Reviewing Archerfish Home/SMB Appliance

By John Honovich, Published Sep 11, 2009, 08:00pm EDT

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:

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Archerfish Criticized by Reviewer on Dec 11, 2009
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