ADI's W Box Camera / NVR Gen 1 (Hikvision) Tested

Author: Ethan Ace, Published on Jul 22, 2015

ADI moves hundreds of millions of dollars worth video surveillance equipment each year.

And now, they are disrupting the channel, cutting out manufacturers.

We bought an IP camera and NVR from ADI's new W Box line to learn more. The products are shown below:

Within minutes of starting our test, it was obvious who they were OEMing and how significantly this is going to impact the industry.

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Industry ******

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Versions ****

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Comments (39)

I'm betting the W stands for "white"

That's what we have been told. Ironic though that this 'white box' is from Hikvision.

FYI, the box itself is (kinda) white:

And no, John, no unboxing video.

Actually its not, the W Box is ADI's house brand and they do cameras, connectors, parts, monitors, etc.

Actually its not, the W Box is ADI's house brand and they do cameras, connectors, parts, monitors, etc.

Are you saying

  1. the W on the box does not stand for White
  2. the camera in the box is not made by Hik

1. The W does not stand for white, see the link here, its ADI's house brand or "re-branded" products (W Box Technologies): https://goo.gl/iHNawn

2. I think we all know who the manufacturer is :)

Link not working, unexpected ADI error. What does it say?

I am pretty sure that it is meant to imply white box i.e. generic/rebranded/oem. I think most of us see it that way. Does it literally stand for white box? I guess only ADI knows.

If this white does not refer to the color of this white containing white label product, it's quite a coincidence.

Even if it's true etymology is unrelated to 'White', the natural association would not be lost on ADI marketing, and therefore received their tacit yet smirky blessing by its use.

At the very least it should be awarded backronym status.

I don't understand Hikvision's North American strategy. Why build a channel with their own resources when they open up a big distributor like ADI to directly sell the same stuff, save a few high-end models?

It seems like they are stomping on their own foot.

Well, Hikvision kept it out of the hands of Dahua.

So, sure, I agree that ideally (for Hikvision) they would build their own channel and focus on that. But if ADI decides to sell its own stuff, Hikvision needs to determine if they just want to lose that to a competitor.

Meanwhile, the Honeywell Security people have taken ADI off their inter-office Christmas Card list.

Nah, it's genius.

W Box is for those wanting the lowest price for unknowingly buying Chinese gear.

Honeywell Security is for those wanting to pay a premium for unknowingly buying the same type of Chinese gear.

s/Hikvision/General Motors/. It's huge. Yes, the retail sales of cameras in the US might get chewed on while they're booking time on production lines. Some businesses at a certain scale might think that's fine. I agree it's odd. I think we live at the other end of the New Silk Road and we may not understand what they're trying to do to our markets.

Bold Prediction: AnixterTri-Ed will soon announce their new in-house line of rebranded Dahua.

Oh wait. Automated Outlet already has Toughdog.

Anixter / Tri-Ed already has Northern Video OEM products, no?

I was just about to say the same thing. It doesn't look like they've moved into IP or HD analog models yet, but does anyone think that's not going to happen?

We are a long time ADI customer. They came in to the office pushing the WBOX stuff hard. I like the idea and see the need but wish they had put more work into a brand. We were told if they didnt have a comparible model to what we regularly use they could bring it in under that brand.

We havent decided to make the switch from our current Hik OEM but it is a little tempting with two extra years of warranty.

I also agree it is a great move by ADI.

ADI's new marketing video

Both ADI and Tried provide data feeds to a few online stores. So this will most certainly be online at I am guessing 5-7% above dealer cost. I chuckle whenever I hear a distributor or manufacturer telling dealers that the items cant be shopped online, especially when its the distributors enabling the online sales in the first place by providing automated data and drop shipping for them.

Is there a W-Box with internal Cam SD Recording ?

The larger vari-focal bullet and dome models both have SD slots. The fixed lens models don't.

Will they work with Existing HIK NVR's ? Downsides?

Well I haven't tested them with every Hikvision NVR, only the hybrid TVI recorder we have, but they work fine. They're Hikvision cameras, after all. I'd be surprised if they didn't work.

It's a little like painting your car. Same car, different color.

I'm betting that the "w" stands for white box...

Internally, ADI staff refer to them as whike box or just whikes...

What is ADI's pitch to dealers/installers as to why they should buy their rebrand products rather than those from a manufacturer? I got the 5 year warranty but do dealers think supporting a 5 year warranty for free is a good thing? From and end-user perspective, what is the motivation to buy a distributor's house branded product rather than one from a true manufacturer?

Agree with Josh's comment abover the any insullation from online margin erosion will be short lived. Most of the online low-cost leaders have accounts with ADI so unless they have a managed partner progam it is a free for all.

"What is ADI's pitch to dealers/installers as to why they should buy their rebrand products rather than those from a manufacturer?"

In stock, lower price, and for buyers who trust ADI or their ADI counter person, a personal connection (and motivation for the ADI person to push this).

I am also assuming that many installers do not know that it is rebranded hikvision. Many who use ADI do not do CCTV as their primary focus and instead to intrustion, AV, or general electrical. To them its just a low cost option to install on projects.

We have accounts with ADI but almost never use them as the prices are high, and they feed the low cost 1% markup websites so their linecard has become toxic to us.

"I am also assuming that many installers do not know that it is rebranded hikvision."

Agreed, and they are obviously not promoting that connection. That said, to the extent they know, it is probably a net benefit to buyers as Hikvision has a growing camera brand while W Box has none.

HikVision has done a great job of getting all their distributors to drink from their firehose. Conversely, some in the market point to HikVision fatigue. Dealers are owning up to the fact because it is on sale every month from somebody, coupled with online resellers, it has become very difficult win/make any money because somebody is always able to buy and install the brand cheaper.

Related to WBox- ADI now essentially has 3 "house" brands they push hard: Honeywell, WBox and their desire to be HikVision's #1 distributor. Internal politics, profit margin and their attempt to control HikVision in that order.

HijackVision would be a better definition as to their world dominance/go to market strategy...

"Dealers are owning up to the fact because it is on sale every month from somebody, coupled with online resellers, it has become very difficult win/make any money because somebody is always able to buy and install the brand cheaper."

That's a good point. It's amazing Hikvision has gone from near zero US availability 3 years ago to being oversaturated.

What do you do at this point?

I see the only option would be full channel management and control. The problem with this is that even though manufacturers claim to the outside to care about the channel and protecting sellers, in the end they care more about moving product. I have had manufacturer execs tell me this privately when discussing channel issues. Having a strong channel is good for resellers/dealers and protects margins, but is risky for manufacturers as they have to trust that the partners will do a good job and volume wont decrease.

A member asked us to try upgrading the W Box using Hikvision firmware, and after trying numerous Hikvision firmware versions, each attempt to upgrade firmware failed.

Attached is a screenshot with an "upgrade failed" message.

Was IVMS-4200 able to find this?

Yes, iVMS-4200 and SADP both work with them with no issues.

I was told ADI settled with "WBox" because "White Box" was already trademarked and unavailable.

Wanted to point something out here. The 2CD2032-I is a 3MP camera and the 21BF40 is a 2MP camera. The 3MP WBox is a 31BF40 so which camera did you test here? if you were testing as listed you were testing a 2MP Wbox against a 3MP Hikvision.

At the time this was tested, the 2CD2022-I was no longer available, and the 2CD2022WD-I Value Plus wasn't released until a few months later. The 2012 and 2032 were the only bullet models available. And the 31BF40 wasn't shipping initially according to our source.

So due to all that, we tested the 2032 in 1080p30 mode (it's 20 FPS at 3MP) against the 21BF40.

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