IP Camera Failure Rates 2015

By John Honovich, Published May 05, 2015, 12:00am EDT (Info+)

This research answers:

125 integrators answered an IPVM survey, providing clear patterns on these questions inside.

  • **** ********** ** ** ******* *** dead ** *******?
  • **** ** *** ******* ******** ** IP *******?
  • **** ******** ************* *** ******* ******* issues?

Dead ** ********

*******, ******* ******** ** *********** *** working *** **** ***, **** ****** half ****** **** **** **** *% of ******* **** ****, ** ***** ** the ********** ********* *****:

*********, **** **** ** ****, ************* will **** * *** *** **** a *********** ********* ** ****. *******, overall, ** **** **** *% ** cameras *** **** ** *******, **** is ****** ** ** ************* *** acceptable.

**** **** ****** *** ************* **** mentioned ** ** ** ***** *** rate, **********'* **** ***** *********** ***** well ** *** *% ** **** level.

Average ** ****** ********

****** *********** ********: "*** **** *****, on *******, *** **** ** ******* to ***?"

****** ****, *** ******* ** ****** lifespan ****** *** ****. *******, */**** of *********** ******** ** ******* ** 4 ** * *****.

*** ********* **** **** *********** ***** was **** * *** ** *********** have ****** *** **** ********* ** cameras **** ****** ** ***** **** as **** *********** **** ******* ********* IP ******* ** ***** ******* ** the **** * *****.

Average ******* ** ******?

*** ******** ******* ***** ********** ****** answer *** ** ******* ***** *******, especially *** ****** **** ** $*** MP *******, **** ******* ***** ******* lifespans. ******* **** *********** **** **** been ***** ***** ******* ** ***** cameras ** *** **** **** ** two, ** ** *** ***** ** tell ** **** **** **** ******* average *********.

Notable ************ ********

** *** *********** **** *** ******* DoA ***** *** ******** *********, *** most ****** ******* *** ***** **-**** Asian ****** ** *******.

**** ** *** ****** *******, ******** nor ******* ************* (********* / *****) had *********** ******** *******. ******, **** and **** **** *** ****** *********** cited **** ********** ********** ** ****** the ***** ********.

******* ******** ******* *** ********** **** past ******* - ***** ** ****** ************* ********* ** ****** ************ ****, *** ***** ************ ******* ****.

*** ********, ******* *** ********* *** most, ** ***, **** ******** **** as:

  • "******* *** *** **** ********, *** quality."
  • "******* ******** *** ********* ********."
  • "******* **** **** ** ***? *******."
  • "******* ****** - **** ****** **********, units **** ** ** ******* **** and ********* - ** ******** **** have ** ** ***********."
  • "******* - ** ***'* *** **** anymore *** ** *** **** ********* of *** ** *** *** ***** failures."
  • "***** **** ****** (******** *** ** many ** ** **** **) **** Arecont. ** ****** ******* ***** ****."
  • "******* ** *** ***** **'** **** over *** *****. ** ** **** them, *** *** ******* ***** ** greater **** **%."
  • "**** *******: **** ** **** ***** issues **** ****** ** ********."
  • "******* ******-**. **'* * ****** ******, just *** * ******** ******** ******."
  • "**** ***** ******* *** ******* *** starting ** *** ***."
  • "*******. ** *** **** ** **** for. ***'* *** **** *******."
  • "******* ********: ***** ******* ** ***** quality ******"
  • "*******. ** *** ************ **** *** results **** *** ******* ***** **** used ******* ** *** ***."
  • "******* - **** ** *** **** to ****** ******* ************ **** ** equipped **** ******/******"
  • "*******- (*******, ******* ********)"

*******'* **** ****** ******* *** ***** were *** ********, *** ***** ** newer ******. **** ** ****, *** issue ******* **** ** **** ** those '*** ********' *** ***** *** there, ******* ********.

Comments (18)

Interesting. I would've expected that "Made in USA" Arecont should have a lower failure rate because of "tighter quality control" in-house under the same roof, instead of outsourced OEM control which are harder to monitor. But it seems now that it was more "marketing myth" than a real fact.

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We must get special Areconts in New Zealand- our failure rate is almost non existant

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  • "Arecont Vision - keep losing connection, units have to be powered down and restarted - in addition many have to be readdressed."

I made some other comments in this survey but I've been plagued with this problem too.

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I found (when we first started using Arecont (5 years ago)) we lost addresses when downpowering- until we began clicking 'save to flash'. Any change we make on the camera, we 'save to flash' as our last action. same really as any other IP camera that requires hitting save to ensure changes are kept.

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My experiences with Arecont are well documented, here and on other forums. I've actually had far more PHYSICAL issues with them out of the box (broken gimbals, incorrectly assembled from the factory, hex-drive set screws that were drilled but never stamped, making it impossible to adjust the camera aim)...

A few months ago we upgraded one of the few Arecont-equipped clients to Axis models. Just my luck, I was given one of the Areconts to re-install on a low-budget job. I no longer have the 0.7mm hex key needed to adjust them...

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I used to buy a pallet of B-stock and broken areconts from distribution and piece together working models and sell on ebay. Ended up not being worth the hassle.

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Agree. That's $100 better spent elsewhere...

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I see some comments that mix in what could be software problems in complaints about Arecont. I wonder how much bad software could inflate the perception that Arecont cameras are 'failing.' I assume this article is focused on systemic hardware design problems, poor manufacturing QA, or component failures. If that's what one's trying to identify you need to correct for some perceived hardware failures that are really software issues or cockpit error.

Regarding the potential failure rate of $100 MP cameras: these cameras acheive their low cost (partially) through simple component architectures (fewer parts, more SoC type parts). Logically, they should prove to have even lower failure rates.

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I see some comments that mix in what could be software problems in complaints about Arecont.

I don't think this can be attributed to software...

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If the software is bad that would count as a failure in my book.

If I have to update the software numerous times to fix a stream of problems and I miss one update or hot fix is that their failure or mine? I say it is theirs. I expect good solid software with minimal issues and only the occasional firmware update or hot fix.

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I agree completely--if it doesn't work for you that's a failure.

It's useful to distinguish between different types of failures, as they have different implications about how you're going to deal with the manufacturer, and what the cost is going to be to resolve the issue.

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A better way of looking at this data is an accumulation of failure data over time. The accuracy of this self reported data may vary in the level of disciplined record keeping of the responders. Nonetheless taken at face value, a charting of projected failures from the beginning of service life would be the following:

Accumulated failure rate

The implication is that 50% IP cameras in this population fail between 4 and 5 years.

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Where is this chart? What is this a chart of?

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This is your average failure data accumulated over time. I.e., your readers report 3% failures in the 2nd year and 11% failure in the 3rd year, that means you have an expected number of failures of 14% after 3 years.

What your are looking for is expected failure rates of an IP camera based on the day it was first put into production so you can plan inventory replacements. For example, according to your survey responders, 62% of your cameras will have failed before completing 5 years of service. If you believe your survey data is accurate, it can be used to as a planning tool for inventory replacement.

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3% said the average lifespan was 2 years, 11% said the average was 3 years etc.

We asked them, "How many years, on average, for your IP cameras to die?"

The way you are laying it out is interesting but there's no way people could easily know that breakdown without very careful tracking.

"If you believe your survey data is accurate, it can be used to as a planning tool for inventory replacement."

Even if it is accurate, the big issue is that there are many variances among cameras (quality of model, where the camera is being used, etc.)

Someone might use it as a rough rule of thumb but it's going to need to be adjusted to specific circumstances.

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All is true. We're collecting data ourselves. Unfortunately, we often are activated at some date later than first power-up for most of the cameras we see. We're working on some features that would enable our customers to tell us when they put their cameras into service which would allow us to help them with inventory management as well as enable us to build experiential MTBF by manufacture and potentially by model if we get enough data.

This will take a while of course. Until then, your survey data is as useful a rule of thumb data as any.

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David and John, I'm trying to put together calculations and a Total-Cost-Of-Ownership model, so I am digging through all/any sources to collect data.  Specifically, I'm trying to figure out:

1. What percentage of cameras will require a "simple fix" service call in a given year, and

2. What percentage of cameras will need to be replaced within five years.

 

Ultimately, I want to have a basis for creating a life cycle maintenance plan (LCMP) offering for Colleges, Municipalities, and Enterprise organizations.

Given that the above was from 3 years ago, I'm hoping your data has matured and that you could share your findings.

Thank you for sharing this valuable data.

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Matt, thanks for bumping this and asking. We've queued up a new more detailed survey.

One thing I am pretty sure about is that the answers will vary depending on the brand (e.g., Longse and Arecont will be worse) and location (e.g., outdoors, direct sunlight, very hot conditions will be worse). How much though is hard to tell.

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