Options For HD Analog Camera To A VMS?

Scenario: Client has HD Analog cameras (AHD I think - not 960 or SDI for sure) and wants to install them to a VMS (Avigilon or Milestone). No existing cabling or DVR. They just want to repurpose the cameras which are new (within the last year) and install them at a different location. Possible? Converter? Options?

Dahua has a CVI encoder and Hikvision has TVI encoder but I don't know of any AHD encoders.

Really looking forward to see if/when mainstream VMS manufactures embrace HD analog and support HD analog encoders.

You can use one of the new Dahua HD-CVI 3.0 DVR's when they launch. All of Dahua's recent analog HD DVR's have had ONVIF 2.0 support.

Jon D,

where do you get your Dahua products? Do you order from overseas, Alibaba, or a distributor?

We have multiple US distributors that we source from. They all seem to stock different parts, so one may have one part that we commonly use, but not all. As a last resort, I have bought one camera and one accessory on Amazon, but pricing is much higher there. Sometimes more than double.

We use Dahua CVI DVRs to encode existing analog cams on newer Vigil NVRs. You can pull a stream from the DVR using the same URL as a Dahua camera, by just editing the appropriate parameter to match the channel number (example: rtsp://, substituting the "channel=" parameter as needed).

I don't see any reason this wouldn't work with CVI cameras either... in our case we're just retiring old DVRs, but not yet upgrading the analog cameras. A $150 16-channel DVR without a hard drive works just skookum.

Note: I've also tried this with a HIKvision DVR, and it works, but it's a major PITA, as the DVRs use a very different URL than the HIK cameras - it took a fair bit of digging to find a URL that would work with the DVR I had on the bench.

Jon D,

Have you been able to use the Dahua DVR to stream to 3rd party VMSes or only their (Dahua) CMS?

We have tried with DW Spectrum and it worked. That's the only VMS we currently sell.

I've been able to successfully stream from both Hikvision and Dahua (and their multitude of OEM) DVRs as a workaround for similar situations. There are a few issues such as camera management which must be done on the respective DVR, default settings of full frame rate (30 FPS) and high CBR settings. Another issue I ran into is if the camera loses power or dies the DVR will continue to send an RTSP stream on that channel making detection of offline cameras more difficult. With that said it's definitely possible. Looking forward to TURBO 3.0 or whatever it's going to be called and cross format support/encoders.

Hikvision, Camstar, Etc:


Specify channel number by changing the first digit e.g. 201 for channel 2, 301 for channel 3

Specify sub stream by changing the last digit e.g. 102 for sub stream of channel 1, 202 for sub stream of channel 2

Dahua, Lorex, Etc:


Specify channel number e.g. 1,2,3

Specify sub stream by changing subtype from 0 to 1 for each channel

Thanks everyone for the responses. I was really hoping to avoid a DVR. Seems silly considering it is a new system with no existing DVR's and they just want to reallocate HD analog into the new system. Looks like someone out there is going to have to invent one. I am sure that eventually many of these HD analog cameras being sold today will want to grow up to be encoded onto a server based VMS and ditch those pesky DVR's.

Chris, we have tested the Dahua CVI encoder here. It's just that the DVRs right now at least seem to be the lower cost, smaller form factor option.

Chris, they have invented a solution. It's called an IP camera. I'm not sure why you are just so hard set on using analog HD where it wasn't designed to be used? It's not the fault of the industry that you want to use a product in a purpose that isn't logical.

An analogy would be a guy asking why his Ford Fiesta isn't as fast as a Mustang? Could you soup up that cracker box and give a Stang a run? Maybe, but WHY??

Jon, the answer to why is because it is what the customer wants. In this case they already own the camera that will perform as needed for the application. Give me a little credit. I'm on IPVM. I'm aware of that IP cameras exist. In fact that is exactly what I did recommend. But, I also offered the option of buying a DVR. Doing the best to educate the user while realizing it isn't my money.

I don't mean to beat you up too much, but there's a point where you tell the customer he's wrong. He has a square peg for a round hole. Tell him to use it elsewhere. Buy IP for the pole with a Tribrid DVR.

Don't think of it as a DVR.... think of it as a multi-channel encoder with optional edge storage.

Kinda like the debate over whether the Axis P- and F-series cameras (and similar offerings from others) are really IP cameras or not: it's a mix of semantics and perspective.

Someone already is in the process.

@ Jon Dillabaugh Your kidding right? For our enterprise customers that have large coax planets HD analog encoders would save them a lot of money as they would not have to use coax converters or re-cable the whole facility.

That's fine where you already have tons of Coax installed. But any new install over 16 cameras should be IP, unless you have great reason to do otherwise.

I side with the analog HD guys. We still use quite a few analog encoders for new installations. It would be great if these encoders would accommodate HD analog. The analog cameras we are using (replacements for existing analog) have the analog/HD switch on them anyway. We have been using the M7014 encoders (4 analog for 1 license) and it would be awesome if we could use an encoder that allows the replacement of some of the awful existing analog cameras with a cost effective solution. The cost of HD Analog 720/1080 cameras is from $70-200 (dome, box, interior/exterior) whereas IP 720/1080 are $120-500 and require a rebuild of the wiring infrastructure (POE switches < 300' versus existing 0-800' coax and 24VAC power). We could use a HDVR for encoding, but, number one, we would have to get a license per camera, and number two, using RTSP, would not have access to the camera configuration and the motion event flags for recording and search options.

I was at a jail today, with 40+ analog cameras on a DVR-Matrix system connected to MTI. Some of us know the cost involved with working in jails. Replacing existing cameras with HD Analog would be preferred (could even use the matrix switching system - I think?). Low latency, full frame rate, live uncompressed video. Schools with outdated analog systems and a low budget could also benefit from a HD analog encoder system on a build (based on yearly budget) using a robust VMS solution.

Right now, it seems that the HD-TVI and HD-CVI HDVR solutions are somewhat consumer grade. By using encoders/COTS/manufactures VMS solutions with encoders supported by driver packs, this would not be the case.