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

CODEC Guide 2016 on Nov 30, 2016
CODECs are core to surveillance, with names like H.264, H.265, and MJPEG commonly cited. How do they work? Why should you use them? What issues may...
Dirty Dome Camera Test on Nov 28, 2016
Dome cameras are the most widely used type professionally but many note that dirt, dust, rain, and scratches can cause image quality problems,...
Hanwha Wisenet P 4K Bullet Tested on Nov 21, 2016
Hanwha Techwin (formerly Samsung) continues their push into H.265 cameras, now with the high-end P series, including 4K resolution and smart...
Solutions to 5 Common Access Control Problems on Nov 21, 2016
Effective security is more than just good equipment. In fact, thousands of dollars in electronic access control can be wasted if they are not used...
Longse vs Dahua and Hikvision Tested on Nov 16, 2016
For many, even $100 cameras are too expensive. That is where spam king Longse comes in with their relentless offer of ~$20 cameras. In our past...
Dahua 4MP HD Analog Tested on Nov 10, 2016
A few years ago, analog was SD only. In the past few years, HD analog, up to 1080p, has become commonplace. Now, HD analog is doubling its max...
Genetec Expels Hikvision on Nov 08, 2016
Genetec has removed support for Hikvision devices, deeming them 'untrustworthy', citing customer concerns about Chinese government ownership /...
Ex-ADT Exec Joins Eagle Eye As President on Nov 04, 2016
VSaaS has been a tough market, while Axis struggles with their business, Eagle Eye is filling out their executive team. Eagle Eye has hired an...
Major Manufacturers Dropping MJPEG on Nov 04, 2016
MJPEG has hung on for years, still in use in some systems despite H.264's dominance for the better part of the past decade. However, now some...
Samsung Wisenet Q 4MP Tested on Nov 03, 2016
The 4MP trend continues, now with Hanwha Techwin / Samsung in their latest Wisenet Q series. We bought one of these models, the QNV-7080R, to see...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Pelco Favorability Results on Dec 02, 2016
This is the first in a series of studies of manufacturer favorability. 100+ integrators rated and explained their views of each manufacturer. We...
Hikvision CEO Declares 'We Do Not Cut Rates" on Dec 02, 2016
Hikvision has led another press trip to China, and this time Hikvision's CEO is sharing insights into their competitive strategy, including...
Network Security Audit App (March Networks) Examined on Dec 01, 2016
Verifying one's video surveillance devices are locked down against common cybersecurity vulnerabilities is increasing important, as hacks using...
FLIR Acquires Drone Manufacturer For $134M on Dec 01, 2016
FLIR has acquired Prox Dynamics, a Norwegian maker of small military-grade drones, for $134M.  FLIR president Andy Teich provided additional...
Down to $50 IP Cameras From Honeywell on Dec 01, 2016
$100 IP cameras are literally old news. And you do not need to buy from spam email vendors anymore to get $50 ones. [premium_content] You can...
Distributor Offers Local Job Site Delivery on Nov 30, 2016
Local distribution branches are a big differentiator for many integrators, as they facilitate quickly picking up supplies locally without having to...
Dump Axis and Hikvision, Arecont Will Pay You on Nov 30, 2016
Do you want to get rid of your Avigilon, Axis, Bosch, Hanwha Samsung, Hikvision, Pelco or Sony cameras? Now, Arecont will pay you to dump them for...
CODEC Guide 2016 on Nov 30, 2016
CODECs are core to surveillance, with names like H.264, H.265, and MJPEG commonly cited. How do they work? Why should you use them? What issues may...
Free Online NFPA, IBC, and ADA Codes and Standards on Nov 29, 2016
Finding applicable codes for security work can be a costly task, with printed books and pdf downloads costing hundreds or thousands. However, a...
Selecting Wood Drill Bits For Installers on Nov 29, 2016
Running cables through studs is common for roughing in residential and some older commercial installs. To do this, you will need to drill holes in...

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