Top 10 Surveillance Myths Debunked

Author: John Honovich, Published on Jun 25, 2011

Aggressive marketing creates dangerous myths. Vendors transform their product's highest aspirations into concrete claims. Unfortunately, these become generally accepted 'knowledge' that helps sales, hurts users and sometimes crushes a market (such as video analytics).

In this report, we examine 10 of the most serious myths facing the video surveillance industry. Our analysis is based on the systematic results of our testing program that disproved these claims.

Here are the 10:

  • Myth: Resolution Comparison Diagram
  • Myth: More Pixels = Higher Image Quality
  • Myth: A Megapixel Camera is Equal to Many SD Cameras
  • Myth: Pixels Per Foot is a Reliable metric
  • Myth: WDR Camera Specifications are Legitimate
  • Myth: Minimum Illumination Specifications are Legitimate
  • Myth: Superior Low Light Performance Claims
  • Myth: IR Illuminators Massively Reduce Bandwidth Consumption
  • Myth: VSaaS is Secure and Mature
  • Myth: 80% Analytics are Good Enough
  • Myth: Megapixel 'Virtually Eliminates' PTZ Cameras

Most of you have seen megapixel comparison charts where overlayed boxes show how much more higher resolution cameras can capture than lower resolution ones. Here's an example:

While the layout varies by vendor, this is an industry wide technique.

These resolution comparison charts are dangerously misleading because they imply that all pixels are equal.

Here' an analogy. Let's say I claimed:

  • A 600 pound man can lift twice as much as a 300 pound man.

The assumption is clear as it is wrong. While more weight often correlates with more strength, this is far from universal.

  • More weight does not guarantee more power. More pixels does NOT guarantee more details. Period.

This flawed assumption is the basis of a number of other myths and might be the most serious issue our industry faces as we attempt to properly integrate megapixel surveillance.

Inside the Pro section, we dig into each myth, explain why it is wrong and what you should do to avoid becoming a victim.

********** ********* ******* ********* *****. ******* ********* ***** *******'* ******* aspirations **** ******** ******. *************, ***** ****** ********* ******** '*********' that ***** *****, ***** ***** *** ********* ******* * ****** (such ** ***** *********).

** **** ******, ** ******* ** ** *** **** ******* myths ****** *** ***** ************ ********. *** ******** ** ***** on *** ********** ******* ** ********** *********** ********* ***** ******.

**** *** *** **:

  • ****: ********** ********** *******
  • ****: **** ****** = ****** ***** *******
  • ****: * ********* ****** ** ***** ** **** ** *******
  • ****: ****** *** **** ** * ******** ******
  • ****: *** ****** ************** *** **********
  • ****: ******* ************ ************** *** **********
  • ****: ******** *** ***** *********** ******
  • ****: ** ************ ********* ****** ********* ***********
  • ****:******* ****** *** ******
  • ****: **% ********* *** **** ******
  • ****: ********* '********* **********' *** *******

**** ** *** **** **** ********* ********** ****** ***** ********* boxes **** *** ************** ********** ******* *** ******* **** ***** ********** ****. ****'* an *******:

***** *** ****** ****** ** ******, **** ** ** ******** wide *********.

***** ********** ********** ****** *** *********** ********** ******* **** ***** that*** ****** *** *****.

****' ** *******. ***'* *** * *******:

  • * *** ***** *** *** **** ***** ** **** ** a *** ***** ***.

*** ********** ** ***** ** ** ** *****. ***** **** weight ***** ********** **** **** ********, **** ** *** **** universal.

  • **** ****** **** *** ********* **** *****. **** ************* ********* **** *******.******.

**** ****** ********** ** *** ***** ** * ****** ** other ***** *** ***** ** *** **** ******* ***** *** industry ***** ** ** ******* ** ******** ********* ********* ************.

****** *** *** *******, ** *** **** **** ****, ******* why ** ** ***** *** **** *** ****** ** ** avoid ******** * ******.

[***************]

Myth: **** ****** = ****** ***** *******

***** **** ****** ***** ******** ****** ***** *******, ** **** not ******. **** *** *** * ******** ******* ** **** in ****:

  • ***** **********: ***** *** ******* *** ************* ****** ** ********* *** benefits ** ****** **********. ** **** ***** ***** ************, ** is **** **** ** ******** ***** *** ****** ********** *** day (**** ** *** * ***** ***** ***** *** *** control ******** *** * *** ***** *** **** *****). ** the ****** *** *** ********, ******* ** ************, ** ******** for *********** ********** ** ***** ******* *** ********* *******.
  • *** *****: **** ** *** **** ****** ********, ** *****, ********* cameras **** ******* **** ********** ****** ** ***** ** ** cameras. **** ** ******* ** *** ***** *********** ************ *** the ****** ** ********** **** ****** **** ********* *****. *** our** ** ** ***** ******** *** ***** *** ********.
  • ****** ********: **** ** * ****** ********** ****** *** ******* **** details, ***** ***** ******* ** *** ******. *** ********, **** a ****** ** *** ****** **** * ******, * ****** and ***** ********** ****** (**** ** ***** ******** **********) **** both **** *****. *** ****** ********** ******'* **** *** ** bigger *** *** ********* ********** **** ** ***********.

********* ******* *** ******* ****** ***** *******. *******, ** ** imperative ** ****** ** **** *** ***** (*) **** ******** variations * ***** *****, (*) ** *** ***** **** ** dark ** *** **** *** (*) **** ********* *********** *** cameras **** **** ** **** *****.

***** ** ** ****** ** *** **** ****** = ****** image *******, ** ** ***** ** ******* ************* ******* *** disappointed *****.

Myth: * ********* ****** ** ***** ** **** ** ******* (*, *, **, **, **, ***.)

***** ** *** ******* **** *** *****, **** **** ** clearly *****. ********* ***** ** ** ****** *** ******** **** it ** ** ** *** ****** *** ** ******* ** reality. ** ******** **** **** ** ****** ** *** ********* of ********* ***'* ********* '**********'.

Myth: ****** *** **** ** * ******** ******

*** **** ** ****** *** **** ** ** ******* * standard ****** **** *** ** **** ****** ******* ** ********* image ******* ************** *** ***. *************, ** * ********* ****** that ** ****** *** **** *** ******, **** *** ** assured ******** ****** ************, ***** ** ********** ** ****, *** image ******* ***** **** ** ***. ***** * ***** *******, this ** ************* ******.

****** *** **** (** *** *****) **** ***** ***** ** the ********** **** *** ****** ******* ********** ***** *******. **** is ***** *** ** ***** *** ******. 

*** ***'********** ***** ************ *******' ********* *** **** *************** ** *** ** *** ***** *** Foot ******* *** ***** *** ********* ************ ** **** ****.

Myth: *** ****** **************

***** **** ******* ***** (***) ************* ** * **** ********* function ** ******** ******** **********, *** ************** *** **********.

  • ** ** **** *** *** ************ ** ******** ***** ******* as ***. ** *********, ** ***** ***** *******, *******. ** is ****** * ********* ****** ** *** ************.
  • *** **** ****** ************ ************* ** ***** *** ** ******** range (*.*., ** **, *** **, ***.). ***** ******* *** incomparable ****** ****** ********* **** *******.

** *** *****, ********* ******** *** *****, ** ******** ********** ******* ****** ** ******'* *** *********** that ***** * ******** ****** ** ***** ******* ********. *******, no **** *** ****** ** ********* **** ***** ** *** specifications *****. ****** **** ***** ** *** ******* *** ***** tests ** **** ********.

Myth: ******* ************ **************

**** *********** ************ ************* **** ****: ******* ************ ************** *** NOT ** *******. ******, **** ***** ***** ******* *** *** window.

  • ******* *** ************ ******* *************: **** ******* ************ * **** their ****** *** .** *** *** ************ * **** ***** camera *** .* *** ***** ********** *******.
  • ********* *** *********** **** *** *********: ************* **** ** ******** used *** ********, ****, ***. ******* *********, **** ** ********** minimally ********** ***** ******* ******.
  • ***** ******* ** ********* ********: ***** ************* ****** ***** ******* the ********* ***** ** ***** ******* ************ *************, **** *** discussion **** ********, ***** ****** **** ** ** ******, **** and ******* *** **** **** **** ** ******* ** *** scene - * *** *** **** *** ******* ******** ** most *****.

******* ****, **** ******** ** **** ******* ********* ** ***** self-reported ************** (*.*., ****** **** **** * ******* ************ ** .00001 ***). ******* ** ****, *** ** ******** ** *************, it ** * ****** **** **** *** **** ** ****. If *** ******* *** '******', ****'* **** * *** ** deals.

****** ***'************ ****** *** ************* ********'*** ******** ** *** ** ******** ******** ***** ****** **** WDR *** ******* ************ **************.

Myth: ******** *** ***** *********** ******

** ***** **** ***********, **** ********** ****, **** ***** ******* manufacturers ****** *** '****' *** ***** ***********. ****** *********** *** manufacturer **** ****** ** *** *** ******** ** ***** * digital **** *******.

******** ******* *** **** ***** * ****** *******. * '********' shutter ** ************ ** ********* */***. *******, ** *** **** the ******* ******, *** ******* **** *****. *** *******, * camera **** * */** ******* ******** (**** **** **** *******) take ** * ***** *** ****** ** ***** ** *** that **** * **** '********' */***.

***********, ***** ** ****** ****** *** **** ******* ******. *** only ********** ** **** ******** ********* ************* ******. ****'* ** example ** ******** **** *** *******: ******* */**.**, ******** *.***, 1/30s, **** */**, ****** */**, ***** */**, ***** */*.*, **** 1/30s. ******, **** *** **** *** *****, ** **** ******* the ***** ** ********* ******* ********** ** ****** ******* ******.

*********** ** ******* ******* ****** **** ******* *********** ** *** brightness ** *** ***** *** *** ********** ** *** ****. Without * *****, ******* **** ****** ******* ******* ****** *** viewed ** ******** ** ***** **** ****** **** - **** though ***** ** ** *********** ************* ***********.

***** ** ********* ******* **** *********** ** *** ***** *********** exist, ** **** ******* **** *** *** *** ***** ******* into ******** * ****** ****** ******* ** **** ********** ******* speed ********.

*** ****, *** *** ****** ** '*** ******** ******* ***** ************' *** '*** ******** ******** **** ** ** ************'.

Myth: ** ************ ********* ****** ********* ***********

**************, ** *********** ******* **** ** **** **** ** ************ and ********* *********** **** **** ** ***** ** ***** (** least *** ******* *******). *******, ***** *** * ****** ** problems ****** **** *****:

  • *** *** ******* **** **** **** *****: *** ****** **** uses ******** *** **** ******** ** **** * ******* *** rate (*******) *** ***** **** ******.
  • ******* ******** ***********: ******* ***** ******** *** **** (***)******** *** see ****** *** *** ***** ** ****** ** ************* ******** by *** **** ******** ** *** ******. ****** ***** ** gain ****** ***** ***** ********* ********* *********** ** ******* ***** VBR. *** ******** ***** ******* ** *** ******. ****, ***** can *** ****** *** **** ****** ** ******* ** ****** this *****. ***** **** ***** ** ***** ******* ** ******* improvements *** *********** ********* ***********.
  • ** ************ ******** ***** ** ** ****** *** **** ****** the ****** ***** ** ******* ******* ********* **********. **** ***** best ** * *** ***** *** ***** ** *********** ******* a ****. *************, **** ** ************ *** **** ******** ** wide ************.

*** ****, **** ***** *********** **** ********** ************ ** ******'* ** ******* ******.

Myth: ***** ** ****** *** ******

****** *** ***** ***** ** **** ******, **** *** ** only *********** ** * ****** ****** - ****** *** **** powerful ************ ************ ** *** *****.

***** ***** *** *********, *** *********** *** ***********:

  • ********: ***** ******** ************** *** ****** ******* **** *** *** DVRs. ***** **** ********** *** *************** **** ** ** ********* rudimentary ********. **** **** ********* ****** *** ** ****, ** is *** *****. ***** ***** ***** **** ** **** ** many ** ***** ******** ******** - ******** ****** ************, *** party ****** ***********, ** ****** *******, ***.
  • ********: *** ******** ***** ** ***** *** **** **** *********** than *********** ************ ***** *** ******** ******** ** *** ***** providers *** ***** ***. **** *****, ***** ** *** ***** transmitted (****** ******) ****** *** ****** ******** *** ****** ** outside ********, ******** ***** ** * *** *****. ***** ***** vendors **** ** **** ***** *** ********/******** ****** ** ***** computing ********* (***** *** ****** ******), ****** *** ** *** VSaaS ********* *** ***** ********** **** ******* ***** ******* *** minimal ******** ** ***** ***** ********.

** ********** **** ********** ***** **** ***** ** ****** *** mature ** *** ** ******** *** **'* **** *** *****. The ******** ** ****** **** ******* *** *** ***** ****** to ******** *** * ******* **** ****.

** ***** **** ***** ****** *** *** ******** ** ******* ***** ***** - ****** *** ************.

Myth: **% ********* ** **** ******

***** ******** ******* **** ********* **** ***** ****** ******* ****** of *********, *** *** ***** ** **** **** ** ********* are *** *******, **** *** ** **** ******. *** ***** goes, "** ** ********* *** *** **% ** *** *** guys, ****'* **% **** **** **** *** *** ******* *****. Sure ** *** **** **** *** *** *** *** *********** anyone *****."

*** **** ******** ********, **** ** * ********* ******** **** fails ** ******* ** ********:

  • ********* *** ***** *** * ******* ******** ** '****' ********. It's ****** **** ** ***** ******* * ****** ******** **** fence ** ******** ** **** ******. **** **% ****** ** certainly **********.
  • *** ******* ******* *** ****** ** ***** ****** ********* ** wind, ****, ******, ***** *******, ********, *******, ***. **** ***** to ****** * *** **** '**% ******** *******. ********* *** then ** ********** ** ****** ** ******** ** ***** ****** every ***. ** *** **********, **** ** *** ****** * reason *** ******** ******* *** **** ****.
  • '*** *** ***** ****': **** ***** **** ** **** ***** alarms ******** ** ***** ******, ********* **** ** **** **. If *** **** *** ***** ****** ** ***** ***** ***, motivation ******** *************.******** ******** ***** ****.

******* ****** **** **** ****** *********** ****** ***** ***-****. **** if *** ****** *** **% ******** ** *********** **, *** number ** ***** ** ***** ******* ***** ***** ****** *** look **** ** ** ************ (***** *** ******** ** ********* of ***-**** ******** ***** *** ********* ** ********, ****** ***********, etc.).

*** ********* ** **% ********? **********. *** ** ***** *** meet *** *********** ************ ** ***** *************? ****** ****** ********.

Myth: ********* '********* **********' *** *******

***** *** *** *****. *** ******* **** ************ ** *** cameras ******** *** **** ******** **** **** **** *** **** best ********* ******. ** ****** **** ** ***** ****** *** with ****** **** *** **** ******* ** *** '********* ** *** *********** ******.'

Login to read this IPVM report.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts unique testing and research funded by member's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.

Related Reports

Glass Break Sensor Tutorial on Mar 21, 2017
Burglars often break glass windows to get into a house. Using glass break detectors in conjunction with alarm contacts is a good way to protect the...
Hikvision Attacks IPVM on Mar 20, 2017
Hikvision has attacked IPVM repeatedly over the last month, both in the international press and in its dealer communications. Attacks Listed On...
Alarm Panic Switches Tutorial on Mar 16, 2017
Panic switches allow silently triggering an alarm system when it is otherwise disarmed. In this tutorial we explain and contrast the 7 most common...
Environmental Sensors For Burglar Alarm Tutorials on Mar 15, 2017
Intrusion detection systems can be used to alert users to environmental issues. By connecting sensors that monitor the heat, humidity, and...
Beware Scam Market 'Research' on Mar 15, 2017
The 'data' and 'research' that headlines many articles is a scam, perpetuated by a variety of Indian firms that have exploited the carelessness and...
SimpliSafe Camera Tested on Mar 07, 2017
SimpliSafe ia one of the most controversial companies in the industry, as they have become the symbol of the DIY threat to traditional alarm...
Alarm Contacts Tutorial on Mar 07, 2017
Contacts are the devices that tell an alarm panel when an entryway is open or closed. The act of opening or closing an entryway, such as a door or...
Dahua Backdoor Uncovered on Mar 06, 2017
A major cyber security vulnerability across many Dahua products has been discovered by an independent researcher, reported on IPVM, verified by...
Alarm Motion Detector Tutorial on Mar 06, 2017
Sensors designed to detect movement are a good way to protect large, open areas. In this tutorial, we examine motion detectors,...
TVI 4.0 Doubles HD Analog Bandwidth on Mar 05, 2017
HD analog's move up market continues. Starting a few years ago at just 720p, HD analog is now poised for 4K and beyond. Techpoint, the company...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Everbridge Mass Notification Service Examined on Mar 24, 2017
Everbridge is expanding in the security space. In January 2017 Everbridge acquired PSIM platform IDV, and have also begun integrating with other...
Hikvision Removing Auto 'Phone Home' on Mar 24, 2017
Facing pressure over their cameras auto phoning home and their Chinese government ownership, Hikvision has begun quietly removing automatic...
Axis Camera Vulnerabilities From Google Researcher Analyzed on Mar 23, 2017
A Google security researcher has reported 6 vulnerabilities for Axis cameras, affecting multiple models and firmware versions. In this report, we...
OpenEye Takes Aim At Exacq on Mar 23, 2017
First Milestone targeted Exacq with a takeover offer, and now OpenEye is gunning for them with an offer to swap out Exacq for their cloud-managed...
Lock Keyways For Access Control Guide on Mar 23, 2017
Lock keyways can be the difference between a lock working or not. Understanding keyways is important for access control. Indeed, a member recently...
Broken Browser Support for Video Surveillance on Mar 22, 2017
Modern web browsers have left the security industry behind. Current Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge browsers do not support NPAPI plugins,...
ADI Favorability Results on Mar 22, 2017
150 North American integrators provided feedback on 6 distributors, and why they do (or do not do) business with ADI. ADI is clearly a big name in...
1 Million Dahua Devices Exposed To Backdoor on Mar 22, 2017
Statistics show that 1 million Dahua devices are publicly exposed and vulnerable to the Dahua backdoor. Despite this, Dahua has downplayed the...
Hikvision Hires Crisis Communication Writer on Mar 21, 2017
Hikvision has hired a crisis communication writer as the company ramps up its efforts to deal with the 'crisis' it feels it is facing. 'Crisis...
Glass Break Sensor Tutorial on Mar 21, 2017
Burglars often break glass windows to get into a house. Using glass break detectors in conjunction with alarm contacts is a good way to protect the...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact