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 ****** **** *** **** ******* ** *** '********* ** *** *********** ******.'

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