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
Testing IP Camera Latency on Sep 26, 2014
How much does latency impact IP cameras? We tested a number of combinations, like so: In this report, we break down: Average latency metrics in our test Key drivers of latency Variations i...
Testing Analog HD on Sep 24, 2014
This is where the innovation is at. During Essen and days before ASIS, IPVM is leading with a test of an analog (HD) camera, reflecting both how bad the big names are doing and the key trend we se...
Fall 2014 New Products Directory on Sep 23, 2014
New releases are weak this year, and unfortunately, the trend does not appear to be changing this fall. Here is a list of new products released since April, with links to IPVM's review or the...
1700 Camera Models Added to IPVM Calculator on Sep 22, 2014
Now, you can select your own camera models in the IPVM camera calculator. IPVM members can see and compare what their preferred cameras will capture and deliver. Choose from 1500 1700 camera...
Testing Sony HD Dome Camera on Sep 18, 2014
Top WDR and low light performance are generally only offered in manufacturer's high end cameras. In particular, Sony users historically needed to use their expensive high end V series cameras for ...
Lenel OnGuard Tested on Sep 17, 2014
Lenel is one of the biggest names in Access Control with many thousands of systems installed around the globe. In this report, we examine Lenel's OnGuard access management platform, look how...
Testing Axis High End HD Camera Q1615 on Sep 15, 2014
Axis core focus is the high end of the market. Their newest high end camera is the Q1615, aims to continue that, which they claim offers industry leading image quality and novel features, such as: ...
Testing Avigilon ACC 5 VMS on Sep 10, 2014
In this report, we provide in-depth videos covering Avigilon Control Center 5's operation and configuration with 30+ minutes of screencasts providing clear explanations of ACC features including: ...
License Plate Recognition Axis App Tested on Sep 08, 2014
License plate recognition (LPR) has historically been very expensive, requiring specialized hardware and software. An embedded LPR app from ipConfigure aims to change that, turning compatible Axis...
Testing March MegaPX Domes on Sep 04, 2014
March Networks has been one of the bigger names in video surveillance recorders for a decade, with significant adoption especially in banking and retail. For a number of years, since the Cieffe&nb...