Arecont Tests Firmware

By John Honovich, Published Oct 09, 2012, 08:00pm EDT

The tech gods must be smiling at the recent Arecont Vision 'news'. The brave journalists at Security Products traveled all the way to Germany to get this scoop, presented below:

I wondered if there could be anything different today from the recent ASIS show.

[Arecont Vision] is announcing the release of a firmware upgrade. It should be available this week, following regression testing, which means that new features added to the existing firmware is tested to ensure that it doesn’t cause any problems with cameras already deployed in the field.

“Firmware code is always evolving based on previous products with enhancements,” said Darrell Tisdale, director of quality of technical support at Arecont. “This is easy on the customer and the technical partners. One firmware will make is easier on everyone, and later this year, we will be releasing an updated firmware for our panoramic cameras.”

New firmware and tested to boot!

Two notable take-aways from this:

  • Trade magazine editors suffer from technology illiteracy. Regression testing is to software development what a seat belt is to driving a car. Testing firmware is not news (well, unless the company has legions of historical quality complaints). 
  • Given Arecont's history, however, this is richly ironic. Firmware problems were one of the most common complaints about Arecont in the 2011 integrator survey. We had a similiar incident 2 years ago. Arecont sent us a camera, we set it up and the video displayed a sharp blue tinge. We thought we must have been doing something wrong or received a bad unit. However, when we called up Arecont and said, 'sharp blue tinge', without hesitation they told us to upgrade the firmware to fix it. Companies with solid testing programs should never have this type of obvious show stopper problem (and indeed in testing numerous cameras from various camera manufacturers have never come across such a fundamental issue).

That noted, by all accounts, Arecont Vision is improving their quality standards and processes though by how much and how close to market leaders remains to be seen.

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