How Good is ACTi's Video Quality?

Author: John Honovich, Published on Mar 10, 2009

An increasing number of budget priced IP cameras are coming onto the market. The key question, though, is how good are the cameras? We all know Axis, Sony, Panasonic, etc. offer high quality products. The key concern, for many, is the affordability of those products.

Budget Priced Alternatives

A few months ago, we contrasted ACTi and Axis where we drew the analogy of Honda to BMW. While ACTi is not as high quality as Axis, given ACTi's significantly lower price, we asked whether ACTi would be 'good enough' for many mass market applications.

Problems in Determining Quality

Historically, it's time consuming and expensive to determine the relative quality of products, especially when it comes to video quality. Generally it requires one to do one's own testing which is possible for a few cameras but infeasible to do field testing for many cameras.

At the same time, the Internet offers a great low cost way to share rich information globally at miniminal cost. This can significantly cut down on the costs of doing one's tests.

ACTi Shares Video Clips

ACTi has released a series of over 20 video clips from production deployments. While vendors often offer canned demos and stills, I have not seen many (or any) offer a directory of videos from field deployments. Equally as interesting, they offer YouTube clips as well as AVI downloads.

The benefit of field deployment videos is that they better show real life problems. I have selected a few representative clips so that you can judge for yourself.

Construction Site

Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox
Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox

This video clip is from a construction site using an ACM-1231.

 

Beijing City View

This clip is from a view of the Bird's Nest at the 2008 Olympics using an ACM-5611.

 

Night Time Car Theft

This clip is from a night time car theft in Lithuania captured by an ACM-1231.

Evaluating Video Quality

The great thing about video clips is that it helps one judge for themselves and not be subject to either vendors or people like me.

With all surveillance cameras, users are generally interested in two main concerns: (1) what level of detail is needed and (2) what environment/lighting conditions the camera will be placed in.

As an example, the night time car theft video does not show a clear image of the suspect. If you want/need such an image for identification purposes this camera would not be satisfactory in this condition. 

For other scenarios, like the first two videos, the quality may be sufficient and the lower cost savings may drive the purchasing decision.

General Thoughts

It would be great to get more videos from production deployments from various manufacturers. We could all benefit from this as it eliminates one of the most challenging issues - knowing if there is something else better without having to test everything ourselves.

Most Recent Industry Reports

IP Networking Course May 2017 on Apr 26, 2017
NOTE: Registration ends tomorrow, Thursday the 27th. This is the only networking course designed specifically for video surveillance professionals...
Tri-Ed Favorability Results on Apr 25, 2017
Tri-Ed, owned by Anixter, far outranked Anixter, the lowest ranked company in our distributor favorability series. Still, Anixter's ownership did...
Chinese 'Attacking Us From Every Direction', Says US FBI on Apr 25, 2017
"Chinese eating our lunch. Attacking us from every direction" said the US FBI's Deputy Director Andrew McCabe at the ASIS 2017 CSO Summit. .@FBI...
Eagle Eye Exec On Mountain Of Servers - VSaaS Growth Analysis on Apr 25, 2017
Eagle Eye VP of Operations, Hans Kahler, posted a picture of himself sitting on top of a shipment of new servers, as a testament to the companies...
Axis Posts Strong Q1 2017 Financial Results on Apr 24, 2017
Axis posted strong numbers for Q1 2017, after having some challenges in 2016 (Q1 2016, Q3 2016). Inventory levels and overall spending show...
Axis Lowest Cost Outdoor IR Camera M2025-LE Tested on Apr 24, 2017
Axis has lagged offering low cost IR cameras while their Asian competitors have made IR standard even in their most entry level cameras. Recently,...
IPVM First Dean's List W2017 - Thomas Atkinson, Matt Hurly and Fredrik Lundqvist on Apr 24, 2017
IPVM is happy to congratulate and celebrate our first "Dean's List", the top students in our courses. For the Winter 2017 IP Networking course...
Splicing Alarm Circuits Guide on Apr 24, 2017
Alarm installers commonly connect multiple sensors to a single zone. They do this by splicing the wires together. In this report, we will explain...
PureTech Video Analytics Examined on Apr 21, 2017
PureTech's analytics were chosen for a US border protection system (see related post), which the company claims no other analytics vendor was able...
US Border RVSS / Video Analytics System Examined on Apr 21, 2017
US Customs and Border Protection has been rolling out a video analytics-based detection system along the US/Mexico border, with detection ranges...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact