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

Why 3VR Failed on Feb 16, 2018
3VR destroyed transformed ~$65 million in VC funding into a $6.9 million exit. The reason they failed is simple. They bet on analytics. They...
"Fear Mongering": Hikvision USA Cybersecurity Director Dismisses Chinese Government Ownership Concerns on Feb 16, 2018
The facts are: The Chinese government created Hikvision and is Hikvision's controlling shareholder. Hikvision's Chairman, a Communist Party...
16:9 vs 4:3 Video Aspect Ratio Statistics on Feb 16, 2018
What aspect ratio do security integrators prefer? The 'standard' 4:3 or the 'wide' 16:9 one? 100+ integrators told us what they preferred, with...
Mercury Releases New Series 3 Redboard Access Panels on Feb 15, 2018
Mercury Security has their first major product release post-HID buyout, and things literally look different. The Series 3 SIO boards now are red...
Last Chance February 2018 Camera Course on Feb 15, 2018
This is the last chance to get into the Winter camera course, starts next Tuesday. Register now. IPVM provides the best education, live online...
Hikvision DeepInMind Tested Terribly on Feb 15, 2018
While Hikvision is heavily marketing deep learning and 'AI' as their next big thing, new IPVM test results of their DeepInMind NVR shows their deep...
Genetec CEO: You Cannot Buy Trust on Feb 14, 2018
Genetec's CEO, Pierre Racz, delivered a direct message at their channel partner conference: Racz has become a focal point in the industry debate...
Assa's Lowest Power Draw Maglock: Securitron M680E Examined on Feb 14, 2018
Securitron produces some of the most extreme maglocks on the market, including massively strong maglocks and even ones with integrated CCTV cams...
Hanwha Wisenet X 5MP Camera Tested (XNV-8080R) on Feb 13, 2018
Wisenet X is Hanwha's high-end camera line. We tested their Wisenet X 1080p camera last year. Now Hanwha is offering 5MP cameras listing super low...
Top Problems For Integrator Project Management on Feb 13, 2018
Security projects routinely encounter issues that jeopardize deadlines, create confusion, and shrink profits. Unfortunately, there are common...

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