Avigilon Vs Genetec

UPDATE: Genetec: We Do NOT Support Avigilon

A member asked:

"At least 5 major customers looking to do major projects in the last 6 months have stated that Avigilon representative told them that Genetec was a much more expensive solution, with Avigilon having the same if not more functionality for a "one-time" cost?

Avigilon also focuses on Genetec's service maintenance (SMA), telling potentials that there is never an SMA with Avigilon. I've had potentials go as far as to tell me they would get free upgrades as new service releases came out. Have you heard this in other markets?

Finally, Is it a fact or myth that Avigilon's VMS works better with it's own hardware despite notating on their website that they integrate with all camera manufacturers."

As background, we have in depth test reports for both VMSes: Testing Avigilon ControlCenter VMS and Testing Genetec Security Center.

Let's answer those and break down the pros and cons of Avigilon vs Genetec.


In terms of pricing, the initial software license price for the two are similar, with pricing in the $100 to $300 per channel range, depending on level. The only specific advantage in initial licensing is that Avigilon charges only 1 license for each 4 channel encoder whereas Genetec charges 1 license for each encoder channel.

In terms of 'ongoing' or 'long term pricing, Genetec has an 'SMA' that does add significant cost long term. Avigilon charged for the most recent software upgrade but that is less common and most certainly less than Genetec's SMA over time.

However, in terms of Avigilon supporting 3rd party cameras and systems, Avigilon is nowhere close to Genetec. For example, see: Sabotage? Avigilon VMS Problems W/ Third Party Cameras. Genetec is fairly exceptional on third party support, both range of products and depth (e.g., camera on board storage, third party DVRs, etc.)

Beyond that, Genetec just has a lot more advanced features and integrations, including very deep access control / intrusion / intercom / voice integration. Genetec's more like a PSIM and VMS rolled into one while Avigilon is more of a high end VMS.

One other point is usability. I think Avigilon is simpler for untrained / infrequent users but Genetec has its own advantages in depth of power user features provided. You, of course, can review our Avigilon ControlCenter VMS videos and Genetec Security Center VMS videos.

I am sure many members have opinions as Genetec and Avigilon are commonly used products.

Avigilon charges for major releases only, e.g 4.x to 5.x upgrade. Even that is a minimal fee, which the dealer may just absorb. Upgrades such as 4.1 to 4.2 are free. This is a big selling point in addition to the encoder pricing John mentions. Avigilon'a own cameras do indeed work better with their VMS as they control the whole package then. It makes camera setup fairly simple. Third party cameras being integrated in may be a bit more difficult as they appear to rely solely on ONVIF. With Avigilon cameras nearly all settings are adjustable from with the VMS which makes setup quick and easy. Firmware updates get applied to cameras automatically with minimum user involvement. Since their product is essentially a closed system it is likely that the depth of third party integration will be poor when compared with some other VMS. I am not as familiar with Genetec to compare features or advantages.

Avigilon'a own cameras do indeed work better with their VMS as they control the whole package then. It makes camera setup fairly simple. Third party cameras being integrated in may be a bit more difficult as they appear to rely solely on ONVIF.

Does anyone know how common that method is among VMS'? I know that many, like Genetec, provide direct support for native streams but it appears others don't. IndigoVision is similar in that respect but they also offer a software called Camera Gateway that can convert a single native stream to multiple IV-compatible Unicast and/or Multicast streams. It needs its own server(s) (with a 150Mbps input limit per server).

"Does anyone know how common that method is among VMS'?"

Most VMSes have been integrating third party cameras for a long time, so they have lots of direct integrations. IV is an exception.

As a point of fact, Avigilon does have hundreds of cameras directly integrated (see their support list). However, my understanding, in line with Austin, is that Avigilon is using ONVIF as the basis for current and future integrations.

So Avigilon is the only other one?

I recall seeing a new UK VMS that only supports ONVIF. I am sure there are other systems out there.

I think ACTi now supports third party cameras in their VMS as a paid add on, but only through ONVIF.

As previously closed systems add third party support, I think supporting only ONVIF will be commonplace.

Where is the comparison that IPVM said they were working on and would be out in "a few weeks", two months ago surrounding this?

Thank you Avigilon RSM!

It's now more timely than ever.

Mainly, we are trying to spread out our Avigilon coverage and not post every day on Avigilon. Between the declining financial results, falling stock prices and ongoing executive 'resignations', it's hard to fit in.

Ethan is doing the post but I asked him to wait given all the other Avigilon news. As long as there are no other Avigilon executives 'resigning', I'd think the right time to release is early September.

Would be nice for more coverage on the technoligy and less of TMZ_IPVM.

As I told you before, if you do not want us to cover Avigilon, vote by (1) not reading, (2) not commenting or (3) cancelling your membership. Unfortunately, member interest remains very high in hearing the latest at Avigilon.

I don't ever recall saying I don't want Avigilon coverage. It's just that I get more for my money with the technology reviews then the TMZ style reporting. You love the TMZ stuff as it creates controversy and feeds right into your social experiments while getting people to click to see what you are going to "say next" Getting people to click on your site is your main goal.

I am hoping for an unbiased review between the two but I am not going to hold my breath since you still don't have Avigilon's pricing correct and you have been incorrect other technical issues with Avigilon.

That being said it would be nice to see tests on other VMS solutions and cameras besides your favorite 5.

Mike, we have lots of members, who use IPVM for different reasons. Some really want our business coverage on Avigilon, including exposing executive departures that otherwise would never be acknowledged without IPVM. Others just join and use our Calculator only. Etc., etc.

We do not make IPVM for you personally. Either recognize that or simply cancel your membership.

"That being said it would be nice to see tests on other VMS solutions and cameras besides your favorite 5."

Excluding the 6 big names of Axis, Avigilon, Hikvision, Dahua, Genetec, Milestone, here are 11 tests we have done this July and August (in reverse chronological order):

Indeed, we have done 14 tests in the last 50 days, and only 3 of those are from your 'favorite 5'.

You are wrong.

You are the king of "spin"

If members are subscribing to read TMZ style controversy and IPVM loves posting this because it generates clicks, why are you fanning the flame? John has said in the past that Avigilon coverage generates the most interest.

This is may seem obvious but here are some solutions to help eliminate negative Avigilon coverage:

1. Stop Avigilon from making controversial moves

2. Stop trolling IPVM with combative comments when the word Avigilon shows up in your feed

3. Stop derailing unrelated threads to focus the attention on Avigilon. You cannot say "look at me" when it is positive coverage then be upset when the negative coverage arises.

4. Don't click on any posts that are about Avigilon

#1 is impossible to control but you have direct influence over the rest.

I would be more then happy to respond if I know who I am talking to.