ADI Proves It Knows Nothing About Surveillance

By: John Honovich, Published on Dec 27, 2013

ADI has a terrible reputation. Box pushers, Order takers, etc.

Indeed, a riot almost broke out when a member asked if they should let ADI design and quote jobs for them.

Now, ADI has a blog which is a showcase in surveillance ignorance.

Their newest series is why "Every Video Surveillance System Should be on the Internet" which would be interesting if this was 2003...

Moreover, the advice is horrible.

Getting Analog Video On the Internet

Here's a scenario ADI presents:

"A small retail account has an analog four-camera system. The four cameras are viewed on a quad monitor. On the back of the monitor there is typically a parallel BNC connector. Using a coax cable, the parallel output can be connected to a video encoder such as the ACTi ACD, ADI part number AR-ACD2100. ... Once the video signal is connected to the video encoder, Cat5e UTP can be used to connect the encoder to the customer’s LAN. With proper programming the images on the analog monitor will be accessible from PCs on the LAN as well as over the Internet."

What? Who in 2013 has an analog system without a network enabled DVR? Even if you did, you can get a 4 channel one anywhere (Radio Shack, Costco, etc.) ironically for less than what it costs to buy ADI's recommended ACTi single channel encoder without H.264. Equally bizarre, since they recommend only a single channel encoder, you can only watch one camera live at a time as it rotates through, instead of a 4 channel DVR that would let you watch any camera at any time as well as recorded video.

Police Accessing Video

Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News
Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News

Another scenario is related to the Boston bombing, with ADI contending:

"Every surveillance camera/system should be connected to the Internet for remote live and recorded viewing. What if the bombs had gone off on a Sunday or in the middle of the night, when the retail stores would typically be closed? No employees would be present to give the authorities access to the recorded video. A business manager or owner would have to be located, contacted, and come to the store to assist the police"

What does ADI expect to happen here? Have the business give their system username and password to the police and have the police find the video themselves? 

  • Even if the video is accessible over the Internet, the system should not be publicly accessible by simply typing in the IP address of the unit. Most sensible businesses would (or should) restrict it to VPN access. In that case, a company representative would still need to meet with the police, even if it is to bring them their laptop.
  • The police are unlikely to know how to retrieve video from any businesses' DVR as there are 100s of types and the police can not be expected to know the intricacies of each one. As such, the business or its integrator will almost always need to assist police in person.
  • Since the business in this scenario is next to the crime scene, that is where the police are going to be anyway. What are you going to do? Ask the police to come to your house to use the client on your laptop?
  • Finally, there is the common need to use / install a thick client to do more powerful searching and the amount of time /delay to export video via a WAN Internet connection instead of directly from the machine / site it is housed in.

Role of Video in Boston

ADI praises surveillance in Boston:

"I think every ADI customer understands the critical role that surveillance video played in the Boston Marathon bombing investigation. Because of the high quality cameras focused on the street, usable images of the alleged perpetrators were quickly located and broadcast to the general public. The suspects were quickly identified and the authorities were able to chase them down."

This, of course, is ironic, as the very best, highest quality images came from mobile phones, not surveillance cameras. Not only where mobile phone videos more detailed, they were from better angles as people on the street captured suspects straight on, not high up as surveillance cameras are normally positioned.

As an industry, we can pretend that traditional surveillance video was the 'hero' of the Boston bombing, but the reality was that this was the first major event where mobile phones played an equal if not greater role in identifying criminals. [Update: comment on Vancouver Winter Olympics below.]


None of this surprises us, except for the fact that supposedly the person writing this, even at lowly ADI, should know something about video surveillance.

That said, ADI is not the only distributor woefully uninformed. Check out Anixter's greatest misses.

1 report cite this report:

Ingram Micro is Back to Defend IP! on Nov 13, 2015
With $40+ billion annual sales, Ingram Micro is a mega distributor. But they have never been anything in physical security. Their last major push...
Comments (32) : Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Phone Camera Calculator Released on Mar 10, 2020
IPVM has released the first-ever Phone Calculator, video surveillance design software that you can use on your phone, without installing an...
2020 IP Networking Book Released on Jan 06, 2020
The new IP Networking Book 2020 is a 280 page in-depth guide that teaches you how IT and telecom technologies impact modern security systems,...
IPVM Opens 12,000 Sqft Testing Facility on Dec 16, 2019
IPVM is proud to announce the opening of the world's first video surveillance testing facility that will allow us to significantly expand our...
3 Weeks Later, Honeywell Still Cannot Say Whether They Are Vulnerable To Dahua Wiretapping [Now Admits] on Aug 27, 2019
The Dahua wiretapping vulnerability and Dahua's decision to delay disclosing it until IPVM inquired underscored problems with cybersecurity and...
'CCTV' Is the Past, Cloud Video Surveillance Is the Future on Jul 08, 2019
A fundamental shift is happening. For decades, video surveillance was overwhelmingly 'closed' and off the Internet. This is changing. More and more...
Manufacturer Favorability Guide 2019 on Jun 12, 2019
The 259 page PDF guide may be downloaded inside by all IPVM members. It includes our manufacturer favorability rankings and individual...
Kidnapping Victim Rescued With Video From Ring Doorbell Camera on May 24, 2019
A kidnapping victim was rescued within 24 hours, with the police crediting video from a Ring Doorbell camera as key to solving the case. A girl was...
Closed Cloud Cameras Trashed on May 13, 2019
When you buy a camera, do you own it? Not anymore. In the world of closed cloud cameras, you may think you are buying a camera but all you are...
Bastille Cell Phone Tracking Profile on Apr 30, 2019
Is tracking someone by their cellphone the next generation of surveillance? Bastille is a US startup which tracks people by their cellphone or...
Casino Security Consultant Carl Lindgren Interview on Mar 26, 2019
For more than 20 years, Carl Lindgren worked as a casino surveillance pro, while being active (and sometimes outspoken) on various online video...

Most Recent Industry Reports

IPVM's 12th Anniversary - Thank You! on Apr 07, 2020
IPVM is proud to celebrate it's 12 anniversary expanding our commitment to providing the industry independent and objective information on video...
Mobotix Thermal Body Temperature Detection Examined on Apr 07, 2020
Mobotix has jumped into the Coronavirus temperature detection market, but how do they compare to thermal incumbents like FLIR or ICI who have been...
Verkada Coronavirus Response: Free Temp Systems For Government and Health Care on Apr 07, 2020
Verkada has built a reputation on giving away things for free - free Yeti Tumblers, free trial cameras and now free temporary systems for...
Hikvision USA Refuses, Dahua USA Drives Forward With "Coronavirus Cameras" on Apr 07, 2020
Both have been federally banned, both sanctioned for human rights abuses but only one - Dahua - is taking aim at the booming "coronavirus cameras"...
China Surveillance Vulnerabilities Being Used To Attack China, Says China on Apr 07, 2020
While China video surveillance vulnerabilities have been much debated in the West in the past few years, China is now saying those vulnerabilities...
USA ICI Elevated Skin Temperature Detectors Examined on Apr 06, 2020
Infrared Cameras, Inc. (ICI) is aiming to help slow the spread of COVID-19 with "pinpoint accurate skin temperature measurement" using their...
Trade Groups Request NDAA Blacklist Delay Citing Coronavirus on Apr 06, 2020
Two trade groups representing government contractors have asked Congress to delay implementation of the NDAA's 'blacklist' clause from this August...
Coronavirus Hits Manufacturers, Standing Now, Worse To Come on Apr 06, 2020
Coronavirus is hitting security manufacturers, though overall modestly for now, with worse expected to come, new IPVM survey results...
FLIR New Coronavirus Prioritized Temperature Screening Camera Examined on Apr 03, 2020
FLIR has announced a new series of thermal cameras "prioritized for entities working to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 virus", the A400/A700...
ADI Branch Burglary on Apr 03, 2020
A security systems distributor branch is an odd target for burglary but that happened this week at ADI's Memphis location. Vehicle Smash &...