I Find It Confusing That IPVM Is Moving In So Many Directions At The Same Time

I find it confusing that IPVM is moving in so many directions at the same time. What is the real focus or purpose in IPVM? Industry blog? Whine sheet? Do you still have that clear mindset that was established when this was first developed? Or is IPVM doing what it has to do to raise loot because of a 'dip' in subscribers? I understand that running Hikvision articles boosts 'hits' because of their premium Industry position as we expect to see those daily weekly.

Cover Industry news not fake news!

NOTICE: This comment was moved from an existing discussion: IPVMU Installation Class - What To Cover?


I made this its own post to address the issue / question.

Let's acknowledge that the source of your 'concern' is based in your opposition to our coverage of your business partner, Hikvision. That said, happy to address each point on its merits, or lack thereof.

First, the installation course. It is something we have thought about over the years. It came up recently in (1) a conversation with a consultant who felt strongly that it would help integrators, (2) reflected in the trend of bad installation photos on social media and (3) desire to help with shortage of entry level people / help train junior people. I am not sure how much 'loot' an installation course will bring in but I do think it would be good for the industry as it would add an option for formal training in addition to the normal on-the-job learning from more experienced co-workers.

I do not think it would spread us too thin. We already have a fair amount of install and installation tool reports written, the IP camera, networking and access control courses have all been substantially updated this year and we have a number of people who have strong installation expertise. If you are worried that we cannot do an installation course and cover Hikvision, rest assured, we can do both and more.

In terms of our 'subscribers' - subscribers, revenue, profits continue to go up significantly faster than industry average growth. That said, as I have explained to yourself and Hikvision previously, money maximization is not IPVM's goal. The fact that we don't do advertising, sponsorship, write 'white papers', take paid manufacturer vacations, etc. is fairly straightforward proof of that.

If you want to spot companies struggling financially, look for companies that put all their products on sale over, over and over again. That's a good sign.

In terms of your question about IPVM's focus or purpose, it is about making an impact using our research, testing and development skills. That could be breaking news about unethical manufacturer behavior, cybersecurity problems that no one else reports on, test reports that dig in-depth into various products, software tools to help design systems, etc.

Finally, in terms of your 'fake news!' comment, we take our reporting seriously. If you have actual evidence to disprove our reporting, always happy to review that evidence. You did not give any. The floor is yours.

The one thing i don't like you guys do is when someone writes in Undisclosed you seems to like to "expose" the identity of the writer when he criticizes IPVM.

I know you want to make a point and show what is behind the writer's argument but i think it misses the point of writing in Undisclosed form.

I personally thing the undisclosed tag is terribly abused. People seem to use it to throw shade, i feel like that's something we should probably be up front with. I've done it before and won't do it again because it doesn't accomplish anything. Why would this poster need to hide?

I agree it's being abused but on the other hand it allows people to be more open and honest on issues that they might not want to come back to them.

People seem to use it to throw shade...

And to shade shade...

I agree, I think if you post a snarky criticizing post, you must have your name exposed.

I agree, I think if you post a snarky criticizing post, you must have your name exposed.

Instantly, after being processed thru the snarkometer?

John and IPVM staff always know who the poster is, and as far as I've seen John will tend to call out blatant attempts at "throwing shade".

I've used the feature before to protect myself, my employer, and customer relationships. I've used it when looking for advice on hardware and systems, or ideas for a specific solution, because sometimes you don't want a competitor knowing what you're up to - it's a small industry, and others could figure out what client you're working for and try to swoop in for that business.

There are plenty of perfectly legitimate uses of the "undisclosed" feature.

I absolutely agree that there are legitimate uses, and I still use it when doing things like asking a questions about a job I'm bidding where potential competition may be on the site as well. What mainly irks me is when there is a discussion about "what is your favorite hammer?" and half the replies are undisclosed. Pretty sure there's nothing controversial about hammer types, but I could be wrong.

Dori, we sometimes expose undisclosed poster's relationship when it is germane to their criticism.

So if someone of the effect "IPVM is bad because it hates Axis|Hanwha|Hikvision" etc., we will sometimes reply noting the poster's relationship with the company (e.g., U5 is a Hanwha employee, etc.)

We do not disclose their identity, i.e., we would not say their name.

The rationale is that it is germane to know the relationship / conflict of interest for posters.

The one thing i don't like you guys do is when someone writes in Undisclosed you seems to like to "expose" the identity of the writer when he criticizes IPVM.

If 'you guys' means IPVM staff (who actually know the identity of Undiscloseds), I can say I have not seen them do this. Sometimes, they will reveal the corporation they work for, if they feel it relevant.

As a manufacturer I would be quite pleased if IPVM never posted about HIKVISION again, removed them from the calculator and deleted any comments containing them or a product reference.

I have read IPVM from nearly its inception and I would agree it has expanded in its breadth of content. I would have to read multiple journals, newspapers, magazines and websites to get what I see in a glance daily.

If there is something I don’t care to read I move on and use the information I do enjoy.

I refer this site to any and all, knowing my company isn’t always held in a positive light and other products are tested and praised. I expose my prospects and customers to my competition! I haven’t had someone who tried it say it didn’t have value.

Integrators and dealers are expanding in what they do and you can’t always reach out to a friendly competitor for the lessons that are shared. People have knowledge based on experience that can exceed what the manual says.

I helped an integrator move a large customer off old technology access readers and credentials based on the duplication report. Everyone benefited, including the customer and that’s not a video product. Should IPVM not report that information?

I haven’t been to China, but I know several of the US leadership at HIKVISION USA and while I personally like them, they can do better.

As a manufacturer I would be quite pleased if IPVM never posted about HIKVISION again, removed them from the calculator and deleted any comments containing them or a product reference.

Yet sunlight is the best disinfectant, no?

I, personally, love the information in the unbiased light that IPVM uses. I think it is COMPLETELY ridiculous how some of these dealers think that we are bashing their own personal family when there is a negative light on HIK Vision. I think some forget that communism is the enemy of the free world and every dime that is contributed to HIK is, in essence, supporting communism. Some of these installation companies need to realize that systems are getting hacked on a daily basis due to the complete lack (intentional or not) of network security on these products (HIK and Dahua, looking at you). Yet, they turn the head or have a blind eye at the flaws because they are "winning deals". One query, who wins if our banking systems, schools, municipalities, etc get hacked due to these devices? NOT US (U.S.)! Please, wake up and do what's right, not for you, but for your customer/end user. We are all in the security industry, lets make things safe, secure, and reliable...ETHICAL, not JUST profitable!

And Marty, I DID mention Dahua, as well...

I think some would argue that the best way to bring a country out of communism is ever increasing access to capitalism. China's communism is a far cry from real communism, though they do seem to be clinging to it's worse aspects. That said, I do use some Hik and don't mind negative coverage at all. My Hik clients are generally well aware of it's failings but still see value. I want to know 100% of the good and bad things about any products I use.

Still having the cold war ideology/ mindset is obsolete and inaccurate to be the least.

Communist China is true during Mao's time. After Deng's reform, it is hardly able to be called communism any more.

Yes Chinese government is powerful and have different law system, yet the level of freedom enjoyed by both individuals and companies are incredible. It is not pure capitalism but it is close.

This high level of freedom contributed to polluted environment and the "low quality made-in-China product".

Everywhere there are products with less features and lower prices. Security and reliability is more of a spectrum than two-polar, different application use different products with different level. Calling it unethical is lacking reasoning here.

Yes Chinese government is powerful and have different law system, yet the level of freedom enjoyed by both individuals and companies are incredible.

That's an amazing statement, considering the Chinese government is in the middle of an unprecedented, even for their low standards, crack down on VPN usage and Internet access generally. Or the wife of the Nobel prize winner Liu Xiaobo has 'disappeared'. Or how China is tightening control over Hong Kong despite the 'two systems' claim.

Calling the 'level of freedom' 'incredible' is inherently subjective (perhaps that's incredible to your standards) but relative to Western standards of freedom, it is nowhere near incredible.

After Deng's reform, it is hardly able to be called communism any more.

Certainly, it is not Marxist communism but it is authoritarianism. And that's been the underlying issue with 'Communism' for decades, less the fear of redistribution than the understandable concern of dangerous strong men from Lenin to Mao to Xi who override freedoms.

Hi John,

We are not talking about the same thing.

You are talking about methods against individuals when threatened the ones in power. What about Edward Snowden, Katalonien independence vote etc.

I am talking about people's daily life and companies daily operations.

I want to say both of our points are true but all I have is subjective opinion based on hearsay and limited observation. Who can be true objective anyways. Everyone has limitations.

This South Afrika British guy is pretty close to objective IMHO.

https://www.youtube.com/user/serpentza

Also thanks for the wiki link!

I am talking about people's daily life and companies daily operations.

So am I. The China government crackdown on VPNs, their censoring of the Internet, the banning of the NY Times, Facebook, Twitter, their censoring Winnie the Pooh photos, etc. have no equivalent in the Western world.

For example, if someone in the USA posts online:

Donald Trump is an asshole and should be imprisoned.

Not only will the government not do anything about it, but that person would enjoy wide scale praise.

But if someone in the PRC posts online:

Xi Jinping is an asshole and should be imprisoned.

The person who said that is (1) going to get that post deleted by the government and (2) is risking going to prison themselves (e.g. here).

That you have to pick such an extreme edge case like Snowden (who leaked tens of thousands of classified documents) shows just how much freedom there is in the West.

an extreme edge case like Snowden

Is backquote how you create the cool looking blue short bar?

Secretly monitoring citizens and alley Kanzlerin lies in the same category as your examples IMO.

You can totally try that in any Chinese website as an experiment. What do you have to lose?

Please give us a link when you do, this will be fun!

You can totally try that in any Chinese website as an experiment. What do you have to lose?

Try what? Criticizing Xi Jinping? I am an American.

The point is obviously for PRC citizens inside China. You think a PRC citizen inside China posting "Xi Jinping is an asshole and should be imprisoned" would be a 'fun' experiment?

Na ja, you didn't get my point.

You think someone posting it online will face retaliation from the government, I think it will be fine. But both are just assumptions.

Since you are a American, there is nothing for you to lose to try this. Experiments and testing out a theory is super fun.

We both know no one is going to be convinced just by us talking our own points, a real field test, on the other hand, could do the trick.

You think someone posting it online will face retaliation from the government, I think it will be fine. But both are just assumptions.

There is a long and well documented track record of China censoring what its citizens say and punishing them. That's not an assumption and there's no need for a field test.

Examples include:

You really did a lot of research man!

Where did the helpful button go? I was going to press informative and helpful.

You think a PRC citizen inside China posting "Xi Jinping is an asshole and should be imprisoned" would be a 'fun' experiment?

I'd think you might get away with it, at least as an isolated incident.

Hong Kong makes fun of Xi

It is pay for use so all of us can decide if we feel IPVM is worth it! In my case it is money well spent!

Personally speaking as a long time member it started off with a major focus on IP video but gradually expanded out into access control etc. while personally I don't have a massive interest in access control I am still interested in knowing what is going on. Maybe a suggestion would be to separate out articles related to the product type (video, access, fire)

As a non USA based member my biggest criticism I can conjure up on IPVM, would be the focus on US based news and products that are popular in the US market but might not be majorly relative in the rest of the world. Recent example being big coverage on ASIS but nothing on IFSEC and Security Essen trade events in Europe that to me look much bigger than any US trade events I have attended.

Recent example being big coverage on ASIS but nothing on IFSEC and Security Essen trade events in Europe

That's a fair point. I do think we should go to the European shows and we will almost certainly cover to at least one of them next year (only IFSEC this year but both shows are held in 2018).

it started off with a major focus on IP video but gradually expanded out into access control etc. while personally I don't have a massive interest in access control I am still interested in knowing what is going on.

The funny thing is, the company I work for is following this same trend: still 90% video (IP and "legacy") , but gradually moving into access control as well. We've always done it, but it's recently started to pick up a lot.

Much of the industry is going the same way, especially with the advent of IP-based access readers and the like. Many VMS manufacturers, such as 3xLogic and Avigilon, are fully integrating access and video together in their systems. For that matter, most access control systems have included some level of camera integration for at least the last decade.

So it's not like they're two completely unrelated things. As the IP video market (see what I did there?) grows to include other aspects of security, it only makes sense for IPVM to do the same.

Personally I prefer the broaden scope of articles (i.e., access control etc.) that have come out of IPVM. It seems every time I have a question about something not video related, I can find the answer on IPVM. I think its a progressive move by IPVM as many of us do a fair percentage of other miscellaneous low voltage installations (including video).

The other attraction to IPVM is the fact that I don't usually have a lot of time to read various and current news items regarding camera manufacturers (as an example) so getting a digest of information on IPVM is extremely helpful in keeping up. I appreciate the hard work IPVM does in keeping us informed with the latest news as well as the latest low voltage products.

I'm working for a manufacturer that has had its fair share of criticism on IPVM and still gets scrutinized from time to time but all in a fair manner imo. It gives you food for thought and often reasons to make sure that those 'issues' highlighted can and will be addressed within our business.

I joined IPVM privately exactly 1 year ago, renewed today for a year, and I've enjoyed it most of the time :-)

I enjoy the wide range of articles and coverage and I read what interests me thoroughly and scan over a lot of the other bits.

Sure certain manufacturers have had more publicity than others but if your house isn;t in order IPVM will pick up on it and rightly so. Hikvision and Dahua did not have their house in order and still have not as far as I can see so why would IPVM not report on this?

Keep up the good work guys!

I started in this business in 1968. That was when CCTV was a 35mm Diebold camera in a bank. In all that time, I looked for learning sources. I realize I'm not a genius, even though I have years of experience, so I appreciate the education I get from IPVM. I don't expect to agree with every thing IPVM says, but I do expect information so I can do my own research. On this, I think, IPVM has done a excellent job.

That was when CCTV was a 35mm Diebold camera in a bank.

Back when footage was still... footage ;)

That was when CCTV was a 35mm Diebold camera in a bank.

We were a Poloroid shop ;)

Yes, it can be confusing, but we are all free to pick out the articles we want to read and those we do not. There are so many good things to read or experience, so maybe skip the stuff you find controversial or redundant. For example, I glean a vast amount of information from the product tests. These articles actually help steer our business and product decisions. There is no way, even if given all of this equipment, we could find the time to set it up and evaluate it, especially against other product.

My #1 problem with IPVM is it a time sucker.... but that is a personal, lack of discipline issue! Keep it up guys!!! Thanks.

For myself

I am a 6th year practitioner of electronic security. I been an off an on member of IPVM since 2014. When interviewing for a job the employer saw that I completed IPVMs networking course.

They were VERY impressed to my surprise. Also my current employer started using Hikvision within the last year. I was waving the giant red flag based on info I gleaned from this group. I was ignored. Eventually almost ALL the issues I cited with Hokvision surfaced including a newly installed camera going bad within 3 months at a high location requiring a boom lift to service!

Need I say more?

We are now in the Axis business (thank God) and alls I can say is that the criticisms of Hikvision are accurate and correct.

I cant even quantify the value I get for 19.99 a month expense.

I cant even quantify the value I get for 19.99 a month expense.

Sounds like your ready to commit: Go with an annual plan; it will be like getting 2 months free :)

Personally, I'm really happy with IPVM the way it is. In my position I couldn't get this information as easily any other way. I think there is a pretty reasonable attempt at unbiased reporting and while I don't always agree with everything written in the articles, they always let everyone have their say in the comments.

they always let everyone have their say in the comments.

And that is certainly something done on purpose. Indeed, this discussion is an example of this. In this industry, it is extremely rare to read anything critical about a company on the company's own site but this is something that we not only accept but we promote, e.g., us taking U1's criticism of us and turning it into a discussion.

Encouraging criticism not only makes us stronger but it makes what we offer more valuable.

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