VCA's Open Video Analytics Appliance Challenges Avigilon

Author: IPVM Team, Published on Mar 29, 2016

Many want an option to add video analytics to existing IP cameras. In the past few years, the most notable offering has been the Avigilon Rialto, but given Avigilon's focus on selling end-to-end solutions, there have been increasing challenges integrating with third parties. 

Now, UDP / VCA has announced an video analytics appliance open to 3rd party cameras and VMSes, called the "Bridge".

We spoke with a VCA executive about this device, its pricing and positioning. We contrast it to Avigilon's Rialto inside.

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Comments (23)

i use their analytics and they seem ~95% accurate.

1, can you clarify what 95% means in practice? For example, how many false alerts per camera per day or week? How much does that vary? What causes it?

The false alerts are generally caused by large bees flying close to the camera. sometimes at night, if a cars headlights from the road hit it direct on it will false.

If it rains hard enough, it will false but quickly adapt and tune out the rain from what i have seen.

It requires a lot of setup per camera but i think the cost is much better than avigilon.

They have many levels of analytics, the presence is good enough for my application however the higher levels have the ability to exclude/filter.

If you don't mind answering some generic questions about Bridge. I am curious how many programming hours it would take to configure 32 cameras and how many alarms per day you would expect to see from those 32 cameras?

If they can prove their performance and develop their brand, they could emerge as an alternative to Avigilon.

@Team, is anyone aware of any agreement or licensing between VCA and Avigilon/OV?

With Avigilon rattling sabres lately, vis a vis its early adopter program, and anticipated patent program revenue expansion, do you think there is reason for concern?

Updated: UDP (VCA's parent) is on Avigilon's published list.

Beyond that, Avigilon clarified in an email response to us recently that they "don’t intend to take legal action against end-users."

  • UDP Technology Ltd. is on the list

Is this a new version of what they showed at ISC West 2015?

...Bridge up to 16 D1 streams...
...Bridge up to 8 1080p streams...

8 1080p streams is twice the total pixels of 16 D1 streams.

Are they really processing them as 1080p or??

My understanding is that the streams are scaled down and processed at an intermediate resolution. I don't know at this time if that intermediate resolution is the same in all cases (eg: everything is downsampled to CIF), or if it varies based on the input resolution. Or perhaps it processes everything at D1, and therefore it can do more of those streams because they don't require as much additional handling.

Or perhaps it processes everything at D1, and therefore it can do more of those streams because they don't require as much additional handling.

Except that would mean it's doing more of the handled than the native, not less:

1080p X 8 = 32 D1 vs 16 D1 native

Are there any published specs that you have come across?

I don't think the final tech specs are public/released yet.

As an example, let's say the Bridge has 16 units of processing power.

D1 streams use 1 unit for handling and 0 units for conversion (because we're assuming they're handled at native resolution).

1080p/15 streams use 1 unit for handling and 1 unit for conversion. Or, every stream uses 2 units of processing power, giving you the ability to support 8 1080p/15 streams.

Doesn't look like one exists, there's not much info out there. The only additional info I see is this from SecurityNewsDesk

A stand-alone Bridge appliance can easily be retrofitted to an existing IP network based video surveillance system. It is able to support four 1080p channels or up to 16 channels at D1 resolution...

it all depends on the resolution, processor, and fps. you take the sub stream on the camera and set it to D1 at 15fps and you can easily get the 16ch...however...most people are buying ip cams for the high res... and the concept of the bridge is to take the stream, analyze it and put out video with the metadata tracker boxes...so whatever you put into the box is what you will get out of it with the tracker boxes...which feeds into your vms.

I use a vms which allows me to send a stream for the analytics at 15fps min, then send the main stream of full 3-5MP for recording based on motion or analytics event. Using an i7 processor, I am running a max of 25-32 cameras with the VCA analytics.

it took some experimenting, I initially used a dual xeon server to find it was using 20% CPU for the entire VCA and VMS. So i used an i7 and it used the same or less CPU, so i was able to cut costs on servers.

its a mix of cpu and memory but mostly cpu for the analytics.

15FPS min is required for VCA... so those arecont quad cameras that put out 5-7fps will not work with vca.

so whatever you put into the box is what you will get out of it with the tracker boxes...which feeds into your vms.

But the way I read the article, the camera feeds separate streams to the Bridge & to the VMS.

In a standard deployment a VMS connects directly to a camera, and that same camera also has a stream routed into Bridge for analysis

Also, I wasn't quite clear on this statement....

The VMS records all video, and Bridge sends alarms to the VMS defined rules are tripped.

How is the Bridge sending alarms to the VMS in this case? Via a software integration over TCPIP? Or maybe through I/O contacts?

How is the Bridge sending alarms to the VMS in this case? Via a software integration over TCPIP? Or maybe through I/O contacts?

There are quite a few options here.

1) RS-485 output

2) DI/IO ports

3) HTTP Requests via IP/ethernet network

@Undisclosed 1 Integrator Which VMS are you using with VCA products?

Found this "preliminary" spec sheet here.

UDP. Buzzword clash.

ONVIF? Really? Onvif-with-no-ipvm-compatibiliy-heartburn-noises? So this thing has (wait for it...) standardized interfaces?

So UDP is a Korean company that is a parent of VCA.

OR

VCA is a UK(?) company that OEM's UDP.

OR

Something else?

Here is what I received from VCA on this:

VCA is a wholly owned subsidiary of UDP.

UDP HQ is Seoul, focused on design, development and manufacturing of video based hardware primarily as an OEM ODM supplier.

VCA has offices in Denver, London and Shenzhen as well as sales and support personnel in Israel and Turkey.

VCA had been selling its analytics on an OEM basis and uses UDP hardware for its analytics cameras and encoders, which it has now began selling into strategic verticals.

I am still trying to figure out where to buy VCA products. Their sales staff seems to be loaded with product info, but not very helpful on giving me an actual distributor that I can buy product from. If anyone here knows of a US based dist carrying the VCA product line, I would love to hear about it.

On a side note, I have tested a VCA based camera from SnapAV (Visualint 4350) with Spectrum and feel like they work well together. But I would like to get my hands on the appliance so we can add analytics to existing installs.

They pre-announced these units quite some time ago, I believe ISC West 2015.

I believe at this point Thrive Intelligence (Allied Universal) is their largest purchaser/proponent.

The analytics overall looked quite intriguing as an alternative to VideoIQ when I was on the hunt for a replacement. However, it's not plug, play, and learn like VideoIQ. There is a significant amount of calibration regarding setting camera height, angle of view, depth of field, and other data necessary for it to determine the object classification based on relative size/shape.

VCA did have some cool features not available in VideoIQ though. The analytics also integrated with Milestone quite well.

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