Subscriber Discussion

Viewing Cameras Without A PC?

We are trying to determine the best way to be able to use 2 or more monitors for live viewing. This is for a hotel and they would like to have a monitor at the front desk and in one of the back offices. If we were to use Edge storage then there would need to be some sort of decoder for 10 cameras. I am not aware of such a device?

$385 USD seems kind of expensive for a decoder, no? That is very close to the expense of a PC, which the OP was trying to avoid.

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

MSRP 350€

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Hi Joe,

1. IPConfigure Orchid VMS running on a Buffalo NAS.

2. ChromeBit connected to monitors for VMS viewing ($85 each).

Regards,
Chris

(IPConfigure CEO)

Agree: 1
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Any idea what the MSRP is for that box Juan?

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Check Visual Tools AX-TV

http://www.visual-tools.com/en/products/video-monitoring-and-management/wireless-hdmi-video-decoder-ax-tv/features

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Display only, no PTZ, or soloing / re-arranging of views, 24/7?

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Hikvision DECODER 6408

8 HDMI outputs

Agree
Disagree: 1
Informative
Unhelpful: 1
Funny

what kind of management system and what kinds of cameras are you planning on using, or is that flexible?

Agree
Disagree
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny
You can get a smart tv and connect direct to the switch
Agree
Disagree: 5
Informative
Unhelpful: 1
Funny
I am a bit surprised that none of my inquiry's has been responded to by Visual Tools. At this point we have no idea if it is even available in the US, what the cost is, or where to get it.
Hello, Albert: Thanks for the heads-up on this product. Very interesting. To all: I have checked around with ADI and several other distributors in the US, and I haven't found any that carry the AX-TV or Visual Tools products yet. I'll continue looking, but if you know of US availability please say so. Thanks!
> But am surprised that there is not more suggesting some sort of matrix for IP systems, do they not exist? Yes, very few, if any hardware based matrices for IP exist.
If there is a NVR with matrix support then it should be considered, the OP is trying to determine the best way to live view 2+ monitors in a hotel. I have installed analogue systems in hotels requiring monitors at different locations and usually one of the concerns is who will see what cameras at what times. The night duty staff may need to view different cameras than the receptionist during the day. For “privacy” issues certain cameras were not visible to the security staff. It may be important to be able to schedule what cameras can be viewed and when they can be viewed. I do think the options suggested like the google tv box with app and the virtual tools product are very interesting and has opened my eyes to areas where I can use them. But am surprised that there is not more suggesting some sort of matrix for IP systems, do they not exist?
Alberto, This product looks very interesting. I have sent an inquiry to Visual Tools about purchasing in the USA. Thanks!
The Visual Tools product was launched in November 2012. It's based on an Android platform and the firmware is especifically designed to support Axis cameras including specific customized profiles. The price is around 200 € for the installer. The main advantages are the wireless conection (no need to cable the network to the monitor) and the remote controller to manage the diferent views. The trade offs are the frame rate (12 fps in single camera and up to 5 in 16 cams view) and the compresion format (so far works only in MJPEG). We find it interesting for local monitoring at stores as PVM or counter desk monitor. It's a good complement for installations using ACC (Axis Camera Companion). In Europe can be purchased through ADI. I don't know in USA but they have an office in Miami.
Jim, many DVRs support such functions but this is not relevant to the use case in the discussion because they would have to switch platforms rather than complement what they are using.
The Aver iMatrix may be another way to go. It can take a stream from a Aver DVR / NVR and display it on 1, 2, 3 or four monitors. I have not used this so I cannot say how good it would be in your application. You would need to have the cameras on an Aver DVR / NVR and a separate PC to run the iMatrix. The pdf manual is here 404 | AVer USA
Alberto, that's pretty interesting. Is it new? Any idea on cost? It claims 'to visualize on a HDMI television up to16 Axis network cameras connected either on the local network or via Internet.'
Have a look on this device. Some limited in frame rate but flexible and unexpensive. Resolution up to 720p http://www.visual-tools.com/en/products/news/i/4472/130/ax-tv-wireless-hdmi-video-decoder-with-remote-control?smid=738
The Axis decoder has limited uses, no doubt about that.
Thanks, Joe. Now the NLSS decoder does 16. Also, it has a lot of horsepower and some fancy functionalities. However, as you mention, it's far more expensive and probably only makes sense for bigger budget applications.
After mentioning the NLSS decoder, I see that it has already been reviewed on IPVM.
http://www.nlss.com/productsdecoder.html looks like a product that could decode and display HD on a monitor. Only 4 cameras for roughly $1400 (list). I just received a $38 Android computer that John mentioned earlier in this discussion. I haven't had a chance to experiment with it yet, but will update what I find out. I will take a look at the Google TV box also.
something ive been playing with is a googletv box running the Tinycam app. Using the Vizio Co-star. its a $99 box. It cant run all the android apps but it makes a better tv type interface than an android computer.
I have the axis decoder. It only does sequence and I believe only up to 800x600 resolution. For android tinycam pro does a good job with Multi cam viewing. The eyespyfx app doesn't work very good on android
John, We've talked to manufacturers about using video decoders to create a virtual matrix. Although there may be better choices out there, all of the decoders we've seen are limited to D1 resolution and one image per monitor. Some only output CVBS analog. We would prefer a decoder that handles at least 1920x1080; salvos of lower resolution images would be a plus, as well as HDMI outputs. I think one issue would be that the VMS would have to be able to feed multiple simultaneous streams to the decoder and I think that's a stumbling block. That was the deal breaker for us too. What's the point in limiting a 1920x1080 monitor to a single 720x480 image?
Jason, how many videos can it show simultaneously? It seems like it can only show one at a time, is that correct? http://www.axis.com/files/manuals/um_p7701_39694_100609.pdf If so, that would appear to be a dealbreaker. On the other hand, it is about the same cost as a PC (~$450) but with a smaller form factor.
Have you looked at the Axis Decoder and its capabilities? We use them for a couple customer to display video on monitors without a client PC but they do have some restrictions on how many feeds they can display at once. Below is a link to the decoder. AXIS P7701 Video Decoder | Axis Communications

They do have an Android app but I have not used it. It does have bad reviews in the google play store

John, The Android Mini PC is an interesting idea. This particular site will have 10 Axis MP cameras. I wonder if we would be able to use the ACC app and just let it run 24/7? I might have to get one of these or something similar and experiment a bit. Thanks for the tip.

Joe, good question. If you use edge storage, you can take a few approaches: - Add a regular PC for each. This is obvious and I am guessing that you want to avoid this cost. - Add an Android mini PC. These are very inexpensive (under $50) and can run Android apps with an HDMI output that connects to monitors. Also, they are very small so they conserve space. A month ago, an integrator said he was successfully using this setup in a retailer as a low cost, small form factor solution to display cameras without adding a PC.