Testing Avigilon's H.264 HD Camera

Author: Benros Emata, Published on Jul 12, 2011

Avigilon is one of the better known and respected recent entrants in the video surveillance market. While they have received significant praise for their quality and usability, historically they had two important constraints:

  • The company's cameras were only supported by Avigilon's own VMS. If you wanted to use their cameras, you had to migrate to their VMS.
  • Their cameras supported only JPEG2000. While JPEG2000 offers some important benefits, the bandwidth consumption is much higher than H.264, the de facto standard in today's IP camera market.

In the last year, Avigilon released a line of H.264 camera with support for ONVIF, addressing both issues. Now that you can use Avigilon cameras with 3rd party VMS systems, it does raise the question of how well Avigilon's quality matches up against other IP cameras used more commonly in 'open' VMS deployments.

To that end, we bought an Avigilon 1.0MP-HD-H264-B1 box camera and conducted a series of shootouts between Avigilon, Axis and Sony cameras in a variety of real world surveillance scenarios. In this report, we share our test findings.

Here are a few of the test scenes used including indoor, outdoor, day, night and WDR:

We analyzed each of the scenes to see how the Avigilon camera performed relative to the other cameras. We exported the simultaneous recordings and then digitally zoomed each camera to the same level to show differences. The sample comparison below from this test shows an example of the analysis (camera names/models revealed inside the Pro section):

We conducted our analysis across 10 scenes. They are:

  • Indoor Even Artificial Lighting (Moderately Wide FoV)
  • Indoor Even Artificial Lighting (Narrow FoV)
  • Indoor Low-Light (Default)
  • Indoor Low-Light (Normalized)
  • Outdoor Daytime Even Lighting (Wide FoV)
  • Outdoor Daytime Even Lighting (Moderately Wide FoV)
  • Outdoor Nighttime (Wide FoV)
  • Outdoor Nighttime (Moderately Wide FoV)
  • WDR Scene (Bright)
  • WDR Scene (Dark)

Additionally, we examined bandwidth differences across the cameras and scenes to see any tradeoffs in bandwidth vs quality.

******** ** *** ** *** ****** ***** *** ********* ****** entrants ** *** ***** ************ ******. ***** **** **** ******** significant ****** *** ***** ******* *** *********, ************ **** *** two ********* ***********:

  • *** *******'* ******* **** **** ********* ** ********'* *** ***. If *** ****** ** *** ***** *******, *** *** ** migrate ** ***** ***.
  • ***** ******* ********* ************. ***** ******** ****** **** ********* ********, *** ********* *********** is **** ****** **** *.***, *** ** ***** ******** ** today's ** ****** ******.

** *** **** ****, ******** ******** * **** ** *.*** camera **** ******* *** *****, ********** **** ******. *** **** you *** *** ******** ******* **** *** ***** *** *******, it **** ***** *** ******** ** *** **** ********'* ******* matches ** ******* ***** ** ******* **** **** ******** ** 'open' *** ***********.

** **** ***, ** ****** ** *********.***-**-****-***** ****** *** ********* * ****** ** ********* ******* ********, Axis *** **** ******* ** * ******* ** **** ***** surveillance *********. ** **** ******, ** ***** *** **** ********.

**** *** * *** ** *** **** ****** **** ********* indoor, *******, ***, ***** *** ***:

** ******** **** ** *** ****** ** *** *** *** Avigilon ****** ********* ******** ** *** ***** *******. ** ******** the ************ ********** *** **** ********* ****** **** ****** ** the **** ***** ** **** ***********. *** ****** ********** ***** from **** **** ***** ** ******* ** *** ******** (****** names/models ******** ****** *** *** *******):

** ********* *** ******** ****** ** ******. **** ***:

  • ****** **** ********** ******** (********** **** ***)
  • ****** **** ********** ******** (****** ***)
  • ****** ***-***** (*******)
  • ****** ***-***** (**********)
  • ******* ******* **** ******** (**** ***)
  • ******* ******* **** ******** (********** **** ***)
  • ******* ********* (**** ***)
  • ******* ********* (********** **** ***)
  • *** ***** (******)
  • *** ***** (****)

************, ** ******** ********* *********** ****** *** ******* *** ****** to *** *** ********* ** ********* ** *******.

[***************]

Key ******** *** ***************

*** ********* *** *** ******** **** *** ******** ****:

  • ***** ********* ******** ********** *** ******** *.***-**-****-** ******** ***** ********* on *** ** ******** ****** **** *** *****.
  • *** *****: * ********** ** */*** ******* ******** **** *** *** Avigilon *.*** ******* ** ********'* ****** ***** ****** **** *********** supporting ****** ******* ********. [******: *** ******** ****** *** ******** to ** ** */**. *******, *** ***** *********** ** ************* ******** ** ***** ** *******.]
  • ********* *********** *** ********* ** *** **** *** ***** ***** favorable ********, *** ****** ************ ***** ***-*****/********* **********.
  • ****-***** ************ *** ******** ******** ********** **** ***** ****** ** changed *** ** **** ********.
  • *******: *** ******** *.***-**-****-** ** **** $*** ** ****** ***** competitive ******** ** ***** ******* **** **** *******, *.*. **** P1344 (****** $***) *** **** ***** (****** $***). ****, *** integrated **** ** * ******* ******* **** ***** ****** * significant ***** ******* ** *********** *********.
  • ******** ***********:*** ******** *.***-**-****-** **** *** ***** **-***** ******* ** ********* unlike **** **********'* ******* *********. ***** ***** *** ************* **** infrequently, ************ **** ******* **** ****** **** **** ***** ** mind.
  • *** ***********: *********** **** * *** ***** *** (******, ***********) *** ONVIF ******** ******** ***** ************ (**** **** *******, **** ****, and *********/********). *********** **** ********'* ******* ****** ******** ****** ** advanced ****** **************

** ***** ** ***** ******** ** ********* *** *********:

  • ***** *** ********** *** *****, ********* ***** *********** ******* *********** and *** *********** ** ** ********** ****, *** ******** *.*** box ****** ** ***** ********* *********** ******* *** ****** ** camera ****** *** *********** **** *** ***** *** *******. *******, Avigilon ******* ******** ************ *** *********** ****** ****** *****, **** more ** **** ***** ** ****** *************. **** *** ** a *** ******** ** ******** ********* ** **** ******** ** the ***********.
  • *** ***-***** ************, ******** ****** ********** ******** ** * **********'* camera ******** * ****** ******* *****.
  • ****** ******* **** ** ***-***** ************, ********** **** ******** ************ in *** ***** ******* ********.
  • **** ***** ** *** *******, *** *** ****** ***** ** improve ***** *********/*******
  • ********* *** *** *** ******* **** ******** ** **** ****** network/storage ***********
  • ** ******** ** ********* ** *** ***** *** *** *****, do * **** ****** ********** ** *** ************* *** ************ of **** ***** *********** *******.

Physical ********

** **** ***** ** ******* * ******** ******** ** *** Avigilon *.*** ******. ** ******** ** *** ****** **** ****. A *** ******* ******** **** ** ******** ** *** **** along **** **** ******** ******** ********, **** ** ** */* jack, */* ******** *****, *** ********* ***** *****.

Administration *** *************

** **** ***** ** ***** ************* *** ************* *** *** Avigilon ******'* *** *********. *** ***** **** ** ****** **** into ******* ********** (*.*. *******, ***** *** *******, ****** *********, system ***.). *** **** ******* ** *** ****** ** ****** to ******* ******** ****** ** * ***-**** ***** ** ****** basis. ** ***** *** ************* ***** **** ** ********/**** ******** and ***********/********* ********. * *** ********** ** * ******* ******** length ** */*** **** ***** ***-*****/********* *********** ***********.

Indoor **** *** (***)

** **** ********, ******* *** ********* ****** **** * ***** subject ~**** ***, ************* ** * **** ** ~****. *** scene ** *********** *** ********** ******** *** ** ****** *********** (~200 ***).

***** ** *** ********* ******** (******** **** ***** ****):

**** *** ********* ** *** *****, *** ******* ******* ******* for **************. *** ***** ******** *** ******* ***** ** *******, clarity *** *********. ***** *** ***** *** ******** *.*** ******* second **** ********** ******** **** ****** *** ******* ******* **** the *****.

Indoor **** *** (****)

** **** ********, ******* *** ********* ****** **** * ***** subject ~**** ***, ************* ** * **** ** ~****. *** scene ** *********** *** ********** ******** *** ** ****** *********** (~200 ***).

***** ** *** ********* ******** (******** **** ***** ****):

******** *********** **** *** ****** ** ****** ** **** ******** FoV. ***** *** ***** ******** *** **** ******* ***** ** detail *** ***** *******. *** ******** *.*** ******* * *** over-saturated, *** *********** ******** **** ****** *** ******* *******. ****** for *** *****, ******** ****** ** ************** *** ********* ****** the *****.

***** ** *** ********* *********** *****:

** ********* ** ******* *** ****** ******** ******. *** ******** operates **** ***** *** ****** ********* ***, ** **** ********** simple *****. *** **** ******* ******* ********* ********* ********* ******, as ****.

Indoor ***-***** (*******)

** **** ********, ******* *** ********* ****** **** * ***** subject ~**** ***, ************* ** * **** ** ~****. *** scene ** '****' **** *********** ** ******** (~*.* ***). *** cameras *** *** ** ******* ********. **** **** *** ***** is ***** ****.

***** ** *** ********* ******** (******** **** ***** ****):

** **** ****** ***-***** (~*.* ***) ***********, *** ******** ** essentially '*******-***'. **** *** **** *****, *** ******** ******** * default *** ******* ** */***; *** *** ***** ******* ** deliver ****** **** **** ********* *******. *** ********** ****** ***** qualities ******** ** *** *** **** ******* ** ** ******** given ***** ******* */** *** ********.

***** ** *** ********* *********** *****:

*** ******** ********* ****** ** ~*.*****. ****** * *** ******* length ** **** */***, *** ***-***** ******* ************ ****/*****. ******* this ******* ** ******** ******** ************ *** ******* ******* ******** little ** ** ******* *** * ************ **** *********. ** contrast *** ***** ******** * **** ***** ** ******* ** a *** '****' ** *********.

Indoor ***-***** (**********)

** **** ********, ******* *** ********* ****** **** * ***** subject ~**** ***, ************* ** * **** ** ~****. *** scene ** '****' **** *********** ** ******** (~*.* ***). ******* have **** ********** ** * */*** ******* *****. **** **** the ***** ** ***** ****.

***** ** *** ********* ******** (******** **** ***** ****):

**** *** ******* *** ** * */*** *** ********, **** cameras **** **** *********** '*******-***', *** ****** ******* ** ********* as * ******. **** *** ******** *** **** ***** ******** have *** ******* ****-*************, *** ** ******** ***** ******* *********** exist ******* *** ******** '*******' *** **** '**********' ********.

***** ** *** ********* *********** *****:

** ****** ** *** **** ********* *********** ** *** ******** camera, ** ** ******** **** *******. *******, *********** *** **** cameras ** * */*** ******* ******* ** * **** ******** loss ** *******, ** *** **** ******* *** *** ****** 'blacked-out'.

Outdoor ******* (***)

** **** ******** ******* *** ********* ****** **** * ***** subject ~**** ***, ************* ** * **** ** ~****. *** scene ** *********** *** ******* *** ***** *** ** ****** distributed (~**,*** ** **,*** ***).

***** ** *** ********* ******** (******** **** ***** ****):

*** ******** ***** *** *** ***** ** **** ************ *********** FoV, ******** ** ******* * **** ****** ** ****** *******. In ********** *** *****, *****, *** ***** ****** *** **** crisp **** **** ** *** ********. **** ** ************** *** slightly ****** ** *** ******** ****** *** *****, *****, *** M1114.

Outdoor ******* (****)

** **** ******** ******* *** ********* ****** **** * ***** subject ~**** ***, ************* ** * **** ** ~****. *** scene ** *********** *** ******* *** ***** *** ** ****** distributed (~**,*** ** **,*** ***).

***** ** *** ********* ******** (******** **** ***** ****):

*** ******** ******** *** **** ******* ***** ******* ***** *** field. ******, ********* *** ******* *** ************ ****** ** ********** to *** ***** *** *****. *** ***** ***** ***** *** the ******** ** *** ****** ***** **** ********* ********, ***** to *** ******-*** ** **** ******* *****.

***** ** *** ********* *********** *****:

****** *** *****, ********** *** ** ********** ******, ** ******** in **** ****** ***-******* ***********. ******, ** *** *****, ************ are **** ******** ****** **** *** '****** ****-***' ********, ********** a ****** ******** ** ********** (*.*. **** ******, ******** *******, vegetation ***.) ** **** ******* *****.

Outdoor ********* (***)

** **** ******** ******* *** ********* ****** **** * ***** subject ~**** ***, ************* ** * **** ** ~****. *** scene ** *********** *** ********** ****** (~*.* ** ** ***).

***** ** *** ********* ******** (******** **** ***** ****):

** *** ******* *** ********, *** **** ******* ******* ** advantage ** ***-***** ** ********* ****. *** **** ***** ******** provides *** ******** ******* *******, *** ** ***** ******** ** color (******, *********** ** ******** ***** *** **********). *** ******** with * ******* ** */*** *** ******* ** ************ *****, despite * *** *** ****** ***-***** *********** (~* ** ** lux).

Outdoor ********* (****)

** **** ******** ******* *** ********* ****** **** * ***** subject ~**** ***, ************* ** * **** ** ~****. *** scene ** *********** *** ********** ****** (~*.* ** ** ***).

***** ** *** ********* ******** (******** **** ***** ****):

****** **** *** *****, *****, *** ***** *** ******* ********** utility **** *** ******** **** ** **** ******** ***. ******, while **** ****** ******* ****** * ******* ******* * ******* plate, ** *** ******** **'* *** ***** **** *** ******* is *******.

***** ** *** ********* *********** *****:

* ****** **** ********* *********** ** ******** ** *** ******** camera (*.******). ********, *** ***** ******* ** *** ******* ** the ***, ** ** ******** ************ *****. *** ***** */** (P1344 *** *****) ******* *** **** * **** ********* ********* profile *** **** ****** ** ********** ****** *******, ** ****.

WDR ***** (******)

** **** ******** ******* *** ********* ****** **** * ***** subject ~**** ***, ************* ** * **** ** ~****. *** scene's *** ********* ** ******** ** * ~**** *** ****** area *** * ~*** *** ******** '****' ****. *** ******* is ********** ** *** ****** ****.

***** ** *** ********* ******** (******** **** ***** ****):

******* **** ** *** ******* *** **** ** ******* ******* within *** ****-*** ****** ** *** *****, ** ** ** competely ******-***. *******, *** ******** ******* ** ******* *** **** level ** ******* ****** ***** *** ***** ** **** **** challenging *** *****. ** ***** ******* ** ** ************ *** much **** ******** *** ******** **** ** ***** **** ************** is ***** ****** ********.

WDR ***** (****)

** **** ******** ******* *** ********* ****** **** * ***** subject ~**** ***, ************* ** * **** ** ~****. *** scene's *** ********* ** ******** ** * ~**** *** ****** area *** * ~*** *** ******** '****' ****. *** ******* is ********** ** *** '****' ****.

***** ** *** ********* ******** (******** **** ***** ****):

***** ** ** ***** '******' **** *** ** ******** ** this ********. *** ******* ******* ****** **** *** ******* ******* and *********. ************** ** *** ****** ********, *** *********** ** subject *****, ****-*****, ******, *** ********** *** ******** ****** *** board.

***** ** *** ********* *********** *****:

*************, **********, ** *******, *** **** ***** **** *** ****** 'Indoor ****-***' ********. **** **** *** ******** ********* ********** ***** images ** * ********** **** ** ********* ***** **** ********* difficult *** ********.

Motion ********

*** ******** ****** *** * ********** ***** ********* ******* ******** lengths ******* **** */***. **** ********** **** *** **** ****** well ** ******** ***-*****/********* ***********. ** * ******, *******, **** of ****** **** ** *********** **********. ** ***** *** ****** side-effect **** ** ***-***** ************ ** ********* ****/*****, *** ********* spikes.

Bandwidth ********

******* ********* ** *****

** ****** **** ********* ******** (****** ****-***, ******* *******, *** WDR *****) *** ******** ****** ********* ******* ********* ************ ** the ***** *** */* ******* ****** (***** *** *****). *******, in ***-*****/********* ****** *** ******** ****** ** ********** ************ ****** than *** */**, ******* '** *****' ******** *******.

******* ******* ** ******

** *.** **** *** ********'* ******* ******* ********* ** ******** higher **** *** ***** *** */**. ** ********** ** *** ~500% ****** **** ***** *** ~***% ****** **** *****. ******** to *****-**** ***** ** *** ~**% ******. *** ****** *** Avigilon's ********* ****** ** *** ***-*****/********* *********.

***********

**** *** *** **** (*) ******* **** ** *********** **** the ******** ***:

  • ******** *.***-**-****-**(**** $***) -**** */*; */*.*" ****; **.*; *.*/*.** *** (*****/**)
  • **** *****(****** $***) - **** */*; */*" ****; **.* ******** ; 0.05 *** (**)
  • **** *****(****** $***) - **** */*; */*" ****; **.* *******; *.* Lux (*****)
  • **** *****(****** $***) - **** */*; */*" ****; ; *.* *** (BW)

**** ** *** **** (*) ******* **** ************** ******** ** an *********** *** ****** **** (*) *** *********. *** ******* were *** ** ***** ******** ****** *******, ****** ****** *** low-light *****. ****** ***-***** ***** */* ******* **** '******' **** B/W ** ****** *********** ** **********. ***********, ******* **** ********** to */*** ******* ***** *** *** ** *** *****. *** camera ****** **** ******** ** * ******* **** ***** (~** degrees) *** ********/******** ** ***** - *** ********* - ******* resolutions.

**** *** *** *** ******* ******** *** ******** ******** *** each ******:

  • ******** *.***-**-****-** - */*** ******* ********; ** *.*.*.*(****)
  • **** ***** - */** *** ******** */ ***; ** *.**
  • **** ***** - */** *** ******** */ ***; ** *.**.*
  • **** ***** - */*** *******; *** '****'; ***.**.**

**** *** *** **** (*) *** *********:

  • ****** **** ********** ******** - ~*** ***
  • ****** ***-***** - ~*.* ***
  • ******* **** ****** ******** - ~ **,*** ** **,*** ***
  • ******* ********* - ~*.* ** ~** ***
  • *** ***** - ~**** *** (****** ****) *** ~*** *** (dark ****)
Login to read this IPVM report.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts unique testing and research funded by member's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.

Related Reports

D-Link ONVIF Switch Tested on Dec 04, 2017
D-Link's surveillance switches claim to "enhance ease of use and streamline management" for network administrators, with simplified UIs and...
Top Recommended Home Video Surveillance Systems By Integrators on Dec 01, 2017
Friends regularly ask security integrators for their recommendations for video surveillance systems, trying to tap into the expertise of their...
Hikvision Door Station Tested on Nov 30, 2017
Hikvision has entered the video intercom market, aiming to bring the race to the bottom to a whole new audience. To see how it stacks up, we...
Hikvision Vulnerability Permits Wi-Fi Attack on Nov 28, 2017
Hikvision acknowledged a Wi-Fi cyber security vulnerability on November 27, 2017. No special passwords, text strings, or programming...
IP Camera Manufacturer Compression Comparison on Nov 27, 2017
Despite the use of standards-based video compression (H.264/H.265), our tests show that default image quality settings for different manufacturers...
Camera Multi-Streaming Usage on Nov 22, 2017
IP cameras typically support multiple streams, allowing a single camera to transmit multiple streams at different resolutions, frame rates and even...
Law Breaking Longse Enters USA on Nov 22, 2017
Longse has established itself as world class, at least in spamming the industry, ripping off Milestone and Video Insight as well as Hikvision. But...
CBR vs VBR vs MBR - Surveillance Streaming on Nov 21, 2017
How you stream video has a major impact on quality and bandwidth. And it is not simply CODEC choice (e.g., H.264 vs H.265). Regardless of the...
Panasonic Unified Surveillance Strategy Analyzed on Nov 17, 2017
Panasonic is now a "Unified Surveillance" offering, as their ASIS 2017 booth proclaimed: Looking to make a comeback in the security industry,...
Hikvision NVR 4.0 Improvements Tested on Nov 14, 2017
Hikvision has released firmware version 4.0 for select NVRs, touting two years of research and development, and claiming "the new generation GUI...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Imperial Capital Security Investor Conference Review on Dec 08, 2017
Investment bank Imperial Capital holds an annual Security Investor Conference where 60+ companies present, including this year: IPVM bought a...
Integrator GPS Vehicle Tracking Statistics and Success Examined on Dec 08, 2017
GPS vehicle tracking is a growing but somewhat controversial topic. On the plus side, tracking may increases productivity by providing greater...
Hikvision NA Biggest Sale of 2017 on Dec 07, 2017
Hikvision North America has been relatively disciplined the past 5 months, reducing the number of sales and the breadth of what is on sale. No...
Security Integrator IT Expertise Statistics on Dec 07, 2017
20 years ago, putting physical security systems on IP networks was just emerging. Today, almost every system is networked in some way, IP cameras...
Lighthouse Deep Learning Camera Tested on Dec 07, 2017
A Silicon Valley startup, Lighthouse, with a Stanford PhD CTO, has released a deep learning AI camera with 3D sensors for just $300. The company...
Access Control Course Winter 2018 on Dec 07, 2017
Learn more below about the Winter 2018 IPVM Access Control Course. Register here. IPVM offers the most comprehensive access control course in...
Broken Hikvision App Exposes Hypocrisy on Dec 06, 2017
While Hikvision talks about a commitment to cybersecurity, their broken app and their insecure 'solution' exposes not only their engineering...
'Catastrophic Problem' For Videofied App on Dec 06, 2017
Less than 2 months after closing their DIY division DragonFly, Videofied has been hit with a problem the company calls 'catastrophic'. Now the...
ASIS Dumps 'ASIS' For Show on Dec 06, 2017
After 60+ years, ASIS is dumping its eponymous show name and replacing it with 'GSX'. This is a classic marketing mistake. For a show struggling...
Risks Of Managing End User Passwords (Statistics) on Dec 05, 2017
Integrators know admin passwords for nearly all end-user systems, according to IPVM statistics. But how do they manage them? How do they ensure...

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