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

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...
Hikvision 4K IR PTZ Tested (DS-2DF8836IV-AELW) on Nov 10, 2017
The IR PTZ trend continues, now with 4K resolution, with Hikvision releasing its DS-2DF8836IVAEL-W camera, a 4K 1/1.9" PTZ model specifying 200m IR...
Milestone XProtect Essential+ Free VMS Tested on Nov 09, 2017
Milestone continues to expand its aggressive free and low-cost offerings, with this year, Milestone releasing XProtect Essential+, part of their...
Top 2017 Trends - Cyber and Analytics on Nov 09, 2017
The 2 clear top 2017 trends, according to IPVM integrator statistics are: Cyber Security Video Analytics This is a change from 2016...
ZoneMinder Open Source Profile on Nov 06, 2017
The first, oldest and probably the best known open source VMS is ZoneMinder. But where has it gone and is it still relevant today in a world of...
Axis M3106-LVE Mk 4MP Camera Tested on Nov 06, 2017
Axis has released the latest in their low(er) cost M series outdoor cameras, the M3105-LVE Mk II, a 4MP turret model specifying 15m IR, their...
Top Manufacturers Gaining and Losing 2017 on Nov 03, 2017
3 years ago, IPVM statistics accurately and early identified the rise of Hikvision usage across Western markets (see Top Manufacturers Gaining and...
Avigilon Access Control 2017 Examined on Nov 01, 2017
For more than 4 years, Avigilon has been in the access control business, since their May 2013 acquisition of RedCloud. Since then, Avigilon has...
Hikvision Upgrade Breaks ONVIF VMS Integration on Oct 31, 2017
Hikvision IP cameras using ONVIF for VMS integration will break when upgrading to Hikvision new 5.5 firmware, IPVM testing has verified. This...

Most Recent Industry Reports

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,...
Amazon Cloud Cam Is Poor (Tested) on Nov 17, 2017
Retail behemoth Amazon has entered the surveillance market with the Amazon Cloud Cam, the eyes of its just-announced Amazon Key delivery...
Nest Secure Alarm System Tested on Nov 16, 2017
Google's expansion continues, this time into home security with their Nest subsidiary's move into alarm systems. They paid more than a...
Dahua Forbes 'Next Web Crisis' Vulnerability Dispute on Nov 16, 2017
The buffer overflow vulnerability in Dahua products is not in dispute, in fact we covered it when it was first published. What is in dispute is...
Isonas Cofounders Split, Launch Partner/Competitor on Nov 16, 2017
Breaking up is hard to do, especially when door access security is at stake. But that is exactly what has happened at Isonas. Senior employees...
Hikvision China Criticizes The WSJ on Nov 15, 2017
Hikvision, through the Chinese government's authoritative news service, has criticized the WSJ investigation into Hikvision. In this...
PoE UPS Tested (Energy Reconnect) on Nov 15, 2017
In security, backup power is important, but most often requires UPS systems or extra cabling to devices for low voltage power. Now, some have...
Axis Commits To Long-Term Firmware Support on Nov 15, 2017
With the rise of cyber security awareness, and a general increase in hardware reliability, "software warranties" may prove more valuable than...
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...
Vivotek Remote Stack Overflow Vulnerability on Nov 14, 2017
A stack overflow vulnerability in Vivotek cameras has been discovered by bashis, the security researcher who has also found vulnerabilities in...

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