$300,000 / 30 Camera Avigilon System For ~7,000 Person Village

A news report is questioning spending $300,000 on a 30 camera Avigilon system for a village with just under 7,000 people.

Here is the video:

No other details were provided but, in general, municipal / outdoor systems tend to be fairly expensive.

What do you think?


In the era of hashtags....

#overpaid, #paidGovCorruption, #TakeMyMoney

To play devil's advocate, those could be Avigilon PRO cameras, which are $5,000+ by themselves. Now, if that is the case, the question is still does it make sense to go with that vs far less expensive 4K / 12MP cameras for a village.

$5000 * 30 = $150,000 worth of cameras, plus another $20K for looks like wireless infrastructure and another $130K for storage and labor?

no thank you, you can get far better coverage with lower cost, lower resolution cameras, than you could ever get a single $5K camera for example:

Panasonic 4K line wv-sfv781=~$1700, wv-spv781=~$1900, wv-sfv481=~$1300. you can get 2-3 cameras for each one Avigilon camera you have. free Video Insight software for each camera purchased.

Samwha technet 1080p cameras $250 each or their 4K camera SNB-9000=~$1000( with lens and outdoor enclosure) 5-20 of those for every one Avigilon. buy a VMS that is descent

Axis 4K P1428E=~$900, Q3709-PVE=~$2100 2-5 for each one Avigilon camera, milestone VMS

there are far more I could go into but I have better things to do than waste my time on why other options are far better than what was used here.

but to answer your question not it does not at that price point and where its at

Sure, you can save a buck or two, but can you guarantee the aestethics and footprint will even come close to:

;)

The $7,000-$10,000 per Avigilon Pro camera is pretty standard rate in my area. I'm seeing school districts dropping $100k for 10 cameras on a new sports field, and that doesn't include storage servers. It's such a waste. Last I checked no camera can see through snow, which our area is covered in 6 months per year.

It's really easy to play arm chair engineer when you don't have all the info. Looking at the video $10K per camera for a town wide project it's out of line IMO. We don't know the infrastructure and we don't know if they had power at all the camera locations. Both of which could be a large part of the $300K. The city close to us is paying $20K per camera for a reference.

Also comparing Avigilon's 4K PRO camera ($2K MSRP) to other manufactures 4k camera I have yet to see any that come even close the low light performance that you get with the 4K PRO. This includes offerings from Axis, Panasonic, FLIR (dvtel), Hikvision, Dahua, Sony and Bosch.

The town has lots of lightning.

Do not know why there are so many Disagree's. Your point still stands strong IMO as without the actual infrastructure they are running no one has a definitive for the reason of cost. So many factors come into play while quoting a job and many of which are not in this video.

The $7,000-$10,000 per Avigilon Pro camera is pretty standard rate in my area. I'm seeing school districts dropping $100k for 10 cameras on a new sports field, and that doesn't include storage servers. It's such a waste. Last I checked no camera can see through snow, which our area is covered in 6 months per year.

We just completed 3 sports fields for a customer using all PRO Avigilon cameras and Proxim wireless for under $100K total. Complete coverage of both bleachers on either side of the field, field/track and surrounding snack bars at each location.

I agree with Michael in needing to know so much more about the installation before hammering on any design or spending.

infrastructure is certainly a variable.

What's to 'hammer on' in any event? Maybe the integrator made decent vig for a change. Good for him.

Next time he'll might get squeezed and barely break even.

I don't know if I can outright condemn this project. If you required IG, surge protected, independent circuits for each camera, fiber backhaul from scratch, one year retention, etc, it could get to that range. However, you could question the camera count or over all budget for such a small area. It depends on their police labor costs. If this system will alleviate one cop, it may pay itself off over the life of the system. Then again, depending on the maintenance costs, it may not even cover it.

The Avigilon 16 & 8 Pro series cameras with Lightcatcher, using a Canon EOS lens smokes the rest of the field. Then add 8 included Avigilon written analytics at no additional cost, no cost clients, web clients, mobile, video wall and no per server charge for software.

Let's add the best tech support in the industry I have ever used - at no charge (I've been in security for 27 years - it is all I have ever done. I went to one of the best engineering colleges in the country, started in physical security as an engineering assistant in 88, then field engineer, project manager, systems engineer ect, ect.). Throw in no annual cost per camera license. Now let's add that the server, software and camera are shipped and supported by Avigilon (not your favorite Mr. Potato head mix of camera software by Gene-whatever, cameras by brand x made in and owned by China, server shipped by someone else and software annual fees that will bleed a owner dry till kingdom come. You seem to also like charges for every single feature and piece of software with annual, never ending software maintenance for each and every item with calling multiple manufacturers for support.) and then let's add that the Avigilon client software is by far the most user friendly, feature rich, easy to install GUI you can imagine - it just is. I've used them all. The server architecture is superior, super resilient with replicating databases across all servers at no extra cost. No single point of failure with a directory server because they don't use that old VMS technology. The mobile gateway can be installed on every server for no single point of mobile services failure too. I don't understand why you like that old, outdated VMS architecture John? The Avigilon software is straightforward to install and then it just simply works and works. Avigilon has the least amount of pre and post install challenges I have ever seen in my 27 professional years in the industry. And just to be clear I do not work for Avigilon.

The labor cost to install in Westchester County / NYC are not inexpensive as the electricians demand professional grade wages - and they should for quality, hardworking Americans in NY. Do you have any idea what services were included for what was paid - in Westchester County? I watched the video of the store owner. Your obsessive Avigilon, negative webspin was not consistent with his comments. You should watch that again. Your whole posting has nothing to do with $300,000 camera systems and everything to do with click-bait for your website. Do you know how many servers were installed or what the retention time was? Do you know what the architecture of connection was? Nice job hammering some integrator and manufacturer (and the owner for that matter) without knowing the facts. Are you going to make a habit of going after all of your integrators and publish how they treat customers unfairly without knowing what the projects consist of?

Finally, Avigilon brought jobs back to America by building the camera from the ground up in Texas. Everyone else is moving our jobs overseas to manufacturing companies that destroy our environment and treat employees so poorly they have to build nets on the roofs as the employees are tossing themselves off the buildings the working conditions are so poor. Avigilon is bringing jobs back home to America John. Your post is negligent in so many ways.

You seem to like multi-manufacturers systems that use outdated architecture, devalue the American dollar, are partially owned by foreign governments and bleed owners dry with lifetime annual software maintenance. Avigilon has just built a better mousetrap, they just have. I would offer its time for you to move on and stop the unfounded Avigilon bashing (along with the bashing of integrators and customers). You are loosing credibility John.

Spectacular shot 5!

I noticed you guys had been playing a man short for a few months now; glad to see everyone is back on the ice again.

Avigilon is bringing jobs back home to America John. Your post is negligent in so many ways.

I would offer its time for you to move on and stop the unfounded Avigilon bashing

Please cite specific things I said in this post that you consider to be 'Avigilon bashing'.

where do I start with this nonsense oh boy.

"The labor cost to install in Westchester County / NYC are not inexpensive as the electricians demand professional grade wages - and they should for quality, hardworking Americans in NY"

Yes they are very expensive as unions destroy everything they touch not to mention there is a surcharge on everything from breathing to probably terminating each cat5 or fiber end to some local entity more than once most likely. But unfortunately you destroy your "argument" later with things like:

"Finally, Avigilon brought jobs back to America by building the camera from the ground up in Texas"

"Everyone else is moving our jobs overseas to manufacturing companies that destroy our environment and treat employees so poorly they have to build nets on the roofs as the employees are tossing themselves off the buildings the working conditions are so poor"

"devalue the American dollar"

why are they building in Texas, gee maybe its has to do with the same reason a 2 liter soda ( if you could buy one) cost 3-4 times as much in NY as it does in TX. localized inflation and devaluation of the dollar though heavy taxes, fees, Union tariffs ( that's what they are I call a spade a spade) due to poor management, corruption and every one wanting a cut of something they shouldn't have in the first place. making $20/hour in NY and $20/hr in the southeast are 2 very different things.

the pro America bull crap only works when you have an America that wants to be first, and right now that is not the case for the majority of America. But that is a discussion for somewhere else other than IPVM

Only reason I dont like Avigilon is because they are too proprietary and the cameras they are tout as the best are not practical in shape fashion or form for most of the security industry when you factor in cost.

I like how you decide to hide your name for a response like this, especially when attempting to attack another individual. Keyboard Warrior at its finest, sad really. Do a little research on economics and it is extremely easy to disprove many of your statements. Such as the move to Texas, that was an economic move meant for financial gain only, not a way to supply Americans with more jobs.

As far as click bait. I found this article on IPVM.com through the Forums. Do not really understand how this is considered click bait as he owns the site he is publishing the information on. Even at the very end of the post he asks "what do you think". Trying to get his end users involved in a discussion. From what I see that is a perfect way to get your students to pool their thoughts together as to why it could be such a high cost.

Also talking about "loosing credibility". Hiding your name is an immediate loss of credibility to a person like me who sees a rant like that and is not man enough to put his own name behind his words.

"Hiding your name is an immediate loss of credibility to a person like me who sees a rant like that and is not man enough to put his own name behind his words."

I'm not the Undisclosed you are referring to - but I post Undisclosed all the time.

And I will continue to use Undisclosed when/if I want to - irregardless of my loss of manhood status with obtuse individuals who can not see anything beyond their own (limited) perspective.

I voted informative just trying to put everything in balance.

From what I have been able to find, it appears the city is installing Avigilon 30MP cameras, with a 4TB Avigilon NVR, and a back-end archive of ~80TB.

Given the MSRP prices of the equipment ($10,000 for the 30MP camera without a lens or housing, $2700 for the 4TB NVR), it would seem that a $10,000 per camera total sticker price represents a sizable discount from MSRP, without even factoring in labor or other equipment.

The 30MP cameras appear to be selected for the "reduce total number of cameras and installation budget" angle, an approach we covered in the Selling 4K report, which also applies in the Selling Super High Resolution Cameras example here.

Secondarily, there is also the aesthetic benefit of of reducing the amount of equipment on the poles.

$300,000 still seems like a large budget for a small village, and they may have been able to achieve similar results with lower cost equipment, but it seems like they got a good deal for the equipment they are installing.

One could easily counter that with these facts:

1 - You have a single vantage point with one camera vs multiple vantage points with more cameras.

2 - They have chosen high resolution, low frame rate vs a balance of the two. Fast moving objects are going to have very few frames in scene, even given the high res frame.

3 - Assuming a standardized AOV, you won't cover any more area with a single 30MP camera than you could a single 4MP camera. Sure, you may gain some usuable details in good lighting at distances, but all low light and nearby scene objects will be very similar.

4 - Pole mounted NVRs allow you an edge like solution, but they add bulk at the pole that may not be wanted. You could likely get a similar benefit from SD based edge recording, without the bulk.

5 - They are going to have higher than needed band wit across their backhaul due to the extra high resolution. They could have many lower MP cameras and have much more reduced bandwidth, especially if the lower MP cams have smart codecs.

6 - $300,000 is only $43/resident, so that seems like a low cost when spread, but it didn't seem like the community felt it was a bargain. They seemed to think crime wasn't an issue locally and the money could have been better spent. I hope they vote their conscience! ;)

didn't seem like the community felt it was a bargain.

In fairness, that is hard to tell when you interview a few people on the street. Low sample size, etc.

They seemed to think crime wasn't an issue locally

Related stats:

John with that statistic being said, just a thought that came to mind, is that comparing to crime rates in much larger cities? Or are they taking into account Population vs amount of crime.

Example being New York City there are X amount of citizens and there is X amount of crime with that base number citizen rate.

Then you have Bronxville which has less than 7000 people actually living there. So to compare crime rates based off of how often crime happens seems unfair vs population vs crime rate where you might have a much larger statistic. Rate wise that is.

Or are they taking into account Population vs amount of crime.

Yes, they offer the numbers in two groupings - total and per 1,000 people. The later (per 1,000 people) normalizes for varying population levels.

See:

The US national median for violent crime is 3.8 / 1,000 residents, by comparison Bronxville is 1/10th the national average at just .31 / 1,000 residents.

On the other hand, Bronxville is really rich:

The median household income was $144,940, and the median family income was $200,000, making it one of the wealthiest and most affluent places with more than 1000 households, or population of 1000, in the United States.

So perhaps it is the case of just wanting and being able to afford a premium offering.

$300,000 is only $43/resident...

Alternatively, each resident could have got their own Hikua 2MP vandal proof turret.

Just kidding, as I'm aware Hikua doesn't make a 7,000 channel DVR.

"The 30MP cameras appear to be selected for the "reduce total number of cameras and installation budget" angle"

So they fell for that one hook line and sinker. Arecont is probably burning with jealousy.

This is a municipal project, not 30 cameras in a warehouse. That cost probably included trenching fiber in places, permitting to hang cameras on poles that may or may not be owned by someone other than the end user, and a five year support contract at 12-17% of the total system cost. Seems about right.

Having designed a couple citywide projects, there are a number of factors to consider on these projects. Some have been addressed already, some have not.

- The cameras are mounted on poles, some of these could be owned by a utility. In some projects I have worked on, there are strict guidelines that the utilities have, such as the physical placement on the poles, power, etc. Additionally, there is usually a steep charge to add hardware or cables to the utility poles and it is a requirement to pay the utility for the installation of anything on their poles. In some cases the cost was a one time charge by the utility for the space, other times it is a lease. On one project, the lease was paid up front for 5 years, this could be included in the cost.

- Power. Tapping into the power at some of the locations could be quite expensive. If they are located on a utility owned pole, this would be a direct charge from the utility company. These costs could be in the 100s-1000s per power drop, depending on location and what is already available on the pole. Just because the pole has power, does NOT mean you can simply install and outlet. Step down transformers, enclosures, etc. are needed. In cases where the pole is owned by the city, does the pole currently have constant power to them, or does a seperate circuit need to be run? A lot of times, light poles are one a timer at a central location. Meaning that the power is turned off during the day. Installing additional power lines or new hardware to control lights, may be something that needs to be considered.

- Backhaul. This can be accomplished through multiple options, such as a wireless PtP, PtM or MtM network, depending on the topology and environment, this could be difficult. Buildings, trees, hills and other wireless signals all could affect the design and implementation. Another option would be to use a local ISP. This can be difficult to map out, considering again, utility owned poles vs. city owned poles. Additionally if the local ISP is a sub for a national ISP, than cost could go up. National ISPs do NOT play well with others. Another option is fiber, as mentioned. This would require fiber being installed, trenching and more space on utility owned poles to be lease. Another option could be a cellular backhaul. I have seen some companies, like AT&T and Verizon, offer unlimited bandwidth to municipalities for projects like this. However, you would still need a cellular modem at each location. When using this option, advance networking experience is a must to account for things such as packet shaping, in order of the the data to go through the switching from the cellular provider. Again, additional cost. One could mix and match each backhaul option, but these could easily cost more than the cameras and servers.

- Each camera location looks to have an enclosure. Not knowing how the system was designed, this could be NEMA rated enclosure with heater and blower, I hope so, those can cost over $1000 per location, depending on size and type of hardware within them. A switch would be required at each location, regardless of if there is local or central storage of video. A proper, industrial rated switch could run from $300 for a small 4 port, to over $2000, depending on manufacture and the level of management desired.

- Surge protection. One would assume, yes it makes and a#$% out of you and me, that some level of surge protection was installed as well. At a minimum lighting protection and some kind of power regulation and protection as well. Best would be some kind of UPS rated for the equipment inside the enclosure.

- Labor. Each of these locations would require a mix of trades. The utility company would provide their own guys for hardware on their poles, the city might as well. As mentioned, this would be union labor (I am NOT voicing any opinion on the unions here, however this does cost more than non-union labor). For non utility owned locations, a local electrician would have to be used. Lift trucks would need to be used, this can increase cost of installation. Labor from the ISP may need to be factored in for connecting and routing through their network.

- Consultant. We would also have to consider if a consultant was used. The $300K may not just be for the cameras and hardware, but could also include an engineering fee. Any project like this does require someone with experience to fully design.

In conclusion. The cost for a project like this is MUCH greater than simply the cost of the cameras. In every project I have worked on, the cameras end up becoming the lowest cost portion of the project. Simply assuming that the project is expensive because of the cameras is a very limited view. One must consider all of the other factors attributing to the project. Whether its Avigilon, Hikvision or an ADI special, I would venture to say, the major cost factors here are not cameras.

Nice breakdown!

So let's say this was done by the book, with quality parts and quality labor by a conscientious integrator.

What would you expect such an integrator would make on a $300,000 job after all is said and done? $50,000? more?

Net profit after paying out labor and accounting for vehicle costs etc? $50k is way high IMO.

If you meant gross profit, before internal costs, I think your number is way low. I would think it should be closer to 50% gross (50% hardware, 50% labor and misc).

So if the net is $25,000 or less and the gross is $150,000, does that mean your internal costs are $125,000 for that project?

"Net profit after paying out labor and accounting for vehicle costs etc? $50k is way high IMO"

I hope He makes at least Net $30-40K

I know, I would

no thank you, you can get far better coverage with lower cost, lower resolution cameras, than you could ever get a single $5K camera for example:

You mean like this? It's an extreme example but when you start mounting 2 or more cameras to a ornate light pole things start to look a little silly IMO.

It's an extreme example but when you start mounting 2 or more cameras to a ornate light pole things start to look a little silly IMO.

It's really easy to say things look silly when you don't have all the info. Just because you see a few dozen cameras inhomogenously placed within 20 feet of each other doesn't mean you can dismiss it out of hand as ridiculous.

We don't know the infrastructure and we even don't know if they had power and water at all the camera locations.

Water? Paddle wheel powered cameras?

Silly or incredibly awesome? ;-)

No matter which way you look at it, some poor fool(s) got taken on this job.

9, why did you say that they got 'taken on this job'?

1.) I have no idea whether it's expensive or not. Not nearly enough information to have any idea what the design was, how it was executed, or anything else.

2.) I do know, having worked with multiple cities/municipalities in the past, that their own requirements/guidelines/standards tend to drive the cost of projects up fairly considerably. To take it even further, the network security protocols that you have to deal with are substantial as well, which is going to drive up the cost of the infrastructure.

3.) What I also know, is that if I had just paid $300K for 30 cameras, and the installs looked like that with excessive conduit, wires hanging all over the place, etc....I would not be pleased. I also would not be pleased with the selection of enclosures hanging on the light poles in down town. How much would it have taken to get darker enclosures, or even to paint the enclosures so that they don't stick out like a sore thumb? Very poor quality install in my opinion regardless of whether it was $30K or $3M. But, I've also been accused of having unrealistic standards, so maybe that's the problem here.

Hi

At first sight $300K for 30 cameras seems steep. Not knowing much more about what the project entails however, should have precluded people from making damning statements. Municipal projects look simple until you tackle them , then, problems start:

Permits

Licenses

Hours of work.

Power (a serious issues)

Backhaul ( another)

Analytics

VMS set-up

Networking

Components replacement

Cost overruns due to various issues

etc.. The list is longer

By the time the project is finished, it may even cost more and justifiably so.

Frantz

Experience tells me that $10k per outdoor installation in a total system project using top shelf product is pretty normal. You might pay less to use Chinese Government issued product, but who wants to sell that? I say it was a good investment.

$61K /14 Camera system for ~10,000 person village

Less than half the per-camera cost of the Avigilon install in the OP...

...and absolutely zero details on what they actually received, what infrastructure they had to install, or anything substantive that would allow us to make an informed comparison.

Less than half the per-camera cost of the Avigilon install in the OP...

Not to mention 3,000 more villagers!

"The price tag does not include the fees attached to the video service itself, but the downtown Business Improvement District says it is money well spent."

Sounds like a lot more then $61k to me.

Michael, yes - I was hoping someone noticed that 'video service' line.... wtf does that mean? :)

UD11 - thanks for the tip. yes, we don't know enough about either install to make any comparison - other than per camera cost (for the install anyway) and that they are both smaller villages in the state of NY.