it to a Uniview NVR. But you won't be able to take advantage of many of the Active Deterrence features, such as smart motion detection, siren and strobe adjustment, etc.

So if you already own an NVR from one brand, you can still use cameras from another brand for the most part. But if you're starting from scratch, building up your surveillance system for the first time, we recommend that you stick with the same brand for all of your products.

I hope this post cleared some things up and helped you understand our website a little better. If you still have any questions about which brand of surveillance is right for you, feel free to leave a comment below. You can also give us a call or send us an email. We're always happy to help!

Now that you know what brand is right for you, you've narrowed down our catalog considerably. But we still have many choices available to us, and there are still a few questions that we need to ask to determine exactly which products we need. We'll be exploring those questions in the next blog post. If you don't want to miss that post, be sure to follow us across social media and subscribe to our newsletter!