Top 10 Surveillance Myths Debunked

Author: John Honovich, Published on Jun 25, 2011

Aggressive marketing creates dangerous myths. Vendors transform their product's highest aspirations into concrete claims. Unfortunately, these become generally accepted 'knowledge' that helps sales, hurts users and sometimes crushes a market (such as video analytics).

In this report, we examine 10 of the most serious myths facing the video surveillance industry. Our analysis is based on the systematic results of our testing program that disproved these claims.

Here are the 10:

  • Myth: Resolution Comparison Diagram
  • Myth: More Pixels = Higher Image Quality
  • Myth: A Megapixel Camera is Equal to Many SD Cameras
  • Myth: Pixels Per Foot is a Reliable metric
  • Myth: WDR Camera Specifications are Legitimate
  • Myth: Minimum Illumination Specifications are Legitimate
  • Myth: Superior Low Light Performance Claims
  • Myth: IR Illuminators Massively Reduce Bandwidth Consumption
  • Myth: VSaaS is Secure and Mature
  • Myth: 80% Analytics are Good Enough
  • Myth: Megapixel 'Virtually Eliminates' PTZ Cameras

Most of you have seen megapixel comparison charts where overlayed boxes show how much more higher resolution cameras can capture than lower resolution ones. Here's an example:

While the layout varies by vendor, this is an industry wide technique.

These resolution comparison charts are dangerously misleading because they imply that all pixels are equal.

Here' an analogy. Let's say I claimed:

  • A 600 pound man can lift twice as much as a 300 pound man.

The assumption is clear as it is wrong. While more weight often correlates with more strength, this is far from universal.

  • More weight does not guarantee more power. More pixels does NOT guarantee more details. Period.

This flawed assumption is the basis of a number of other myths and might be the most serious issue our industry faces as we attempt to properly integrate megapixel surveillance.

Inside the Pro section, we dig into each myth, explain why it is wrong and what you should do to avoid becoming a victim.

********** ********* ******* ********* *****. ******* ********* ***** *******'* ******* aspirations **** ******** ******. *************, ***** ****** ********* ******** '*********' that ***** *****, ***** ***** *** ********* ******* * ****** (such ** ***** *********).

** **** ******, ** ******* ** ** *** **** ******* myths ****** *** ***** ************ ********. *** ******** ** ***** on *** ********** ******* ** ********** *********** ********* ***** ******.

**** *** *** **:

  • ****: ********** ********** *******
  • ****: **** ****** = ****** ***** *******
  • ****: * ********* ****** ** ***** ** **** ** *******
  • ****: ****** *** **** ** * ******** ******
  • ****: *** ****** ************** *** **********
  • ****: ******* ************ ************** *** **********
  • ****: ******** *** ***** *********** ******
  • ****: ** ************ ********* ****** ********* ***********
  • ****:******* ****** *** ******
  • ****: **% ********* *** **** ******
  • ****: ********* '********* **********' *** *******

**** ** *** **** **** ********* ********** ****** ***** ********* boxes **** *** ************** ********** ******* *** ******* **** ***** ********** ****. ****'* an *******:

***** *** ****** ****** ** ******, **** ** ** ******** wide *********.

***** ********** ********** ****** *** *********** ********** ******* **** ***** that*** ****** *** *****.

****' ** *******. ***'* *** * *******:

  • * *** ***** *** *** **** ***** ** **** ** a *** ***** ***.

*** ********** ** ***** ** ** ** *****. ***** **** weight ***** ********** **** **** ********, **** ** *** **** universal.

  • **** ****** **** *** ********* **** *****. **** ************* ********* **** *******.******.

**** ****** ********** ** *** ***** ** * ****** ** other ***** *** ***** ** *** **** ******* ***** *** industry ***** ** ** ******* ** ******** ********* ********* ************.

****** *** *** *******, ** *** **** **** ****, ******* why ** ** ***** *** **** *** ****** ** ** avoid ******** * ******.

[***************]

Myth: **** ****** = ****** ***** *******

***** **** ****** ***** ******** ****** ***** *******, ** **** not ******. **** *** *** * ******** ******* ** **** in ****:

  • ***** **********: ***** *** ******* *** ************* ****** ** ********* *** benefits ** ****** **********. ** **** ***** ***** ************, ** is **** **** ** ******** ***** *** ****** ********** *** day (**** ** *** * ***** ***** ***** *** *** control ******** *** * *** ***** *** **** *****). ** the ****** *** *** ********, ******* ** ************, ** ******** for *********** ********** ** ***** ******* *** ********* *******.
  • *** *****: **** ** *** **** ****** ********, ** *****, ********* cameras **** ******* **** ********** ****** ** ***** ** ** cameras. **** ** ******* ** *** ***** *********** ************ *** the ****** ** ********** **** ****** **** ********* *****. *** our** ** ** ***** ******** *** ***** *** ********.
  • ****** ********: **** ** * ****** ********** ****** *** ******* **** details, ***** ***** ******* ** *** ******. *** ********, **** a ****** ** *** ****** **** * ******, * ****** and ***** ********** ****** (**** ** ***** ******** **********) **** both **** *****. *** ****** ********** ******'* **** *** ** bigger *** *** ********* ********** **** ** ***********.

********* ******* *** ******* ****** ***** *******. *******, ** ** imperative ** ****** ** **** *** ***** (*) **** ******** variations * ***** *****, (*) ** *** ***** **** ** dark ** *** **** *** (*) **** ********* *********** *** cameras **** **** ** **** *****.

***** ** ** ****** ** *** **** ****** = ****** image *******, ** ** ***** ** ******* ************* ******* *** disappointed *****.

Myth: * ********* ****** ** ***** ** **** ** ******* (*, *, **, **, **, ***.)

***** ** *** ******* **** *** *****, **** **** ** clearly *****. ********* ***** ** ** ****** *** ******** **** it ** ** ** *** ****** *** ** ******* ** reality. ** ******** **** **** ** ****** ** *** ********* of ********* ***'* ********* '**********'.

Myth: ****** *** **** ** * ******** ******

*** **** ** ****** *** **** ** ** ******* * standard ****** **** *** ** **** ****** ******* ** ********* image ******* ************** *** ***. *************, ** * ********* ****** that ** ****** *** **** *** ******, **** *** ** assured ******** ****** ************, ***** ** ********** ** ****, *** image ******* ***** **** ** ***. ***** * ***** *******, this ** ************* ******.

****** *** **** (** *** *****) **** ***** ***** ** the ********** **** *** ****** ******* ********** ***** *******. **** is ***** *** ** ***** *** ******.

*** ***'********** ***** ************ *******' ********* *** **** *************** ** *** ** *** ***** *** Foot ******* *** ***** *** ********* ************ ** **** ****.

Myth: *** ****** **************

***** **** ******* ***** (***) ************* ** * **** ********* function ** ******** ******** **********, *** ************** *** **********.

  • ** ** **** *** *** ************ ** ******** ***** ******* as ***. ** *********, ** ***** ***** *******, *******. ** is ****** * ********* ****** ** *** ************.
  • *** **** ****** ************ ************* ** ***** *** ** ******** range (*.*., ** **, *** **, ***.). ***** ******* *** incomparable ****** ****** ********* **** *******.

** *** *****, ********* ******** *** *****, ** ******** ********** ******* ****** ** ******'* *** *********** that ***** * ******** ****** ** ***** ******* ********. *******, no **** *** ****** ** ********* **** ***** ** *** specifications *****. ****** **** ***** ** *** ******* *** ***** tests ** **** ********.

Myth: ******* ************ **************

**** *********** ************ ************* **** ****: ******* ************ ************** *** NOT ** *******. ******, **** ***** ***** ******* *** *** window.

  • ******* *** ************ ******* *************: **** ******* ************ * **** their ****** *** .** *** *** ************ * **** ***** camera *** .* *** ***** ********** *******.
  • ********* *** *********** **** *** *********: ************* **** ** ******** used *** ********, ****, ***. ******* *********, **** ** ********** minimally ********** ***** ******* ******.
  • ***** ******* ** ********* ********: ***** ************* ****** ***** ******* the ********* ***** ** ***** ******* ************ *************, **** *** discussion **** ********, ***** ****** **** ** ** ******, **** and ******* *** **** **** **** ** ******* ** *** scene - * *** *** **** *** ******* ******** ** most *****.

******* ****, **** ******** ** **** ******* ********* ** ***** self-reported ************** (*.*., ****** **** **** * ******* ************ ** .00001 ***). ******* ** ****, *** ** ******** ** *************, it ** * ****** **** **** *** **** ** ****. If *** ******* *** '******', ****'* **** * *** ** deals.

****** ***'************ ****** *** ************* ********'*** ******** ** *** ** ******** ******** ***** ****** **** WDR *** ******* ************ **************.

Myth: ******** *** ***** *********** ******

** ***** **** ***********, **** ********** ****, **** ***** ******* manufacturers ****** *** '****' *** ***** ***********. ****** *********** *** manufacturer **** ****** ** *** *** ******** ** ***** * digital **** *******.

******** ******* *** **** ***** * ****** *******. * '********' shutter ** ************ ** ********* */***. *******, ** *** **** the ******* ******, *** ******* **** *****. *** *******, * camera **** * */** ******* ******** (**** **** **** *******) take ** * ***** *** ****** ** ***** ** *** that **** * **** '********' */***.

***********, ***** ** ****** ****** *** **** ******* ******. *** only ********** ** **** ******** ********* ************* ******. ****'* ** example ** ******** **** *** *******: ******* */**.**, ******** *.***, 1/30s, **** */**, ****** */**, ***** */**, ***** */*.*, **** 1/30s. ******, **** *** **** *** *****, ** **** ******* the ***** ** ********* ******* ********** ** ****** ******* ******.

*********** ** ******* ******* ****** **** ******* *********** ** *** brightness ** *** ***** *** *** ********** ** *** ****. Without * *****, ******* **** ****** ******* ******* ****** *** viewed ** ******** ** ***** **** ****** **** - **** though ***** ** ** *********** ************* ***********.

***** ** ********* ******* **** *********** ** *** ***** *********** exist, ** **** ******* **** *** *** *** ***** ******* into ******** * ****** ****** ******* ** **** ********** ******* speed ********.

*** ****, *** *** ****** ** '*** ******** ******* ***** ************' *** '*** ******** ******** **** ** ** ************'.

Myth: ** ************ ********* ****** ********* ***********

**************, ** *********** ******* **** ** **** **** ** ************ and ********* *********** **** **** ** ***** ** ***** (** least *** ******* *******). *******, ***** *** * ****** ** problems ****** **** *****:

  • *** *** ******* **** **** **** *****: *** ****** **** uses ******** *** **** ******** ** **** * ******* *** rate (*******) *** ***** **** ******.
  • ******* ******** ***********: ******* ***** ******** *** **** (***)******** *** see ****** *** *** ***** ** ****** ** ************* ******** by *** **** ******** ** *** ******. ****** ***** ** gain ****** ***** ***** ********* ********* *********** ** ******* ***** VBR. *** ******** ***** ******* ** *** ******. ****, ***** can *** ****** *** **** ****** ** ******* ** ****** this *****. ***** **** ***** ** ***** ******* ** ******* improvements *** *********** ********* ***********.
  • ** ************ ******** ***** ** ** ****** *** **** ****** the ****** ***** ** ******* ******* ********* **********. **** ***** best ** * *** ***** *** ***** ** *********** ******* a ****. *************, **** ** ************ *** **** ******** ** wide ************.

*** ****, **** ***** *********** **** ********** ************ ** ******'* ** ******* ******.

Myth: ***** ** ****** *** ******

****** *** ***** ***** ** **** ******, **** *** ** only *********** ** * ****** ****** - ****** *** **** powerful ************ ************ ** *** *****.

***** ***** *** *********, *** *********** *** ***********:

  • ********: ***** ******** ************** *** ****** ******* **** *** *** DVRs. ***** **** ********** *** *************** **** ** ** ********* rudimentary ********. **** **** ********* ****** *** ** ****, ** is *** *****. ***** ***** ***** **** ** **** ** many ** ***** ******** ******** - ******** ****** ************, *** party ****** ***********, ** ****** *******, ***.
  • ********: *** ******** ***** ** ***** *** **** **** *********** than *********** ************ ***** *** ******** ******** ** *** ***** providers *** ***** ***. **** *****, ***** ** *** ***** transmitted (****** ******) ****** *** ****** ******** *** ****** ** outside ********, ******** ***** ** * *** *****. ***** ***** vendors **** ** **** ***** *** ********/******** ****** ** ***** computing ********* (***** *** ****** ******), ****** *** ** *** VSaaS ********* *** ***** ********** **** ******* ***** ******* *** minimal ******** ** ***** ***** ********.

** ********** **** ********** ***** **** ***** ** ****** *** mature ** *** ** ******** *** **'* **** *** *****. The ******** ** ****** **** ******* *** *** ***** ****** to ******** *** * ******* **** ****.

** ***** **** ***** ****** *** *** ******** ** ******* ***** ***** - ****** *** ************.

Myth: **% ********* ** **** ******

***** ******** ******* **** ********* **** ***** ****** ******* ****** of *********, *** *** ***** ** **** **** ** ********* are *** *******, **** *** ** **** ******. *** ***** goes, "** ** ********* *** *** **% ** *** *** guys, ****'* **% **** **** **** *** *** ******* *****. Sure ** *** **** **** *** *** *** *** *********** anyone *****."

*** **** ******** ********, **** ** * ********* ******** **** fails ** ******* ** ********:

  • ********* *** ***** *** * ******* ******** ** '****' ********. It's ****** **** ** ***** ******* * ****** ******** **** fence ** ******** ** **** ******. **** **% ****** ** certainly **********.
  • *** ******* ******* *** ****** ** ***** ****** ********* ** wind, ****, ******, ***** *******, ********, *******, ***. **** ***** to ****** * *** **** '**% ******** *******. ********* *** then ** ********** ** ****** ** ******** ** ***** ****** every ***. ** *** **********, **** ** *** ****** * reason *** ******** ******* *** **** ****.
  • '*** *** ***** ****': **** ***** **** ** **** ***** alarms ******** ** ***** ******, ********* **** ** **** **. If *** **** *** ***** ****** ** ***** ***** ***, motivation ******** *************.******** ******** ***** ****.

******* ****** **** **** ****** *********** ****** ***** ***-****. **** if *** ****** *** **% ******** ** *********** **, *** number ** ***** ** ***** ******* ***** ***** ****** *** look **** ** ** ************ (***** *** ******** ** ********* of ***-**** ******** ***** *** ********* ** ********, ****** ***********, etc.).

*** ********* ** **% ********? **********. *** ** ***** *** meet *** *********** ************ ** ***** *************? ****** ****** ********.

Myth: ********* '********* **********' *** *******

***** *** *** *****. *** ******* **** ************ ** *** cameras ******** *** **** ******** **** **** **** *** **** best ********* ******. ** ****** **** ** ***** ****** *** with ****** **** *** **** ******* ** *** '********* ** *** *********** ******.'

Login to read this IPVM report.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts unique testing and research funded by member's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.

Other Reports on General

Buying the 'Great Conversation' on Feb 29, 2016
Do not feel bad if you hear the 'Great Conversation' and think of Plato, Plutarch or Shakespeare. Sadly, a company has hijacked the 'Great...
IPVM New Features and Improvements Directory on Feb 28, 2016
IPVM's development team continuously releases new features and site improvements. This document lists those items so you can see what has changed...
IP Networking 2016 Book Released on Feb 24, 2016
The new IP Networking Book 2016 is a 208 page in-depth guide that teaches you how IT and telecom technologies impact modern security systems....
IP Networking Course Winter 2016 (CLOSED) on Feb 04, 2016
Our most popular course has all new training of network security (the top growing concern for video surveillance networks) plus improved coverage...
Network Security for IP Video Surveillance Guide 2016 on Feb 03, 2016
Keeping surveillance networks secure can be a daunting task, but there are several methods that can greatly reduce risk, especially when used in...
First Integrator Face Off Results on Jan 20, 2016
The results are in, and they are interesting indeed. Five integrators pitched us their designs in our First Integrator Face Off, aiming to solve...
Surveillance Camera Imager Tutorial on Jan 12, 2016
Imagers - CCD, CMOS, 1/2", 1/4", big pixels, small pixels, etc. In this tutorial, we explain the fundamental issues and drivers in surveillance...
IP Camera - Direct Attached vs Jack & Patch on Jan 11, 2016
An ongoing debate rages about how the IP camera cables should be terminated. This argument surrounds two common options: 'Direct Attached',...
Walmart Momentum IP Camera Tested on Jan 04, 2016
A 'Dropcam' for ~$30? Walmart does super low cost and they are now bringing it to IP cameras, with a new cloud camera for an almost impossible to...
Top 5 Video Surveillance Product Advances Going Into 2016 on Dec 31, 2015
Here are the 5 product areas that have had the most meaningful product advanced in 2015, that you should be looking at incorporating in...

Most Recent Industry Reports

BCDVideo Company Profile on May 03, 2016
BCDVideo claims better value and servers specifically selected for video surveillance, an improved experience versus working with a server...
Avigilon Is Cash Strapped, Commodity Company, Charges Analyst on May 03, 2016
Avigilon has come under attack by an analyst in SeekingAlpha charging that the company is 'cash strapped', 'becoming a commodity', with...
Software House Access Control Company Profile on May 02, 2016
In our 12th access company profile, we examine Software House's C-Cure access control platform: Comparing Software House to their...
Micropower Fails on May 02, 2016
Wireless video surveillance is a tough business. Micropower sought to deliver a wireless, turn-key, professional video solution. The most famous...
FLIR Latitude VMS Test on May 02, 2016
FLIR spent nearly $100 million on DVTel, primarily for one product - DVTel's enterprise VMS. Though FLIR has killed the DVTel brand, they are...
Camera Course Spring 2016 on May 01, 2016
This is the last week to register for the Spring 2016 camera course. Here is what is new for the 2016 course: HD analog: Expanded coverage on...
Ubiquiti Cloud Video Tested on Apr 29, 2016
  The cloud continues to expand in video surveillance. Ubiquiti's newest release offers a free upgrade adding cloud capabilities. In this test,...
Quantum Storage Company Profile on Apr 28, 2016
Storage vendor Quantum is bringing their multi-tier storage architecture to the security industry, claiming cost-effective long-term data...
Manufacturers Don't Want to 'Bad Mouth' The Competion on Apr 28, 2016
Sure, you do not want to be the like the Avigilon sales guy who said all his competitors 'suck'.  Not convincing and you look bad. However, that...
Access Control IBC International Rules on Apr 28, 2016
Dealing with fragmented local codes is one of the most frustrating parts of electronic access control design. However, the 'International Code...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact