This Is Why You Cannot Trust Tri-Ed

Author: John Honovich, Published on Jan 05, 2015

Tri-Ed, now Anixter's security division, proves that they care far more about passing off manufacturer hype than supporting their customers.

Tri-Ed Promotion

Here's Tri-Ed promoting one of the worst gimmicks in the industry:

"The Intensifier .... works with minimum illumination of 0.0005 lux and .... these cameras amplify existing light with no distance limitations, all objects display in perfect clarity with minimum light."

You can watch it in their promotional video below:

Actual Intensifier Test Results

IPVM has tested the Speco Intensifier HD IP cameras.

In low light, like every non-IR camera, the Intensifier is noisy.

Here it is tested at .1 lux, 200x greater light than the camera says it needs:

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Though, this is misleadingly good, because Intensifier causes blurring of moving images. If you stop the blur, at 0.1 lux, the image looks like so:

The blurring makes it worse than today's generation of 'true' 'super' low light cameras.

Problems With Tri-Ed Claims

As such, there are three very serious problems with Tri-Ed's claims:

  • Minimum illumination specifications are not to be trusted. Worse, Speco's is outrageously rigged. Intensifier's 0.0005 lux specification is 100x lower than Samsung's SNB-5004, a camera that beat Speco in that test, even when Speco had the unfair advantage of its 'Intensifier' / blur mode on.
  • Tri-Ed's 'no distance limitation' claim is just silly. All cameras have distance limitations and this is just mindlessly copied from Speco's marketing material.
  • Tri-Ed's 'perfect clarity' contention is not only debunked by the obvious high noise levels captured in our tests but by the blur introduced as well.

No Trust in Tri-Ed

Distributors like Tri-Ed want to be taken seriously and promote how integrators can depend on them for product advice and recommendations.

This shows that Tri-Ed does not care about fact-checking even obviously extreme claims that industry pros have known for a long time to be wrong.

Now, Tri-Ed is Anixter's security division, though Anixter has its own problems understanding technology, like their much-maligned Anixter Claims H.264 Video 'Pretty Much Unusable' With Cat 5E.

Comments (25)

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Honestly, this post goes with your other post about lack of intellectualism in the industry.

This is the sort of video that any person with even a passing interest in product knowledge should be able to call bullshit on, and express their outrage to Tri-Ed for perpetuating such garbage.

The fact that Tri-Ed (and other distributors) put out "informational" videos like this, AND people fall for them, speaks volumes about the lack of basic mainstream knowledge in many integrators.

Do people really fall for them though? I wonder about that.

Do people really fall for them though?

Either people are really dumb enough to fall for them, or Tri-Ed is really dumb enough to think people do...

You're leaning towards the second option, no?

In fairness, I wouldn't call buyers 'dumb' here. There is some expectation that sellers are going to tell the truth or at least not wildly stretch it. Naive perhaps.

Related, I doubt the people at Tri-Ed who produce this know how good or bad products are. I blame management for setting low standards that allow such claims to pass without question or review.

Correct, second option. I think they put this out there and think people are buying it.

The Speco booth at ISC East last year was full of guys who believe this type of BS. They were very well versed.

Speco Rep - So you guys doing any IP yet? It's a real pain in the ass right?

Me - No, it is not really hard at all. I actually prefer it.

Speco Rep - BULLSHIT! You know it's a pain in the ass! BULLSHIT! You know it!

Me - OK then, have a nice day....

You would think they would be wise to your game after ASIS - Chicago. ;)

Oops, I typed the wrong show name. It was in fact ASIS Chicago. I never attended the ISC East show. My bad. You have a very good memory though, I must say.

Who could forget a story that ends with "we left laughing our asses off!".

See you at the Speco booth, ISC West. :)

I wholeheartedly believe that IP cameras are, in fact, too complicated for the Speco reps to understand. They're like cavemen trying to sell you fire by convincing you that Zippos are too complicated for the average Neaderthal to understand, so you should use their flints instead. Here's a very flashy powerpoint presentation that explains why their proprietary flints are better than any other flint on the market.

Thanks for information.

FYI: The content for these videos is written by the manufacturers who pay for the spot. The cost is $600 per product / per month. The videos are then narrated and produced by SP&T News in Canada. I doubt Tri-Ed has much involvment in the actual claims of each manufacturer.

That's good color. I appreciate it.

The point is that Tri-Ed should have involvement in those claims because it is placed under Tri-Ed's brand and introduction, unless Tri-Ed's position is that they will promote anything regardless of what the claim is.

I believe this really shows the true difference in knowledge between Integrators. I learned long ago that Spec Sheets and such are glorified technical sales pitches with all kinds of "gotchas" in there.

Just taking the Distributor's word on a product doesn't seem like a good idea unless they (your rep) have proven to be knowlegable and reliable. I really see Distributors and someone who is just moving boxes from A to B. I don't ever expect them to be technical experts, even though I have talked to and have met spome reps who are very technical.

In the end, I think it's really up to the Integrator to do their research, testing, learning from IPVM or how ever else they can to be knowledgable as possible on as many aspects as possible.

Blah Blah Blah big fancy numbers Blah Blah. What a bore of a video.

I dont use Tri-Ed but I doubt they even know what they are reading/putting up on the screen - that info is probably given to them by the manufacturer or some marketing guy just put together tidbits from each manufacturer.

Not saying its an excuse, its more likely just a bad choice to not fact check what they are pushing/recommending. It does bring into question their knowledge as an organization - probably more than it does thier integrity.

Scott, that's good feedback.

I agree with you that they most likely did not do this maliciously (though you have to ask yourself, shouldn't Speco know how their product really works? and if so what does that say about Speco? :).

Even if it's just ignorance, hard to trust someone for advice if they show such willful indifferent ignorance.

Speco? Yes, their marketing speaks volumes about their integrity.

That's exactly right. We get offered this type of opportunity all the time by ADI or Tri-Ed: get on the website or on their phone answering system or in print if we pay $$$. The distributors have no say whatsoever on the content that is supplied, they just want their $$$.

"Thanks for calling Tri-Ed, while you are on hold for the next 10 minutes have you considered the Speco Ultra? It sees through walls, alerts on Al-Qeada members and so much more, plus this month only, get an extra 5% off."

I do use TriEd but not for technical information. I agree with Undisclosed E Integrator wholeheartedly. Give them a model # (and be specific) and you'll get a decent price quote pretty quickly. I do my own independent research using IPVM, talking directly to the factory tech support guys etc. Its the integrator who has to live with the service issues if they sell crap to the customer so its the integrator who should make the informed product selection decision.

There is nothing wrong with having both. It is entirely possible for a distributor to get moderately technical information and products to the integrator. I reward my distributors (my company uses distribution maybe 20% of the time if we arent ordering direct) when they help me with the ideas and generate solutions with products during my engineering and design phase by ordering from them.

While the distributor doesnt always know the super duper tough solutions, the ones I use usually have the ability to input different products that might be able to accomplish what I am looking for and within the priceframe I am looking for. Sometimes the distributor/technical sales help is enough to hit the nail on the head and point me to the right solution right away, other times I have to do some digging - but if the staff is trained right and updated with the newer products and options available - they can help save me a lot of headache on an area that I don't have an overwhelming strength of knowledge on.

Btw, Speco is at it again, this time with a twitter 'ad':

So they photoshopped an image to pretend it was 'low light'. Obviously, a real 'low light' image would look nothing like that.

I fixed it to be more accurate:

ADI advertisement passing similar bad Speco claims:

I suspect the 'no distance limitation' is an implied slight against IR cameras (which specify IR distance ranges). However, almost any IR camera would beat Speco Intensifier at short or long ranges. Beyond that, every camera has distance limitations, simply because the farther an object is away from a camera, the wider the FoV is, meaning the lower the pixel density is until it is impossible to make out any details, whether it was day or night (worse, of course, with Speco Intensifier noise).

"No, these Speco's are different, they actually amplify existing light no matter how far it has travelled so far."

try that one out on your integrator buddies after work at the pub; see what kind of reaction you get.

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