Comments On Videofied, ECV And Video Products

September 3, 2013


comment regarding Videofied’s comment: in the August 22, 2013 article
There are choices today for video verification other than Videofied. Videofied is a good solution for residential applications, but by no means is the only one. Some central station automation suppliers provide this ability, and most hosted video services can forward video clips to your central station.
There are pro’s and con’s to each of the various solutions. I agree that video verification far surpasses ECV in reliability and safety for the client. However everyone has their own threshold for privacy, so in some cases cameras need to be outside and in most cases more than one is advisable.
Of course monthly fees also add to the client’s costs. Along with a choice of systems themselves, there are some that I believe more to offer than Videofied’s system, with features, quality, and options. Our I-ACS® system comes with integrated access control to eliminate or vastly reduce human error at a surprisingly low price.
The I-ACS® system is not just a video verification module. It's
a full integrated access control and integrated video system that can be used for video verification as well. I strongly support video verification when it’s done correctly. I also urge dealers (and central stations) to research which systems can be integrated into their own operations and make an educated decision.
Mitch Cohen
Bric Security
comment on Monitronics issue and article on Videofied on August 22, 2013
I believe the following statement from Keith Jentoft – “If this alarm had used Videofied MotionViewers instead of standard PIRs, this entire lawsuit would never have occurred”, is very presumptive on his part. I understand and like the zeal that he uses to promote his product and the technology that it uses. I also understand the benefit of having the ability to tell the police that the system has generated a picture and they should be prepared to maybe make an arrest.
However where I don’t agree is on two points, for the Monitronics case it was written by you and acknowledged by everyone including the Court that the TRADITIONAL system worked as designed and I don’t agree with the referenced statement because the central station operator still could have drifted from the standard procedures in any number of ways that could have resulted in a suit. Nobody can be so definitive, even with the full benefit of hindsight.
Bart A. Didden, President
U.S.A. Central Station Alarm Corp.
Port Chester, NY
Milford, CT
St. Paul, MN
The issue is alarm verification or confirmation. The goal, reduce false alarms and maximize the alarm system's and the alarm company's services to catch criminals. Accomplishing this goal will assist with the primary goal of alarm systems - to effectively deter crime or loss from other detectable events, such as fire. Alarm companies would be wise to remember these goals when tauting the virtues of their alarm systems and services. Suggesting unrealistic expectations of preventing loss or catching criminals is going to get you a lawsuit eventually.
From a non technical perspective I believe that ECV and video verification are effective in reducing false alarms. ECV may delay dispatch and that may effect a particular outcome, but the benefits of false alarm reduction seems to be more important and override that risk. Video verification, like Videofied, is more about alarm verification, quicker dispatch and increasing the odds of actually catching the criminal; false alarm reduction is secondary to increasing effectiveness of the security system and services. And there is another reason I like it; it makes the industry money.
It's always nice to hear someone in the alarm industry talk about how alarm services protect lives, etc and overall contribute to the betterment [and continuation] of our way of life and society in general. I tend to be a bit more pragmatic. I am interested in making alarm dealers more money; increasing their RMR; increasing their company's equity; building a nest egg and protecting that pot of gold. What does ECV or video verification have to do with that? You can charge for it. We received a few comments from central station owners that they have been providing ECV for some time and don't charge for it - and don't plan on charging for it. They suggest dealers don't charge subscribers for ECV. Why not? It's an extra service, which in fact increasing your exposure for liability [witness the Monitronic case - there would not have been a lawsuit had the operator's job been limited to dispatching on receipt of signal, period]. ECV increases costs at the central station, and increases exposure for liability there too.
One of the features of the Standard All in One contracts is to break out services and charges. ECV is one of these itemized services. Video clip confirmation or video streaming are also separate services. These services are described and provision is made for charging for these services. Recently an alarm owner wrote us that the All in One significantly increased the sale and RMR prices - as intended.
another comment
I read this article and do agree that if it was video verified, the end result would have had a different outcome or even if the homeowner had a cctv system viewable via a cell phone. However, if the police would have done their due diligence and got out of the vehicle and looked around, it may have also played out differently.
We had a similar situation at a liquor store burglary years ago. The crooks entered in via an empty space with a common wall. Used a cordless saw and cut into the liquor store space. In doing so, they cut a 1" main water line causing water to go everywhere. The motion tripped and the police did a drive by saying it was a false alarm. Now a different motion in the hallway tripped three times as they walked to the safe. Once again, Minneapolis's finest attributed it to a false alarm. The assailants drilled out the safe and got over $20,000 in cash. Then they left the building via the front door and now with the central station dispatched for the third time. This time the pd noticed water running out of the front door and attributed the alarms to it,until they walked in.
My questions for you is why is not the pd responsible for not doing their job??
Gordon J. Neumann, President
Always Secure Alarm Protection, Inc
Why? It's called governmental immunity, and separates the PD from the alarm dealer. It's good reason to keep the PD out of the alarm business.