Avigilon's Dirty Tricksby John Honovich, IPVM posted on Jan 15, 2013 About John Contact John
Avigilon's products are strong but their marketing is consistently and utterly irresponsible - one dirty trick after another. While their rapid growth to become a top-tier manufacturer is admirable, their marketing is repugnant.
This has been going on for years.
Replacing Up to 95 Cameras
Avigilon's most famous trick is their claims of ‘replacing up to 95 cameras’ which is misleading on many levels and especially ironic, considering they fail to mention that camera has 93% lower frame rate and hogs 10x more storage/bandwidth per frame.
Avigilon has a pseudo study with a ridiculous chart purporting that 12 Avigilon cameras can replace 520 analog cameras and save more than $300,000. Equally bizarre, this is done in a 25,000 sqft parking lot which fits about 100 cars – or 5 analog cameras per vehicle.
Avigilon’s commercial features two impossible claims. First, they capture license plates while cars are turning, going 30+ mph in a 50+ ft wide FoV all at the same time. Then they digitally zoom into a 300’+ wide FoV of a stadium displaying HD, full frame rate details of people in the crowd. Watch it yourself:
The Home Page
Avigilon's new home page features a clear manipulation, prominently showcasing 5 'comparisons' between analog and HD with the headline 'Find out what you have been missing in HD'. Each shows an 'analog' and an Avigilon HD image side by side. Here is one:
The analog camera looks horrible, dramatically worse than the Avigilon. However, this is a massive misrepresentation of what an analog camera delivers in such a scene. We raised these concerns repeatedly to Avigilon but they declined any comment.
Here is a real comparison we did of an old analog camera vs a new H3 3MP Avigilon camera:
The real analog image is far better than Avigilon's doctored 'analog' one and while obviously inferior to a 3MP one, nowhere near as much of a gap as Avigilon portrays.
[UPDATE July 2013: Avigilon admits ad not actual.]
MORE Dirty Tricks
3rd Party IP Camera Support
Avigilon's 3rd party IP camera claims are grossly and knowingly misleading buyers.
Let's take a look at their marketing:
Saying they support any ONVIF camera including motion detection and PTZ is crazy, especially since it's only 1.0x versions which have significant known problems, especially with motion detection and PTZs (see ONVIF Detailed Technical Answers)
And here's more from Avigilon:
There's no gray area here. This claim is obviously and demonstrably false.
Equally troubling, we hear regularly that many Avigilon RSMs gloss over any concerns about integrating with 3rd party cameras in much the same way as the website misstates their support.
World's Smallest HD Dome Camera
Avigilon's ad campaign for their microdome purposely hides part of the camera. Compare their ad on the right to the actual camera on the left:
Avigilon shows only the lens and imager in the ad comparing it to a golf ball. But that is not the full camera. It needs the 'pez dispenser' permanently attached to it to work which routinely causes installation problems.
Track Record of Manipulation and Deception
We certainly think highly of Avigilon's products, both cameras and VMS, but their marketing is among the most irresponsible in the entire surveillance industry. We hope Avigilon takes a deep look at these practices and reconsiders. They neither need to nor should stoop to these levels.
IPVM Test Results
IPVM backs up its critiques with the industry's most in-depth testing of Avigilon products, including:
Most Recent Industry Reports
Resolution vs Compression Tested on Nov 24, 2014
They are not the same thing. Unfortunately, too many industry people conflate them. Worse, resolution and compression can silently undermine each other. The Impact Compare the two images below....
Camera DNR (Digital Noise Reduction) Guide on Nov 20, 2014
A significant video problem is night time bandwidth spikes. An IPVM study found 250 - 500% increase in bandwidth from day to night (see: Testing Bandwidth vs Low Light). Digital noise r...
Camera Labor Estimation Standard on Nov 19, 2014
IPVM is proud to release the first ever surveillance camera labor estimation standards. These standards help integrators improve the accuracy and efficiency of their installations, reducing risks ...
Dahua HDCVI 2.0 Tested on Nov 17, 2014
A strong initial reception but can it repeat? Dahua's initial HDCVI analog HD offering, with its super low cost and HD resolution, was extremely well received (see IPVM's HDCVI test results)....
Avigilon Analytic Cameras Tested on Nov 12, 2014
Analytics remains the 'next big thing' But supply of high quality, ease to use analytics remain in short supply. VideoIQ had been the favorite choice of integrators surveyed. But VideoIQ was acqu...
Best & Worst Manufacturer Salespeople on Nov 10, 2014
What manufacturers were rated the worst? Which the best? What do integrators want from their manufacturer salespeople? What offends them the most? New IPVM survey results of 100+ integrators an...
Testing Bandwidth vs Low Light on Nov 07, 2014
Bandwidth and low light can be a bad combination. Despite many assuming / calculating bandwidth as a single 24/7 number, bandwidth can vary dramatically. One of the big drivers of bandwidth chang...
Hikvision Tribrid Recorder Tested on Nov 05, 2014
HD over existing coax, IP and legacy analog cameras, all in a single recorder. A 16 camera 'tribrid' DVR that does all that for less than $400. This is what Hikvision is claiming with its 7200 se...
Camera Finder Released on Nov 03, 2014
The new Camera Finder revolutionizes camera selection. Search across 2100+ cameras for 40 criteria, immediately returning precise matches so you can find the best fit for your specific needs. Thi...
Axis 4K Tested (P1428E) on Oct 29, 2014
Two years ago, Axis declared the megapixel race over. Now, they are among the first to release a 4K (8.3MP) camera. However, the question is simply: do we really need more pixels? We bought an Ax...