IndigoVision Control Center VMS Tested

By Sean Patton, Published May 30, 2019, 11:56am EDT

IPVM's last test of IndigoVision's VMS was in 2010, which found enterprise VMS features and a simple client interface. but no 3rd party camera support.

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Executive *******

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VMS *********

******* ****** *** ******* strengths ******* ** *** solid ******* *******, *** interface ***********:

  • ********** ******* ********: ******* ****** **** Control ****** ****** ***** features *** ******* ******** to ***** ********** ***** tested
  • ************* ***********: ** ***** *** limitations ******* ** ****** configuration, *****, ***** *************
  • ***** ******* *** ******** Support: *** ***** ***** cameras ******* *** ***** and ******** ****** **** Axis *** ********* **** received *** ********* ** the ******* ****** ******
  • **** ** ****** *** Playback: ** **** **** to ******* ******, ******* and ******** ******** ************ videos ***** *** ******** Player

VMS **********

******* ****** *** ********** related ** **** ********* design *** ***-******** *****, complicated ************* *******, *** large ****** ******* *****:

  • ****** ********* ****** *** Limitations: ******* ****** ********* some ** ****** ******, poor ******* **************, *** was **** ******* **** common ******** (*.*. ******* dewarp, *****/******** *****)
  • *********** ****** *************: ********* ***** ******** like ******-***** ********* *** multi-streaming **** ******* ** testing, *******, **** ******** require *********** ************* ***** and ****** ***-****** **********
  • **** ********** ********* ****: ***** ******* ******'* 2 ******* ******** (**** and ***) *** ****** comparatively ** ***** *****, the ********* "*****" ******* per ****** ******* ** near *** *** ** the ***** ***** *** Enterprise *****, *** **'* per ****** ********* ** atypical *** *********
  • *****-**** ******* *******: ******* ******'* ************ package ******** ******** ****** steps, ******** *** ****** licensing ******, ********* ******, and ******* ******** ************. This ** **** ******* than ****** ************ ********
  • ** ***** ********: ***** ************ ******** running ******* ****** ** a ******* ******* ** public ***** ***********, **** do *** ***** ** as * *******

Overview *****

*** ********* **-****** ***** overviews ******* ******, ************ strengths *** **********:

Advanced ******** ******* ** **** *** ********

******* ****** ********* **** in *******, ******** * Live *** ******** ** organized ****** ******* ******* with * ****** ****** clear ******. ** ****** single ****** ********* *** video ********** *** *************, with * ****** *** each *** ****, ******** and ***** *****. ******* Center's ******** **** **** Window ******* **** ****** well *** ******** *********** drag-and-drop ** ***** ****** style ******** **** ********. Many ** *** ******** and *********** ****** ************* common ** ****** ***** matrices, ***** ************ **** was **** ** * positive ** ******/*******/********** ************ they ******.

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******* ******'* ******* **** worked **** *** ********* between ******** ******* ******* to *******'* ****** ******** or ***** ******* ********, however, ** ** ******* to **** ***** ****, which ************* ****** *** use.

******* ***** **** ******* Mode ** ******** ****** locations *** ******* ** 8 ***** *********, ***** limits *** ******** *** reference ****** *** **** cameras.

******* ****** ******** ******** PTZ ******** ******* *** client *********, ** **** able ** ******* ********* commands ******* *** **** task (*.*. ********* *** Wiper ********, **** ********, etc):

Complex ************* *** ****** ********* *** *****-*********

**** ************* ***** **** are * ****** ****** click ** ****** ********* setting ** ***** *****, required ******** ***** *** using ******** ************* ***** during *******. *****-********* (***** IndigoVision ***** "**** *** Low ***") ****** **** but ******** ****** ************* in **** ******. ***** is ** ****** *** copying ************* ********, *** there **** ****** ****** testing *** ** *********** in ************* ** **** different ****** ***** **** resulted ** ****** **** attempting ** **** ********.

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No ***** ***** ** ****** **** *******

******* ****** **** *** offer ******** ********* ***** or ******** *****, ** customizable **** *******. ******* of ***** *****, ******* Center ****** *********, ****** and ***** *****, ***** worked ** ********, *******, follow ********* ********* **** analog ***** ******** ***** do *** ****** ******** clearly ** * *****-****** interface. ****** *** ** configured ** ******** ******* to * ***** ****, but ***** ** ** visual ********** ** * Salvo ** ********** ** reset *** **** ***, or **** *** ******* to *** ******** ****** (this ** ************ ** the ******** *****). ************, Sequences, ****** *** ***** Tours *** **** ** created *** ********** ** the ***** ****, ***** did *** ***** ** to ******* *** ***** streams:

Installation ******* *** ***** *******

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UX *********** *** ******

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  • **** ****: **** ***** ****** is *** ****** ** design *** ********* ****** when ********* ** **** video *********
  • **** ****: **** *** ******** are ******* ** ******** windows ******* ** *** viewing *****, ***** ******** users ** **** ***** focus **** **** ********** video

Mapping ***** ****, ******* ******** ******* *********** *****

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image

3rd ***** ******* *** ********* ******* *****

************ *** ********** **** to *** ***** *******, however, ** ***** ** issues **** ****** ***** camera *******. ******* ****** receiving ******-***** ********* ****** well, *** ****** *** separated **** * ***** (Basic *** ********). ****** detection ** *********** ** basic *********, ***** ******** analytics ******** **** ******* alerts (*.*. ********* *********, Axis **** ******, ********* analytics). ******* ** ***** features ** ******* ******, the ************* ** * multi-step *******, *** ******** activation *** ***** *** each ********** ******:

Incident ****** ***** *********** *** **** *****

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*******

******* ****** ** **** in* ********* *****, ******** *** ****** and ****** **** ******** software ***********/******* ************ ***** (SUP), **** ** ******** limit ** *** ****** of ****** *********** *********:

  • ****: ** ******* ***, $50 **** *** ******, $100 **** *** ******, No ***
  • ***: ** ******* ***, $125 **** *** ******, $300 **** *** ******, $25 *** ****** ***
  • *****: ********* *******, $*** MSRP *** ******, $**** MSRP *** ******, $** per ****** ***

******** ******** (*.*. ********, POS/3rd ***** **** ************, LPR, ******** ******) *** only ********* ** *** and ***** ********.*** ***** ************ (*.*. Intrusion, ****** *******)**** $*,*** **** **** $375 ***, ***** **** is $*,*** ****, ** SUP ** ********.

Version ******

******* ****** **.*

Comments (16)

I had to install and deploy this system to a few medium sized sites 25-100 cams.

You have to keep the config in a shared folder and point additional clients to it.

Recordings are stored on their servers (which are Dell rebrands) however these are effectively just an SMB target for the camera to record to. The models I used appear to run a small Linux operating system which had NTP server, File Server etc

Cameras are rebranded Dahua.

Not a fan, wouldn’t recommend it.

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Recording parameters are not server based, but configured to a camera profile within the IP camera config screen.   Very clunky, and while groups of cameras can be batch programmed, it does not allow one to review on a simple system UI- you must go back into each camera browser to review.

 

 

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The lack of comments on this thread says it all.   In North America, IndigoVision has had a very sporadic sales presence with a lot of turnover; retreats and re-entries.  It's also interesting that they stuck to end-to-end hardware and software for such a long time when the market was pushing for open, best-of-breed.  Now the market seems to be leaning back towards end-to-end solutions and IndigoVision is opening up to third party cameras.

I personally still believe in the open, best-of-breed mentality.  My point is that IndigoVision always seems to be heading in the opposite direction from the general market.

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when the market was pushing for open, best-of-breed

Slightly off-topic, but I don't think the market was ever truly pushing for "best of breed". However there was a period of time for IP cameras where a number of things were happening in terms of hardware development in cameras and advances in software that it was challenging for a single manufacturer to keep up with all advances. This was particularly true for companies like Axis or Milestone that were essentially pure hardware or pure software. 

IMO the "market" always wanted an Avigilon-like single vendor solution that was open enough to not be fully locked in, or to be able to augment gaps with 3rd party options.

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Hey U3.   I agree and disagree with your closing statement:

"IMO the "market" always wanted an Avigilon-like single vendor solution that was open enough to not be fully locked in, or to be able to augment gaps with 3rd party options."

IndigoVision was has been around for over 20 years and was one of the pioneers in IP video.  For most of that time they were a closed, end-to-end platform.  (For the terms of this discussion "closed" means only IndigoVision encoders or IP cameras worked with the VMS.)  In that 20 year period Genetec and Milestone had tremendous success while Indigo struggled.

For me 2002 -2012 there was a trend away from closed end-to-end systems (both analog and early IP like Loronix and Indigo) towards open IP platforms centered around Axis, Milestone, Genetec, etc.

For the last several years I do agree that the trend is toward single-vendor solutions that are somewhat open to others when needed.  Avigilon came in towards the end of the open era and did very well, sold and has begun to open up.

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Undisclosed Manufacturer #2,

Funny, their presence has been continuous since at least 2012, when we did our initial evaluations of Video Management systems. I always wonder when an "Undisclosed Manufacturer" bashes a company if they are competitors taking advantage of their undisclosed status.

Only IPVM knows for sure.

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I always wonder when an "Undisclosed Manufacturer" bashes a company if they are competitors taking advantage of their undisclosed status.

Only IPVM knows for sure.

First of all, a comment like this is not bashing, it's an accurate reflection of reality:

In North America, IndigoVision has had a very sporadic sales presence with a lot of turnover; retreats and re-entries.

Secondly, this manufacturer would actually be a compliment / partner to IndigoVision.

Third, if you believe there is something factually wrong in what he says, disprove it with facts.

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I did, John. See my comment saying "Funny, their presence has been continuous since at least 2012."  And I was aware of them at least a couple of years before that. The Integrator we used was selling their product years earlier.

"The lack of comments in this thread says it all." Not really. How many casino users are on here? And how often do they comment? My experience tells me I was one of the rare few in the industry who spoke out at all. The casino vertical is not the only one IndigoVision caters to but we are among their largest customer base and we typically don't publicly reveal anything about how Surveillance is deployed and used.

Tell me, John. What about Dallmeier? They have a pretty large casino customer base yet I don't recall IPVM ever discussing them. How about our previous Honeywell Enterprise (formerly FAST Video Security) system? Do you think if you reviewed either of them you would get many comments? Although Honeywell lost a bunch of ground since they stopped updating their software, they are still in a number of casinos. Synectics is another specialist in Casino Surveillance. Review them here if you like the sound of crickets.

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How many casino users are on here? And how often do they comment?

There are dozens of casino who have IPVM memberships, easily.

This is not a casino issue, though, it's an IndigoVision low sales issue. IndigoVision did $46 million in revenue in 2018, basically the same as the beginning of the decade, despite the market easily doubling or tripling in that time.

What's with the hostility? I don't think anyone here is against IndigoVision, they simply have faced a number of challenges over the past decade.

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What hostility? I responded to your challenge. And you didn't answer my question: "And how often do they comment?"

My point was, and is, the casino vertical is not typical. The companies I named are (or were) strong in the casino VMS market. I'm well aware of what systems are deployed in casinos and you don't typically see Genetec, Milestone or Avigilon. In fact, Milestone and ONSSI were invited to demo their product in 2012/2013 and they didn't even bother to respond. And Avigilon's encoders sported a whopping >500ms latency, leaving them out of the running since we were not in the market to replace 1000+ analog cameras at the time. (Still haven't)

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The other point would be that casinos are a difficult market to penetrate and the lack of technical information sharing within the industry keeps it even more closed. I lost count of the number of times I tried to open technical conversations with other Surveillance departments, only to be stonewalled or completely ignored. I believe part of that is because of the makeup of Surveillance management and part is that the industry is notoriously close-mouthed.

Many in Surveillance Management were formerly involved with law enforcement. Although there are exceptions to the rule, Surveillance upper management are generally not technically inclined. And in my experience the lack of Management technical know-how, coupled with the widespread idea that Technicians are a dime-a-dozen commodity yields starting salaries that are extremely low by industry standards. How many of you would accept a starting salary of $16/hour, even with years of experience.

So what you typically get is entry level people with little technical experience and a Management attitude of "You can train anyone to be a Technician." We all know that is not the case but that is what happens when HR departments equate Surveillance Technicians with Facilities workers or Slot Technicians. I tried for years to get our Technicians on a more even footing with IT since in a sense, we were our own IT Department but I encountered the argument that IT Professionals often have recognized credentials whereas Surveillance Professionals often don't. 

What you wind up with, I think much more often than in other verticals, is Surveillance departments who rely in Integrators for most technical decisions. And while that is hardly unique in this business, there is a very short list of Integrators with experience in the industry or who are willing/able to deal with things like Gaming Commission licensing, which often require background checks of all principals and Vendor license fees.

IndigoVision, Dallmeier, Synectics and Honeywell specialize in the casino vertical.  But aside from Honeywell (and not even their Enterprise product), I would venture very few IPVM readers are familiar with either of those manufacturers' systems.

That makes it unsurprising there are so few comments in this thread.

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My early years in security were very gaming heavy, and I definitely agree on the cultural comments. They are not an information sharing group of people even on a peer-to-peer level, and that stifles growth through understanding.

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"In North America, IndigoVision has had a very sporadic sales presence with a lot of turnover; retreats and re-entries."

I did not say that IndigoVision was ever completely absent from North America. I stand by my comment as factually accurate. From a corporate perspective, IndigoVision has struggled wile many of its early IP video peers have gone on to hundreds of millions (or more) in annual sales.

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Hey Carl. Somehow I missed your response / allegation of skulduggery. I am a manufacturer but do not compete with Indigovision. If I was in competition with them I would have disclosed or, more likely, not posted.

I agree that IndigoVision has some strengths, particularly in gaming. As a company, however, they have been a fail. Compared to Axis, Genetec and Milestone (all early entrants to IP video circa 2000) they are an afterthought. Their sales presence in North America may be "continuous" but it has also had a lot of wholesale churn.

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Vintage...

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As with any VMS, IndigoVision will have its promoters and its detractors. It would be difficult to disagree with all negative opinions of any VMS since each has its flaws and usage oddities. In the case of my former employer, we analyzed a number of VMS' in depth, using repeatable criteria that we felt were critical to our operations and how we preferred to use the system. I acknowledge that IndigoVision may lack features found on other VMS', but IndigoVision also focuses on a number of verticals that have been largely ignored by other VMS manufacturers. Since my specialty is the casino vertical, that is where I will concentrate. 

One point brought up was how IndigoVision Control Center handles Record-on-Motion.  That is a feature that we, and a good percentage of casinos, have no use for. For our purposes, we have determined that there is little need for the feature and, at least in some instances, it could interfere with our ability to present irrefutable evidence. It is fairly common to question video evidence if there appears to be "gaps" in recordings. Even with pre and post event recordings set to record well before and after an incident, the recording gaps come into question when clips appear to "jump" from one time to another. Also, in my experience, proper choice of AGC, compression and noise reduction parameters, along with cameras that don't spew a lot of noise in the first place, can produce similar storage savings to record-on-motion without sacrificing recording contiguity.

Another criticism was Control Center's lack of "fisheye dewarping". I have always contended complaints about the fisheye effect of wide angle lenses are overblown. In my 21+ years of Casino Surveillance, I've only rarely heard anyone complain about our wide angle cameras, and we were particularly liberal in their use: installing a bunch of analog cameras over the years with Computar 1.8-3.6mm and Pelco 1.6-3.4mm lenses. Our point wasn't/isn't that the images appear a bit distorted but whether the user could identify people and actions with that distortion present. The fact is, not once did we ever misidentify or fail to identify evidence. Until recently, there was no such thing as fisheye dewarping and we got along just fine without it.

Multi-streaming is also a non-issue in many casinos and other verticals. On a robust, well-designed network, it is rarely necessary to throttle back streams to prevent network (or, for that matter, workstation) overload. We never had a problem calling up 25 full-bandwidth streams to a client and in my opinion, pulling any more than 9 streams up per monitor means the observer won't be able to tell what's going on in any given pane anyway. I've been to a number of places that like to have a huge number of cameras displayed simultaneously. IMO, that is far more to show off for the uninitiated and bigwigs than to actually perform a job. That is, unfortunately, the fate of many video wall implementations.

"when viewing a PTZ double clicking does not expand the camera to full screen" - I must be missing something here. If a VMS allows PTZ control via mouse, wouldn't it be both difficult and confusing for mouse functions to simultaneously control both PTZ and VMS functions?

"Installation Complex For Small Systems" - Unless the situation with VMS has changed radically in the last couple of years since I tested them, I've found that VMS systems designed to cater to small-scale users, while typically simple to set up and manage, also lack several "Enterprise-level" capabilities. I suppose the same can be said of VMS systems designed for Enterprise-level  systems. They often have so much flexibility built in that what can be programmed with just a couple of steps on smaller systems require many more steps to program. There are sacrifices made when going in either direction.

In the end, the more "be everything to everyone" systems like Avigilon, Pelco and Genetec apparently tried to be too many things to too many different users. They often could not compete with systems from manufacturers who specialized in the casino vertical using the criteria of how we wanted and expected things to work. They often concentrated on promoting functions we couldn't care less about (Genetec, for instance, kept touting their license plate recognition system) while performing less than optimally on functions we cared a lot about (Sorry to pound on Genetec but in their case, switching from "Live" to "Playback" and back was often accompanied by the dreaded circle of "Please Wait"). - One of the primary jobs of Casino Surveillance is to closely monitor the action at table games. Casino users often quickly rewind and playback a hand to review the bet or game play. Having to wait for a spinning circle is a real deal killer.

I assume many specialty verticals have similar issues with the more generic VMS' not being optimized for their particular needs. One thing we found that we had to give much credit to IndigoVision was their responsiveness to user requests. During our system evaluations we had a number of notes about Control Center shortcomings and continuing through system deployment and use we had a number of Feature Requests. I would venture that IndigoVision addressed approximately 90% of our issues in the form of additions and updates - far beyond expectations. Maybe we became spoiled but our previous system: Honeywell Enterprise, basically ignored every plea.

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