Leading off, Chinese spam legend, Cantonk:
And here's another spam email this morning, with the subject header touting ONVIF:
No ONVIF support on ONVIF site.
From the first page of a Google search for "ONVIF Conformance", Golbong claims ONVIF conformance in a video but not listed at all.
Just off the top of my head from products we've tested in the past 6-8 months:
All of them claiming "ONVIF support" (I guess it's clever that they didn't say "conformant") but none of them working even close to properly.
Linear touts that "All IP cameras are ONVIF 2.2 Profile S compatible" but no listing on ONVIF.
Important to note, we are only looking for companies with no ONVIF listing at all. If you included companies / products that are on the older 1.x version that are far less likely to work, this list would be far longer. See: ONVIF Archives 1000+ Products
Here's another: LT Security. Just got an email from them with ONVIF logo / promotion in the center.
Also, claims ONVIF and PSIA conformance for a whole slew of its cameras.
Interestingly, they are ONVIF members but have no cameras listed as conformant either on the profile or archived sections.
In fairness, though, they should be covered by Hikvision, right? ;)
Email from another company this morning, "TIHIVISION", boldly claims ONVIF support for all its cameras:
None found on ONVIF site.
What does it mean when a company is listed on the ONVIF site but no products come up when plugging in all relevant info? For instance, we are attempting to test a Vitek VT-PTZ220NP PTZ and, although IndigoVision's "ONVIF Configuration Tool" sees the camera, it never appears in the "Visible Devices" list of IV Control Center.
On ONVIF's website, entering Axis with no "Product Name" yields a bunch of hits but doing the same for Vitek Industrial Video Products yields nothing.
Here is another email from a vendor with no ONVIF listings:
Not only do they tout ONVIF, it is their top selling point.
I have to say ONVIF is bizarre. An organization founded and largely funded by big manufacturers that empowers low end ones to use their branding to undercut incumbent's own sales. Smart piece of business.
IPVMU Certified | 07/24/14 01:18pm
So I just did a google search for 'ONVIF camera' and got some pretty interesting results. Basically the first three products I found via that search were from 3 companies not in the directory...LOL.
Companies were Laview, Escam, and Zoneway.
Grandstream lists the GVX-3504 encoder as ONVIF Compliant. It does not show up on the official product directory. Grandstream actually lists a fair amount of product as compliant that does not show up on the ONVIF site and some that actually is.
This cheapens the ONVIF branding. Much like how HDCCTV vs HDcctv vs hdCCTV vs (fill in any derivative here) destroys any of the HDcctv Alliance's credibility.
The issue I have with Onvif is not the lying about being compliant, which is still a major issue, but the camera manufacturers saying they are 2.0 or 2.2 or Profile "S" compatible and only being a subset. I work for a VMS company and we routinely take over systems of others. When we look to see what cameras are installed we need to take careful notes of the camera manufacturer. Often times, I take the information provided to me from authorized dealers to put together quotes for them. They tell me I have some Axis, I have some Sony and Samsung. Don't worry, there all Onvif compatible. Getting video to stream is a small portion of compatibility. What about motion based events, or audio? Some companies may or may not complete all the items within a certain version.
We often hear "You told me it would work" and 90% of the time it does, however, each customer is different and has different uses for their cameras, creating issues for the VMS companies. You think you could say "Go talk to the camera guy", but unless the camera guy is selling a new camera, he's not that excited to help.
Are you Onvif Compliant if you stream Video but not audio? Or you have implemented on 2 camera motion detections instead of 6? Well, according to Onvif you are, or the manufacturer of the camera can slap on the logo and say it is.
As a salesperson, we want this to work and we're not saying anything to get the sale, but Onvif has created the custom Codec issue all over again.
Well, Aventura has "ONVIF compliant" sprinkeled all throughout thier 2014 SECURITY SOLUTIONS CATALOG.
I could not get them to pull up at all in the ONVIF search. Same thing with a bunch of Samsung Techwin cameras I recently procured.
But... the tool on the ONVIF website is not very good. So, either ONVIF does not maintain their database well, Aventura and a lot of newer Samsung cameras are not really compliant, or the ONVIF search tool is beyond my technical ability to use.
Either way. Shame on ONVIF for not policing their certification. They will only hurt themselves in the long run.
I really don't care if somebody bought legal rights to flash an icon. I care if the implementation works reliable. Imagine a world where you drive up to the gas pump and have to look up your make/model/year/configuration of car to figure out if the pump will connect to your car. If Exaq has to list vendors it's done Onvif with, it still isn't fully baked.
It should be possible to pick up two random implementations and connect them. As it is, you can download the open source device manager and puzzle over it's response vs. your VMS' response to any given camera. And it might work, I guess. And it doesn't seem to correlate to how big a fish you are in the Onvif fishpond.
The theory is that at some point the population of functioning interoperable implementations makes this whole game irrelevant. Nobody goes to TCP/IP interop events any more, it just works because people have figured it out.
Sure, vendors who lie on their web sites are doing bad things. If the market is tolerating that then the market's broken.
Here's my experience. When I was with a previous employer, we would regularly test cameras that were declared "ONVIF Compliant" by various OEM/ODM manufacturers, and they would regularly fail internal testing. When we queried the original manufacturer, they would point to the fact that they had tested their product on the original ONVIF 1.x tool. If you know anything about that first generation test tool, you know that it was relatively easy to make a product pass that test tool, but still be completely unable to negotiate with other ONVIF compliant devices or software.
Further, if the base firmware that passed ONVIF 1.x was present in their subsequent products, they would carry that Compliance declaration forward to future generations of products without even running them through the test or publishing those part numbers or test results (because there were no test results) with ONVIF.
Finally, it's important to note that while the test results can't be faked per-se, it's on the honor system that the report being submitted is for the part number that was actually tested. The ONVIF organization does no independent testing to validate the manufacturer's claims.
In the testing I mentioned above, none, I repeat NONE (0%) of cameras that the manufacturers listed as "ONVIF Compliant" could pass the 1.x tool that the R&D team still had use of, and of course failed passage of the current generation of ONVIF compliance tools. These were predominantly no-name Asian manufacturers though some reputable Asian manufacturers were also tested with the same result.
The net net is, you cannot believe the ONVIF logo appearing on pretty much any Tier 3 Asian manufacturer today, as well as some of the Tier 2 manufacturers aren't legit. There are even a few Tier 1 manufacturers that may have tested their product and passed and submitted it to ONVIF, but whos products would fail any follow-up ONVIF compliance testing.
ONVIF compliance listings today are no more reliable than lux ratings on camera data sheets.
ONVIF Official Response:
Thanks for highlighting the problem of false claims of conformance you have seen. This is an issue ONVIF is taking seriously, and will be reviewing the information shared here and taking the necessary steps to communicate with any manufacturer that is found to be making false claims.
We recognize it is very important to the success and credibility of ONVIF and the profiles and specifications that are created that false claims of conformance or membership are not only discouraged but effectively managed.
As another commentator already noted the outline for dispute resolution is outlined in Annex C in the Conformance Process Specification found here.
With the new Observer member level launched this year we are starting to hear some great feedback from the new members who fall into this new class that is targeted at system integrators, consultants, media and other non-product producing entitites.
The VMS company who emulates / fakes Milestone's identity - Milesight - is also faking ONVIF conformance.
They are an ONVIF member and they actively market ONVIF conformance but no listings under either profile or archived.
On a related amusing note, a Google search for "ONVIF VMS" returned Milesight ahead of Milestone.
7 other VMSes marketing ONVIF conformance but listed neither on profile nor archived:
- Kiwi Security
- Aventura (same issue with their cameras)
- Mirasys (who is not even listed as a member though has been marketing it for years) Mirasys has resolved
- Blue Iris (claims to have recently added ONVIF but no ONVIF membership under their name or company name - Perspective Software)
- Ksenos (ONIF member, markets ONVIF conformance but no listed products)
- Interlogix (has lots of ONVIF conformant cameras but also markets ONVIF NVRs that are not listed on ONVIF)
This was simply from a 20 minute Google search for "ONVIF VMS". I am sure the people at ONVIF are just as good at Googling as I am.
FLIR Security | 07/26/14 04:42am
I'm curious how different companies seem to use their product's relationship to ONVIF with slightly different wording...
For instance, what is the difference between ONVIF Compliant, ONVIF Conformant and saying all ones cameras are ONVIF standard?
Which is the 'official' term that the 'good guys' use vs how the 'bad guys' try and break off a piece of the groups name recognition?
Even if the bad guys are using one-off terms in an attempt to skirt the legalities of co-opting someone elses branding, I can't see how they can actually use the ONVIF logo itself without being liable for infringement.
They should hire Rocky.... he used to threaten litigation if someone said publicly that they had two HDcctv devices that wouldn't work together. :)
Note: Being a member of ONVIF, but having no cameras listed in any profile seems to indicate a high likelihood that you might be OEMing others' cameras (cough LTS, Laview, etc)
What about cameras that are not ONVIF compliant straight out of the box but can be obtained with a different firmware that is ONVIF compliant? Would that meet criteria?
LT Security is listed on ONVIF site.
This may take the award for best ONVIF misrepresentation:
Of course, I-View is not listed as an ONVIF member and has no listed conformant products. This is from yet another spam email.
At this point, it's fairly safe to conclude that the cornerstone of marketing for no-name companies is faking ONVIF conformance.
Here`s a rather ballsy company: ONVIF (Open Standard Compliance) | eLine Technology.
Sorry for the numerous edits. I guess IPVM and Chrome don't play well.
eLine's IP cameras are fully compliant with the ONVIF standard, ensuring compatibility with software and hardware from over 200 companies like Sony, Panasonic, Samsung, and Cisco.
The Cisco name adds a certain panache...
Not to start an arguement or be flipant, but the point of all this is?
Without mandated standards by some Government agency with the authority to enforce a law, these standards are meaningless. I appreciate everyone's passion, and I share your interest in helping the industry in every way possible, but we are all just barking at the moon here. There are no existing standards, no enforcement and until such time, no penalty for misrepresentation.
"Who said that there is no need for standards? ...not sure who you are disagreeing with on that".
With all due respect, you did Marty.
In your first response: "Disagree. It's not the standards that need policing, it is the companies making false advertising claims".
My question again is, what standards? There are none that I know of. How many versions of Onvif are there?
On a similar, but unrelated note, I found a really nice wireless alarm panel by doing some research. I like it a lot. It has tons of nice features. But it is not listed by any listing authority here in the US so I won't represent it. The company (UK) does not actively choose to market here. They understand.
Guess who does sell it here in the US? You guessed it. Hawkeye. The manufacturer knows it. They opt to do nothing. The customers don't know the item has to be listed. AHJ's will likely never see it.
That is a case of a law that does exist, administered through local building codes, and no one says a word, and as long as the money flows, no one cares. Apathy and ignorance.
Just found this one this morning: Kentima's Ethiris VMS.
"Ethiris is scalable and supports a wide range of individual camera protocols as well as the general ONVIF protocol."
But have nothing listed as conformant.
Official ONVIF Response:
ONVIF takes the protection of its trademark and copyrights very seriously. As an member driven organization, we realize we have a responsibility to all of the members and indeed the industry as a whole to act when infringements of trademark or invalid claims of conformance are highlighted. Not doing so would put at risk the clear value that ONVIF brings to the industry.
Thanks to IPVM and the participants of this forum, we can see the heightened need to have a dialog with those manufacturers identified here that may be unaware of the exact infringements they are making, and to educate them on the correct methods and processes to follow in order to advertise their products as conforming to any of the ONVIF Profiles.
In addition to responding to the specific accusations we see listed here, we are now actively looking at more creative ways to more closely monitor and protect ONVIF's copyrights, trademarks and logo's more proactively on a more permanent basis. This part of the internal dialog is in its infancy, but we felt it was worth sharing to underline how seriously this issue is being taken.
As a member driven organization, we rely on the full participation of our members to assist in the development of the correct processes and procedures for all aspects of the alliance. The new observer level membership is a way to have a greater level of involvement. If any of the participants here or readers of this website so desire, I would encourage them to contact email@example.com to find out how to get more involved.
Longse, another of our favorite spammers, also claims ONVIF support on all cameras:
IndigoVision Ltd | IPVMU Certified | 07/30/14 01:20am
In time, ONVIF may one day turn into a "real" standard. For now, my vision is that ONVIF is only a set of guidelines the manufactures may or not follow completely.
Unfortunately, nowadays, many ONVIF cameras have to be tested first…
Gents, I noticed that Vitek's logo is on the ONVIF site, now. I did not dig further to see if product was listed.
I have to wonder why a manufacturer would pay the appropriate fees and join ONVIF but not get any devices listed as conformant. Is it possible that they submitted the appropriate paperwork but used an older tool for testing? If so, does ONVIF make an effort to inform the manufacturer of their faux pas or is it up to the manufacturer to dig further?
The reason I'm asking is that I have heard from the factory rep of one of the manufacturers that is listed but has no devices saying that the factory was told by ONVIF that their devices would be listed but they never were. Apparently they tested with an out-of-date tool.
Yes, third-hand info but a definite possibility for at least the manufacturers who are members but have no devices listed. Granted, it is up to the manufacturer to use the correct tool but I would think ONVIF would also be a little more forthcoming.
Here in Australia we now have Cisco beating its chest claiming "full ONVIF membership" while it seems they have made no attempt to go through the certification process for any of their products. This wouldn't be the first time that Cisco has used their cheque ("check" for you US-based members) book to circumvent a certification process. The trouble with this is that size usually wins and here are my thoughts on where I think we now stand:-
- Cisco is a big company with magnificent brand presence. For many companies who have no experience in this field, Cisco is an easy decision to make.
- ONVIF benefits greatly from having Cisco as a Full Member and I would be interested to know if Cisco obtained favourable rates for their membership as a result
- Even though Cisco has very deep pockets, they have a lot of catching up to do so buying full membership was strategically a very easy decision to make from both a brand and generic marketing point of view
- In terms of product development, Cisco's initial focus will be to get product out the door and worry about ONVIF certification later (if at all!)
- I doubt that ONVIF will have the testicular fortitude to send "cease and desist" notices to Cisco regarding their misrepresentation of the ONVIF logo on their products.
- Cisco will make significant inroads into "greenfield" territories where they have dominant market presence with their core network products
- Cisco will grow exponentially in our market
- ONVIF will become less relevant
I have been in the IT business all of my life (nearly 40 years) and have seen Cisco do this before in other markets.
How ONVIF responds in the near term will determine the relevance of ONVIF in the future.
Update Dahua does have products in ONVIF, my bad apologies to Dahua, members.
The real scandal is the VMS vendors shipping crap software that fails to use standardized interfaces. Beating up everybody who ships a camera doesn't change that. Whether or not OnVIF is a broken standard is a side-show. If there were 100 downstream OEM's using Dahua and it actually worked with a serious VMS product would you really care about what kind of money the OnVIF logo police are earning?
Ensuring compliance thru Education, Enforcement and Encouragement
Toughest talk excerpted from full statement:
ONVIF Launches Education, Enforcement Campaign to Ensure Product Conformance
SAN RAMON, CALIFORNIA. – August 12, 2014.
ONVIF... announced today that it is launching a proactive education and enforcement campaign designed to ensure that all claims of ONVIF conformance by manufacturers of IP-based physical security products are valid. The education and enforcement initiative aims to further protect the ONVIF brand and more preemptively monitor ONVIF’s copyrights, trademarks and logos on an ongoing basis....
“We recognize that the credibility of the ONVIF brand is crucial to the success of the standard and the organization going forward, therefore we take the protection of this brand very seriously,” said Per Björkdahl, Chairman, ONVIF Steering Committee...
“We encourage anyone who suspects a product of falsely claiming conformance to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Pro Focus LLC | 11/12/14 02:33am
Might want to check on Empire Security
There has been a lull in this discussion, does anybody know of other cameras that are faking ONVIF compliance? We have a great list in the first post but are obviously trying to add to it.
This www.onvif.org page can’t be found
No webpage was found for the web address:https://www.onvif.org/FindaProduct/ProfileProducts.aspx