Avigilon Dirty Tricks

By: John Honovich, Published on Jan 15, 2014

Avigilon's products are strong but their marketing is consistently and utterly irresponsible - one dirty trick after another. While their rapid growth to become a top-tier manufacturer is admirable, their marketing is repugnant.

This has been going on for years.

Replacing Up to 95 Cameras

Avigilon's most famous trick is their claims of ‘replacing up to 95 cameras’ which is misleading on many levels and especially ironic, considering they fail to mention that camera has 93% lower frame rate and hogs 10x more storage/bandwidth per frame.

The Chart

Avigilon has a pseudo study with a ridiculous chart purporting that 12 Avigilon cameras can replace 520 analog cameras and save more than $300,000. Equally bizarre, this is done in a 25,000 sqft parking lot which fits about 100 cars – or 5 analog cameras per vehicle.

The Commercial

Avigilon’s commercial features two impossible claims. First, they capture license plates while cars are turning, going 30+ mph in a 50+ ft wide FoV all at the same time. Then they digitally zoom into a 300’+ wide FoV of a stadium displaying HD, full frame rate details of people in the crowd. Watch it yourself:

The Home Page

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

Avigilon's home page featured a clear manipulation, prominently showcasing 5 'comparisons' between analog and HD with the headline 'Find out what you have been missing in HD'. Each shows an 'analog' and an Avigilon HD image side by side. Here is one:

analog vs hd

The analog camera looks horrible, dramatically worse than the Avigilon. However, this is a massive misrepresentation of what an analog camera delivers in such a scene. We raised these concerns repeatedly to Avigilon but they declined any comment.

Here is a real comparison we did of an old analog camera vs a new H3 3MP Avigilon camera:

real comparison

The real analog image is far better than Avigilon's doctored 'analog' one and while obviously inferior to a 3MP one, nowhere near as much of a gap as Avigilon portrays.

[UPDATE July 2013: Avigilon admits ad not actual.]

Avigilon's comparison suffers from the same issues as the Arecont ad and, we believe, violates the same laws and regulations.

Updated: MORE Dirty Tricks

3rd Party IP Camera Support

Avigilon's 3rd party IP camera claims are grossly and knowingly misleading buyers.

Let's take a look at their marketing:

Saying they support any ONVIF camera including motion detection and PTZ is crazy, especially with motion detection and PTZs (see ONVIF Detailed Technical Answers)

And here's more from Avigilon:

There's no gray area here. This claim is obviously and demonstrably false. 

Equally troubling, we hear regularly that many Avigilon RSMs gloss over any concerns about integrating with 3rd party cameras in much the same way as the website misstates their support.

World's Smallest HD Dome Camera

Avigilon's ad campaign for their microdome purposely hides part of the camera. Compare their ad on the left to the actual camera on the right:

Avigilon shows only the lens and imager in the ad comparing it to a golf ball. But that is not the full camera. It needs the 'pez dispenser' permanently attached to it to work which routinely causes installation problems.

CFO Debacle

Avigilon's stock is down more than 50% since its peak in early 2014. One of the key drivers in this downturn has been the controversy of Avigilon's CFO 'resigning' the night before quarterly financials were released. Avigilon claimed a 'personal health issue', but then the ex-CFO got a new job the next month. Avigilon's CEO and financiers also insinuated that those executives leaving were simply 'greedy'.

More Executives Out

So far in 2015, the SVP of Sales has 'resigned' as well as the EVP of engineering and the VP of Marketing, while reports of fear and intimidation within the company have grown.

Patent Enforcement Campaign

Avigilon spent $80 million buying patents from Object Video, who previously had sued many manufacturers looking to get paid. Now, Avigilon is starting its own patent licensing / enforcement program.

Much like Object Video's methods were widely decried as taking advantage of the patent system, so too are Avigilon's.

Ambulance Chasing Paris Terror Attacks

In November 2015, following the deaths of 100+ in France, Avigilon's CEO went on TV offering a science fiction 'solution' to terror attacks, not only taking advantage of a tragedy but advocating technology that neither Avigilon nor any manufacturer can deliver today.

Track Record of Manipulation and Deception

We certainly think highly of Avigilon's products, both cameras and VMS, but their marketing is among the most irresponsible in the entire surveillance industry. We hope Avigilon takes a deep look at these practices and reconsiders. They neither need to nor should stoop to these levels.

IPVM Test Results

IPVM backs up its critiques with the industry's most in-depth testing of Avigilon products, including:

2 reports cite this report:

Verkada False Allegations Against Avigilon Exposed on May 08, 2019
Verkada has leveled false allegations against Avigilon, as part of their aggressive marketing tactics against the 'dinosaurs' in the 'ancient'...
Avigilon Hires Hikvision NA Head of Marketing As VP of Global Marketing on Jan 25, 2019
Avigilon has hired Alex Asnovich [link no longer available], who left Hikvision as Head of Marketing North America, to becomes Avigilon's Vice...

Comments (0)

Only IPVM Members may comment. Login or Join.

Related Reports

Cheap Camera Problems at Night on Feb 19, 2020
Cheap cameras generally have problems at night, despite the common perception that integrated IR makes cameras mostly the same, according to new...
Integrated IR Camera Shootout 2020 - Avigilon, Axis, Bosch, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Panasonic, Uniview, Vivotek on Jan 30, 2020
The best and worst cameras tested in this IPVM shootout showed major differences in quality and performance. While many view IR as being a...
The Booming Multi-Billion Coronavirus Fever Camera Market on Apr 21, 2020
The market for elevated body temperature detection cameras, aka 'coronavirus cameras' aka 'fever detectors', may be worth billions of dollars this...
Dahua, Hikvision, ZKTeco Face Mask Detection Shootout on Jun 19, 2020
Temperature tablets with face mask detection are one of the hottest trends in the current coronavirus driven market. But how well does face mask...
Faked Convergint Fever Camera 'Expert' Marketing on Jun 16, 2020
Convergint touts they are "THERMAL CAMERA SOLUTION EXPERTS" while faking their main marketing image. This continues a trend of manufacturers,...
Faked Coronavirus Fever Detection, Athena Used Hikvision; Responds - Selling NDAA Compliant Cameras, Pledging 50% Of Profits to Victims on Mar 24, 2020
US company, Athena Security, faked its coronavirus fever detection marketing, faked a customer, faked comments, and is now using Hikvision, IPVM...
Sunell Panda Cam Body Temperature Measurement Camera Tested on May 14, 2020
Sunell is far less well known than its gargantuan domestic competitors Dahua and Hikvision but the company's 'Panda Cam' is going head to head...
The Problem With Fever Detecting Thermal Sunglasses on Apr 15, 2020
While the media has promoted using thermal sunglasses to detect fevers, this approach has fundamental problems and, at best, is health...
Convergint Refuses To Fix Faked Fever Marketing, FTC Complaint Filed on Jun 19, 2020
Since Convergint has refused to fix their faked fever camera marketing, IPVM has filed a complaint with the US Federal Trade Commission which...
ADT: 'Fever' Cameras Are Medical Devices on Jun 15, 2020
While many manufacturers are avoiding admitting their 'fever' cameras are medical devices, ADT has taken a strong and clear position. ADT has...

Most Recent Industry Reports

ZeroEyes Presents Firearm Detection Video Analytics on Jul 09, 2020
ZeroEyes presented its Firearm detection Video Analytics system at the May 2020 IPVM Startups show. A 30-minute video from ZeroEyes...
Directory of 162 "Fever" Camera Suppliers on Jul 09, 2020
This directory provides a list of "Fever" scanning thermal camera providers to help you see and research what options are available. There are...
Clinton Public View Monitor (PVM) Mask Detection Tested on Jul 09, 2020
Face mask detection, or more specifically not wearing one, is expanding amidst the pandemic. Clinton Electronics has added this capability to their...
These Florida Real Estate Agents Are Now Selling "SafeCheck USA" Temperature Detectors on Jul 09, 2020
The "Kakon Brothers", William and Nathan, are self-described "south Florida Power Agents specializing in Luxury Real Estate" who "have closed over...
Avigilon ACC Cloud Tested on Jul 08, 2020
Avigilon merged Blue and ACC, adding VSaaS features to its on-premise VMS, offering remote video and health monitoring that was previously limited...
Hikvision's India Dominance Faces Threat on Jul 08, 2020
While Hikvision has become a dominant video surveillance provider in India, recent tension between the governments of India and the PRC is...
The US Fight Over Facial Recognition Explained on Jul 08, 2020
The controversy around facial recognition has grown significantly in 2020, with Congress members and activists speaking out against it while video...
Sperry West / Alibaba Tablet Temperature Measurement Tested on Jul 07, 2020
In April, we ordered a ~$500 temperature tablet from Alibaba. We set it to the side while doing 18 other temperature screening tests but, after...
Facial Recognition: Weak Sales, Anti Regulation, No Favorite, Says Security Integrators on Jul 07, 2020
While facial recognition has gained greater prominence, a new IPVM study of security systems integrators shows weak sales, opposition to...