First Ever Video Surveillance Buyer's Guide

Author: John Honovich, Published on Oct 04, 2011

We are proud to announce the industry's first Video Surveillance Buyer's Guide, a 30 page report that provides clear recommendations on what to buy amongst 40 of the market's best known surveillance manufacturers.

Our Video Surveillance Buyer's Guide helps those new to surveillance quickly understand the main issues and best products to consider. Here are the key features of the Guide:

  • Succinct: In an hour or two, the reader will learn what painful problems to avoid and the plus and minuses of the most frequently used products in the industry.
  • Recommendations: We provide clear recommendations on what manufacturers are safe, those that are merely acceptable and those that are risky. 40 manufacturers are covered - the top 25% received safe ratings, the middle 35% received acceptable ratings and the bottom 40% received risky ratings.
  • North America Focus: The companies reviewed are from around the world but only included if they actively sell their products in North America.
  • Professional Only: This Guide is for professional projects using from 4 - 400 cameras. Smaller projects for residential or home office are excluded.
  • IP Camera Focus: Only IP cameras are considered. They are by far the most common (and generally correct) choice in North America today for professional projects.
  • References for more: The guide provides references to our original unique research allowing readers to drill into more advanced information so they can learn more, if they want, about what they want.

The goal of the guide is to allow a surveillance novice to absorb the most important lessons of our thousands of hours of testing and research in an about an hour. We purposely made it as focused as can be so you can get the key points and understand the most difficult issues.

Type of Recommendations

We offer 3 categories of recommendations. Since many applications exist and this is a general purpose guide, we focus on 3 broad categories:

  • Safe Choices: In each product category, these are manufacturers who have proven to work well in the field, have broad interoperability and wide mainstream usage. We are highly confident that these products will work well though, of course, we cannot in the Guide determine the absolute best for your specific needs.
  • Acceptable: These are manufacturers whose products should be OK but suffer one or two major deficiencies relative to the top tier safe choices. We recommend users carefully consider the drawbacks we detail.
  • Risky: These manufacturers, while well known, have multiple major deficiencies. We recommend to avoid them, when possible, in favor of safer choices.

For IP cameras and VMS systems, we provide a summary table. Here is a preview of what it looks like:

Usage of Recommendations

These recommendations are intended only for the personal use of members. No one is ever authorized to use them for promotion, press releases, marketing materials, etc. Our goal here is to help non-insiders to quickly get a sense of what to consider.

Product Categories

When buying video surveillance products, there are 3 main product choices. We break down our recommendations for each of these groups:

  • IP Cameras: These are the devices that are going to capture video throughout one's facilities
  • VMS Software: This is the application that will record, manage and let you retrieve video.
  • Computer Hardware: This is the machine that will run the VMS software and store the surveillance video.

Companies Covered

The Buyer's Guide covers 40+ total companies. Here they are broken down by category:

IP Cameras

  • ACTi
  • American Dynamics
  • Arecont Vision
  • Avigilon
  • Axis
  • Basler
  • Bosch
  • Cisco
  • DVTel
  • HikVision
  • IndigoVision
  • IQinVision
  • Mobotix
  • Panasonic
  • Pelco
  • Sony
  • StarDot
  • Verint
  • VideoIQ
  • Vivotek
VMS Systems
  • 3VR
  • Aimetis
  • American Dynamics
  • Avigilon
  • Axxonsoft
  • Cisco
  • DVTel
  • Exacq
  • Genetec
  • IndigoVision
  • IPConfigure
  • Luxriot
  • Milestone Systems
  • Mobotix
  • NICE
  • Nuuo
  • OnSSI
  • Pelco
  • Verint
  • Vicon
Hardware
  • Dell
  • HP
  • White Box
  • Intransa
  • Pivot3

Key Buying Issues

In addition to product recommendations, for each category, we list the top buying decisions that need to be made within each product category.

How to Get the Guide

The complete guide is available inside to all Pro Members.

** *** ***** ** ******** *** ********'* ***** ***** ************ Buyer's *****, * ** **** ****** **** ******** ***** *************** on **** ** *** ******* ** ** *** ******'* **** known ************ *************.

*** ***** ************ *****'* ***** ***** ***** *** ** ************ quickly ********** *** **** ****** *** **** ******** ** ********. Here *** *** *** ******** ** *** *****:

  • ********: ** ** **** ** ***, *** ****** **** ***** what ******* ******** ** ***** *** *** **** *** ******* of *** **** ********** **** ******** ** *** ********.
  • ***************: ** ******* ***** *************** ** **** ************* *** ****, those **** *** ****** ********** *** ***** **** *** *****. 40 ************* *** ******* - *** *** **% ******** **** ratings, *** ****** **% ******** ********** ******* *** *** ****** 40% ******** ***** *******.
  • ***** ******* *****: *** ********* ******** *** **** ****** *** ***** *** only ******** ** **** ******** **** ***** ******** ** ***** America.
  • ************ ****: **** ***** ** *** ************ ******** ***** **** * - *** *******. ******* ******** *** *********** ** **** ****** are ********.
  • ** ****** *****: **** ** ******* *** **********. **** *** ** *** the **** ****** (*** ********* *******) ****** ** ***** ******* today *** ************ ********.
  • ********** *** ****: *** ***** ******** ********** ** *** ******** ****** ******** allowing ******* ** ***** **** **** ******** *********** ** **** can ***** ****, ** **** ****, ***** **** **** ****.

*** **** ** *** ***** ** ** ***** * ************ novice ** ****** *** **** ********* ******* ** *** ********* of ***** ** ******* *** ******** ** ** ***** ** hour. ** ********* **** ** ** ******* ** *** ** so *** *** *** *** *** ****** *** ********** *** most ********* ******.

**** ** ***************

** ***** * ********** ** ***************. ***** **** ************ ***** and **** ** * ******* ******* *****, ** ***** ** 3 ***** **********:

  • **** *******: ** **** ******* ********, ***** *** ************* *** **** proven ** **** **** ** *** *****, **** ***** **************** and **** ********** *****. ** *** ****** ********* **** ***** products **** **** **** ******, ** ******, ** ****** ** the ***** ********* *** ******** **** *** **** ******** *****.
  • **********: ***** *** ************* ***** ******** ****** ** ** *** suffer *** ** *** ***** ************ ******** ** *** *** tier **** *******. ** ********* ***** ********* ******** *** ********* we ******.
  • *****: ***** *************, ***** **** *****, **** ******** ***** ************. We ********* ** ***** ****, **** ********, ** ***** ** safer *******.

*** ** ******* *** *** *******, ** ******* * ******* table. **** ** * ******* ** **** ** ***** ****:

***** ** ***************

***** *************** *** ******** **** *** *** ******** *** ** members. ** *** ** **** ********** ** *** **** *** promotion, ***** ********, ********* *********, ***. *** **** **** ** to **** ***-******** ** ******* *** * ***** ** **** to ********.

******* **********

**** ****** ***** ************ ********, ***** *** * **** ******* choices. ** ***** **** *** *************** *** **** ** ***** groups:

  • ** *******: ***** *** *** ******* **** *** ***** ** ******* video ********** ***'* **********
  • *** ********: **** ** *** *********** **** **** ******, ****** *** let *** ******** *****.
  • ******** ********: **** ** *** ******* **** **** *** *** *** software *** ***** *** ************ *****.

********* *******

*** *****'* ***** ****** **+ ***** *********. **** **** *** broken **** ** ********:

** *******

  • ****
  • ******** ********
  • ******* ******
  • ********
  • ****
  • ******
  • *****
  • *****
  • *****
  • *********
  • ************
  • **********
  • *******
  • *********
  • *****
  • ****
  • *******
  • ******
  • *******
  • *******
*** *******
  • ***
  • *******
  • ******** ********
  • ********
  • *********
  • *****
  • *****
  • *****
  • *******
  • ************
  • ***********
  • *******
  • ********* *******
  • *******
  • ****
  • ****
  • *****
  • *****
  • ******
  • *****
********
  • ****
  • **
  • ***** ***
  • ********
  • ******

*** ****** ******

** ******** ** ******* ***************, *** **** ********, ** **** the *** ****** ********* **** **** ** ** **** ****** each ******* ********.

*** ** *** *** *****

*** ******** ***** ** ********* ****** ** *** *** *******.

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

***** *** ***** ** ********** *****, **'* *** **** ** fit ** * ****** ****. ** ****, ** **** ****** it **** * ***** ******** **** *** ** **** ************* in ***** ********:

** *** * ******* ** *** **** ** ******* *** Guide's ***************.***** *** * **** ******* ***.

    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

    Hanwha Wave VMS Tested on Jan 22, 2018
    Hanwha has released their first open platform VMS, Wisenet Wave, an Network Optix OEM (see test results) enhanced with integrations and...
    PoE Powered Access Control Tutorial on Jan 19, 2018
    Powering access control with Power over Ethernet is becoming increasingly common.  However, access requires more power than cameras, and the...
    VSaaS Usage Statistics 2018 on Jan 18, 2018
    VSaaS has been a 'next big thing' for more than a decade. The prospect of managing, storing and streaming video from the cloud rather than...
    The 2018 Surveillance Industry Guide on Jan 16, 2018
    The 300 page, 2018 Video Surveillance Industry Guide, covering the key events and the future of the video surveillance market, is now available,...
    Amazon Deep Learning Partnership With AgentVi on Jan 15, 2018
    Amazon is aiming to grow its Kinesis Video Streams offering that "enables you to quickly build computer vision and ML applications" in the cloud....
    Hikvision Removed From US Army Base, Congressional Hearing Called on Jan 12, 2018
    Hikvision has been removed from a US Army Base and a US congressional committee is planning a hearing on cybersecurity risks and specifically,...
    Intel Flaw Impact on VMS / NVRs Examined on Jan 05, 2018
    A flaw has been found in Intel processors that exposes protected memory to unauthorized access. The flaw requires fundamental changes to operating...
    Multicasting Surveillance Tutorial on Jan 04, 2018
    Network bandwidth can be a concern for some surveillance systems. While improvements in video codecs, such as smart codecs for H.264 and H.265,...
    Cabling Best Practices Guide on Jan 03, 2018
    Surveillance cabling can be a major problem. Poorly installed and maintained networks are often costly, lengthy, frustrating ordeals to...
    Multi-Imager Camera Guide on Jan 02, 2018
    Multi-imager usage continues to grow, with most manufacturers now offering at least one model, making them an attractive option for covering wide...

    Most Recent Industry Reports

    Hacked Hikvision IP Camera Map USA And Europe on Jan 22, 2018
    The interactive map below shows a sample of hacked and vulnerable Hikvision IP cameras across the USA and Europe. Hover over a marker to see an...
    Hanwha Wave VMS Tested on Jan 22, 2018
    Hanwha has released their first open platform VMS, Wisenet Wave, an Network Optix OEM (see test results) enhanced with integrations and...
    Resolution Usage Statistics 2018 - Moving Up From 1080p on Jan 22, 2018
    In 2016, IPVM statistics showed the most common camera resolution used was 1080p, rising from 2014's 720p. Now, new IPVM statistics of 200+...
    PoE Powered Access Control Tutorial on Jan 19, 2018
    Powering access control with Power over Ethernet is becoming increasingly common.  However, access requires more power than cameras, and the...
    If You Have 4 Cameras, You Can Throw Them Away, If You Have 400, They Throw You Away on Jan 19, 2018
    Do users care about anything but price? Do user care about cybersecurity? Do users care about trusting their supplier? These have become...
    Chinese Government Hikvision Surveillance System On US Government Network on Jan 18, 2018
    Hikvision, the Chinese government-owned manufacturer, has publicly claimed that their products are running on a US government network. Moreover,...
    Winter 2018 Camera Course on Jan 18, 2018
    Learn video surveillance and get certified. Register now. Save $50 on the course, ending this Thursday the 18th, plus get access to 2 class times...
    VSaaS Usage Statistics 2018 on Jan 18, 2018
    VSaaS has been a 'next big thing' for more than a decade. The prospect of managing, storing and streaming video from the cloud rather than...
    Vivint Streety Video Strengthens Door Knocking on Jan 17, 2018
    Vivint is famous (or infamous depending on your perspective) for mastering large scale door to door selling. The company has skyrocketed from a...
    Axis: "It’s A Question Of Trust And Who You Want To Be Associated With" on Jan 17, 2018
    Who do you trust? Who do you want to be associated with? Axis is raising hard questions to start 2018. In this note, we examine these questions,...

    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