I can see where some integrators *cough slammers* might be fine using a $50 PoE switch, but I'm not. There is no way a $50 PoE switch is going to be a fully managed switch, supporting individual port power cycling via software. We have used that feature of a PoE switch more times than I can remember when troubleshooting remotely. In the cases where we used an unmanaged switch, we regretted it. I don't care if the customer doesn't understand the difference, I can. It allows me to do my job more efficiently.
And, a 4 cam mom and pop is getting analog from me, not IP.
LOL. To whoever keeps marking my posts "Unhelpful": if you think that will have any effect on my posting frequency or content, you are sadly mistaken. In fact, it will just make me more resigned to post when and where I normally wouldn't...
I'll answer your question with a question: would you buy a vehicle based solely on Car and Driver's recommendation? Edmunds? Motor Trend? Consumer Reports? Neither would I.
What I would do is use IPVM's testing as one factor among many. IPVM can't/won't test for every factor we use in determining which camera(s) best fit our rather far-ranging criteria but their tests do give me hints about what cameras are worth a second look. Then I would obtain an evaluation unit for testing in our casino.
Those tests cover factors that IPVM would not test typically for: ability to provide good image quality in low light, high light, back lit, high reflections and high contrast situations. I would also test the camera's ability to integrate with our VMS; its ability to provide multiple streams at 30fps; its ability to provide simultaneous TCP/IP Unicast and Multicast ONVIF streams; its ease of mounting in various locations; its weight; lens choices; aiming flexibility (pan/tilt/rotate) and other factors.
Then, I would compare its flaws and virtues to other cameras we have tested before deciding what camera(s) to buy.
I am known as a demanding client. I don't think I would even consider products from manufacturers and/or distributors who respond to my questions in a condescending manner.
In all honesty, I consider most of the camera tests IPVM does as targeted toward a mainstream use case. And while they are fairly thorough, they're not exhaustive. Basically, good to sort of say "If you're familiar with Camera X, here is how Camera Y might relate to it."
For you, and your application, I wouldn't expect the IPVM tests to have much value at all, unless they said the camera was just an outright failure or something. I would expect you to do your own tests, using criteria that YOU can define and duplicate and control.
My question was not condescending. But if you use the auto analogy, it's like trying to select a car for a cross-country road race that ends with a demolition derby. The mainstream magazines that test and rate cars are just not going to be that helpful, your use case is very different.
Granted, IPVM is not the be-all end-all to camera testing but as really the only game in CCTV town, they are a resource.
My analogy to Consumer Reports, is a valid example. I wouldn't buy a car based solely on what they say but I would use their ratings as a guide. For instance, if I was in the market for a mid-size sedan, I would consider one of their top picks (Subaru Legacy, Honda Accord, Toyota Camry) over one in their bottom picks (Chrysler 200, Kia Optima, Nissan Altima).
In the same vein, if IPVM said a product performed poorly, I would be far less likely to even ask the manufacturer or a distributor for an evaluation unit.
Do I wish IPVM or at least someone published tests that more closely aligned with our criteria? Of course! But since that is unlikely, I'll take what I can get.
And there are so many camera brands (yes, I know many are rebrandings) that it is vurtually impossible for us to test more than a small fraction of them. So how to weed the huge number down to a manageable level? Hopefully, diligent research and possibly the assistance of resources like IPVM.
I'd like to see an actual long term test performed on PoE switches to see if expensive ones perform better or if cheap ones have a higher failure rate. I'm convinced they are all made in the same factory and companies just OEM them and charge what they can get away with for their particular brand.
To quickly address one of the notes above regarding IP PTZs for City Surveillance, Pelco’s line of HD PTZ cameras (Spectra HD, Esprit HD and Spectra Professional) can accurately mask scenes using the window blanking function effect.
Additionally, with the latest firmware release in early December 2014, Spectra HD now has 6 window blanking modes:
This may be too specialized, but I would like to see a comparison on the integration of VMS's into Access Control systems. I am seeing more and more where camera manufacturers are limiting access to API's because they are pushing their own management product; and this is compounded when those same manufacturers start coming out with access control suites.
Ok, that's good to know. I was most interested in the performance aspects of the devices, and had made the assumption that the NVR might be taxed a bit more than Analog HD by the demands to decode multiple h.264 streams for live viewing.
Perhaps this is roughly offset by the gain of not needing to not encode the streams before they go to media...