Reviewing Archerfish Home/SMB Appliance

By: John Honovich, Published on Sep 11, 2009

A review of Cernium's home/SMB appliance [link no longer available], called Archerfish, provides some key points of consideration in evaluating the offering including issues with analytic accuracy.

  • The reviewer found the system easy to setup
  • The system emails alert videos
  • The reviewer found the video quality good but not so good as to see distant details
  • The system was able to distinguish between people and vehicles
  • The system has a DVR option through connecting an USB drive
  • The reviewer found the detection system to be 'hit or miss' with many false alerts for vehicles in the driveway
  • Remote viewing of video requires opening a port in a firewall
Given that this is marketed as a 'video intelligence system' that let's "you always know when something important happens", the most important is the analytic accuracy. The reviewer seems to conclude that the false alerts are not a big deal (he states, "I guess I’d rather receive notifications of false positives than miss an actual event"). However, I do not think most users would agree. If a user receives multiple false alerts per week, most will eventually turn it off not to be bothered by what essentially becomes 'spam'.
 
Beyond that, I do not think the video quality is a big issue. Almost all home/SMB products have SD video quality or less. Primarily, this keeps the price low.

The DVR option is interesting and I would think making it standard through the use of embedded flash drive would be an ideal way to significantly increase the product's value.
 
Also, requiring a port to be open in the firewall will be significant barrier for most consumers to perform remote viewing.

Finally, the review does not cite the product's price but a previous interview states that the price starts at $1495 USD for a 4 channel system with 2 cameras.

[Update: Our Archerfish test results show disappointing performance. In 2012, Cernium began to shift away from Archerfish.] 

2 reports cite this report:

Investments & Acquisitions Directory 2011 on Dec 26, 2010
This directory provides a single source of information on funding and acquisitions in the video surveillance market. It is part of our Video...
Archerfish Criticized by Reviewer on Dec 11, 2009
Cernium's home video offering, Archerfish Quattro, has been criticized by an on-line reviewer/tester of the system. Unlike a previous reviewer who...
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