Testing Avigilon's 2MP and 5MP JPEG2000 Cameras

Author: Benros Emata, Published on Mar 29, 2010

Avigilon is well known for its focus on High Definition video surveillance, offering a complete HD solution combining a broad range of megapixel cameras (from 1 - 16 MP) and and integrated Video Management System.

In this test, we examine Avigilon's High Definition IP cameras including the 2MP (2.0MP-HD-DN) and 5MP (5.0MP-HD-DN) cameras. We tested the Avigilon cameras with Avigilon's Control Center VMS software (read our review of Avigilon's VMS to properly understand the overall system).

Key findings include:

  • Low light (sub 1 lux) video was bright but with moderate visible noise
  • Wide dynamic range performance was solid compared to cameras with WDR optimizations
  • Bandwidth, storage and video quality optimizations integrated
  • Bandwidth consumption using Avigilon's default settings was high relative to H.264 and MJPEG competitive cameras at their default settings
Equally important, Avigilon cameras are only supported by Avigilon's VMS so a selection of their cameras requires the deployment of their VMS. Compare to a dozen other megapixel camera tests performed.
[Update July 2011: We have tested Avigilon's H.264 cameras that are the next generation offering from the company.]

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  • Image ******* (********): Image quality was solid to strong all the way around including WDR and night. Night performance was on the high end. WDR was above average, only clearly behind the Sony CH140 in cameras we have tested. Their dynamic display adjustments contributed to the image quality improvements (even for third party cameras as we mentioned in the quality analysis review above).
  • Bandwidth *********** (********): Bandwidth consumption was not only far higher than H.264, it was considerably higher than the tests we performed with MJPEG cameras including IQ's 2MP camera and Stardot's 5MP camera (in the range of 50% higher bit rate for comparable resolution and ips). H.264 HD cameras are increasingly commonplace. Avigilon's cameras consume dramatically higher bandwidth levels (e.g., 15 Mb/s more for a 1080p 15fps) than H.264 cameras. This can result in additional networking and storage costs.
  • High ********** ****** ********** (******** *** ********* ********* ** *********): Their remote viewing optimization can allow for large number of HD cameras to be viewed remotely (by dynamically scaling video). However, this may also be accomplished in other systems by frame dropping or by dynamically switching amongst multiple streams as the video pane size changes. Their data aging can offset the higher bandwidth. The percentage reduction depends on the duration of each segment bucket. Assuming 1 week at full, 3 weeks at half and 4 weeks at quarter, this would reduce storage by 57% relative to full recording of JPEG2000. However, given how much lower the bit rate of H.264 is, Avigilon's storage consumption is still likely to be significantly higher than H.264 cameras recorded for the same time period at the full frame rate for the entire time.
  • Value *** *****: While the cameras are relatively inexpensive, buyers should factor in the relatively high cost for Avigilon VMS software licenses (at $290 USD per camera) and the additional storage (and potentially networking costs) for Avigilon's higher bit rate.
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