Is Pelco Really That Bad?

I opened the front page of IPVM news feed yesterday to find the first article bashing Pelco. In the top articles for worst VMS systems and camera manufacturers, they were on it. I work for Schneider Electric (Building Integration) so while we try to push Pelco at times, they are often too expensive to win new bids so we go with other manufacturers. Though, this is the first time I have heard of just how bad other integrators believe their products to be. The new VideoXpert VMS is a work in progress but seems to compete with other top software only providers (once it can scale smallers). The new IP line of cameras seem to be top tier as well.

Why all the bad rep? Has anyone had any really bad experiences using their products? Does anyone else work for a manufacturer that is hesitant to sell their own products? It is an interesting position to be in as a newby to the industry.

I will not be offended (they are practically a separate company from SE)


That is an interesting question / topic!

The new VideoXpert VMS is a work in progress but seems to compete with other top software only providers

We have not tested it and only had a one or two hour web demo from Pelco, so we cannot say things definitively but I would be surprised if any new VMS, from anyone, could seriously compete with the top software only providers this quickly. There's just dozens of things that a VMS needs to have.

One material thing I can immediately cite is the lack of software only support for VideoXpert. Pelco says it is coming later this year and I believe them but that's a deal breaker until then for many.

Another one is third party integrations. I know this is a priority for Pelco, and they are designing it to make it easy but right now they only have a handful where the 'top' competitors have dozens. The difference means being rejected to many accounts that require specific 3rd party integrations.

As for my opinion, I don't think Pelco is that 'bad'. It's just fairly ordinary and it's expensive, which is a tough combination.

Pelco's got Axis, Avigilon, Exacq, Genetec and Milestone (among others) who have strong products in their respective areas. And then Pelco has Hikvision (and the Chinese government) on the other side selling cameras just as good and often better than Pelco at ~50% the price.

Given that you are new to the industry, it is important to understand that Pelco built up an immense amount of goodwill from the old days, so a lot of people are more frustrated / disappointed that they have struggled since the acquisition than antagonistic towards them.

to find the first article bashing Pelco.

I don't see it as "bashing." It is questioning actions and decisions over the past decade that seem to continually hold them back from their current potential (and they have great potential), as well as lamenting their fall from one-time leadership in the space.

I had the privilege of viewing a demo of some Pelco cameras installed on a port and I can tell you that it was outstanding. This was years ago when 1.5 MP IP cameras were a big hit. Pelco is known for their advanced technology and it shows in their grand total of any proposal. I was a member of a design team for a project to outfit a maximum security prison which of course we never got because of cost.

I've also seen their products at work in airports so I don't think it is wise to discredit a company because of price. The camera game has changed and I think Pelco should step up their game and market accordingly.

Maybe they can rebuild the Empire but it's going to be a tough road. They built the empire on a strong foundation of support that turned into trust. They were provided many opportunities to correct the path and kept falling off. Trust was damaged and careers impacted so it will be a hard fight back. It's not just a product or price recovery. It's trust.

"The new VideoXpert VMS is a work in progress but seems to compete with other top software only providers"

The problem is the other top software only providers are polished and established today in a market I think is trying to consolidate.

"I had the privilege of viewing a demo of some Pelco cameras installed on a port and I can tell you that it was outstanding. This was years ago when 1.5 MP IP cameras were a big hit."

That was a looong time ago by IT and now even security tech standards. It doesn't take much time to fall from grace these days.

"I opened the front page of IPVM news feed yesterday to find the first article bashing Pelco."

I think the word bashing, like many words these days, has become overused and the true meaning forgotten. I think it was more criticizing than bashing.