Worst Camera Manufacturers 2018

By IPVM Team, Published Feb 26, 2018, 10:43am EST

Who is the camera manufacturer integrators have had the worst experience within the past year? 200+ integrators told us.

Here are some possibilities, alphabetically ordered:

Top Results

******* ******* *** #* worst *** ** ***** ** even *****. ******* ******** continue ********** ** *****-******* which *** ***** ********* competitive *******.

***, ** *** ******** side, ***** *** * notable ******** ** *********** not ****** *** *********** problems, * ******** **** for ******* ****** ***********.

***** ****** *** ******* worst *****:

  • ***** - *** **** 'worse' **** **** ** many ***** ** ******** votes *** ********** ********* for ******** *** ************* issues.
  • ********* - *** *** moderately *** ********, * good **** *** *** company, *** *** ** equal ****** ** ***** worse ********** ** *******, showing * ******* ** problems
  • **** - *** ******** very ****** *******, *** receive * ******* ** worst ********** *** *** product ******* ** ***-**** 

Compared ** ****

******* ***** ****** *********** *******, *****, ********* *** Samsung (*** ******). **** is *** **** ** those ******** ** ****:

  • ******* - *********** *** same ** ** **** in ***** ** ********** complaints ****** **** ********* ******* ***********, ****** ** *****-****** competitors *** ********* ** *** ******, ******* ******* ** ** worse ***** **** ****.
  • ***** ***** ******** * number ** ***** ********** in **** *** ***** than ** ****. ** are *** ***** ** that ********* *****'* ******* are ****** ** ****** fewer *********** *** ***** Pelco **** ** ****.
  • ********* ******** **** ****. They **** *** ******** in **** *** *** now *** ******** ** 2018.
  • ****** ******** **** ****. Their ********* **** *** their ********* ****, ******* no ******* ****** **** the ***** ******.

*******

** ******* *** ******** close to *** ****** ** quality ****** ******** ** Arecont, *********:

  • "*******. **** *** **** issues ** ******* *************. In *** ****** *****, we **** ** ********* almost ***** ******* **'** ever *********."
  • "*******, **** ****** **** the *******"
  • "*******. **** ***** ****** failure ***** *** ******** designs. ***** ******* * few ********, *** * hear ** *** ******** from **** *** ******** and *** **********. * will *** ** ******* any **** ******* ******* going *******."
  • "******* ******* *** ********. They ***** ****, **** their ******** ********, ******** service ** ***, *** process ***** *** ****. I ***'* *** ****** how **** * ***** encountering ***** ********."
  • "*******. *** ** *** failures"
  • "*******. ******* ***** **** often"
  • "******* - *** *** all **** ** *******"
  • "******* - **** **** quality *******, **** ** service ******** & ***** tech ******* ***'* *** greatest"
  • "*******. *** *******, *** tech *******."
  • "******* ***** **** *****. Still ******* ****** ******"
  • "******* ********* ********... ****/***-******** support"
  • "*******, *** **** *** out ** *** ***********"

***** ***** ************* **** criticized *** *********** ** product-specific ******, ***** ******* failure *** ********.

*** *** ****** *** Arecont ** ***** ***** used ******* ***** ** problems. ***, ******* *** declined ************* ******* *** Arecont. ********, ** ** because ************ ******* *** been *** **** ****** for*****-****** *******, ** *** ******** below ****:

  • "*******. ****** **** *** filter ** *** *****-***** products"
  • "*******. ****** ** ***/******* several ******* ***** ******* on * ******** ******* was **** *** ***** after *******, **** ******** reverting **** ***** ** just ******* ******** ******."
  • "*** ** ******** ******* that **** ******* * **** ** had * *** ******** with *********** *** ******* that ****** ** ** bad *** ** *** box. * ***** **** are ***** ** *** left ****** ** ***** multi ****** ******* / manufacturers."
  • "******* ******. * ********* 8 ******* ***° ******* around * ******. ** the **** **** * have ******** * ** them *** *** ** troubleshoot ***** ****** **** 2 ******. *** ******* would **** ***** *** not ****** ***** ***** settings."
  • "*******. **** *** ** five **** ** ***-****** cameras ****** ** *** last ************, ******* ** with * **** ******* end ****. *** ******* has **** **** *******; multiple ******** ******** *** each ***. ****; **, go ******; **, ****; etc."

** *** ******** ****, we ****** *******'* **** in *** ***** ******** to ******* ** ****. On *** ******** **** for *******, ** ****** that **** ** ******* the ****** ** *********** multi-imagers **** **** ****** integrators ****** **** **** Arecont ** ****** ******* offerings.

*****

***** *** * ******* second ** *******, *** unlike ******* *** **** had * ****** ******** vote, ***** *** ** equal ****** ** ******** to ***** ***** - a *** ******* ******* but *** ****** **** Arecont. ******** / ************* issues *** *** *** for *****:

  • "*****. **** ** *** cameras **** ******** ******."
  • "******** ***** *** *** they ** ***** ************ firmware. **** **** *********** bugs ** ***** ******** that **** *** ***** in ***** ********"
  • "*****. **** ********* *** Dahua *** ***** *********, but ** *** ** update **** ***** *****."
  • "***** ** ***. ******* non-vulnerable ******** ******* ***** their ******** ***** *** too **** ******."
  • "***** - ******** **** interface. ****** ******** ********"
  • "*****, ** ****** ******"
  • "*****. ******. **** *******."
  • "***** *** ***** ******* and ********* ****"
  • "***** ***** *** **** residential ********* *** ** was ********. ******* ******* quality *** **** *** the *** *** **** support *** *******" 

* *** *********** ********* Dahua *** ********* ****** combined:

  • "***** *** ********* **** frequent ******** *** ****** returns. **** ** ********* as *** ***** ** reinstall *** ******* **** us **** *** *****."
  • "*****/********* *** ** ****** cyber ******** ******."

********

***** ********* *** **** with ******* *** *** total ****** ** ***** selections, **** *** **** than ****** ** ***** higher ****** ** ******** selections.

*** **** ******* ***** among *** ******* ** criticisms *** ********, *********:

  • "*********... *************** (********** *** **** *************) and ********* ** ******* have ****** ****** ** issues"
  • "*********. **** **** ******"
  • "*** ******* **** ***'* work **** ******* *** *** **** of ****** ******** ***** requiring ***** ************** ** mitigate"
  • "*********, *** ******."
  • "***/******-******, ***** ***** *****"

****** ****, ***** *** a ***** ** ********* and ******** ****** *****:

  • "********* - ******* ********. hard ** **** ****** accessories"
  • "*********....******** ******."
  • "*********, *** ** **** after ***** *******"
  • "*********, ***** **** ***, hard ** ******* (******** to ****)"
  • "*** ****** - ***** 1000+ ***** ******* ** various *****, **** ** be ****** **** ******* wars ** **** *** client *** ***** ******* - ** ********** ****** away ** **** *********."
  • "*********. ** **** ******** some ******* **** **** kept ******* ** *** after ** ******** *** firmware *** ******** ******'* move *** ****** ** all. ***** ****** ** fix *** *****."
  • "*********, **** ******* ******** to ** *****, *** could *** *** **** to **** **** ******* system, *** *** **** to ********* ** ***** party ***" [**** ***** be ******* ***********'* **** **** ***** firmware *********]
  • "********* ******** ******* *** warranty ******* *** * problem"
  • "********* *** *** ***** experience. *** ******* **** did *** **** ** work **** *** *********** recorder. *** **** ** customer ******* *** * hindrance. **********, ** ***** a *** ** **** it **** ** *** own, *** ** **** to ** ******* ******** the ********* ** **** even ****** ****. *** upfront **** ******* ** wasted ** ******** *** much **** ** ************ intricacies."
  • "*********. ****** *** ****, had ** ****** ****. I ***** ***** **** HikVision *****. *** ******* of *** ******** ********, but ******* ** *** the **** ******** *** the ********* ** *** the ******* ** ** view-able ******* *** ****** network. ***** ****."
  • "*********, ****** **** ******* letting ** ***** ****** connecting **** **** ****** cylinder **** ** *******, redesign ** *********"
  • "** **** **** * site ***** *** ********* vendor *** ********* **** 50 "*********" *******. ** installed * *** ***** NVR *** ******* ***** not *******. ***** *** the ******* **** **** market ** **** *** OEM's. ** ****'* *** issue *** *** **** SOB *** *** ********* them *** *** ** change **** *** *** genuine *** ******* ***** he *** ************ ******* he *** ********* **** in *** ********."

*** ******* *** ***** for *********. ***** ** is ******** *** **** that **** *** *** positive, *** ****** ** problems *********** *** ****** with **** ** ****** higher **** ***** ***-******* competitors, ***** ***** ********* will ** ********* ** continue ******* ** * notable ******** ** **** and/or ***** **** ******* on ***** *** ********* to *********** **** ***.

Axis - * **** ******** - **** *********

**** ******** *********, ******* for *** ***** ****, they *** *** ******* negative - ******-**** ******** **********:

  • "****, *** ******** **** great *******, *** **** recent ****** **** ************ have ****** * *** times **** **'** *** to ******* **** ******* manufacturer."
  • "****...*** **** *** ** some ******** ***********."
  • "*** ***** ********** *** the ****-***** ****** **** had **** ****** ** some ** ***** **** popular ******. ************, *** 14-week **** **** ** the *****-** ****** ** to *** ******* ******* as * **** ******. Thankfully, **** ** *** customers **** ******* ** wait *** *** **** cameras."

***** ****, ** **** not ***** ******* ******* ************ issues *** **** ******* is * **** ******** of *** ********** ** avoiding **** *********.

****

****** ** * ******** note, **** **** ****** a ******* ******** ** the ****** ** *********** with ** ******* ********:

  • "**** ******, **** *** seem ** ** ****** solid."
  • "**** * ********* ***********, we ****'* **** * bad ********** **** ******. The ******** ** *** - ******, ****, ******** - *** ******** *** trustworthy."
  • "** *****'* *** ***. Axis, ******, *********, *** Bosch **** *** ******* us *****."
  • "** ***** ** ****, Panasonic *** ******* *******. We **** *** *** any ***** **** *** of ***** ************* **** i ** ***** ** this ****."
  • "** ** ******, **'** standardized ** ******, ****, and ********* *** ****'* run **** *** ***** hardware ****** **** **** year."
  • "**** ******. ** ******* the ******* ** ****** to **** ***** ** trust."
  • "****. ** ******** *** not ***** ******* ** the ****** ***** ** know ****."
  • "*/*. ** *****-**** *** cameras ** **** ** install *** *** ******* and ******* * ****** limited ****** ** ****** manufacturers *******, ** ** have *** *** *** terrible ***********."
  • "** ***'* **** ****** that **** ******* **** we **** **. ** standardizing ** **** **** our ******* ***** ********* by *** ****** ***** and *** **** ** provide ********* ******** ******* by ************ *** ******* offering. ***** **** *** are ***** *** ****** under *** *** *** our ******** ***********. ** is **** ** **** an ******* *** ******* phenomenal ******** ******* ** minimizing *** ******** ** service *****."
  • "*** **********. ** ******* systems **** ****. ** stay **** **** ******* that ** ** *** have ***% ********** **."
  • "** *****'* *** *** bad *********** **** *** particular ****** **** ****** out. **** ** *** we **** ******** ***** to *** ******* ********. They ******* **** ** required *** ******* ****."
  • "******** * ** ********** my **** ** *** to ***** ** *** that ***** *** - we ****'* ****** **** any ***** ****** **** any ****** ************* ** the **** ****"

*********

******** ****** ************* **** be ******** **** ****.

Comments (36)

 So based on these results, is Axis considered the best?  What would be secondary?

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Favorite results will be released next week.

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Sony:D

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Sony:D

They may have a spot but I am willing to bet it is in the "also mentioned" category.

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On the positive side, we expect Arecont's lead in the worst category to decline in 2020. 

I will be very surprised if Arecont still exists as an independent company in 2020. They have already tried to sell the company unsuccessfully on more than 1 occasion, recently gave up their patent when Axis challenged them, and now are heavily encroached upon my other manufacturers with multi-imagers.

Maybe they can convince Motorola that there is something worth owning in the company.

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They don't have anywhere near the assets, patents, or technology that Avigilon had....

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They don't have anywhere near the assets, patents, or technology that Avigilon had.

No, but they could probably spin up a good story and make the company look bigger than it is to an outside player, bump up the valuation beyond what a company with more of a track record in the industry would be willing to pay.

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Maybe they can convince Motorola that there is something worth owning in the company...

Or another company who is in need of their most valuable asset:

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What good is "Made in USA" if the prevailing opinion is that the product is sub-par? It is not like Arecont has the kind of manufacturing scope and investment of Avigilon for example.

Anybody valuing Arecont for their Made In USA capabilities would be better served just putting that money directly towards building their own final assembly operation. I would wager you could event tempt a few of Arecont's top "manufacturing" people over to a new operation to help get it up and running.

 

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Anybody valuing Arecont for their Made In USA capabilities would be better served just putting that money directly towards building their own final assembly operation. I would wager you could event tempt a few of Arecont's top "manufacturing" people over to a new operation to help get it up and running.

Funny, this is essentially what I said.

If the price is as cheap as you imply it would be:

They have already tried to sell the company unsuccessfully on more than 1 occasion, recently gave up their patent when Axis challenged them, and now are heavily encroached upon my other manufacturers with multi-imagers.

why not buy the people and the F&F?

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Funny, this is essentially what I said.

I know a picture is worth 1,000 words, but you probably should have omitted the picture and expanded on your original point a bit more. 

If the price is as cheap as you imply it would be:

why not buy the people and the F&F?

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I know a picture is worth 1,000 words, but you probably should have omitted the picture and expanded on your original point a bit more.

Perhaps, but brevity is the soul of wit...

Regardless, you said 

Maybe they can convince Motorola that there is something worth owning in the company...

My point was actually bleaker than yours; namely that they could be sold to someone, outside of the U.S., looking to get a head start on a Made in the USA operation already making cameras etc.

Since Motorola is U.S. based already, it doesn’t even have that need.

Also, though the output of the production line may not be the highest, whose to say that it might not still be a step up from a foreign entity, like Wodsee, Longse or Cantonk, etc?

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redacted - someone else already posted the same below.

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Hikvision, Uniview, or Dahua could buy them to establish a beach-head in the states.

Hikvision is already much much larger than Arecont in the US, so that would not help.

Dahua just bought Lorex, so it would be somewhat redundant but, of course, never overestimate Dahua.

Uniview has poor / fractured US presence so that might help.

The question is still how much will Kaplinsky (Arecont's CEO / Founder) settle for. There have been deals available over the years, he's just wanted too much. And there's Arecont's $80 million loan to pay off.

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Does Hikvision manufacture in the US?  I believe Arecont does.  Whether that could be retooled for Hik is an unknown.  The $80 million in debt is a painful pill.

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Hikvision does not manufacture in the US. However, if Hikvision wanted to, it would likely be less expensive and higher quality to build their own from scratch rather than take over Arecont's operation, given Arecont's relatively small scale and high QA issues.

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I'm talking now what's inside manufactures shiny new box...

Almost every manufacture (and to this, their OEM's too) has vulnerabilities in one way or another, pretty normal thing when evolving and developing features, so that should not be main factor to be 'worst'.

For the inside part of the shiny new box, what should also be taken into consideration for 'worst/best' manufacture, is how that's looks like. Is it old standard factory default root filesystem from HiSilicon/Ambarella/whatever where they only developed their own blob's into some weird directory, or did the manufacture actually invested some time into develop some new and updated (and keep updated) root filesystem together with their own applications.

During my almost last two years, with mainly concentrating only on what's inside of IPC/DVR/NVR of several manufactures and OEM's, I see same old and outdated root filesystem over and over again (boring!), and only to find blob's and some customisations into some few weird directories.

I would be lying to say that I only see this, as I have and do see some very few manufacture(s) who not using default HiSilicon/Ambarella/whatever root filesystems but instead thrown away that old and outdated 'junk' and instead evolving a very nice ecosystem for the root filesystem together with their own applications.

Perhaps one day I should write something about this and compare different named manufacturers and their OEMs, but today, I think I'm a bit far away from it because there are many left to dissecting...

My $0.02

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Have you tried to “hack” any Arecont Cameras, yet?  I’d like to hear your spin on their equipment.  

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It would need to be working to hack it.....

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Arecant!

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What I would avoid:

Top category to avoid: Product having major security / exposed vulnerability issue

Second top category to avoid: Product with no clear ownership e.g. recently acquired / merged with no or confused future plans. Till everything is fine, no one will notice. But the moment there are issues, end-user as well as integrator shall suffer.

Third category to avoid: Product with worst after sales support.

I am still fine (rather compromise) with products which has administrative or logistic issues. Even if installations are delayed, atleast technically there shall be minimum hiccups. 

 

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So unfortunate about Arecont ... They seem to be dying of multiple gunshot wounds to the foot. I have never used them however they have had innovation, some great white papers and enthusiastic and talented local employees.  I would love to love them but the numbers don't lie and neither do the Integrators I talk to. 

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Every year, when I read this report, I come away with the same question: "Can Arecont be saved?"

They had a major NAM presence for years. Integrator are STILL selling their cameras. Each year I think... maybe this is the end. Maybe they will just die off, BUT they are still around. 

So, I ask the question: Can Arecont be saved? 

... if Yes....

What changes need to be made? 

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- Reduce the failure rate, drastically. I'm just taking a wild guess, but my feeling is maybe down by 1/4 minimum to make them competitive again.

- Improve the interface and add options most other cameras have had for years that they've left out.

- Make it much easier to return bad cameras.

They'd have to do this without lowering the price too much, because I think they're going to need to stay between the mid and upper tier because there's too much saturation at the bottom end, so their going to need money to bring the quality up and keep it there.

If they really can bring the quality up, then they might be able to use a carrot to bring dealers back like maybe a 4 or 5 year warranty to show dealers they're serious about quality improvements. But if they try to raise the warranty term without any real improvements, they'll just be bankrupting themselves with the returns.

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A warranty is only as good as its terms & its deployment. If they want to show they are serious a 4 or 5 year NEW FOR OLD, easy to use warranty would be a good start. Maybe a web portal to input model, serial number & install date to generate an RMA label for goods to be sent back. This coupled with a short (7 day or less) turn around time would be the way to show they are serious.

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You make an interesting point, not only do they need to fix their current quality issues, but they also need to go back and provide a path forward for their existing customers. 

I wonder if they can financially support this kind of a program. With executives more focused on lining their own pockets, rather than building a solid product, not sure if this would fit in their overall business strategy. 

 

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With executives more focused on lining their own pockets, rather than building a solid product, not sure if this would fit in their overall business strategy.

That's might be true. Looking back now the sales people almost reminded me of the type you see doing multi-level marketing pitches. There seemed to be a lot invested in sales and marketing, and later it felt that was probably at the cost of their quality control budget. In most any MLM you're just milking it for what it's worth until the river starts running dry and then start cashing out.

And before any current or past Arecont employees starting getting their shorts in a wad, I'm sorry but that is some people's "perception", even if you don't think it's the reality. Work to change the perception to match whatever you think is the positive reality.

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Dahua addressed its firmware and cyber issue and it was not the only manufacturer to face these issues.  It is important to address the fixes as well as the problems. All manufacturers are vulnerable to cyber issues.  

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As an end user, your equipment is only as good as your equipment is good. So the hope is you find a solution which is hardened, reliable and you can implement/design with confidence. Confident you will obtain the results you need and the equipment will be able to withstand the ever changing dynamics of being an IoT device. The minute your equipment does NOT meet these standards, it is an embarrassing event when you, as the person who installed/designed/specified the equipment, have to inform your chain of command "we have a problem" and it will cost $$$$$$$ to fix it. There is brand reputation, I take pride in what I do and I HATE WITH A PASSION when my reputation is questioned because a manufacturer can't get there act straightened out.

You stated "All manufacturers are vulnerable to cyber issues." That's like saying all cars need repairs. The fact is there are some manufacturers who make cyber hardening a priority and others which don't. A patch here and there is great. I have had debates with manufacturers because we are not like minded in regards to cyber. Some take the position that IT is supposed to harden the camera, others understand the device must be able to protect itself. I have a camera which I like and have standardized to. It works and I do not have problems.

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I wish more end users thought as you do.

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We have to educate them....  yet many don’t want to hear about this stuff.   I have a company I really like, and they do some of their own stuff that is fantastic but they also buy from Chinese manufacturers.  Their Chinese produced stuff had a goofy hack....  They took some steps to fix it, but did they do enough?  

These arguments apply to all IT, computers, operating systems, etc....  We need a standard and some help here, but there is no help.  Too much profit at stake i guess, and this is the reality today.   Just look at the voting situation.  

IPVM, do a piece on the most hardened surveillance companies!  If you have can somebody post a link.  Can IPVM send someone to DC to get the industry some support.  Heck, Hikvision is installed all over the Department of Defense for crying out loud.

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I totally agree with you, and I am very loyal to the brands I sell.  The device must be able to protect itself....PERIOD.  I have standardized to a few brands I have developed confidence in for different reasons, but nothing in this world is static and so you have to remain on your toes...  There is no help to do this.  Are we able to test vulnerabilities to cyber threats on our own?  NO.

But you know what really stinks in my view....  even the best cyber hardened stuff is vulnerable because a great majority of our equipment is produced in China in some fashion, whether it be completely produced or affected in the production chain in some fashion.  

China now can produce with the best of them, except with security as we know with issues that recently have arisen, we better be checking stuff—but we don’t.  We just complain about it.  

And many of the so called US brands are produced in China.  There is no standard for testing stuff for vulnerabilities.  I need to research work done on here because this is surely an opportunity for IPVM.  

We have a situation like voting...  everybody complains but nobody acts. 

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My business consists of building custom multi-camera wireless systems here in Vancouver WA and then shipping them to locations often a couple thousand miles away. That means any hardware or firmware failure is a really big deal. That's why the only cameras I use now are either Mobotix or Axis, both of which have shown themselves to be damn near bombproof over many, many years.

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Im an Axis parter too.  i will look at Mobotix thanks.   I have a couple of brands that are bulletproof on hardware but shakey on Firmware.  One of them I have stopped using altogether, and its a shame because its a very reliable platform just terrible on the firmware/software side....  

Another is a US company that like most if not all buys from Asia and brands.  I’m hanging in there because I like the people I work with, but I’m honestly concerned about the situation in general.  

It would be great to see some research about this.  Hint IPVM.....   

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Some while ago we've installed 6 Hanwha DVRs and cams in 5 location for the same customer, and all of them have the same problem with recording stopping and resuming at periodic intervals. The customer is threatening to sue us if we don't solve the problem, the supplier does not wish to replace the equipment and I'm not gonna touch any Hanwha product ever again.

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There is a known issue with some of the older models NVR’s that is fixed with a firmware update. 

Im not sure where you are located, but let me know and I can get you some more info and help correct the problem. 

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