Member Discussion

Are You A True Fan Of Arecont Cameras?

This may come off as a dig on Arecont. Lord knows there have been plenty here. Arecont has rated very low on surveys and most comments about them are not favorable. However, they are still around, and still priced in what I think are the mid tier and up. If everyone disliked them, it's hard to see how they would still be in business. So someone must really like them, and I don't mean selling them just because they are on an official spec sheet for a large business or agency. 

I seriously am curious, is there anyone who uses Arecont cameras and really likes them, or has customers who really like Arecont cameras, and why? And I don't mean "yes, we use their panoramics but only because we have too and we're hoping someone comes along with something similar in the same price or less."


#1, there are definitely some fans and, in particular, some positive comments even in the most recent Arecont favorability results.

Some positive themes we hear:

  • Reliability has gotten better since the horror times and is generally not a concern (though some debate this)
  • Their project registration discounts can be significant (much deeper than competitors), which can be helpful in beating Axis and other bigger names
  • Their variety of multi-imagers, including the omnis, which are still rare, help them better design larger / outdoor jobs.

In our area it seems to be popular with electrical contractors, larger companies slowly switching from analog, companies that dabble in security, and companies which rely upon the distributor for design.  Anixter can lead with Axis but their sibling Accutech has been pushing Arecont in our area for a while to gain some traction.  I have also noticed some AV firms seem to like them still with one partner AV firm recommending them to me.  I had to LOL.  I would say circa 2012-2014 it peaked and has been declining.  Integrators who don't know better now have Hikvision to fulfill their cheap / no frills requirements.

We have a large healthcare customer (hospitals, clinics, etc.) that love Areconts, mostly the panoramics. I've always thought that Areconts at least had a really good image, but integrators seem to dislike them so much because they have to work with them. The customer likes them because they don't have to deal with all the troubles, they just call someone else to handle them. 

Just my two cents.

 

Thanks, #3. That is the impression I get also, customers like them as long as they are under service warranty so they don't have to deal with problems. I was just curious if integrators actually really liked them, if they somehow better that average luck.

I find real curious the comment from the survey John posted, "Reliability has gotten better since the horror times and is generally not a concern (though some debate this)". I wonder what percentage of their cameras are Arecont and if they use a diverse line of models or just the multisensors.

Honestly, we only used them because a consultant had requested them, for a bid, and usually then its just the multi imager models. They are a mixed bag when it comes to liking them... when the planets align and the light is perfect, and the angle and mounting height is optimum they are fine until they fall offline, or randomly die, or turn black and white or upside down, or mysterious firmware glitch, or whatever else causes them to go down... but as for liking them, they are a PITA to install, they are a PITA to specify with all the little bracket crap that goes with them, and if you are OCD just a little, you will never achieve the "perfect view" down a hallway because they just don't tilt that way... with that said, i would imagine most companies are like us, use the multi imagers when they have to or when it makes sense, and stick to their normal lines for everything else. 

I hate them, but they are very popular in the k-12 world because a lot has to do with licensing and the way VMS's handle them. For example, an Arecont Multi Imager for $1200.00 in a hallway intersection gives you 4 camera views for $1200.00, one switch port, and one camera license. So when the school districts tend to like them, we as installers and tech guys still hate them. 

A Hanwha Techwin or Hikvision camera with four independently adjustable lenses (like the Arecont SurroundVideo Omni series) would sink Arecont.    

I agree that the Hanwha multisensor is far superior to the Arecont. 

One Arecont rep made a good point. He said that product registration helps ensure no other better undercuts you for the project since Arecont does not have a traditional tiered dealer discount model.

One integrator made a good point in response to this. Because Arecont has no dealer discount model and effectively requires registration for discounts, this means you have to trust Arecont not to share the customer details with any other integrator. This is a general risk with project registration but more common given Arecont's discounting structure. 

They are JUNK. Fail left and right.

Had a support ticket with them that took over 6 months for them to troubleshoot. They still never found the problem and I dropped the case and bought an Axis Camera instead.

I once had a support ticket opened on a site that had two brand new panoramics. One one acting up, but was the same model and firmware as the other. Arecont support had us update the firmware (not sure if this has gotten better, but was one of the most ridiculous processes at the time). The trouble camera wouldn't accept the firmware and tech support literally gave up and said they didn't know why it wouldn't update the firmware. They then closed the ticket.

That basically ended my relationship with them.

Unusable as far as I'm concerned.  No second stream/codec output.  Which, btw, is absurd at this point in time.

To clarify, for my typical application (high-end resi) we need a secondary stream at a customizable resolution in order to integrate with automation displays.  Arecont will stream either full or half resolution but will not provide a customizable secondary stream with a selectable codec (MJPEG/H.264) or scaled resolution.  It is possible to request a lower resolution image using x-x1/y-y1 coordinates, but rather than scale the stream, the camera puts out a section of the image with the window size you request.

Many automation display devices are underpowered and are not able to scale a high-rez H.264 stream internally.

We have looked at this as well. There is a low resolution stream but it is less than horrible quality. I do a little automation and found exactly what you are describing. I don't hold the cam manf responsible for this. Crestron, AMX, Control4 and Savant need to get with the times on their TS's

I agree completely that automation companies have historically put out pathetic touchscreens.  But still, a secondary stream (or dual streaming) is a very common feature in IP cameras and is included by a great many camera manufacturers, and it is useful for frequent real-world situations.  So I still blame Arecont.

Well, I guess that answers that question.

I disagree. The company that I work for installs Arecont almost exclusively. It integrates well with Exacq and Milestone. I don't keep track of percentages but I would guess-tamate  a 2% - 3% fail rate overall. The Microdome series tends to have a higher fail rate and those would appear more to be QC issues from the factory. We rarely see problems with the box cameras and the panoramas. One of the above poster mentioned no extra streams. We are seeing multiple stream capability on all Areconts. I may have mis-understood this persons comment though. Another reason I like them is the fact that they don't run a Linux OS. Now, Let me qualify that by saying I am no programming expert. Our Arecont rep told me that and they supplied us with documentation stating that. So, it would seem to make it a little tougher to hijack these cameras. Overall, I give them a B- to a B. 

Reliability has gotten a lot better. We don't notice too big of a difference in failure rates compared to other major brands. You can do a lot of unique things with their multi-sensor Omni G2s using far fewer licenses and cabling. Made in USA is a big plus on government projects. 

We were initially very frustrated with Arecont's NVR software, but later we bought ExacqVision to drive the cameras.  The devices themselves have worked fine, we've had no hardware issues in 8 years other than the plastic panoramic camera globes yellowing over time. 

The most important thing to my company is that they are American made.  Not only are we supporting domestic industry, by buying an American made device we are not seriously concerned about potential industrial espionage via some hidden back door.  Companies doing sensitive work (or government entities) need to consider this. 

I've been trying to decide both whether and how to respond to this question.

First, I feel like we have to define what "fan" means. For me, as an integrator, I'm a "fan" of what works for my customers. That means both whether it is fit for purpose, and whether it meets their budget. While I would love to sell either Genetec+Axis or end-to-end Avigilon because I think they are the best overall solutions for 99% of customers out there, they are also (by far) the most expensive. 

Second, while I would consider the multisensor cameras the "anchor" of Arecont for me -- that is, what keeps me using them frequently -- I have used their standard cameras with good success overall as well. For us, they are a good option that is a mixture of budget-friendly, solid image quality, and the features needed for most situations. Not all, mind you, but most. We have had very low failure rates across the board (only one that I know of off the top of my head), and the one unit that did fail early on was replaced ASAP by Arecont with little hassle.

So, yes -- I guess you could say I am a "fan" of Arecont, insomuch as they fill a need for us. If something better -- which is to say, less expensive, more functional, more reliable, or any number of other areas that mean "better for my customer", then I will probably switch. As of now, I haven't found anything that compares to Arecont when it comes to being both budget-friendly and having a wide variety of options.

Yes , Great company, Good Products, Long standing reputation, Backs their products , great technical support 

We have  had no problems with them as a company or products. 

All company's have their share of product failures, product software problems. People Problems , So Expect some failures.

That s a normal part of life. 

and if you or anyone out there has been in this business very long you see this. 

Time Proven . Reputation Driven. Stability 

Not like some others which get constant money infusion s to keep the surface from showing what s really going on. 

Any company can prop up with false fronts and mirrors , cloaks to keep the damages from showing to the public. 

It takes Integrity to keep up and not let the failures take you down.

Staying in the Game for the Long Run

 

Steal my bandwidth in low light, make my processor give up the fight. Techs take twice the time to dial it in, I am not a fan where do I begin.

Probably the worst tech support I've ever dealt with.  Had a case in for months didn't hear back.  Followed up multiple times with no response.  Finally noticed new firmware for the camera in question.  Installed it and the issue was fixed.  It would have been nice to know they fixed the issue.  

There cameras are extremely bare bones.  They have no support for HTTPS, IP filtering or SNMP.  They only include two user profiles that are not turned on by default.  

The list goes on.

 

 

 

....but they have magnetic dome covers!.  (cough).

Thanks for the information, though I was intending the thread more for people who actually liked Arecont, given there seems to be plenty negative to say, but I was more interested and curious in what the small statistical number of people found positive enough to make Arecont among their top choice in cameras. For example, did they experience the same amount of problems as other people who disliked Arecont, but just found they got better service? Did they get a lot of help from Arecont in acquiring new business, enough that it made up for camera issues? Or did they seem to get luckier than other people on the quality issues?

One integrator I used liked Arecont because they "got great pricing from them" and "our other customers like them" when I pushed for an answer.

As an end user I want to be sold the best thing for me, not the best thing to grow your company.   

One integrator I used liked Arecont because they "got great pricing from them" 

Related and a reason for integrators to consider Arecont: Arecont Claims Best Project Registration Program