Problems Remain with Cernium's Archerfish Cameras

By: John Honovich, Published on Apr 14, 2011

In August 2010, we conducted an in-depth test of Cernium's Archerfish Smart Camera. In the test results, we called out problems of analytic accuracy, remote viewing setup and downloading video. A recent scan of Popular Mechanics and Amazon reviews indicates that these problems remain.

Let's examine each of the concerns detailed:

  • From Popular Mechanics [link no longer available], the reviewer cites problems in setup and analytic performance. On setup, he called it the "most frustrating" of the 4 cameras he tested. On the analytics, he noted while the analytics were better than traditional motion detection, "there are still enough false positives (it thought my son's teddy bear was a person) to make one question the analytics."
  • From Amazon, on March 21st, a Top 500 Amazon Reviewer says, "Save your money - this is not ready for prime time yet," citing issues with analytics ("The Event recognition feature just didn't work well"), issues with using it at night (needs lights on), "Couldn't export files from the camera's DVR" (another problem we faced), etc.
  • A person with over 100 Amazon reviewers states a number of concerns [link no longer available] including problems with setup ultimately requiring an Archerfish tech to remotely change configurations of the user's router and requiring a credit card for the free plan. The reviewer never got the camera to work. 

There are other reviews - many suspicous. Quite a number of them are positive but as one reviewer warned, many of them sound like infomercials and appear to be phony. For example, one glowing reviewer is from a reviewer than only has 2 total reviews - both posted on the same day. Another glowing review has similar language and is from a reviewer with only one review. Indeed, quite a number of the 5 star reviews are very short, universally glowing and from reviewers with no other reviews.

At $300, this is one of the more expensive surveillance systems on the market. For that, the setup needs to be painless but because it depends on UPnP, problems are inevitable. Additionally, the analytics continue to have too many limitations for practical real world use - even at the residential level.

Contrast to Amazon reviews of Dropcam whose reviews are very positive and look genuine. Dropcam is 1/3rd the price of Archerfish and much easier to setup. Archerfish's analytics are better than the Dropcam's motion detection but the practical difference is insignificant as neither can truly be used for alerting in most situations.

Comments : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Most Recent Industry Reports

Hikvision CEO And Vice-Chair Under PRC Government Investigation on Nov 14, 2019
In a surprising and globally covered move, Hikvision CEO Hu Yangzhong and Vice-Chairman Gong Hongjia are being investigated by China's securities...
Camera Field of View (FoV) Guide on Nov 13, 2019
Field of View (FoV) and Angle of View (AoV), are deceptively complex. At their most basic, they simply describe what the camera can "see" and seem...
UK Big Brother Watch: Hikvision Is 'Morally Bankrupt' on Nov 13, 2019
UK civil liberties advocate Big Brother Watch has condemned Hikvision as being 'morally bankrupt' following IPVM exposing Hikvision marketing...
Color Low Light Mega Camera Shootout - Avigilon, Axis, Bosch, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Panasonic, Speco, Sony, Vivotek on Nov 12, 2019
This is the biggest color low light shootout ever, testing 20+ super low light models from 10 manufacturers: Increasingly, each manufacturer...
Wireless / WiFi Access Lock Guide on Nov 12, 2019
For some access openings, running wires can add thousands in cost, and wireless alternatives that avoid it becomes appealing. But using wireless...
Hikvision Markets Uyghur Ethnicity Analytics, Now Covers Up on Nov 11, 2019
Hikvision has marketed an AI camera that automatically identifies Uyghurs, on its China website, only covering it up days ago after IPVM questioned...
Open vs End-to-End Systems: Integrator Statistics 2019 on Nov 11, 2019
Preference for open systems is on the decline, according to new IPVM statistics. We asked integrators: For video surveillance systems, do you...
Biggest Low Light Problems 2019 on Nov 08, 2019
Over 150 integrators responded to our survey question: "What are the biggest problems you face getting good low-light images?" Inside, we share...
US Issues Criminal Charges For Fraudulently Selling Hikvision And Other China Products on Nov 07, 2019
The US government has made an unprecedented move on the video surveillance supply chain, charging a US company, Aventura for "having conspired with...
The Access Control Codes Guide: IBC, NFPA 72, 80 & 101 on Nov 07, 2019
For access, there is one basic maxim: Life safety above all else. But how do you know if all applicable codes are being followed? While the...