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

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,...
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...
Milestone Has Problems on Oct 01, 2019
Milestone has problems. While the company previously excelled in the shift to IP cameras, as IP has matured and competitive differentiation has...
Briefcam Buys Frost Award* on Jun 20, 2019
Frost 'awards' are well-known and widely disrespected. Now Briefcam is touting their win. The way it has worked for many years is that Frost...
False Verkada 'Unrivaled' Low Light Performance Claim Removed on Jun 12, 2019
Verkada falsely claimed that it delivered 'UNRIVALED LOW LIGHT PERFORMANCE' until IPVM questioned. In fact, Verkada's low light performance is...
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...
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'...
Milestone Alleges [Now Removed], Qognify Denies VMS "Running Out Of Support" on May 01, 2019
Milestone is running a marketing campaign where they allege that OnSSI and Seetec VMSes are 'running out of support'. However, Qognify's CEO flatly...
The Embarrassing Story of ISC West's Best New IP Camera on Apr 24, 2019
A sad but simple situation: Only 2 companies paid SIA the thousands of dollars required to compete for the best new 'cameras IP' The judges...

Most Recent Industry Reports

EyePark Presents Mobile Driver Authentication on Jun 05, 2020
EyePark presented its long-range QR code parking verification platform at the May 2020 IPVM Startups show. A 30-minute video from EyePark...
Bleenco "Under The Tongue" Temperature Detection Examined on Jun 05, 2020
"Say aah", says Bleenco, a PPE detection video analytics company, offering a different method for measuring body temperature with a thermal...
Hikvision and Uniview Entry Level Thermal Handheld Cameras Tested on Jun 05, 2020
While most screening systems cost $10,000 or more, manufacturers such as Hikvision and Uniview have now released handheld models for $1,000 or...
Sequr Presents HID based Cloud Access Control on Jun 04, 2020
Sequr presented HID based Cloud Access Control at the May 2020 IPVM Startups show. Inside this report: A 30-minute video from Sequr...
VergeSense Presents People Tracking Sensor on Jun 04, 2020
VergeSense presented its people tracking sensor and social distancing insights at the May 2020 IPVM Startups show. A 30-minute video from...
FLIR A Series Temperature Screening Cameras Tested on Jun 04, 2020
FLIR is one of the biggest names in thermal and one of the most conservative. While rivals have marketed fever detection, FLIR has stuck to EST...
"Fever Camera" Show On-Demand Watch Now on Jun 03, 2020
IPVM has successfully completed the world's first "Fever Camera" show. Recordings from Both days are posted at the end of this report for on-demand...
Cobalt Robotics Presents Indoor Security and Access Robots on Jun 03, 2020
Cobalt Robotics presented indoor security robots at the May 2020 IPVM Startups show. Inside this report: A 30-minute video from Cobalt...
Dahua Sues Ex-North American President, Says Legal Typo on Jun 03, 2020
Dahua's former North American President Frank Zhang claims he is owed almost $11 million but Dahua counter claims it is just a "scrivener's error",...
Smart Entry Systems Presents Cloud Multi-Tenant Access Control on Jun 02, 2020
Smart Entry Systems presented Cloud Multi-Tenant Access Control at the May 2020 IPVM Startups show. Inside this report: A 30-minute video...