City Housing Authority RFP Examined

Author: John Honovich, Published on Nov 07, 2010

In this note, we examine a current video surveillance RFP for a housing authority covering more than a dozen sites. The RFP is specified in extreme details and, in may cases, too detailed or contradictory. For background, review the 154 page Housing Authority video surveillance RFP document.

Key attributes of the system include:

  • ** *****/********* ******* ************
  • ***** ***** ** ********* **** ******* ** **** **** *** at *** ******* *********'* **** ******.
  • ** **** ****, * ******** *** * ***** ******* (**"+) will ** ********. ***** **** ** ******** ******* *** **** available **** *** ******* *********'* **** **** *** *********** (** the **** ******).
  • ******* **** **** ******* ********** ************ ******* **** ** ****** per **** (***) *** ********* ** ********* *** ******* **** to ** *** *** '****** **************' ** ***** ******
  • *** *** ****** **** **** ***** ** ***** ** ********* detailed ************** *** ******** *************** ********* ******** *** ***** *******, methods ** ********** **********, ***** ******, *******, ***.
  • ****** ********* ************** *** ***** ******** (*** **** ** ***** ****): **** ** *** **********, ***/***** *******, ******* ************: .** lux, *.***, **** **** *****, **** *********, ***** ****** *** outputs, ***. *** ***** ******* *** ** ** ****** ***** domes. ************, ****** **** ********* *** ****** ** ** ******.
  • ********** *.*, *.* ** * *** ******** ***** **** ** resistant ** ************ **** **** / ******* ******.
  • ** *** **** ******, *** ********* ***** (*) **" ******** in * * * * ****** *** ********** *****. *** monitoring ******* ** *** ******* **/*.
  • ** ***** ********* *** *********.

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

  • Milestone ********** **** *** **** *******: From the various low level specs included (Master/Slave setup, Digifort and Verint camera support, iPix compatibility, 'speedup' settings, etc.), this is almost certainly requires bidding Milestone Enterprise. This restricts competition by artificially introducing unnecessary requirements (e.g., does the system have to do enterprise management by the antiquated master/slave approach? are iPix settings really needed? etc.) We think the customer would be better served by issuing general performance specifications and let bidders offer multiple VMS choices. This is also a confusing and wasteful approach as 30 pages of specifications could have been replaced with a few lines to show their true intent (though this is a frequent tactic). Secondly, if the client really want Milestone, we think Milestone Corporate would be a significantly better choice than Enterprise. Corporate has superior enterprise management, alarm handling, video distribution, etc.
  • On-site *********: Recording the video at each site is not surprising. Even with a 10Mb/s WAN connection, insufficient bandwidth is available for moving numerous dozens of camera per site to a central location.
  • Pixel *** **** **************: We think specifying pixels per foot is helpful but a minimum horizontal Field of View (Fov) in feet should also be specified (e.g., 40 ppf at a 20 foot wide FoV). Without specifying the horizontal FoV width, bidders can not be sure what resolution camera to choose. For instance, if one bidder estimates the FoV to be 20 feet and another 30 feet, insufficient resolution will be provided for the narrower estimate. This is especially hard as, by definition, any camera can provide 60 (or 120) ppf if you accept a narrower enough FoV. Readers repeatedly expressed confusion on this point in *** *** *****.
  • Vandal *****: The choice of camera housings are not surprising. Indeed, the number of IP vandal domes has grown significantly over the last 2 years as domes begin to outnumber box cameras. For example, **** *** ****** ***** *** ******** *** ****** ******.
  • Minimum ************: A minimum illumination  of 0.18 lux is essentially meaningless as camera manufacturers have no standardized, comparable way of comparing low light performance. Setting a number only invites and rewards those manufacturers who fabricate or rig unrealistic numbers. It may sound crazy but given who manufacturers set their min illumination rating, the Authority would likely be better off just specifying a mechanical cut filter and leaving out minimum illumination altogether.
  • Auto **** *****: The specification requires auto back focus but that one requirement limits options from about ** ******* *** **** *** ***** ************** **** **** ** *** **** ******* **** **** *****. While **** **** ***** ** ********, ** **** *** ***** $100 ******* **** **** *** ****** *******.
  • IR ************: The spec is vague on requiring IR illuminators: "Bidder to determine if IR is required to supplement existing lighting." The problem is that determining when IR is needed is subjective and also dependent on other settings used. Quality of image degrades gradually with less light so disagreement can arise as to when video becomes unusable. Also, a savvy or manipulative bidder can set ****** ******** ***** '*********' **** ******* *** ******* ** ****** ****. ************* ***** ** ******** by ******* *** ******* ******** **** *******.
  • No ***** *********: Given that these are large housing areas with on-site guards at some sites, real time alerting from video analytics would almost certainly be useful. Furthermore, given the amount spent on this project, it is likely they can afford the minimal extra cost. On the other hand, given the lack of confidence the community has in analytics, this is not surprising. When analytics truly goes mainstream, every project like this should include analytics (much like they are now including megapixel).
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

Camera Course Summer 2017 on May 25, 2017
Learn video surveillance and get certified. IPVM provides live online classes, recorded videos, personal help, cutting edge education and...
Most Respected Manufacturer Competitors on May 25, 2017
Manufacturers told IPVM what competitor they most respected. In terms of total revenue, Hikvision, Dahua and Axis are certainly tops but would...
Arlo Go Cellular Cloud Camera Tested on May 23, 2017
Totally wireless surveillance cameras are growing but almost all typically depend on a hub and local Internet access. However, many outdoor...
IP Camera - 15 Year Shootout on May 22, 2017
How far have IP cameras come? We bought and tested 4 cameras across the past 15 years to understand how much and where performance has...
Blink XT Outdoor Totally Wireless Camera Tested on May 11, 2017
Running wires for cameras outdoors is one of the biggest challenges, especially for consumer or DIY installs. Now, Blink has released an outdoor...
48MP 180 Camera (Digital Watchdog) Test on May 10, 2017
Camera resolution continues to advance, with Digital Watchdog offering the MegaPIX PANO 48MP 180° camera, the highest resolution mainstream camera...
Hanwha 9MP Fisheye Camera Tested (PNF-9010R) on May 09, 2017
12MP sensor fisheye panoramic cameras are becoming increasingly common. We have tested Hikvision's DS-2CD63C2F as well as Panasonic's SFV481 4K...
Avigilon Discontinuing Rialto Analytics Line on Apr 27, 2017
Avigilon is informing dealers/partners that the legacy VideoIQ Rialto products have been discontinued, recommending the newer ACC ES Analytics...
Eagle Eye Exec On Mountain Of Servers - VSaaS Growth Analysis on Apr 25, 2017
Eagle Eye VP of Operations, Hans Kahler, posted a picture of himself sitting on top of a shipment of new servers, as a testament to the companies...
Axis Lowest Cost Outdoor IR Camera M2025-LE Tested on Apr 24, 2017
Axis has lagged offering low cost IR cameras while their Asian competitors have made IR standard even in their most entry level cameras. Recently,...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Anti-Hack Access Card Shields Tested on May 26, 2017
Keeping your access control card information secure is becoming a big priority, especially since cheaper copiers can hack details easily. Multiple...
H.265 / HEVC Codec Tutorial 2017 on May 25, 2017
Since 2013, video surveillance professionals have talked about the potential for H.265. Now, in 2017, H.265 is starting to gain mainstream...
Camera Course Summer 2017 on May 25, 2017
Learn video surveillance and get certified. IPVM provides live online classes, recorded videos, personal help, cutting edge education and...
Most Respected Manufacturer Competitors on May 25, 2017
Manufacturers told IPVM what competitor they most respected. In terms of total revenue, Hikvision, Dahua and Axis are certainly tops but would...
CyPhy 'Unlimited' Flight Time Security Drone Examined on May 25, 2017
Drones face several issues as commercial security platforms - legal restrictions (e.g., in the US, the FAA), costs, and limited flight durations...
Milestone Entry Level Mobile Password Vulnerability Disclosed on May 24, 2017
While many manufacturers have only addressed cybersecurity vulnerabilities after public disclosures were made (or threatened), Milestone has...
How Integrators Use IPVM on May 24, 2017
150 integrators explained how they use IPVM and how it helps them stay informed and improve their business.  The 4 main uses integrators cited for...
Alarm Supervision Guide on May 24, 2017
Burglar alarms can constantly monitor the health of attached circuits, sensors, and devices to ensure that they remain operational. This is known...
Arlo Go Cellular Cloud Camera Tested on May 23, 2017
Totally wireless surveillance cameras are growing but almost all typically depend on a hub and local Internet access. However, many outdoor...
Avigilon New COO James Henderson Profile on May 23, 2017
It has been nearly 2 years since the infamous Bryan Schmode 'resigned' as Avigilon COO. Now, Avigilon once again has a COO, promoting James...

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