Axis Open VMS (Axis Camera Station 5) Tested

By: Ethan Ace, Published on Mar 14, 2016

Axis has launched an open VMS, with its new ACS5. What has historically been an Axis only offering is now suddenly a potential competitor to the many open VMSes in the market, including its corporate sibling Milestone.

But how well does it work? We downloaded ACS5 and the free trial license to try it out.

Here is a quick peek showing 4 manufacturers running inside ACS5:

Inside, we examine the 3 key strengths and 5 key weaknesses of ACS5.

**** *** ******** ** open ***, **** *** *** ACS5. **** *** ************ been ** **** **** offering ** *** ******** a ********* ********** ** the **** **** ***** in *** ******, ********* its ********* ******* *********.

*** *** **** **** it ****? ************ **** *** *** free ***** ********* *** ** ***.

**** ** * ***** peek ******* * ************* running ****** ****:

******, ** ******* *** 3 *** ********* *** 5 *** ********** ** ACS5.

[***************]

Key ********

*** *** ********* ********:

  • ***** ***** ****** *********** was ***** ** *** tests *** *** ****** compatibility ****, ****** **** some ***************, ******.
  • ********** ** **** ******* was ****** *** ****, allowing ******** ******* *** integration
  • ****** ******* **********, ******** in ****, *** ****** and ******.

*** *** ********** ********:

  • ** *** ******* *** third ***** *******, ********** recording ****. **** **** adding ***** ***** *** support ** * **** priority *** **** *******.
  • *** *** ********* ******* works ****, *** ** not ***** *** ******* up **** **** ******** VMSes.
  • ********** **** / ****** management ** *********. ****** Axis ******** ********** ***** from ******** *******, ******** that ** ***********.
  • ********* ******* ** *********. Though ******** ******* *** be ******** **************, ********* they ****** ** ****** back *************.
  • ** ***** ****** ******. While **** ***** ** not ******* ****, ****' own****** ********* **** *** does **** ****. **** **** ****** this ** * **** priority *** **** *******.

Pricing **** ** ***** *****

*** *** *** * types ** *********. ***** is ********* **** ******* ******** **** *** (ACS5)******:

  • **** ******** *** *** Axis ******* *** **** up ** ** *******. MSRP ** $** *** per ******.
  • ********* ******** *** *** any *** **** ****** and *** *** ******* over ** *******. **** is $*** *** *** device.
  • ****** ***** ** ***** on ***** ******* ** a ******, *.*., ** you **** *** **** cameras ****** ** ******* connected ** * ****** client, **** ***** ******* 32 **** *** *** higher ****** ********* ********.
  • ** ********* / ****** / *********** ****, ** before, *** ****** ******** (ACS6, ***.) *** ******* an ******* ***.

Competitive ******

***** ***, **** ** 3rd ***** *** *******, ACS5 **** ********* ** for ***** *** **** all **** *** **** need ** *** ** a *** *** ***** cameras. *******, **** **** adds **** *** ***** remote ******, ** ******* that **** **** ** a ********, *** ************ competitor, ** **** ***** like ***** *** *********.

Solid ***** ***** ****** ***** ***********

*** ***** ***** ******* attempted (* ****** **** 5 *************) ****** ******* issues ** *** *, with ************* ** ********* and ********** *********** ********, and ***** ************ ********.

No ***** ***** ***

*** * **** *** support ***** ****** ********* on ***** ***** *******. Camera **** *** ** supported ** **** ******* only.

**** ***** **** ***-**** models *** ******* ** continuous ********* ****, * significant **********, ** **** VMSes ******* **** **** of ****** ********* (****** or ****** ****) *** many/most ***** ***** *******.

Device ************* **** ******

**** ****** ************* ********** ************* **** ****. Users ***** *** ******'* IP ******* *** ***********, and ***** ************* ***** are ***, *********** ********** of *.*** *** ***** streaming, *****, *** ***** configuration (***/**********). **** ********* that ******* **** ** ONVIF ******* * **********, but *** ****** ** not, *** **** *** use *** **** ******* S **** *** ***** party ************, ****** **** basic ****** *** *********.

************ *******

******* ********, *****, ****/*****, Hikvision, *** ****, ******* were ************, **** **** cameras ******* *** **** failing, *** ******* ******** upon ******, ******* ******** any ***** ********.

*** *******, ** ****** the ******** *.**-**-**, ***** fully ****** *** *****, shown ** **********. *******, running *** **** * second ****, *** ****** failed ***** *****. ******* a ***** ****, ** passed **** *****.

***** *** *** **** common *******, * ********** minor ******* ***** *** rarity ** ***** *********/*********. Only * ****** ******, the ********* **-*********-* ****** video ********* ***** (*****). However, **** ****** ****** fine ** *** **** added.

Strong **** ****** **********

*** ****** ****** ********** for *** ** *** Axis *******, **** *** Axis ****** ********** ********* integrated ******** **** *** client. **** ****** ***** to ******* ********, ******* ACAP ************, *** ********* cameras ** **** ******** from *** ******. ***** functions *** *** ********* in ***** ***** *******. Note **** ************* **** the **** *********** ***********, instead ** ****** ********, which *** ** ********* for ****** *****.

******* ** *** ********** interface, ***** ************* ******* are *********, **** ** brightness, ********, ***, ***., in ******** ** ***/**********/*********** available *** *** *******.

** ****** ***** ******** in **** *****:

Improved ****** ********* **********

*** * **** * licensing ****** ******* ***** users *** ****** ***** systems' ********, *** ******, and *** ********** ****** channels ******* ******* ** visit *** **** ** access *** ****** ********. Licenses *** ********* *** automatically ****** ** *** server *** *** ********. For ***** ******* ******** access, ***** *** ******** a ******* **** ***** can ** ******** ** the ******.

** **** **** ****** in *** ***** *****:

New ********* ** ****** ******* ** ***********

****' *** ********* ******* allows ***** ** ****** click *** **** ******* archived *****, ******* ** requiring **** ** **** back/forward ** ******* ****** or ***** ** ******** points ** *** ********. This ** *** ** ACS, *** ****** ** most ***** *****.

Export ******* *********

*** * ******* ***** in **** .*** ****** only, ******* * *********** player. ******** ******* *** be ******** ** *** time, *** ******* * proprietary/multi-camera ******. * ******** is ******* ********** *** clips ********, *** **** are ****** **** ************, not **************.

Enterprise **** / ****** ********** *********

******** *** * ********* may ** ****** *** configured **** *** ****** instance, *** **** ******** are *** ****** *********. In ***** ** *** up ******** *******, ***** export * ************* **** from * ********** ******, and ****** ** ** the ****. ******** ** not ****** ****** *** user ***** ***** ** a ******* ********.

No ***** *********

****** *** ***** ********** found ** *********** **** ****** ********* release, *** * ******** manual **** ********** ** remotely *******, ****** *** client ** ****** *** (new **** *** *). Users **** ******** ***** the ** ******* ** host **** ** **** server **** **** ** connect **. ** ********,**** ****** ********* ******* *** ***** ** a ****'* **** *******, allowing **** ** *** in ******** ******* ****** setup.

Server ****/*** *****

*** ***** ** *** Axis ****** ******* ******* itself *** ***, ~*-*% on ** ** *.* GHz, **** *** ** and * ***** ******* in ***. **** ***** remained ****** ********** ********** of *******/********** ** ***.

**** ****** ******** ******** decoding ** *** *, but ** *** *****, we *** ** ********** with *** ******** ** or ***. ** **** reached *** ** **** for *******.

Comments (13)

Why even bother releasing without third party VMD now? Either wait until VMD works, or release as is but make the announcement at ISC West. If they would have waited, it probably would have been the big announcement at ISC.

"Why even bother releasing without third party VMD now?"

Getting ONVIF based VMD to work consistently is a minefield (see ONVIF test results) so that could have been a factor.

No, I get that, I'm asking why they didn't wait to launch or announce it as ISC, in just a few weeks.

IMO, if you're going to wait for ISC West to drop a product announcement it should be HUGE.

This is really incremental to something Axis has had for a while. It's noteworthy, but it's not enough to drown out the rest of the noise at ISC West. As Itamar noted, the price itself isn't really fantastic for the feature set you get.

Many people go to ISC West with a game plan of what they want to see. As a manufacturer you're better off (IMO) getting releases like this out earlier. Give people time to digest it, give people time to think about it relative to other options, and then at the show you can have a more in-depth conversation with an informed person.

For Axis, an ISC West level announcement would be them doing a 32MP camera to rival Avigilon's 30MP. You know Avigilon is going to have a lot of their messaging at ISC West revolving around the 7K camera, so Axis could throw their competitor off their game by making an announcement like that AT the show.

For Axis, an ISC West level announcement would be them doing a 32MP camera

That would ship 32M later...

I'm not sure what the strategy is. It feels like with 80$ per device is too expensive for what you get.

I'm guessing that things will improve over time but the price is too close to milestone essential license.

I understand that both MS and AX want to keep the appearance of an independent companies but I think the better strategy is keep being open but base your products on milestone at this stage.

"It feels like with 80$ per device is too expensive for what you get."

My guess is that the price is a 'feature', not a 'bug'. In other words, Axis may have set that price to limit the competitive threat of ACS to third parties. Imagine if they gave away ACS for Axis cameras? That would be highly disruptive to their partner relationships.

Imagine if they gave away ACS for Axis cameras?

Imagine if Milestone gave away a camera with every license. :)

Ask the customer what features they feel are most needed that they are willing to pay for. Then compare those comments with one of the no license fee manufacturers. I bet most do not give a hoot about half the stuff and if they knew they could RECORD, PUSH to the CLOUD, and VIEW LIVE for free they would do it for FREE.

Was there an example video of the user basics I might have missed? Here is how what the start interface looks like... Here is how to bring up and change cameras... Here is how to change or choose your layout... Here is how to playback/rewind/jump to previous date and time in video ... Here is how to get to the Event List (if any)...

As for the software, it seems very behind established players in similar price ranges like DW Spectrum/NXWitness, Exacq Start and Pro, MS Essential (alreayd mentioned), etc. I guess their long term play is for people who want all Axis at the small to mid level installations...?

What specifically makes you think it is 'very behind established players in similar price ranges'?

We did not record basic videos as we focused on what's new as the basics remain the same from previous versions of ACS.

I think the lack of camera side motion detection, the lack of multiview export, and the other players just seem to have more established 3rd party camera support. I'm not saying they can't catch up quickly if they want to. But my jaded view is while many manufacturers say they'll do this or that soon, it usually takes a long time.

We reviewed the last few year's releases of Axis Camera Station, a client UX refresh and Manual Video Redaction being the primary significant changes, while overall the majority of new features have been incremental configuration changes (e.g. camera password management updates), minor UX updates (e.g. Touchscreen actions enabled, 3rd party fisheye dewarp) and bug fixes.

We have decided not to test currently but might in the future if Axis substantially improves ACS.

Login to read this IPVM report.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts unique testing and research funded by member's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.

Related Reports

Milestone XProtect 2019 R3 'Centralized Search' Tested on Oct 30, 2019
Milestone has had problems over the last few years releasing significant new software. Now, in XProtect 2019 R3, Milestone is touting "one search...
Network Optix NxWitness 4.0 Tested on Oct 10, 2019
Network Optix released Nx Witness 4.0, proclaiming new features like a deep learning analytics metadata SDK, increased H.265 support, and UX...
Genetec Stratocast VSaaS Tested on Sep 05, 2019
The VSaaS market is rapidly expanding in 2019, with Verkada, Meraki, Eagle Eye, Avigilon and numerous startups growing their market share. When we...
CheckMySystems Company Profile on Aug 14, 2019
CheckMySystems says that too many users respond, "I get an email when something is wrong" when talking about their video system maintenance plan,...
Avigilon Blue VSaaS Tested on Aug 05, 2019
Avigilon says Blue is a "powerful integrator cloud service platform", easy to set up and configure, quickly scale business, by leveraging cloud...
Avigilon ACC7 VMS Tested on Jul 22, 2019
Avigilon's Control Center 7 boldly claims it will "transform live video monitoring" with the new Focus of Attention "AI-enabled" interface. We...
Network Optix / Hanwha Cloud Access Tested on Jul 02, 2019
Remote cloud access is becoming a bigger differentiator, as cybersecurity issues underscore the problems of port forwarding and many integrators...
Exacq Remote Cloud Access Tested on Jun 20, 2019
Remote cloud access has been missing from most VMSes (including Exacq and Milestone). Now, Exacq, after releasing Cloud Drive Storage earlier in...
Milestone XProtect 2019 R1 Tested on May 15, 2019
For the past few years, Milestone has released quarterly software updates XProtect VMS platform. What is new and how much impact do the updates...
Bluecherry Open Sources Entire VMS on May 13, 2019
Bluecherry announced they have "released the entire Bluecherry software application open source with a GPL license". We spoke to Bluecherry's...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Pivot3 Mass Layoffs on Mar 27, 2020
Pivot3 has conducted mass layoffs, the culmination of grand hopes, a quarter of a billion dollars in VC funding, and multiple failures to gain...
Athena CEO Criticizes 'Deplorable' 'Nitpicking', IPVM Refutes on Mar 27, 2020
Athena Security's CEO Lisa Falzone has strongly objected to IPVM's reporting on Athena, calling it 'deplorable' and repeatedly criticizing IPVM's...
Hikvision Admits Sanctions Harming Its Financial Performance on Mar 27, 2020
While Hikvision initially downplayed being sanctioned for human rights abuses, the company is now admitting a significant impact in a new PRC...
New Axis M30 Cameras Tested on Mar 26, 2020
Axis has released a new generation of, for them, relatively low cost M30 series cameras, claiming to deliver "sharp video quality even in poor...
Coronavirus Shuts Down ADT Door Knockers on Mar 26, 2020
Coronavirus has another victim - this time, alarm giant ADT has stopped all door to door sales. Door knockers are a critical but controversial...
Access Control Course Spring 2020 - Save $50 Last Day on Mar 26, 2020
Register Now - Spring 2020 Access Control Course. Today, March 26th is the last day to save $50. IPVM offers the most comprehensive access...
Convergint Coronavirus Cuts on Mar 25, 2020
One of the world's largest security integrators, Convergint, has made a major move to handle the impact of coronavirus, with cuts across the...
VSaaS 101 on Mar 25, 2020
Video Surveillance as a Service (VSaaS) is the common industry term for cloud video. But what does it mean? How does it all work? Inside this...
TVT / InVid Facial Recognition Tested on Mar 25, 2020
Facial recognition is frequently sold for thousands of dollars per channel but some China manufacturers are offering full facial recognition...
IPVM Launches On-Demand Courses on Mar 24, 2020
For nearly a decade, IPVM has been a leader in online live courses. Now, we have added on-demand versions for all courses. The same course...