Subscriber Discussion

Hikvision WiFi NVR?

My regional sales rep from Hikvision sent me their April 2014 catalog; they listed a DS-7104NI-SL/W a 4-channel 20Mbps Max Input wifi NVR. The description on their spec sheet says, “Built-in wifi modular to support wireless AP function, support automatic detection and connection of IP cameras from Hikvision without any operations.” There’s room for one HDD (up to 4TB) they also released a series of wifi domes, bullets and cubes to accompany it. From what I understand the NVR acts as a wireless access point and will automatically detect Hikvision cameras, that’s what it sounds like at least. It's supposed to be availably in June.

I am wondering what everyone’s thoughts are on this? Obviously this isn’t a professional solution but for homes or small shops with minimal budgets, it could have potential.

John, thanks for sharing! Any idea about price?

WiFi consumer / SMB NVRs are pretty rare so that's a plus. Of course, with all things wireless, range is a key concern and you still need power so...

The main thing I'd compare / consider is why that vs a Hikvision NVR with embedded PoE switch?

You save about $100 vs a 4 channel NVR with embedded PoE. There seems to be a small market for people who are looking for wifi cameras with central storage. I personally get 2-3 requests a month, until now we’ve tried the axis camera companion and other software solutions but nothing worked well enough to offer it to customers. I am interested to see how well this works, I ordered one of the wifi cameras and will test it out at the office.

John, when you get it, will you be able to run a wireshark to see if it's using Zeroconf or UPnP for discovery?

I'll let you know, camera will be here today and I'll probably get to it tomorrow.

Out of the box I could only find it using their software (iVMS4200 and SADP). Updated to the latest firmware V5.1.2 build 140116 (released May 5th) and now supports UPnP and Bonjour.

Got one of their cube cameras yesterday, I'll leave it running for a few weeks and see if I experience any problems with the wifi connection.

You'd wanna make extra sure all the default credentials are changed on that sucker. Too easy for a total newbie to drive around with a wireless head-end looking to connect....

We (Hikvision) should have them available before the end of May.

@Rukmini- The cameras auto detect/connect. When the user changes the credentials on the NVR, the settings are pushed to the cameras as well. Camera options are Indoor Cube and Indoro/Outdoor Comapct IR dome - in 1.3MP and 3Mp with fixed lens options.

Do you have any information on the wifi that is built into the unit, 2.4 Ghz, 5 Ghz 802.11b/g/n? There isn’t a lot of information on these NVRs. I found a spec sheet from Europe but it didn’t have much.

Bob, are you saying that you can run the system without changing the credentials? When the detect and connect occur for the first time, is that camera assigned to that only that nvr somehow (a bluetooth like mechanism?). If not what would happen if two nvr were both in range with defaults not changed?

I once had a customer wire a QNAP NVR into a wireless access point. He must have been satisfied, because he didn't return the stuff. This is probably the same idea in a single device.

I just hope the box uses external, not internal, antennae, so you can upgrade to a directional antenna if necessary.

Great solution for a quick residential install. We've been looking for this for a couple of years now.

Downsides to wireless cameras:

1) POWER - Either have to run power wire to the camera or settle for locations where power is already available. Battery power just isn't a viable option yet. Solar might be fine if you want daytime only.

2) RANGE - Depending on the structure, you may have less than 50' of range. Best case is 300' in a near perfect scenario.

3) INTERFERENCE - If it uses common bands of spectrum, it is going to run the risk of interference from other devices. If you use a less common, proprietary band, then you run the risk of nobody adopting your standard.

4) EXPLOITS - It is much easier to exploit or tamper with a wireless system. Hard wired systems are always going to be more secure and harder to tamper with. Nothing is perfect, but why make it easy for tampering. It's easy to jam the common bands of wireless and that would allow an intruder to evade detection or identification.

I think the purpose of this system is for consumers looking to have a wireless system with centralized recording. These people don't have the cash to invest into a professionally installed system and just want to check on the dog or housekeeper while they're out of town. That's my impression at least, I have run into a lot of potential customers looking for a simple system like this, up until now we have told them to look else ware because we were too expensive for them. This might just be a solution for them that we can provide. We will see if it actually works.

This isnt a road we were looking on going down, but I see the growing interest so I thought, why not?

To follow up on the WiFi supported, it is 802.11b/g/n 2.4Ghz. We would caution that the typical precautions regarding 802.11 apply in terms of distance limitations, obstructions, etc.

Can the homeowners afford to keep calling for service on an unreliable system? Should the integrator eat these costs? I don't think running some CAT5e cable is really that expensive for just a few cameras. I'm sure these Wireless cams will cost more than the wired equivalent? If you end up needing power outlets added in order to get the shot you want, an electrician will probably cost as much, or more than, the integrator simply running CAT5e.

I dont see the viability of this product for people that want a reliable system.

Jon- once installed and operational, overcoming any issues such as power outlets and any other cost of install, why are you deeming this system unreliable?


802.11 WiFi is inherently much less reliable by nature. There are so many factors that can interfere with uninterrupted connectivity. Maybe in a vacuum, WiFi is viable. But, in my experience, most buildings, homes, apartments, etc. have been saturated with 2.4GHz. This is to a point of us being forced to use 5GHz bands for our wireless backhauls. 2.4GHz just isn't a viable option anymore.

How many install locations can you imagine that will not have at least one (many more likely) 2.4GHz networks existing and in place BEFORE you introduce the wireless NVR? I don't know of many locations that don't already have WiFi in place. Being that you really have only three main bands in 2.4GHz without overlap (assuming 20MHz channels), saturation is a big issue.

If HIKVision had used a 5GHz band instead, you probably would evade some of these issues, at the risk of having issues with reduced coverage.

Quick update, I have had a wifi camera from hikvision for a few days, seems to work well and have had no problems so far other than the SD card not recording. This seems to be a common problem with many others cameras I have tried.

Just got the Wifi NVR in, looks pretty solid and is working well so far. There is an external antenna, I am going to see if I can find a high gain antenna for it and see how well it will work in our office building. We have a brick building with a lot of steel and interference as we are next to the airport. If it is successful here I will be impressed, Bosch often tests their new wireless intrusion products here because of our location.

John, how does the NVR connect to cameras? Does it broadcast its own SSID which the cameras connect to, or do you connect both camera and NVR to the same SSID and it automatically finds them?

It broadcasts its own SSID, when I set it up last weekend I plugged both the NVR and the camera in to their respective power supplies (different ends of our building) the NVR found and added the camera right away. ??You can change the SSID and security settings manually if you want.

??I've been recording all weekend at 1280x960 and 18fps to see how well it would do and it seems to be running just fine. Doesn’t seem to have any problems recording and allowing me to view live out of the back of the unit, from the client software and an iphone at the same time.

The discovery protocol is Hikvision's SADP

...but is SADP ride on top of Zeroconf (Bonjour), UPnP, or an active scan of the subnet?

Hikvision SADP is similar to zeroconfig and operates at the same level.

What do you mean by that it operates at the same level? Does it use multi-cast DNS, or does it do an acitve scan? Curious from an IT perspecitve.

John, thanks for posting that info. Can you give us some background on your building? Such as the distance from the DVR to camera and the type of construction if the walls between them? Also, do you by chance know the saturation of 802.11/2.4GHz in your building? I would be glad to admit my reluctance to the wifi solution was wrong if this is a viable solution.

Current distance from NVR to camera is about 40 feet, I don’t know if this is the maximum distance, it’s just where I have it setup for now. We rent most of our two buildings to other businesses so there are around 6 2.4GHz wireless networks. Building exterior is brick and interior walls have wire mesh behind all of the drywall and above the ceiling tiles. We are right next to an International Airport and Military Base. Like I said before Bosch tests their wireless intrusion transmitters and receivers here from time to time as we are in a prime location for testing.

I am still not sold on this product myself; I have never deployed a wifi camera system before and have never had good luck with wireless equipment in our security systems. So far I am impressed with it and do think it could be a viable option for some situations. I would like to see what kind of range I can get out of it with a couple of yagi antennas and see how it preforms. Back 20 years ago my dad made a living selling ultra long-range wireless video equipment to the government so wireless stuff always interests me.


Following my previous question:

  • Is there a review on this NVR ? and it's configuration ?
  • Is it closed to Hikvision or can I install other products ? (Need small wide angle camera)
  • Can I run script on it ? For instance to send thumbnails to my central server
  • Can other mobile device connect to it ? Does it work like a bridge ? Is there logging features ?

Indeed my usecase is to setup 5 cameras in a place for 2 weeks. Then be able to retrieve motion "moments". Flir FX seems also interesting.

Thanks !