Spam, Twinkies and Arecont: Pixels Per Dollar

Author: John Honovich, Published on Dec 20, 2012

Measuring ROI can be difficult but Arecont Vision is proposing a new simple metric to do so. Called 'Pixels Per Dollar', it precisely and quickly measure the cost effectiveness of pixels deployed. In this note, we examine whether this should be adopted.

Background

Megapixel manufacturer Arecont Vision has recently released a white paper and marketing campaign to promote this. They simply take a camera's total number of pixels and divide by its cost, so a 1MP camera that costs $400 would deliver 2500 pixels per dollar (1MP / $400).

Here is an excerpt of Arecont's pixel per dollar chart:

av pp$

The only missing column is the assumed price of each camera, which Arecont estimates at ~$200 for analog and ~$550 for 10MP. Those prices are obviously skewed but the general point remains - higher resolution cameras deliver more pixels per dollar.

In this chart Arecont estimates a 10MP camera delivers 12x the 'value' of an analog one, down from 32.7 times in their resolution benefits chart.

Value of Pixels Per Dollar?

This metric best works if pixels are all the same, simply that some cameras can deliver more of them.

Consider calories. You need calories to live and, if you want to save money, looking at calories per dollar is useful. However, if you take it to an extreme, you would probably have to live on spam and twinkies:

Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox
Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox

spam twinkies arecont

While the general trend of increased pixel 'productivity' is good, going to the extreme of pure pixels per dollar maximization introduces risks of its own.

Pixels Are Not All the Same

Unfortunately, pixels are not all the same and piling on as many pixels as possible can cause severe problems much like eating lots of calories can lead to diabetes, heart attacks, and death.

As our resolution tutorial examines, pixels are only one element in imaging and often run against overall image quality - low light, WDR, etc. Indeed, a savvy purchaser might want to red flag any camera whose pixels per dollar was too high as it likely indicates other problems - like being the Spam or Twinkies of video surveillance.

2015 Update

Arecont is still using pixel per dollar, though now it shows why the company has lost its competitive positioning. See: Arecont Accurately Predicts Its Own Fall.

5 reports cite this report:

Arecont EVP Schafer Ousted on Oct 09, 2017
Days after IPVM reported Troubles At Arecont Vision, the public face of Arecont and the incoming Chairman of the Security Industry Association,...
Troubles At Arecont Vision on Oct 03, 2017
Arecont is facing big problems. But Arecont says the future is 'bright'. In this note, we share feedback from Arecont and from sources close to...
Arecont 10MP G5 Tested on May 31, 2016
For years, Arecont Vision had an advantage with their 10 megapixel cameras as few rivals offered more than 5MP. Indeed, they capitalized on it...
Arecont SituationalPlus+ Explained on Nov 11, 2015
Arecont claims to be 'redefining situational awareness' through their new SituationalPlus+ But what is it? And how does it compare to their...
Arecont Accurately Predicts Its Own Fall on Jul 24, 2015
You have to give credit where credit is due. Three years ago, Arecont introduced the idiotic Pixels Per Dollar metric. On the one hand, it is...
Comments : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Most Recent Industry Reports

H.265 Usage Statistics on Apr 19, 2019
H.265 has been available in IP cameras for more than 5 years and, in the past few years, the number of manufacturers supporting this codec has...
ACRE Acquires RS2, Explains Acquisition Strategy on Apr 19, 2019
ACRE continues to buy, now acquiring RS2, just 5 months after buying Open Options. One is a small access control manufacturer from Texas, the...
Access Control Course Spring 2019 - Last Chance on Apr 19, 2019
Register for the Spring Access Control Course. IPVM offers the most comprehensive access control course in the industry. Unlike manufacturer...
Riser vs Plenum Cabling Explained on Apr 18, 2019
You could be spending twice as much for cable as you need. The difference between 'plenum' rated cable and 'riser' rated cable is subtle, but the...
Verint Victimized By Ransomware on Apr 18, 2019
Verint, which is best known in the physical security industry for video surveillance but has built a sizeable cybersecurity business as well, was...
Milestone Drops IFSEC on Apr 18, 2019
Milestone has dropped out of Europe's largest annual security trade show (IFSEC 2019), telling IPVM that they "have found that IFSEC in EMEA no...
The Fastest Growing Video Surveillance Sales Organization Ever - Verkada on Apr 17, 2019
Verkada has the fastest growing video surveillance sales organization ever. In less than 2 years, they already have more salespeople in the US...
Door Operators Access Control Tutorial on Apr 17, 2019
Doors equipped with door operators, specialty devices that automate opening and closing, tend to be quite complex. The mechanisms needed to...
Securadyne CEO: IPVM 'Entertaining For An Ignorant Few' on Apr 16, 2019
Securadyne's CEO Carey Boethel is unhappy with IPVM's report - Failed Integrator Rollup, Securadyne Sells to Guard Giant Allied. Indeed, he...
Dahua Repositionable IR Multi-Imager Camera Tested on Apr 16, 2019
Dahua has released their first repositionable multi-imager camera, the Multi-Flex 4x2MP, claiming integrated IR, true WDR, and flexible...

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