Outdoor Detectors Vs. Camera Analytics

I am looking for others that have found that the VCA (UDP) within the camera does not filter the false alerts on exterior applications. Any suggestions as to using outdoor beams/PIR for long range (100 - 150 foot) that ignore the elements and then use the cameras to verify the alert?

You're right, don't use the motion sensing abilities of the camera to trigger alerts. Any change in the pixels will trip it including clouds, leaves, etc.

Thank you for the reply. Does anyone out there have a good sense of what outdoor detectors to use that aren't going to false in the elements every time a cloud passes over. Has anyone used any kind of onboard analytics...Hikvision, videioiq etc that claim to filter and had good success with them? And last thing does anyone know of a viable alternative that's less expensive than the Videofied solution? I've been misled for three years trying to solve this with onboard analytics and have reached a point of frustration and trust no one because of it.

Is this demo BS, or are the clouds you are talking about more aggressive than these?

What false alert rate is acceptable to you?

UDP camera have built-in analytics (licensed feature) . Are they configured and being used or are you using standard motion detection?

Generally speaking, beams are a step backwards. In many cases you will have more false alarms, and it's also much harder to define the precise area of coverage.

However, you're boiling a fairly complex topic down to 2 basic components and I think the solutions are more varied than just what you have presented.

There is a rough scale that looks something like:
Outdoor PIR - Motion Detection - Beam - Advanced Motion Detection - Fence Sensors - Laser - Low-Level Analytics - Object Classification Analytics.

As you go up that scale from left to right, the products become more intelligent and generally more tunable and adaptable to challenging environments. Note that price does not scale across the board, some good analytics options are cheaper than potentially lower-grade outdoor beams. I grouped Fence Sensors into one category, though that really spans a few options as well, they're just not as commonly used these days (IME).

Roughly speaking as you up the scale you can cover more area with a given product class. If you're just looking to cover a small choke point area, an outdoor PIR might be perfectly adequate, but if you're trying to cover a parking lot that is next to a nature preserve you likely won't be successful with anything less than object classification analytics.

The two main factors that go into chossing what to use are "What am I trying to detect" and "What am I trying to ignore". The more precise you need/want to be on either of those two questions, the more advanced your solution will need to be.

For true video analytics products the differentiating factor on the technology side often comes down to how good the system is at ignoring motion from similar-sized objects, and how difficult it is to get the system tuned or setup properly.

I think that "video analytics" is a term whose definition is constantly being redefined, much like "high resolution video" used to mean anything with more than 500TVL, and now it means anything 1080p or above. For the current market, any product that can't easily be configured to not generate lots of false alarms on things like leaves/foliage, shadows, etc. is probably more in the class of motion detection than analytics. I would also define "long range" as 250'+, FWIW.

I have had the Koreans try to tweak the product and several other experts but for a construction site there is not a product on the market that works and I spent hundreds if not thousands of hours doing what I'm told to make it work. It just doesn't. I only need a hundred and fifty feet maximum coverage for detection. A peer in Oregon has been using optex beams and the rain does not affect it he gave up on UDP / VCA and that check video nonsense a long time ago. Unfortunately I have trusted the factory reps the technicians and the sales folks and I am right where I was a couple of years ago. MOBOTIX failed for my application as did all else.

"The two main factors that go into chossing what to use are "What am I trying to detect" and "What am I trying to ignore". The more precise you need/want to be on either of those two questions, the more advanced your solution will need to be."

Well said - you are exactly right!

The beam+camera approach isn't bad. The major downsides are:

1) Cost, you might find that some better analytics options are the same price as beams + cameras (you always need some kind of video to see what actually tripped the alarm, the beam alone is (IMO) never adequate).

2) Troubleshooting complexity. An analytic camera will at least show you what is causing the event. Beam-based systems provide far less info so if you end up with false alarms from non-obvious sources you can waste a lot of time trying to troubleshoot and tune them effectively.

On a weekend when the cams are armed it is not unusual for 100s of clips to be generated due to the fast moving clouds. At night a car traveling on the road 80feet from the protected zone will trip the VCA. In both cases experts have tried to fix it and can't. As a company we have to decide....keep trying the VCA....try Hikvision or similar and use the trip line (anybody try Hikvision outdoors?)...of spend the bucks and install Optex dual tech beams on each camera and then video verify at command.

Love the post - I don't consider myself an expert on the topic, but my experiences tell me you can't get there "zero false alerts" with a single technology. This is were I think detectors of all types need to feed into a PLC. A beam breaks, but no other detections occur within the perimeter. The PLC logic is sampling time/temperature/weather, and the sensors that changes and combines the thresholds.

You are correct that there is no "zero falses" option, but you CAN get it to the point where the false alarms are more rounding errors than significant values.

A few companies have tried the multi-sensor idea in hardware and software, the problem is you also tend to increase the risk of missed events, which can negate the value of the solution.

What are you trying to detect and at what range?

All I want is effective detection of persons or vehicles day or night 150ft. range. Without rain or clouds passing or vehicle traffic off grid setting them off.

Have you considered thermal?

Look at the Optex line of devices - some directly networkable into your VMS.

I suspect that Xtralis Add Pro E-Series motion detectors are one of the more reliable and feature rich PIR sensors available.

I've used Xtrailis PIRs in the past, found them to be more reliable than others that I've tried.

Used in conjuction with cameras (assuming there's light available), you can create a system that will minimize false events, maximize reliability of detecting and identifying intruder.

Thermal cameras with Analytics will definately work to meet your requirements. Happy to help. We delivered some solutions like this to a few of our clients using DRS and Axis thermal cameras along with our inhouse analytics to solve the intrusion detection/loitering problem with very low false alarms. The solution is not cheap but it will solve the problem.

We use xTralis ADPRO connected to Axis camera's IO port and confirm alarms with Axis's Video Motion Detection 3.0 ACAP. xTralis works perfect for OK price, VMD3.0 is free of extra charge. We've written a short script sitting on camera and doing the confirmation job.

Here's a good reference for Optex IP detectors:


Redscan laser, photobeams and redwall PIR options all integrate and supported by leading VMS. Optex also has a free Axis ACAP plugin software that directly triggers camera and event rules. Depending on distance, environmental conditions and applications, Optex has a good mix of options to choose from.

I use optex quad beams up to 650 feet and no false alarms

We have used Piramid detectors that are combination microwave/infra-red as detectors in certain locations around the prisons. Typical locations would be covering roof tops.

You have two choices - detect someone in an area, or detect someone closing the perimeter into an area. The solutions for both are usually different and it depends on your requirements.


I've used these as well and found them to very reliable - not sure if an IP version is available.

We use Axis Thermals with an Avigilon Rialto units w built in Hard drives for Analytics. It will cover the range you are looking for and you can set the area of detection. Expensive, but works very well. We have deployed this approach a number of times for much greater distances.