Can I Use A Hybrid Dvr/Nvr With Analog & MP IP Cameras Together?

I have only setup systems using analog cameras. 8 to 32 camera systems using stand alone DVRs or PC DVR cards.

I have used pnp non MP IP cameras (nanny cam, drop cam etc) before.

Besides using IPVM info, classes and internet searches, I have tried asking "professionals" for opinions on different subjects, only to get brushed off.

I have an opportunity to put together a system that can use the resolution of good analog cameras in some locations, but there is a new for the resolution offered by a 2+ MP IP camera. I am looking into some hybrid decks 16ch & a 32ch. (split 8 & 8, and 16 & 16, analog-IP). Is there more bad than good with that? Or is it an option worth investigating more?

Jeff Frahm

Jeff- Hikvision has multiple options for Hybrid and Tribrid recorders. Our 9000 series are 8/8 or 16/16 and allow you to disable analog inputs to add additional IP.

Contact me at


First, welcome to IPVM! I see this is your first comment!

A few things to keep in mind when considering hybrid DVRs with IP MP cameras:

  • Are there any resolution restrictions on that hybrid recorder? In the fine print some will say 1080p? Make sure that is not an issue for you.
  • How broad is the hybrid recorder's IP camera support? Sometimes they limit to their own IP cameras or are not ONVIF compliant.
  • How picky are you about the recorder client software / software functionalities? Some hybrid DVRs have fairly rudimentary software.

It's certainly possible to go that route but you want to walk through the potential risks / limitations and ensure none of them are not a big problem for you.


I have come to find that gathering "that" pertinent info is a job itself and that the harder it is, the more likely- I won't be using "that" particular equipment make/model.

About eight years ago, one of my customers turned me on to GeoVision. Another integrator was using it and he wanted me to take over the service of the systems previously installed. Since then, I did quite a bit of research on the product. I've used the internet for general searching. I joined IPVM to learn more about the IP products in general.

It turns out that previous integrator actually placed quite a bit of GeoVision product. Many people in my market are aware of it. The police say it is heavily used - they are familiar with it. My understanding the company got started by making those analog digitizing cards. Now the DVR software comes with any digitizing card or IP camera you buy from them. If you are into building your own boxes, buy the best digitizing card and you can get 16 analog cameras, full D1 resolution at 30 fps. The software supports up to 32 cameras - in any mix of analog or IP.

In the customer I talked about, I've been replacing all of their old 16 channel analog DVRs with new 24TB, 16 channel analog, 16 channel IP devices. This directly supports their existing cameras and allows new IP cameras to be added or replaced as needed. I tend to use GeoVision IP cameras where possible with them - up to 5MP at full frame rate - normally 10-15 fps.

They have a full line of software - most of it pretty clutzy compared to other manufacturers. However, it is extremely feature rich when you take the time to learn it. This customer has taken the time to learn and understand it, they love it - especially for the price. For the most part, all of the analytics are included free, all done at the DVR.

GeoVision has announced a complete update to their software platform. It is in the early stages, but it has the look and feel of everyone else - many windows conventions, pretty intuitive.

The Milestone and Legacy ONSSI VMS's support the use of encoder cards (multiple cards can be in a single system) which can provide a variable number of analog video channels.

The 'bonus' they implemented last year was that they only need ONE license no matter how many channels are in the system.

For example, you could put three 16 channel encoder cards in a system (48 channels) and have 16 IP cameras.... and need 17 licenses... instead of 64.

Their VMS treats the encoder the same as any IP camera so it is very easy to mix the two types togeter in a system based on their VMS.

Would it allow 4 encoder cards / 64 channels and ONE license?

Because of the one IP one license policy, I'm guessing. But you still need to buy a base license, no?

yes.... one 'camera' still need the main 'base' one.

A handful of external stand alone encoders also fall into this category where ONE ip address represents all the channels.

John had a discussion or two about this when it was announced.... Encoder License discusion#1

Thanks for the heads up on this, Mike!

Have you seen it use only one license for multiple cards? According to the supported devices list it's one license per card. So four sixteen channel encoders would be four licenses.

I've never used an encoder card in Milestone, so I'm not sure how the device appears, but I would think it would be smart enough to see multiple cards and license each separately.

Yes indeed.... I even mixed card types... One 32 channel card and two 16 channel cards...ONE camera license used.

One just has to consider which version of code based on how many device channels are supported. In the reference I just made...64 device channels...referring to Milestone..the minimum code base is 'Professional' which has 64 channels.... but I would need just ONE camere license. If you wanted any number of IP cameras in addition to the 64 analog devices... you would need to jump to 'Enterprise'. The legacy Onssi equivalents are 'IS' and 'CS' respectively.

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Since we are a system design and manufacture house...we have many of these builds available.

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So lots of good information here, but I see nobody has directly answered your question: "Can I Use A Hybrid Dvr/Nvr With Analog & MP IP Cameras Together?"

And the answer is: yes, that is exactly what a hybrid recorded is designed for!

As others have noted, there are lots of options available, from standalone boxes (such as HIKvision and Dahua) that combine both functions and are managed through a single VMS interface, to PC-based units that record analog cameras through a digitizer card.

Others have mentioned GeoVision and Milestone; I use 3xLogic Vigil recorders extensively for the same purpose, and have frequently dropped in a Vigil hybrid with existing analog cameras, then added IP cameras to the system.

Another option is to use a straight NVR, then add a separate video encoder to digitize the existing analog cameras.