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) : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

2020 Camera Book Released on Jan 10, 2020
This is the best, most comprehensive security camera training in the world, based on our unprecedented testing. Now, all IPVM PRO Members can get...
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,...
Casino Surveillance Pro Interview: James Lathrop on Feb 15, 2019
James Lathrop [link no longer available] has been working in casinos for almost 25 years. During that time, he says he has held "just about every...
Police Department Surveillance Manager Interview on Feb 28, 2019
Former Memphis PD Surveillance Manager, Lt. Joseph Patty retired months ago, but kept busy during his decades on the force, working to build up...
Large US University End-User Video Surveillance Interview on Mar 18, 2019
Schools have become targets in modern days of active shooters and terrorist fears. The need for video and access security is high. Universities...
Large Hospital Security End User Interview on Mar 21, 2019
This large single-state healthcare system consists of many hospitals, and hundreds of health parks, private practices, urgent care facilities, and...
Casino Security Consultant Carl Lindgren Interview on Mar 26, 2019
For more than 20 years, Carl Lindgren [link no longer available] worked as a casino surveillance pro, while being active (and sometimes outspoken)...
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...
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...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Axis and Genetec Drop IFSEC 2020 on Jan 23, 2020
Two of the best-known video surveillance manufacturers are dropping IFSEC International 2020, joining Milestone who dropped IFSEC in 2019. The...
Multipoint Door Lock Tutorial on Jan 23, 2020
Despite widespread use, locked doors are notoriously weak at stopping entry, and thousands can be misspent on locks that leave doors quite...
Avigilon Shifts Cloud Strategy - Merges Blue and ACC on Jan 23, 2020
Avigilon is shifting its cloud strategy, phasing out its Blue web-managed surveillance platform as a stand-alone brand and merging it with its ACC...
Verkada Paying $100 For Referrals Just To Demo on Jan 22, 2020
Some companies pay for referrals when the referral becomes a customer. Verkada is taking it to the next level - paying $100 referrals fees simply...
Camera Analytics Shootout 2020 - Avigilon, Axis, Bosch, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Uniview, Vivotek on Jan 22, 2020
Analytics are hot again, thanks to a slew of AI-powered cameras, but whose analytics really work? And how do these new smart cameras compare to top...
Intersec 2020 Final Show Report on Jan 21, 2020
IPVM spent all 3 days at the Intersec 2020 show interviewing various companies and finding key trends. We cover: Middle East Enterprise...
Vehicle & Long Range Access Reader Tutorial on Jan 21, 2020
One of the classic challenges for access control are parking lots and garages, where the user's credential is far from the reader. With modern...
Clearview AI Alarm - NY Times Report Says "Might End Privacy" on Jan 20, 2020
Over the weekend, the NY Times released a report titled "The Secretive Company That Might End Privacy as We Know It" about a company named...
Favorite Camera Manufacturers 2020 on Jan 20, 2020
The past 2 years of US bans and sanctions have shaken the video surveillance industry but what impact would this have on integrators' favorite...
"Severely Impacted" Mercury Security 2020 Leap Year Firmware Issue on Jan 17, 2020
One of the largest access controller manufacturers has a big problem: February 29th. Mercury Security, owned by HID, is alerting partners of the...