Always Choose HIKVISION

I recommend that you ask your self what features does this customer really need, or will actually use in the long run. Never short change the customer on image quality so always choose HIKVISION, particularly the DARKFIGHTER series. But regarding the 'VMS', do you need a system that is easy to navigate? Easy to playback stored video? and does not break the bank whatsoever with "unneeded" licensing fees choose iVMS-4200. It is not a 'heavy' software loaded with features that look really cool but are completely useless to the client. Option 2 Show the client both, explain why Avigilon costs more, Explain Cyber security and why the network should be isolated. Price the HIKVISION slightly under the Avigilon to maximize the margin, and close the sale, always.

NOTICE: This comment was moved from an existing discussion: Hikvision Cameras And Avigilon VMS

I wouldn't think there is a single software or hardware selection out there that can be said to be an "always" selection. HIKVision and other kit based options surely have their place in the smaller customers where isolating the video may be ok, or where price is the primary concern, but that isn't always the case (especially with government and enterprise commercial). Genetec, Axis, Samsung, Avigilon, OnSSI, Bosch, Milestone, etc also have their play with the additional features, expandability, and advanced features/reliability but also come with a cost premium (with the notable exception of some of Samsung's new Q series and HD+ series).

Thinking that you can bypass cyber security weaknesses by suggesting "just isolate the camera network" leaves quite a few businesses without the features and abilities that they want. Add to that the requirement that many customers do (or should) have for cyber security such as healthcare, government, enterprise commercial; just shutting it in a box may be one solution, but it isn't the only one (ergo more choices than just the least expensive)

Particularly given that "air-gapped" networks can still be compromised via numerous methods by a determined attacker, so the more avenues you secure effectively, the safer you are.

It's one thing to design a hardened network design because it's the right, safe, or proper thing to do. Because it's beneficial to design. Because it's a security requirement for a sensitive installation.

It's entirely another thing when you're having to recommend hardening a network above and beyond what is inherently necessary or beneficial - and risking falling into the "so secure it's no longer useful or accessible" territory - just to make up for shortcomings in the devices you're attaching to your network.

Fact of the matter is if you're having to secure your network because your security devices are known to be inherently insecure, you're just plain doing it wrong.

Just because all devices can be insecure, and to some degree should be treated as such, does not mean all devices are insecure, nor does it take the onus of shame off security devices that are, in fact, insecure, with known, inherent security flaws that can only be remediated by disconnecting the network from any other point of entry.

NOTICE: This comment has been moved to its own discussion: If You'Re Having To Secure Your Network Because Your Security Devices Are Known To Be Inherently Insecure, You'Re Just Plain Doing It Wrong

Always Choose HIKVISION

Other implied suggestions

  1. Always Capitalize HIKVISION
  2. Always Capitalize HIKVISION products like DARKFIGHTER
  3. Except in products that begin with lower case letters like iVMS-4200

and close the sale, always.

Yes; remember your ABC's, Always Be Closing and Always Be Capitalizing

Most of us get discounts for IPVM because we get upvoted, does Marty pay more because he gets downvoted so much?

Maybe Hikvision pays him per downvote on IPVM?

I feel bad for him. I don't know why he's such a zealot but he really does play on while that ship sinks.

"he really does play on while that ship sinks."

What make you think that?

I genuinely enjoy Marty's post. Even if you disagree with him, you should value getting insights direct from one of Hikvision's top partners to understand their mentality, their justifications, etc.

Also, Marty is #6 on the voting leaderboard with 163 net positives votes over the last 3 months so he has his supporters.

"When two men always agree, one of them is unnecessary" - NA

"When two men always agree, one of them is unnecessary"

Well said. Such disagreements and open discussion make people and companies better.

This, of course, is not something the Chinese government tolerates and it reflects in Hikvision corporate's attacks.

Does "Funny" count as an upvote? His funny votes aren't necessarily positive ones.


Has the shoot out of the HIKVISION Darkfghter, DAHUA starlight and UNIVIEW StarView been tested?

If so, who won?

We have tested all three:

The Darkfighter camera performs best overall, especially with their F/0.95 lens, but you may see some depth of field issues if focus isn't set carefully.

Dahua was decent, roughly on par with Axis and Hanwha's 1/2" models (at that time — Hanwha has released 1/2"+ Wisenet X models we are currently testing).

Uniview was solid in low light but the worst of 1/2" super low light models we have tested, with some 1/3" imager cameras performing slightly better.

...does Marty pay more because he gets downvoted so much?

Its not unheard of...

Buy Hikvision and MAGA!

Hikvision is a great camera solution. I myself have "select" models that I only use. However, everyone should have a backup manufacturer (Axis, Vivotek, etc) to ensure your ship never fully sinks in the future.

I use 3rd party NVR software with Hikvision cameras and Turbos (RTSP streams) for most of my solutions.

Hoever, the one big negative about iVMS4200 is that it's very complicated for end-users to learn/use.

What "backup" manufacturer do YOU use?

I have estimated for a 22 channel Hik camera software upgrade to Milestone, I plan to use 2 Dahua,16 channel POE encoders, re use the server running iVMS4200 and use Milestone Express for channel licences.

Let me know if I'm walking into a horror show...

NOTICE: This comment has been moved to its own discussion: Upgrading Hikvision 4200 To Milestone VMS - Any Issues To Look For?

Marty asks what features does an end-user really need in the long run and stated "Never short change the customer on image quality." I offer the view of an experienced end user...

We all know that Hikvision produces good valued cameras, but my experience is that all levels of Hikvision cameras images tend to not be as smooth looking (blocky/artifacting) as Axis, Sony and Hanwha cameras. All Hikvision cameras I use are set at "highest" quality and all other brands meet or exceed that image quality level when using a setting between 50-75%.

I believe better valued cameras options exist; I currently only spec Hanwha cameras.

Trust, value, knowledge and service are important integrator traits to this end-user. Rather than a trusted security solution advisor, Marty sounds like a used car salesman with his always close the sale mentality.

Thank you for your reply, just for your information I have used Sony, Axis, Samsung and Hanwha and they are all fine pieces of equipment. However, I prefer the Hikvision overall as the best value for my clients. Insulting anyone's experience and knowledge without information as to their background based on an IPVM comment should realize that when pointing fingers at others, three are pointed at themselves.

Insulting anyone's experience and knowledge without information as to their background based on an IPVM comment...

To be sure, he actually only said that you "sound like a used card salesman", which is certainly possible to do in an IPVM comment.

Also, you have posted hundreds of times before, sometimes including "information as to your background" and your "experience and knowledge", amiright?

'Price the HIKVISION slightly under the Avigilon to maximize the margin, and close the sale, always.'

'However, I prefer the Hikvision overall as the best value for my clients.'

With comments like that you can expect the response that you got.

No thanks but I do buy Samsung/Hanwha and can sleep at night. I also have a lot less to worry about as they are shipping with encrypted firmware.

and if i need an easy to use "VMS" i can use the built in web services on most of the NVR lines.

because if you are already going cheap With Hikvision you can go even cheaper without having to support a PC and and VMS.

So Price the Samsung/Hanwha sightly under the HikVision and you will close the sale, Until the next triple super duper sale, with double manufacturer coupons accepted at ADI and watch Hikvison Pay you for taking their cameras.

Why has someone's personal (or "professional") opinion been made into a story topic? If he enjoys Hik and believes it's the best for everyone, that's fine, but why is this a story? Maybe put a precursor to the title: TROLLBAIT: Always Choose HIKVISION.

I'll reply to myself after having given it some reflection. This wasn't actually done as a "News Item" but was over in the Comments section as it should be, so I was incorrect about it being a "story topic". However, I still question why this was made a prominent entry on the Comments sidebar, is this done automatically by number of hits/comments? If so the TROLLBAIT tag applies even more. I guess I'll start my own thread "TROLLBAIT: Trolls are Good for the USA and Every One of Them Hates China" just to see how many clicks I can get. Meh, I'll try my best just to stick to the informative news stories and not get sucked into these things.

I still question why this was made a prominent entry on the Comments sidebar

This was moved to its own discussion. This is 1 of 196 discussions in the last month. Those are distinct from the 70 articles IPVM has published in the last month.

I think Marty's comment is very informative and deserves to be highlighted.

For example:

Price the HIKVISION slightly under the Avigilon to maximize the margin, and close the sale, always.

This is not hypothetical. We have seen many other Hikvision dealers take that approach. Factor in Hikvision's 'regular' prices, throw in the mega dealer discounts, compare to Axis / Avigilon pricing and a lot of these Hikvision dealers are 'laughing all the way to the bank' as Marty has said on occasion.

I am not angry at Marty. As I said earlier in the conversation, knowing Marty's approach is useful. The best move is to understand what others are doing so you can better plan one's own approach.

"Price the HIKVISION slightly under the Avigilon to maximize the margin, and close the sale, always."

This is not hypothetical.

Is it factual though?

Oxford comma notwithstanding, it sounds like he is saying this strategy will always close the sale.

I think you are overanalyzing it. No sales professional closes every sale. No one has a 100% close rate, etc.

Being more charitable, it fairly represents a commonly employed Hikvision strategy, which is to give the customer a modest price break relative to premium Western brands, mark super discounted Hikvision products up a ton, profit.

As I stated before in another topic - When everyone is selling a patch cord that costs $5 for $6, sell a $1 patch cord for $5. Eventually, everyone will be selling the $1 patch cord for $1.50. Eventually, the end user will realize the $1 patch cord costs them $200 service calls.

This was about 8-10 years ago when imported patch cords that are only tested by random samples or not at all flooded the market.

So if I read this right your saying "Since everyone else is ripping their clients off you should too and make more money."

Correct me if I read that wrong.

I'm not saying suggesting anyone do that, I am just speaking to what Marty is doing and how it reminds me when patch cords imported from China started entering the the US Market.

What about all those Hikvision dealers that are not competing against Avigilon, Genetec, Axis etc but against other Hikvision dealers? That is the real race to the bottom where only Hikvision is winning. Very few Hikvision cameras sold here are of the higher spec varifocal nature, they are the fixed lens entry level models on the cheapest NVRs going. Working for 'a days wage' is now again very common although our economy has picked up substantially and there is big demand for CCTV. Dealers are competing each other out of business.

What about all those Hikvision dealers that are not competing against Avigilon, Genetec, Axis etc but against other Hikvision dealers? That is the real race to the bottom where only Hikvision is winning.

Yes but there are enough larger integrators who are refusing to use Hikvision. This is helping the Hikvision (generally smaller) dealers win.

For example, in a survey we did 2 months ago, 30% of integrator respondents said they ruled out using Hikvision at all and those integrators were predominantly larger ones. This gives Hikvision dealers like Marty an edge so long as they can sell around the cyber security and Chinese government issues, which many buyers either don't care or can be won over by the lower price.

I do agree with you that, in the mid to long term, if Hikvision 'wins' that even the Hikvision dealers know who are making lots of money will be hurt. However, at least those dealers can make it now and worry about tomorrow, tomorrow.

I surely thing the race to the bottom is a problem but the race will continue until Hikvision either decides it won't accept the losses anymore (either because of a Chinese economy downturn or difficulties with cyber / brand issues) or until Hikvision is confident that it has knocked enough rivals out of business that it can raise prices.

Unfortunately, in my experience, there is alot of education across the whole chain that needs to be addressed. Reminds me of the MP race in digital cameras. The mentality, all I need to know, 3mp is more than 2mp and $89 dollars is less than $389.

"but the race will continue until Hikvision either decides it won't accept the losses anymore "

How do you know?

Please explain


I hear you John and agree for the most. I would however question the statement by the 'larger installers' saying they no longer use Hikvision as we have heard that here as well, big bold statements they made, yet some of them, including large global accounts, had their first Sales meeting of 2017 at Hikvision. This is not hear say, I know this for a fact. The art of properly educating the end user and even offering different options seems to have fallen by the way side at the moment simply because of price pressure, or so they say. Proper system design has gone out the window in the fight trying to beat the other SI on price. Corners are cut left right and center and NVR resources are stretched to the limit trying to make things work. Pixels on target no longer seems to matter as long as the camera count matches that of the competitors. It is left to the end user to find the pitfalls in the proposals. And there we have it, the race to the bottom. It's intriguing to see an end user selecting the cheapest proposal that they receive and then drive off in their Mercedes. End users are to blame is this whole process as well as they hardly take the time to look at the proposed systems properly and simply 'believe' what they are told by the sales guy. This I don't get as they would test drive multiple vehicles before carefully weighing up which one they like best or suits their needs best.

yet some of them, including large global accounts, had their first Sales meeting of 2017 at Hikvision

My point above was not that no large integrator would deal with Hikvision, it is that there is much more resistance among larger integrators as a whole.

Are they getting some? Yes.

Just in the US, they have 20, 30, 40 people dedicated just to selling the higher end of the market. That's a lot people. That can build trust and overcome objections.

And the larger integrators, of course, see they face competition from small integrators that are growing on the backs of Hikvision.

Will a critical mass of larger integrators convert to Hikvision? We'll see. It depends on how much they are willing to continue to spend on sales and marketing, how well they neutralize the cyber security concerns, etc.

Again I do agree with you, if a significant mass of larger integrators embrace Hikvision, it will result in falling overall integrator profits and more challenges for early adopters like Marty.

if a significant mass of larger integrators embrace Hikvision, it will result in falling overall integrator profits

I suspect some large integrators are already selling rebranded Hikvision product without realizing. I know we have unintentionally done so on some of our smaller accounts that are looking to lower costs while overall maintaining a no-Hikvision stance. The sheer quantity of Hik/Dahua OEMs makes this very difficult unless we remain vigilant.


I recently needed a temporary replacement for a failed Pelco DVR at a large site we were installing IP cameras at. I contacted our ADI rep to ask for a low cost DVR. I specifically stated no Hikvision. I was quoted and purchased a Honeywell unit. Once it was onsite I saw the interface was Hikvision.

While I agree with Marty most of the time, I sell Hikvision today because it is the best bang for the buck for my clients. Same goes for DW Spectrum. I am loyal to those products because they work well and are priced favorably. The quality of these two products are exactly what my clients expect and more. They usually meet the budget expectations of my clients as well.

Time will tell if this combo will continue to deliver for my business and my clients. If something comes along that exceeds either product, we will evaluate it and begin offering it too.

At a recent Expo - I had joined a round table discussion with security companies. there were 10 security dealers at the table. i asked about Hikvision - 6 said they only Hikvision and 3 said they sell it but it is just one of they brands they sell. NOTE: they did tell me that they are primarily resi and small business sales companies.

This took place a few months ago.

I asked the group 3 questions and thought i would share their candid responses:

QUESTION: Are you worried about Hikvision security and possibility of being hacked?


no one seems to care and it is all just a bunch of hype because the chinese government owns the company.

Everyone thinks there is a conspiracy - "just because the Chinese Government owns the company.

Bottom line = Customers want good products that are inexpensive. Half the items in my house are made in China.

Hikvision cameras are great, great video, great quality and low price. PERIOD.

Even if you are not selling Hikvision - you are probably selling Hikvision. They make cameras for just about everyone.

QUESTION: We are in the "security" industry. Isn't it our job to stand up for customers and find the best security products for them? (is it right to be selling products that "seem" to have security issues)


"I have to eat" or "I have expensive toys" or "don't believe all the IPVM hype" or "why would they care? They bought cheap router and switches. They are more vulnerable than the cameras."

"if you are that worried - put it on it's own network and not on the customers LAN"


Aren't you worried about liability from being sued? Do you carry Cyber-security insurance?


No. People sue everyone for no reason. I have very good T's&C's and why would they sue me, they would sue the manufacturer. cyber-security insurance is a joke.

Even if someone could prove the hack came from the camera, as long as I change the default password - how could I be held liable? Cyber-security insurance is a joke.

How could it be my fault they were hacked? It is not my fault, it is the manufacturer.

These small businesses have cheap routers and almost no security anyway. How could adding a camera make it any worse. They obviously want low price, not high security.

thought these were all very interesting. Thought I would share.

NOTICE: This comment has been moved to its own discussion: Hikvision Dealer Round Table - Here Is What They Had To Say

John seems unaffected though ;)

As a Security Vendor a major part of your job should be to anticipate the "What If" scenario especially for commercial customers. If you cant counter each response to that question you havent finished.

Since Red China's HIKVISION has "known" backdoors that presents an abundance of "what if" problems that cannot be undone by air gapping the system.These days a small cellular transmitter can be embedded into any circuit without being noticed except by specific scanning in several wavelengths not available to the public like 8, 12 and up Ghz.

You also cannot assume that the backdoor you know about is the only one that exists. If they designed one into the circuit why would they not also have a back up and who's to say the one that was found wasnt "sacrificial" to make you stop looking ? Remember these were installed in DOS and other buildings of our govt. Curious who authorized their purchase?? I find it interesting that people assume the Red Chinese govt and military would simply assume they could connect to a server over the internet without any concerns of tracing the connections when they could easily receive a cell data burst from miles away in any direction.

Hikvision and any other Red Chinese product creates the potential of threat at many levels even if our commercial market doesnt use it.

To take this to an extreme level of paranoia "What if" we were attacked by Red China or even their proxy, N Korea,in any manner including cyber or even militarily. Do you think they might want to use all those remote cctv systems that they should have mapped to monitor traffic and rail movements not to mention local troop movements ? If you imagine how many thousands of servers they have in CONUS and knowing which ones cover areas near bases and shipping areas it would be easy to detect most anything we would do in a response and we would never have a clue. "What if" they undersold those systems at cost just to saturate the market in every area of our bases, command centers etc.. If anyone thinks they didnt consider that an option, even with satellites, you too easily under estimate your enemies. If I was wanting to see what my enemy was doing that kind of data would be much more cost effective and accurate solution than satellites and unverifiable intel.

To put this into a more reasonable perspective for commercial use I currently have people attempting to use atm scanners on atms. They have used wired cellular (my belief but unproven to date) wifi and bluetooth to collect the transaction data. They dont bother with recording it and retrieving it later anymore. Thec most recent attachment is about the size of a typical postage stamp about 3/32nds thick w/ a metal arm/hook to lock it in place and a small wire antenna. A remote wireless camera is also mounted on a separate frequency. If criminal can use technology like this imagine what extremes a govt with resources like Red China can produce.

Yes I know how this sounds and this is just a "What if" but can anyone prove it wont happen. Buy only proven tested and vetted equipment and then partner with an IT Dept or vendor to monitotr the hell out of it and log it.


Maybe the sun will explode tomorrow too. Gotta love you guys who have nothing better to do than sit around and make up conspiracy theories. Stress is the real killer. Might want to check your BP more often.

To whom are you responding?

Starts with a B...ends with a B..........10 seconds BOB


Based on your response, you have no business doing business in the security industry excepting possibly residential and mom & pop storefront wire pulling and hanging cameras, because you clearly don't have the right mindset. Hate to be the one to break it to you, but there's more to security than what you seem prepared to accept - today, it's a heck of a lot more involved thanks to IP networks and devices and the presence of the internet.

Security is hard, and it requires thinking around corners, gaming possible scenarios, and attempting to anticipate every reasonable (and some unreasonable) result from your installation. A lot of these will not apply to every installation, but every installation deserves its own consideration, and in all too many cases, like with government contracts, financial institutions, hospitals, etc., devil-may-care attitudes like the one you're displaying here in what amounts to little more than a troll is a pretty good sign of an amateur.

Really...This isn't rocket science buddy...You should probably increase the dose on your anti-anxiety meds.

I'm out of this

The Amateur