Buying Hikvision Chinese Versions Vs USA Ones

Has anyone purchased hikvision cameras from aliexpress (China)? I am finding some cameras there more then $50 cheaper then my local distributer. Can I flash it with the english firmware?

[Update - Hikvision official response inside.]


i dont know if anyone should answer this... quick search of chinese model hikvision and there is ton of information.

No You cannot flash properly... many people tried and they end up with 50% working GUI... english/chinese

the worse thing is that you dont have warranty... for 200$ (4x) you saved by purchasing overseas how much will you spend replacing it...

Alex- thank you for beating me to the punch. Aliexpress customers must go back to the Aliexpress store for support and warranty. The Firmware is different and cannot be upgraded to USA GUI. Also, all DS-2CD3xxx cameras are only for the local China market. For DVR/NVR, if it doesn't have an I in the model (ex. NI-ST suffix), it is for the China market.

Bob, thanks. What about IP cameras? Is there any difference between USA and Chinese Hikvision cameras? For example, firmware difference? If so, how do I tell? Is their a model naming convention like for the recorders?

John- except for the 3-series I mentioned, model numbering is currently the same for other IP cameras. The cameras sold into China have the Chinese version firmware only. Cameras for international market have the International version. The International version is not sold into China so AliExpress Stores can only sell China Versions.

If model numbers is the same for most/many of the IP cameras, how does a non-China buyer know they are not getting a Chinese firmware version?

For North American purchasers of Hikvision brand, the only guarentee that they will get International (English) firmware is to purchase from an Authorized Hikvision USA distributor. If it is sold on-line, it is most likely an unauthorized product and support for the product by those sites will vary greatly.

Hikvision has been having an amazing sale on some cameras that past few months. I keep on hearing from my distributer that it will be ending soon. Do you have any details as to when that may be?

Had to explain this to a few customers the other day, I just refer them to the hikvision website of listed non-authorized dealers.

Btw, what type of price differences has anyone seen between Chinese and USA versions of Hikvision cameras? I am curious how significant it is.

Even compared to the sale price, I have seen a $50 difference.

$50 difference - from what to what? $300 to $250?or $150 to $100? Or?

Amazon has a DS-2CD2032-I on sale for $159.00 thats $4.00 more than what I pay for them.

B, I found that DS-2CD2032-I on sales for $159. The seller is named 'HD Security Store'. I found a website named though I am not sure they are the same company.

If I understand this correctly, this is a -I, international version. So it's legit USA product, no?

Is your point that these guys are undercutting what dealers pay?

John- camera model numbers are different - the -I in a camera just means it has IR. Only Recorders use an I before the - for International. Other that the 3 series which is China only, camera model numbers are identical globally. Anyone selling on Amazon is an unauthorized reseller.

John, I don’t think they are, while it’s annoying. They’re not supporting the cameras and have labeled the sellers as unauthorized dealers, which is a good thing. It would be nice if Hikvision could enforce MAP pricing but having worked for a manufacture myself I know it is very difficult to do. In my opinion Amazon needs to be put in their place, as they are advertising “by HIKVISION USA INC”.

Amazon does not police their stores in that manner or any manner as far as I am concerned. It would be easier for manufacturers if they did.

Though they talk a good game, no?

Claims made in listings must be accurate and may not be misleading. A claim can be misleading if relevant information is left out or if the claim implies something that is not true. Additionally, all claims must be substantiated, especially when they concern health, safety, or performance. Upon request, you agree to provide Amazon with documentation substantiating any claim you include in a listing. Substantiation requires competent and reliable scientific evidence and may include tests, analyses, research, studies or other evidence based on the expertise of professionals in the relevant area...

Amazon encourages sellers to report listings that violate Amazon's policies or applicable law by using our Contact Us form. Select "Report a violation of our rules" and include all relevant information, so we can conduct an investigation.

Somebody should just fill out that form and put an end to the madness. :)

The Chinese version has it's date(weekday) stamp as well as few other properties in Chinese, and starting from this year, the chinese version with newer firmware will not be compatible with the upcoming US/europe verision of iVMS software. This is done by hikvision to protect regional distributors.

There is a way to flash it, so the GUI works and you can disable to weekdays, it almost look the same as the US one until you try to reset or update them. but warranty is the number one issue. not to mention some of the components are different depends on the actual production date of the IPC. plus, the Chinese version does not have to meet certain standards too.

I would strongly recommend you to buy Hikvision product or hikvision OEMs from your local or regional distributor. also, pay close attention to what version that you are getting from them. I wouldn't be surprised if some of them is still trying to dump the Chinese version.

The latest firmware doesn't allow you to select English if you have a chinese version camera. As recommended above, if using these cameras for jobs or selling to others, stick with the US Version and pay the few extra dollars.

Now if you are installing for yourself or family and are willing to support the cameras, changing the setting in the latest firmware is pretty easy.

You will still need to flash with the Chinese firmware, but can add english back to the menu. There are methods to actually change the firmware region, but I wont get into that, and HikVision may decide to detect and prevent that change in the future.

First, if you are doing this from Windows, pickup a few free tools (putty, 7-zip & HxD)
Login to the camera via the browser
Go to Advanced Configuration -> first category (System) -> last tab -> check Telnet
Use Putty (or your favorite telnet program) to login. Use the browser password (admin/12345)
FTP the Davinci file to your FTP server - /bin/ftpput -u cctvdump -p cctvdump <FTP Server IP Address> davinci.tar.gz /dav/davinci.tar.gz
Grab the davinci.tar.gz file from your FTP server
Use 7-Zip on Windows (or whatever tool you want to use to unzip, un-tar the file) and first unzip the file, then tar the file to extract the davinci file, almost 10MB.
Open the file with the hex editor (I use HxD)
Search for 8a 30 dd e5 38 a0 9d e5 53 90 c4 e5 14 90 9d e5
Change string from 38 a0 9d e5 to 01 a0 a0 e3
Tar the file then gzip the tar file (right click on file, use 7-Zip archive, default settings for both)
Copy the file to your FTP server
Put the file back in the camera - /bin/ftpget -u cctvdump -p cctvdump <FTP Server IP Address> /dav/davinci.tar.gz davinci.tar.gz
reboot (just type reboot in telnet)
Login to the camera and all is in English

replace <FTP Server IP Address> with the address w/o brackets <>.

Also change cctvdump/cctvdump to use whatever username/password you have for the FTP server.

BTW, this was based on version 5.1.2. And may not work for other versions.

If you are trying to do it in this way, Be sure to turn off Hiddns options under ddns setting or use dyndns if needed. :)

Note: Watch out if you are using 5.1.2.

Firmware Update compared with v5.1.2_140116
1. Resolved the bug that camera shutter speed is changed into high speed and image becomes dark at night even IR is on when live view is switched between main stream and sub stream.


5.1.6 addressed this issue.:)

I will check out 5.1.6. I have the Chinese version of the firmware but couldn't find the English version and wanted all of my cameras at home to be on the same version. Didn't even attempt to flash it. Previously I had to wait for the 5.1.2 update due to the JPG link not working with the 5.1.0 version. Though I haven't experienced the bug yet and will check out stream changes. I typically only use main stream.

PnP and DDNS are disabled on my units. I'm using Milestone 8ch Xprotect Go for video and a custom .cgi script to capture jpgs from the cameras without having to route/NAT them.

Great cameras!! Hikvision is a great compitition for all others. I almost want to take down my Sony's and Axis cameras that I've had up for a few years just to have all Hikvision. I had to provide evidence to the local police last week due to a kid breaking into my car. The only view that provided good enough clarity with IR. :)

For Andrew and Jack just for fun

use this link with HIK camera

http://your HIK camera IP/onvif/snapshot

Do not need Password :(

By now Andrew has already chmod'ed the file in question and is busy working on a global recursive script for the rest of us...

LOL. That's good to know. I have anon off but that still allows a stillshot. Good thing I don't route my cameras outside of my network.

What amazed me
how many ppl put their cameras outside of their network

Hikvision cameras come with upnp turned on by default. Most new routers also have upnp turned on. Though if they install more than one camera they will have strange issues if trying to connect to the default ports as both will be fighting for the same ports. :)

The latest 5.1.6 allows you do optimized the Mjpeg stream, so it's easier for intergrators to intergrate with contorl4 touch panel and such without the use of customized firmwares and driver.

here is a partcial patchnote. it also adds basic VCA functions like Face Detection, Traversing Virtual Plane Detection, Intrusion Detection and Scene Change Detection. But “Face Detection”, “Traversing Virtual Plane Detection” and “Intrusion Detection” are mutually exclusive to "4 Series"

13. Optimize MJPEG sub stream command, no need inputting username and password after input URL. URL format is “http://ip:port/Streaming/channels/1/preview?auth=xxxxxxx”. Here xxxxxxx is base64 encrypted verification.

For personal and educational use, we 100% endorse hacking, rooting, or whatever you choose to learn and exploit anything you want about anything you buy- but for commercial use! Are your customers demanding this type of solution?

Definately should not be used for commercial applications.

Buy Hikvision cameras and support the Communist government of China. The Hikvision rep sat in my office and told me the company is 51% owned by the Chinese government. We will not use them and I do not believe our customers want them either.

We will not use them and I do not believe our customers want them either.

And if other like minded Americans can band together and make their voice heard in Washington, maybe they can persuade our government to slap an equalizing tariff on those Communist goods that other, less committed informed Americans might otherwise inadvertently purchase simply due to 'value' or 'convenience', and without regard to the ideology that sponsors and buttresses them.

This would ease a bit the pressure on American firms to increase efficiency at all costs, and reverse the steady decline in the ranks of the once robust and content middle-management layer for several years to come!

P.S. Did the Hik rep offer that up freely (thinking that you might respond positively to it) or was it under duress of rapid fire questioning that he confessed?

P.P.S. I think its 56% state-owned now...

The Hikvision rep was open about it after I asked. The reps are decent guys but they are pushing products for people who oppress freedom and the american way of life.

I would agree that not all is well in China, but they are having a tremendous journey from where they where some 15-20 years ago. As for Norway, we already have a troublesome realtionship to China due to the Nobel peace price that Liu Xiaobo got.......

I'm not sure embargo is good for your economy either as the Chinese market is getting to be one of the largest. And it's already the third largest export market for the US.( )

On the other hand also U.S.A. has changed over the years. Would you like us Europeans to stop buying American goods due to the horrendous NSA practice? Or block US investments based upon fear of espionage?

"..but they are pushing products for people who oppress freedom and the american way of life."

Your wording seems to indicate that 'freedom' and 'the american way of life' are not the same thing.

So I voted your post 'Insightful'

China has enough money, destroys enough of our world's atmosphere/materials and treats human beings like garbage. There is no reasonable excuse to purchase this equipment.

China has enough money, destroys enough of our world's atmosphere/materials and treats human beings like garbage.

Sadly, some of these allegations I knew from various news feeds, but I admit I didn't know the whole story. I mean I had NO idea they had enough money! For how long now, I wonder.

Maybe if we demand that they raise our prices, so they can pay their workers more and take better care of this planet, they will comply??? Until then, no money for you!

Though to avoid being a hypocrite, since even if you Buy American, that doesn't stop it from being Made in China, coupled with the fact that the USA doesn't exactly have a spotless human rights record itself, I have decided to go the Full Norwegian (Norway is #1 in Human Rights) for purchases whenever possible from now on.

So Birger, who do you recommend, vendor-wise? :)

You can buy from us Norwegians even though we are a bit expensive :-)

I think the one thing everyone can do is to ask all suppliers for their human and environmental policy and connect that to your contracts. That might be a bit of a burocratic excersise, but it does give you the possibility to terminate a deal if something is discovered.

For larger companies it's a good practice to actually visit their main suppliers and audit them. Or use a third party that is an expert auditor.

...the company is 51% owned by the Chinese government.

Does that make HD-TVI a state-owned secret (sauce)?

I can't find the ownership breakdown of Dahua as easily as Hikvision. Does anyone know if it is unusual for the PRC to be the majority stockhokder of major Chinese corporations? What if the PRC owns 51% (or less) of Dahua also, will they fight themselves to the death?

I do not have a clue generally for Chineese companies, but during our discussions with Dahua they specifically adressed that they are not state owned.

But if that helps... I'm no sure. Any secret agency can demand to insert secret code in a specific delivery. Which is probably much safer for that agency as it's not as easily detected as if it was in every piece of equipment sold.

Speaking of goods and tariffs, don't you have to deal with U.S. Customs when purchasing equipment direct from China? How does that work?

The reason I ask is that we are interested in obtaining Evetar lenses (Xiamen Leading Optics Co.) but they apparently don't sell in the U.S., despite having an office in Claremont, CA. Yes, I know both Axis and Arecont sell Evetar lenses but for the one we are particularly interested in (M125VM3312IRR7, which equals Arecont's MPL33-12A) we would pay around $120 each versus Evetar's quoted price of $34.80 each FOB Xiamen, China. We're just not set up to import.

NOTICE: This comment has been moved to its own discussion: What Tariffs / Fees For Importing From China To The US?