Is There Such A Thing As A DVR With An Ability To Stream Channels To Another DVR?

So here's the use case: 32ch IP system terminated to DVR in IT server room, but Managing Director wants a feed of about 6 or so channels in his office but doesn't want a computer that he has to fuss with when power goes, etc. He wants something that is dedicated on and doesn't require user intervention to enter login details, etc... always on and works. Similar request for the security guards in their booth where he doesnt want them to have to enter username/password everytime power goes or it gets disconnected.

My initial suggestion was to install a second DVR (with no harddrive) in the executive's office that would pull a stream directly from each of the 6 IP cameras, but my challenge is I'm not sure how reliable pulling 3 streams from each camera will be to get to the IT Room DVR, the Executive's office, and to the Security Booth.

Anyone know if a DVR can pull a stream from another DVR?

You can absolutely do that - I've succesfully used a Dahua DVR as an "IP encoder" to record to a Vigil NVR - just give the Vigil the same rtsp:// URI you'd used for a Dahua camera, but add a modifier for the channel desired (eg. "?channel=3"). Don't see why you couldn't do similar with a second smaller Dahua... or any other brand that supports similar custom URIs. Might even work with ONVIF.

The other question is, would the primary DVR handle the multiple output streams any better than the cameras? It would be the same total load on the network either way, just a lot more traffic for the DVR's port to handle, sending out 6*3 streams.

Of course, if the execs don't "need" full HD video, you COULD have your view-only DVRs pull substreams from the cameras directly, at far less bandwidth.

You could also look into multicasting from the cameras and/or primary DVR, but that's getting beyond my experience now.

Agree with everything you said. Only would consider multi-casting after trying multi-streaming first.

As stupid as it sounds, maybe

adding 1 output stream from each of the 6 cameras (for the office) AND adding 1 output stream from each of the 6 DVR channels (for the booth) would utilize the resources more evenly over the available CPU capacity?

Coming from direct from the cameras, the office would have at least slightly less latency, and would also continue to display video in the event of a failure with the primary DVR. Assuming of course that the DVR is capable of streaming RTSP.

Just an idea if the DVR or the cameras alone can't support the load. What do you think?

As stupid as it sounds, maybe adding 1 output stream from each of the 6 cameras (for the office) AND adding 1 output stream from each of the 6 DVR channels (for the booth) would utilize the resources more evenly over the available CPU capacity?

I'd say that's something you'd have to experiment with - whether it helps at all would depend on the processor and the processing efficiency of the cameras vs. the primary DVR. To grossly over-simplify things: if the DVR's CPU is only three times more powerful than each camera's, but you're lumping six times the load on it (in addition to performing its usual recording/indexing/playback tasks)...

I'd probably START with just pulling all the streams straight from the cameras, for simplicity, then consider "off-loading" streams to the DVR if that causes issues. It may just work fine that way.

And again, consider using substreams for the live feeds.

Which model DVR/NVR are you using?

I know that there are Hikvision and Dahua DVR's that output RTSP on each channel. Not sure if the NVR's do.

Do you have a portscanner?

One solution can be using the DR-4132P or DR6232P(S) NVR from IDIS, you can hook-up a DD-1116. The DD-1116 will then act a a embedded RTOS Client. Just connet a mouse via USB and a display on the HDMI and you will have a workstation like enviroment.

The DD-1116 will pull the stream information from the NVR, but the fisical stream will come from the camera side. Options like event pop-up are also embedded in the DD-1116.

Sincere thanks for all the feedback! I feel much better having a few options as a backup in case pulling the 3 streams from the cameras prove problematic.


Pssst, you're not undisclosed any more ;)

Another option that has worked well for us is the Geovision GV-IP Decoder Box. It can decode either an ONVIF or rtsp stream directly from the camera. Many of the other decoders seemed to work only with a particluar camera manufacturer. It does have a max limitation of four 1280x720 streams though.

I understand that it's exactly the opposite of what you were asked for, but a pc with your vms software client and a little Windows scripting could probably do this. I've got a bunch of wall mounted displays that we've done this with where we want something to run with no user interaction. Auto reboot on power failure. Auto launch client on boot. Auto login client. Not much to it. VESA mount mini computer to the back of the display.

I've done this with Vigil Client for a couple of sites, too: put the client in the Startup folder, tick the "Connect to all servers on startup" box, and save the desired initial view (as well as a few other pre-configured splitscreen options for the users). Pretty simple, really.