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

Axis Camera Vulnerabilities From Google Researcher Analyzed on Mar 23, 2017
A Google security researcher has reported 6 vulnerabilities for Axis cameras, affecting multiple models and firmware versions. In this report, we...
OpenEye Takes Aim At Exacq on Mar 23, 2017
First Milestone targeted Exacq with a takeover offer, and now OpenEye is gunning for them with an offer to swap out Exacq for their cloud-managed...
VMS Update Automation Compared on Mar 20, 2017
Updating VMS software can be a tedious and time consuming processing, which historically has required users to access each machine, download update...
ObjectVideo Acquired by Alarm.com on Mar 14, 2017
Once potentially the most recognized name in video analytics, ObjectVideo has effectively been sold for pieces. Alarm.com has now acquired what...
Hikvision People Counting Tested on Mar 09, 2017
People counting has historically been a difficult task, requiring specialized cameras, expensive software, and careful camera placement. But in the...
Positive Video Surveillance Outlook - 2017 Statistics on Mar 07, 2017
376 manufacturers and integrators revealed their outlook on the future of the video surveillance industry in a recent IPVM survey. Both groups are...
Uniview NVR Tested on Mar 02, 2017
Uniview, China's self proclaimed #3 video surveillance manufacturer behind Hikvision and Dahua, is ramping up its international sales efforts. In...
Vivotek 3MP 180 Wall Mount Camera Tested on Feb 28, 2017
Purpose-built wall mount panoramics have become an attractive niche to cover entranceways. In 2013, we bought and tested Vivotek's 1MP...
Bosch Favorability Results on Feb 27, 2017
Bosch is one of the most well known brands in the industry and they have combined recently with Sony in video surveillance. But how has Bosch...
Avigilon Favorability Results on Feb 27, 2017
One of the fastest growing companies has turned into one of the rockiest, as cooling growth, management turnover and a roller coaster stock price...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Everbridge Mass Notification Service Examined on Mar 24, 2017
Everbridge is expanding in the security space. In January 2017 Everbridge acquired PSIM platform IDV, and have also begun integrating with other...
Hikvision Removing Auto 'Phone Home' on Mar 24, 2017
Facing pressure over their cameras auto phoning home and their Chinese government ownership, Hikvision has begun quietly removing automatic...
Axis Camera Vulnerabilities From Google Researcher Analyzed on Mar 23, 2017
A Google security researcher has reported 6 vulnerabilities for Axis cameras, affecting multiple models and firmware versions. In this report, we...
OpenEye Takes Aim At Exacq on Mar 23, 2017
First Milestone targeted Exacq with a takeover offer, and now OpenEye is gunning for them with an offer to swap out Exacq for their cloud-managed...
Lock Keyways For Access Control Guide on Mar 23, 2017
Lock keyways can be the difference between a lock working or not. Understanding keyways is important for access control. Indeed, a member recently...
Broken Browser Support for Video Surveillance on Mar 22, 2017
Modern web browsers have left the security industry behind. Current Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge browsers do not support NPAPI plugins,...
ADI Favorability Results on Mar 22, 2017
150 North American integrators provided feedback on 6 distributors, and why they do (or do not do) business with ADI. ADI is clearly a big name in...
1 Million Dahua Devices Exposed To Backdoor on Mar 22, 2017
Statistics show that 1 million Dahua devices are publicly exposed and vulnerable to the Dahua backdoor. Despite this, Dahua has downplayed the...
Hikvision Hires Crisis Communication Writer on Mar 21, 2017
Hikvision has hired a crisis communication writer as the company ramps up its efforts to deal with the 'crisis' it feels it is facing. 'Crisis...
Glass Break Sensor Tutorial on Mar 21, 2017
Burglars often break glass windows to get into a house. Using glass break detectors in conjunction with alarm contacts is a good way to protect the...

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