Oh boy, you are opening up a can of worms :)
High level summary: strong products, sketchy marketing. You can scan through our various Avigilon reviews here.
In terms of your specific questions about Avigilon cameras, presumably you are comparing Avigilon vs Taiwan / China brands (like ACTi/Vivotek/Dahua/Hikvision, etc.) because Avigilon is typically lower cost than Axis, Sony, Panasonic, Bosch, etc. There's some nuances to it (like feature set differentials - Avigilon has integrated zoom on most of its cameras but does not have analytics, SD card storage, etc.). However, overall Avigilon stacks up well on price / performance compared to big names.
What specific products / manufacturers do you want to compare Avigilon to?
I used to use Aimetis and I was very happy with the capabilites, especailly the search. The big problem with it is that it is a major resource hog. Now I started using Avigilon, It is much lighter on the system and I like the use of it, but activity search does not work on it neither does motion record. Supposedly it is supposed to.
Most of my customers as of now would not benfit from 11mp or up, so that doesnt affect me really. The VMS I like especailly the mobile client. The encoder is something I am going to start pushing to help get poeple to convert.
My experience is in IT, so I have no problem playing around with multiple vendors on a single project if it will allow me to provide better products/pricing.
As an integrator I can say the price difference is minimal if not less for the features that Avigilon offers. Throw in the fact they offer next business day advance replacement with return shipping paid for 3 years and its not even close to products purchased through distribution or online. That's my two cents.
Avigilon does not do server based motion recording so if the camera is not managing motion events then the camera will only record continuously in ACC.
A few things we like that sets them apart from other camera vendors we use:
- Protection - price as well as territory
- Widest breadth of camera line from 1mp micro dome to 29mp cameras --- ptz and bullet with integrated adaptive ir are in a class by themselves
- Constant innovation and new products quarterly
- We don't get calls from clients asking how to export or review video or complain that client crashes
- Video indexing is best I've seen from any VMS/DVR in 9years in this business (fast search, 0 latency, no caching or waiting on result set)
- Support is head and shoulders above anyone in the space and the advance next day rma is unmatched
- Easy pricing and manageable models #s
- 1 vendor for cameras and VMS - no more blame game between 2 vendors on why a camera doesnt stay connected, missing video, etc
- Beta program and interactive product sessions for top integrators
I was able to do motion recording using the same cameras and an Aimsystem system. But now even recording, just doing a pixel search does not work for Vivotek cameras.
Avigilon is in the business of protecting and selling their camera line right so you'd expect not all cameras especially less expensive cameras to work seamlesssly with ACC
On a slight tangent, I have tried to set up acti cameras a few times with ACC5.
Every time (3 different cameras) if I have the stream any higher then the lowest resolution and on h264, I have a messed up video. Tons of artifacs and asometime no image at all. According to Avigilon, it is a bandwidth issue. But on one system I have 14 other cameras working perfectly. I then go disconnect all 14 and even with only one camera it does not work.
Does anyone have good experience with ACC and acti? I have it using onvif
Honestly, I hope to get more customers that are interested in Avigilon cameras, however as of now most do not have that budget.
And I use it for non Avigilon cameras for a few reasons:
Their interface is easy to use and my customers love it. It is very little resource intensive and I like how it adjusts the stream quality based on how many cameras you are using. Also being that Iam ggoing to try to sell more Avigilon cameras I need to meet certain minimumsales.
Unfortunately, as of now ACC does not include native drivers for Vivotek or Acti only onvif.
How you found a lower end camera that is fully compatible to ACC?
Well there is an Acti driver so why don't you use that instead of ONVIF?
We just installed their Microdome ( the tiny one) - the 2MP version - and compared it to a 1MP Axis lower end model and the better picture was clearly the AXIS camera. In addition we also installed a 5MP Buller IR with a 3-9mm lens, and the customer said, that it was not all we said it would be compared to an analog camera that we were replacing. The customer had us take it down and we installed something else. We also tried the 5MP 9-22mm lens option and although there was a huge improvement in image quality, the angle of view (or horizontal coverage) was greatly reduced. In general, AVIGILON is a good solution but these new cameras really did not impress us. The one thing that was pretty good about those Bullet fixed cameras was the IR at night - pretty decent picture. So far, we have found AXIS And SONY to be better options, but the price is also high for a good camera, but worth it.
We have deployed thousands of cameras over the past 13 years. 3 years ago we started with ACTi ip cameras and an ACTi NVR solution mainly due to the features and price. Today we use Avigilon and AXIS.
Why? We've found that the lower price directly relates to higher defective rates as well as minimal tech support. Who wants to install a system for a client and then go back several times to repair, upgrade, or replace it? At our cost don't forget.
With Avigilon the ACC VMS is extremely reliable (never crashes), is packed with features, is pleasant to look at, and is simple to use for both the techs and the end user. The absolute best part is the SERVICE after the sale. They help our techs and the end user and can tell you there is a very noticeable difference with the client experience. You pay more but you get more and that's the message you deliver to clients. We rarely need to service AXIS or Avigilon.
During the past year we also began to deploy AXIS Camera Companion because of the edge recording feature. A great solution for small installs.
Between Avigilon and AXIS we have just about every application covered and our clients are VERY pleased.
Paul, correction. It is not that the Integrator could not tell the difference between the 2MP and the Analog camera, there is clearly a difference in the image between the two. The end-user was not very impressed in comparison to the coverage with the 2MP. But the lens in this case obviously plays a role. But in general the end-user was not very impressed. In any event, i just want to say that I am at ASIS and simply showed the comment to my Integrator and he could not resist responding. Big mistake! Won't happen again! :)
I know I am a little late on this one but I wanted to toss in my opinion here. In another post I was trying to find a VMS That led me to the opinion that I am in the process of writing currently. However I would like to give you a little highlight here. Strictly speaking about the camera at one time Avigilons cameras only worked with their ACC. Not anymore. I am currently testing a 5MP camera with the shorter range lens in a very large area. I started using ACC and now I can say I am comparing all other VMS's suggested from people on this site to ACC. Granted I am newer to this industry as well but I can say I am blown away at what I got with the camera itself. The potential to go bigger if I wanted was a selling point but the price was interestingly cheaper in some cases than other cameras from lesser known names whose resolutions were also smaller. Integration of some key functions only on the Avigilon cam was also nice like archived video data aging. That right there in my opinion was reason enough to buy the camera. I wanted to see everything the VMS offered so I paired it with their own camera and the results have been worth it.
well whoever buys them will hopefully keep the products.
they function well and the encoders are just great
Have been hearing many rumors they are looking to sell!
In my experience Avigilon has a good VMS and cameras that range from sub-par to excellent. But having to deal with their customer service and broken promises made us realize that if you're not moving $1M+ per year they don't care about you. Period.
In 2010, we installed an Avigilon system for a high profile client (TransAmerica, San Francisco). We had Avigilon involved with the system design, which used Avigilon 5MP JPEG domes. The picture quality was not acceptable. After 10 phone calls, remote access to the system and having the local rep on site--everyone agreed the picture was sub par. Avigilon's solution was for us to wait for the H.264 auto focus domes that were launching and replace them at out cost. I don't know about you, but that's unacceptable. We dropped new Avigilon projects after that project.
Avigilon came to us in January 2013 and solicited our business again. I explained to the new sales rep the past issue and he promised they would take care of us. I had an active 24 camera Pelco project that I switched to Avigilon. Avigilon answered the 1st series of tech questions, then strung us along for 60+ days because they didn't want to answer the questions. One I specifically remember was about integrating Pelco D PTZ cameras through Avigilon encoders. Now I know why they wouldn't answer, it came up later on IPVM that there was a 25 second delay on PTZ response. The professional thing to do would have been to not string along and tell us of the issue.
By that point it was June and Avigilon was still not responding to us. I elevated the issue to their VP of Sales. Their response was you moved $0 in business in 2011 so we're terminating your partnership agreement. I moved $0 in 2011 because you failed to service us. I never would have gone back, but you solicted me. When I asked for a response to reasonable questions you left me hanging.
I had such a bad experience with Avigilon, not only would I never install Avigilon again...every time I get asked about them I stop what I'm doing and tell people why I won't use them.