My Top 5 Dahua Interface Gripes

I have been in the process of switching to a 32ch Dahua NVR from a 'real' VMS platform, despite several warnings about the shortcomings of non-western recorder software.

They have definitely put a lot of work in trying to make a usable interface, however there are a few things that I am finding to be fantastically short-sighted. And I don't mean in a way where they were cutting corners or are making some trade-off, I'm talking things that are extremely basic.

This is not really a rant, and hopefully someone will point out that I am wrong. That would be great. Note, I am only referring to the NVR console UI experience at present. I know the both the web and mobile client have remedies for some of these issues, but I like to use the console in a lot of cases.

1. There doesn't seem to be any dynamic view creation at all. As far as I can tell, the order that you initially number your cameras dictates what will be on a given quad. For example camera 4 and camera 5 cannot be put on the same 4 window view.

2. The double click in a quad to solo is almost impossible to do because if there is even the slightest movement between clicks it brings up the menu instead. The mouse sensitivity slider does not seem to help this.

3. The direction of the scroll wheel control for PTZ zoom is reverse that of digital PTZ. It's hard to explain how lame this is without experiencing it.

4. The NVR comes with no default alert audio. You must import your own files. The format must be raw PCM, not wav, good luck with that.

5. Cameras can not be reordered without deleting and re-adding.

Am I wrong about any of these things?

Thanks.


You're wrong certainly... in your expectations.

It's like you bought a $100 HD TV at Walmart and started to gripe about Internet connectivity and color fidelity issues.

As for Dahua recorders, I think you could get 50 gripes in a short time.

Well, obviously I disagree.

With the exception of dynamic view creation, these things cost nearly nothing in terms of software development costs. In addition, these are not hardware improvements, so whatever cost there is, benefits the entire line and those yet to come.

Moreover, they are expending considerable $ by incorporating video and audio analytics, tied to a comprehensive alarming capability, so it's not like they can't make the mouse double click correctly.

What's the 'cost' of making the scroll wheel zoom in on scroll down instead of scroll up?

This is more like buying a $100 TV at Walmart with Internet Connectivity but that had the channel numbers upside down on the dial.

Sure, you could still say you get what you pay for, but you still you would wonder why...

"these things cost nearly nothing in terms of software development costs."

It costs hiring a usability expert with domain experience in video surveillance. Dahua does not value such things and, even if they did, it would be hard to get one with their reputation and structure.

Most developers (not all) care little about refinements and usability, and are more focused on getting the feature out the door.

Dahua does not value such things and, even if they did, it would be hard to get one with their reputation and structure.

Nice try, but I am here to gripe about Dahua, not defend them. Besides once they get the English speaking copy/tech writer on board, I'm sure it's next on their list. ;)

Ok, let's return to griping about Dahua specific issues. Seriously, it is useful to them if they ever decide to do something.

Nice try, but I am here to gripe about Dahua, not defend them.

You come to bury Caesar? ;)

"What's the 'cost' of making the scroll wheel zoom in on scroll down instead of scroll up?"

uh... Every VMS that I have tested zooms in on scroll up. Unless you meant scroll down, that one is out.

uh... Every VMS that I have tested zooms in on scroll up...

Me too. But controlling the a Dahua PTZ its on this NVR it's scroll down to zoom in. But I got philosophical about this, since it's just a convention, I resigned myself to get use to it.

But that's not my gripe. My gripe is that the NVR's "digital zoom" scroll wheel is reversed from the "optical zoom" scroll wheel control. The digital zoom works the "right way", the optical the "wrong way".

That is something only someone who is bipolar could get used to.

They're saving money on Voice of the Customer R&D spend.

Case in point, my NVR comes with a feature tied into motion detection which depending on which fixed camera an event occurs, a PTZ will be sent to a corresponding preset. Nice setup if you have a central PTZ with auto-tracking, and several fixed cameras for overview.

Not earth shaking, but neither is it the kind of functionality I would be shocked if it didn't have. So they are TRYING to create value and willing to invest $, but they should just make the salvos work right first.

As much as the Dahua interface lacks compared to the Vigil system that I'm used to, I will say it's worlds better than any other Chinese/offshore/cheap standalone unit I've ever used, including (and especially) Hikvision.

As much as the Dahua interface lacks compared to the Vigil system that I'm used to...

I didn't know you could run A vigil on an embedded platform.

Canadian company, right? All I've heard is that they make solid cameras and recorders but the stock is in the tank because of a loco CEO firing or suing everybody. Whatever. ;)

You're probably thinking of Avigilon. I'm talking about Vigil recorders from 3xLogic.

You're probably thinking of Avigilon.

Guilty. ;)

I didn't know you could run A vigil on an embedded platform

it's worlds better than any other Chinese/offshore/cheap standalone unit I've ever used

So, it's pretty weak, but not as weak as total garbage? Sort of like "at least this will clear up with a little penicillin, could be worse." ;-)

At the very least, you get the exact same issues no matter which Dahua recorder you buy. They are reliable, if anything.

Does yours have "Voice Prompts" on Motion?

Not that I'm aware of

This post is a scream! I haven't laughed this hard in a long time, its just funny when someone else is griping about their cheap stuff having unbelievably dumb problems. I once bought a Dahua NVR and lamented over all those issues and probably a bunch more. I even went looking for a firmware upgrade because I thought that surely a company would have enough pride to fix this type of stuff. I sent the unit to a remote site in south america and hopefully I never have to hear from it again.

I sent the unit to a remote site in south america and hopefully I never have to hear from it again.

Address please?

Location: 00.677S, 78.436W

So, the new Cotopaxi facility is finally up and running? I remember when they had first broke ground, it was very moving.

#1) This can be achieved by dragging and dropping your cameras where you want them in the order you want them. Screen should stay static even after reboot. You can also create a static tour, in which you arrange the cameras however you want and make that the only scene on the tour.

#2) I think it maybe be the mouse they come with. We replaced ours with a wireless mouse and dont have that issue. But we have heard that complaint before.

#3) Are you sure? Once you get past optical zoom on PTZ, it will switch to digital zoom and continues to zoom in digitally using the same direction on the mouse wheel

#4) What are you trying to achieve? It does come with an audible beep from the DVR console and there are many different things you can configure to achieve that beep. Or are you trying to get a sound signal from the monitor?

#5) Same answer as #1

Sean is the Dahua-Fu Master!

#1) This can be achieved by dragging and dropping your cameras where you want them in the order you want them.

I want Camera #5 to be on the 1-4 quad. I can drag and drop within a quad all day, but how do I drag from one quad to another is the question. I will try the static tour and see how that works.

#2) I think it maybe be the mouse they come with. We replaced ours with a wireless mouse and dont have that issue. But we have heard that complaint before.

Yes, have done so too, does work better.

#3) Are you sure? Once you get past optical zoom on PTZ, it will switch to digital zoom and continues to zoom in digitally using the same direction on the mouse wheel

I am not talking about the digital zoom on the PTZ, I am talking about DZ on the NVR.

#4) What are you trying to achieve? It does come with an audible beep from the DVR console and there are many different things you can configure to achieve that beep. Or are you trying to get a sound signal from the monitor?

Yes, get sound thru the speaker or HDMI audio out. The beep works but the unit is on the other side of the wall because of the fan noise. The voice prompt thing seems to be perfect if I can just find the .pcm file format it wants.

Thanks Sean, for your answers. I didn't buy this unit from you so I wasn't going to bother you with it, but thanks again.

.......so I installed a GENETEC Security Center system and I think it's too complicated for 8 cameras.....LOL