Best Alternatives to Dahua and Hikvision 2018

By IPVM Team, Published Oct 17, 2018, 09:49am EDT

With the US government ban and now sanctions for human rights abuses, one key question is what to use for low cost? While Dahua and Hikvision were low on technology innovation, they charged substantially lower prices for many core video surveillance features than Western and Japanese incumbents.

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IPVM has previously looked at alternatives for HIK, but for those looking for lower prices, where do they turn? 165 integrators told IPVM, answering:

For low cost, what manufacturer, if any, is the best alternative to Dahua and Hikvision? Why?

Inside this note, we:

  • Look at the top three options
  • Look at respondent feedback
  • Give you a look at honorable mentions

Top ***************

***** ************* **** *** clear *******. ******/******* **** 22%, **** **** **% of *** **** *** Uniview **** *%. ******* these ***** *** **********, however, **% ** *********** said **** **** ****'* know **** ************ **** out ***** *** **** looking ******* ** ******** from ******' **********.

******/*******

******-*** ******* **** ******/******* was ***** ** ** their **** *********** ** the **** ** *** Hikvision/Dahua ***.

  • "**'** **** **** ***** with *** ***-*** ***** at ******. **'* **** we *** *** *** standard ********, ** **'* efficient *** **. ** can *** *** ******* software *** **** ******* sets, *** ***** *** the **** ****** *** products, *** **'* *** same **** ******* *** warranty."
  • "****** ***** ** ** first ******. **'** ********** new **** **** *** so *** ** **** been ********* **** ***** cameras. **** *** *** be ** ****-***** ** Dahua *** *********, *** their ****** *** **** competitive."
  • "******** ****** - **** solution *** ******* ***********."
  • "**'** *** **** **** with *******/****** *** **** of *** ***** ***** Axis ******** **** **** competitively ******."
  • "** ****** *** ******, they **** ******* ******* in **** *** ***** points. ** ** *** be *********** **** ******** that **** ***** *** specifications *** ***** **** product **** ***** ****-*** specifications."
  • "****** ******* ** ******** the **** ****. * just ****** *** **** it **** ** ****** any *** *** ******* companies *** ****** **** the ***."
  • "****** *** * **** line, *** **** ***’* as ********** ** **** point. ** ***** ******* line *** *******, ** would ******** ********* ** them."
  • "***** *** ******* *** not ** ** *** as ***/*****, ** ****** like *** ****** *******."
  • "*** ***-**** ******,* ****** is *** **** ** my *******. *.*** *******, onboard *********, *** *** ability *** **** ****** recording."
  • "****** *** ** *** wide ***** ** ******** and * **** ********** price *********."
  • "******'* **** ****** ** usually *** **-** ***-**** alternative."
  • "** **** **** ***** Hanwha's * ****** ** cameras *** ***** *** line ** **** *********** against *** *** *****"
  • "******. **** ****'* ******* and *****'* **** ******** shamed *** *** ********"
  • "* **** ****** *** detest *** ****. * like ***** ******** ** their *** ***** *** their ******* *** ****. Price ** ****** **** too. **** **** ** have ******* ********** *************** too.'
  • "******* ******...*** ********* ** alternative ** ******** ****** of *********** ****** ********** potential.'
  • "**** ****** ***** ** low ****? ****'* ******** be ** ***** ****** if ***/***** *** *** a ****** ******."

****

****** ** ****** *** Axis. ****** **** ********* that **** *** *** really "***-****" ******** ** Hikvision *** *****, ** still *** **** ********* for ********** *******. **** garnered **% ** *****.

  • "*** *** ****, * would ** **** *** Axis ********* ****. **** good *** ***** ******* that ***'* **** ** be **** ** * larger ****** ***** **."
  • "**** & ****** *** competing ****** ******."
  • "** ***** **** ****, reliability ***** *** ******, cyber ***** ******."
  • "** ********* ** *** have *** ******* ** 'low ****' *******. ** look ** *** ****** requirements *** ******** *** and ******* *** *********** camera. ** ** ** 'too ****' ** **** discuss ***** ************ ** see ** ** *** get ** **** ** line **** ***** ******. We *** ** **** shop *** ** ***'* sell ********* ******* ** customers *** **** **** pockets, ** **** *** correct ****** *** *** right ***********. ** **** happily ***** ****** ** Costco ** **** **** cheap ******* * ***** customer ** ********* * noisy ********."
  • "*'* **** ** *** companies **** **** *** Hanwha ********** ***-**** ********* to ******* ** **** part ** *** ******. We **** **** ******* products **** ** *** rely **. ******* **** point ** *** ********* is *** ********* **** we **** *** ******* is * **** ***."
  • "'*** ****' ****. **** don't ***** *** **** cheap ***** *** **** offer *** ** *** price ****** *** **** have ****** ** ** a ********* ************."
  • "* ***** **** *** answer ** **** ** well. * ** ********** getting **** ** ** my ****** ******* * am ********* ******* *** or ********. ** ** getting ****** *** ****** to **** *** ***** of ******* **** ** Panasonic ** ***** **** all ** ***** "*******" working *** ** ***** garage *** ***** ** at * ******** ** the **** **** ******* products **** *** ***** sold ******* **** ** costs ** *********** ****. I ***** **** *** come *** **** * value ****** **** *** be * **** **********."
  • "** *** ********* ***** for **, ** ***** prefer ** *** *** Axis ********* ****."
  • "***** *** **** * series ** ***** **** expensive ** **** **** to *** ** **** often **** *** ** an ***********. ** *** look **** ** ******, but ******* *’** *** been ****** **** ** their ********. ** *** end ****** ** ** need * ***** ***-**** small ****** ******* *** we *** ***** *** up ***** *** ** Dahua."
  • "* ***** **** **** has **** * **** job. ***** ***** *** Hik **** ****** *** cost ** ******* ****, Axis ** **** * reasonable ******** ** ***** low ****, ****** ******* cameras ** ******. ***** I **** *** ****, Bosch, ****, ******** ******* when * ***, * will ******* ** ** Axis *** *** ***-**** alternative. * **** **** been **** ** ******** some ** ** ********* to ******* *** *-**** factory ******** ** *** cameras. **** ** * good *** ** ******* total **** ** *********. If *** ****** ***** prior ** * *****, there ** ** (********) cost ** *******. *** then ****** **% ** cameras ** **** *** year ***** ****. ** gets *** ******** **** a **** *********** *****."
  • "*** **** ***** ****** I ** ******* **** is **** ********* ****."
  • "**** ********* *** *****-***** M-series ***** *****, ** does ****** ******* ****. Not ** ***** ** Hik, *** *** ** many **** *******, *************."
  • "****. *** ********* ****** is * ***** ***********."
  • "*'* *** ***** ****** to **** ** * low-cost ************ **** ** not **** *** ********* to *** ** ***** two *********. ** **** be ******* **** **** companion ** *** ****** end."

** **********, ****** **** ********* ~$*** camera ****** ***** ****.

*******

******* ****** ***** ** the ****** *** * low-cost *********** ** ********* and ***** **** *% of *** ****:

  • “******* *** ** ******* it's **** ** ***** we **** **** **** support *** *** ******** sells ** *** *** user ****** *** ** on **** *** ******* prices.”
  • “******* ** ** * better ******* **** * better ********* ******* ******. They ***** **** ******* at ******* ***** **** there ** * *******.”
  • “** ******** ** ******* when **** *** **** American *********. **'** **** fairly ******* *** ***'* like *** **** ********* of *** *** *** NVR”
  • “******* *******....******** ***** ******* range **** *** **** to ******* ** **** when ******** ******** ** Hikvision.”
  • “*******. ******* ************ ***** only ** ** *** series ** ******* *** high **** *** ****-******* Rapid ****** ** ****** gaining * *** ** trust ******* ***** *** HIK”
  • “*'* *** **** *'* right ***** **** ******* with **** *** ***** you ***** ****. *** I ***** ******** ***”

Honorable ********

***** *** * *** honorable ******** ** *** survey *******, ********* ******* Watchdog *** *******. ******** out *** ********* ******** are ********* *** ***** voted ** ** ***-**** fans. ****** ********* **** they ******'* ****** **** Hikvision ** ***** **** though *** *.*. *** was ***** **** ***.

  • “***** ** ** *********** that ******** *** ******* of *********. **% ** the ******** ******** **** caused ** **** ** incompetent **********. ******* ******** are *** ***** **** show ****** ****, ******** and ******* ***** ****** feeds.”
  • “** *** ********* - the ********* *** *** biggest *******.”
  • “** *** *** ********* Hik ****.”
  • “* ***’* **** ***** low-cost ******* *******. ** my **********, ********* **** taken *** *** *****.”
  • “*** ****, *****'* ****** any. *** *** ***** actually **** * ****** nice ****** *******, **'* too *** **** *** happened.”
  • “** *** *** ****** if ** **** * super ***-**** ***** ****** chances *** ** *** still *** ** ***** Hik ** *****.”
  • “* ** *** ********** in *** ************. * use ********* *** *'* (my *********) *** *****.”
  • “** *** ***** ***** now *** ***'* **** plans ** ****** ** this ****.”
  • “**********, *'* ****** *****'* they ******** **** ***** support ***** ****.”
  • “*** ****? ***** ** say. **'** ***** ** continue ** *** *****.”

**** ******* ** *.*. integrators *** ****** *** that *** ***** ***** Services ********* (****) *** stated **** * ******* only ******** *** ** ***** to******** ** ****** **** doing ******** **** *** U.S. **********.

Comments (50)

I would have put my money on Hanwa, so I am not suprised by the result.

I am very surprised at UNV coming in third. In the end, it's another Chinese brand. I know they are not government owned but neither is Dahua. I would have expected 3 non Chinese brands.

Agree: 14
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Not a bad showing for Uniview considering they've only been in the US for 3 years and leave the marketing up to their distributors stateside.

Agree: 8
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Geovision have very good reasonably priced  cameras, with H.265 and Smart streaming

with their free software, you cannot go wrong excellent software

Agree: 4
Disagree: 7
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Its surprising that low cost OEMs like Honeywell, Speco, Advidia, Northern, W-box weren't mentioned. No ACTi, Arecont, IDIS? Geovision, NUUO, Everfocus. Clinton, Gantz..

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that low cost OEMs like

You want Hikua by another name label? :)

As for ACTi, they re-focused to solutions and don't have much sales staff. Arecont, kidding me? Do you not recall how integrators think about Arecont? IDIS is not low cost, also not enough sales and marketing.

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IDIS is a direct manufacturer, but they do label for some other brands. They make a quality product with a good price point. I'm expecting to see their numbers go up following the ban.

Agree: 6
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Funny: 1

Surprise Axis and Uniview are on the list and geovision is not.....

Agree: 3
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Geovision has too few sales people to be noticed by most integrators and, in comparison to Uniview, who also lacks sales presence, the difference is that Uniview is much lower cost. That and Geovision OEMs some Uniview...

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We have started moving towards Hanwha/Wisenet, but their mobile apps are significantly lagging vs. Hik imho.

 

 

Agree: 4
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Check out the Wisenet WAVE mobile app.  It is great and cloud enabled.

We also have Wisenet Mobile which is lightyears ahead of previous apps, and also supports P2P for easy setup of NVRs. 

Also don't forget about Wisenet Installation for USB wi-fi setup of Wisenet X series cameras for zoom, focus, etc.

Agree: 5
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Funny

Were they developed in XCode Ghost?

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Hanwha has a great product and the sales force to eat up a lot of the void caused by the ban. I'm not surprised to see them #1 here.

Agree: 8
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How come no talk of Digital Watchdog? I know they use the same platform for their VMS as Hanwha. What about the cameras?

Agree: 5
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Agreed! By far the easiest/high quality End to End solution for Cameras, Servers and Spectrum VMS Software for the both installer and the end-user. More Cost effective than the others, Software is a much lower cost than Hanwha (why pay more for same?) And it is FREE with most DW Cameras. Their PIP Program is also a huge benefit! 

Agree: 3
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I really want to to like DW, but they are now sourcing some cameras from China.

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Surprised that no Taiwanese makers made it to the list.

I agree that idis is a good option too. 

Are most of the responses from the USA? I believe idis is better known in Europe.

For Chinese makers, I have been seeing tiandy come up more in the last year, but not sure about price and performance.

 

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Surprised that no Taiwanese makers made it to the list.

The Taiwanese have so deeply retrenched sales and marketing that they are mostly out of sight, out of mind. Vivotek, in particular, as the largest of the Taiwanese video surveillance manufacturer should take this as a sign that they are severely underinvesting in sales and marketing.

Are most of the responses from the USA?

2/3rds North America

For Chinese makers, I have been seeing tiandy come up

Tiandy had a big presence in IFSEC this year though, in the US, I don't recall seeing them in local sales nor marketing (meaning US distributors, direct sales people).

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Vivotek is imho best for 360 single sensor and best multi sensor cameras.  The rest are just meh, especially considering their pricepoints (higher).  Great company, and for the most part good staff and tech support.

The Taiwanese have a different philosophy vs. the Chinese.  Taiwanese rarely believe in marketing (relative to their competitors).  They feel they can just build great products and with little marketing it will sell itself.  

Whereas the Chinese, they do it more American style.  Marketing is everything.  Plus build it cheap and in mass.  They do have an advantage in more population with expected low pay and thus can get away with it.

Agree: 4
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Agree about the Taiwanese mentality. Also they seem to avoid leaving the OEM model, instead of building a branded business they stay OEMs forever, if OEMing in cctv doesn't work, they will switch to OEMing for other industries.

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Taiwanese rarely believe in marketing (relative to their competitors)....

Whereas the Chinese, they do it more American style. Marketing is everything.

I disagree. The bigger factor is money. Dahua and Hikvision market America style (really mega-American style) and everyone else in China and Taiwan market small-scale.

I don't doubt nor disagree that Taiwanese and Korean companies (save for Samsung / Hanwha) are more product focused but even if they wanted to be big marketers, they just don't have the money to do that. That said, I still think they should spend more (looking at you DW, Vivotek, etc.) but only Hikua has billions flowing into them in China to use for international expansion.

Agree: 2
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I agree with Axis and Hanwha. I thought Digital Watchdog, Avigilon, or Vivotek may have made the 3rd place.

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”Dahua and Hikvision were low on technology innovation”. Area you kidding me?  Their technology advances pushed the industry out of An arena that lacked innovation and allowed “tribrid” installs to lower the costs to the end user.   Their ptz range is far superior to anyone’s. hasn’t axis only just released an ir ptz?

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#10, thanks for the feedback. The 'innovation', where it has actually worked,  has been focused on low-cost, not 

allowed “tribrid” installs to lower the costs to the end user.

I assume you mean HD analog and I agree with you about lowering costs. To be clear, e.g., Dahua and Hikvision did not invent HD analog, they got it from others (e.g., Techpoint an American company). But I do agree that they quickly adopted it to deliver lower cost products while the Western companies largely refused.

As for the IR PTZs, the quality has been poor from the Chinese. It's certainly low cost but the quality of the IR coverage and the problems with focusing have been significant. While Axis has only 'just' released an IR PTZ, it's IR performance is far superior.

One area of innovation you did not mention that is worth noting is AI, where Dahua and Hikvision have clearly been at the forefront... in terms of overmarketing and failing to deliver.

All this noted, totally agree with you that Dahua and Hikvision have been leading in pursuing lower cost and that's had a major impact on the market.

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How about the Darkfighter series, Darkfighter X and Rapid focus?
Also their LPR solution has been very good at a lower price compared to others.

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Axis had Lightfinder many years before that (see Axis first one in 2011). Darkfighter followed much later.

DarkfighterX is definitely innovative. We tested it here and shot it out against Axis new IR PTZ here. As for rapid focus, that would be more solving one of their own problems that innovating vs competitors.

As for LPR, it is a lower price but it is not a technological innovation. Hikvision LPR tested here.

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Yeah and I hear the majority of Fortune 500 companies are adopting 4k over coax........

It's not like Axis couldn't make an IR PTZ years ago, there just didn't seem to be a demand.

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I have had good experience with Samsung/Hanwha/Wisenet.  2MP PTZ that works on Bosch/Pelco DVRs, 4MP fixed camera and relatively cheap HD DVRs.  South Korea meets favored trade status.  Non technical people at locations were these products installed can see the difference.

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Thanks for another great article

Even with this ban, we are still selling lots of Hikvision and Dahua

I find it funny how there are so many dealers that are not even aware of the ban

Samsung/Hanwha is a good product line, nice to see them getting good reviews. I was one of their first supporters when then dropped the GVI relationship and went direct with Hanwha.

Digital Watchdog is also a good product, Wade Thomas is one of the hardest working guys I know and one of the most accessible 

Vivotek also a good product, Piero Gioia who covers my region not only has the best name in the industry (in my opinion) he is also really supportive

Geovision is kind of a sleeper, but their products are good

Openeye is not a company you hear a lot about. They have a good product line. I know they are not making their own cameras. However we have had some good success with them

We are seeing more Uniview business

Speco is making a bit of a comeback

Bosch, Exacq

I saw your previous mention of Arecont, however we are doing some good business with them

There is no shortage of products in the marketplace

Its funny, I never thought at 38 years old I would use the term

"I remember when"

Here it goes

I remember when Speco was the dominant player with their line of intensifier cameras

I remember when Everfocus was a real player

I remember when Nuvico was not the name on a bunch of dead stock in my warehouse

I remember when Sony was the company pushing IP and everyone telling them they were crazy

I remember when Digimerge was one of the only players with a really cool mobile app

I remember when as a wholesaler the average price of an analog camera was $250 and there was enough margin for everyone to be happy

As always, times are a changin' 

We adapt and move

Today and tomorrow will bring new competitors and challenges

Its how we react to them which will determine our survival

(pretty sure i saw that on a bumper sticker...... wait a minute do they still call them bumper stickers ?)

Agree: 8
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David, thanks.

Question:

Even with this ban, we are still selling lots of Hikvision and Dahua

I am sure you are still selling a lot. What do you see as the trend over the past 3 months for them? Up, flat, down?

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Thank God we are up 

Our Hikvision sales break records month over month

We are not selling that much Dahua, but even our Dahua business is up

I serve a lot of mid sized integrator's

Most of them wont ever do anything government related

I had a customer do a large project for the Social Security administration

However, turned out that he was working for the landlord 

So he never had any interaction with the government 

We do have larger integrator's that do business with us

Those companies usually know exactly what they want and simply dictate part numbers

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So... where did I read if you continue to sell Dahua or Hikvision, you will be removed from doing government business.  Is this true?  Sorry, I haven't been keeping up.

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Yes, according to the US House Armed Services Committee: Sell Dahua or Hikvision At All, Banned From Selling to US Federal Government, Says US HASC

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I’m surprised DW isn’t on this list. I was never a big fan of their camera so until recently. Aside from their terribly high bit rates they offer pretty good affordable cameras. I realize most of what the sell is not actually made by them...

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Soon Dahua only support Distributors with a yearly turnover from more than 500"000 Dollar. So we will change to Uniview. Wee need the markup from buing in Asia and sell in Europe.

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[IPVM Note: not a Vivotek employee]

I'm actually shocked that Vivotek didn't get a top result here...I can only believe that it is because more haven't given them a shot.  If you haven't, give them a try...great stuff!

Agree: 2
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Second that. Switched to Vivotek as an non-Chinese alternative and find their products very good for price. Tech support is very good, although their 'We'll call you back" menu option is a joke and since they're on Cali-time, being on the East coast can be a bit of a time problem but overall very pleased with their offering.

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Agree Vivotek is good manufacturer and above average support, however price cannot come anywhere close to hikua equivalents.  They are a good company but I feel a bit overpriced.  I certainly use them when price is less an issue.  They have solid Multi Sensor, Single Sensor 360s along with their 180 degree line is great.  Excellent integrations with Genetec are also a plus for me.

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Working for a competitor I must accept that Dahua are a reasonable product, cannot give the same points to cumbersome Hik.


Unfortunately now everyone has to work out how to sell jobs again instead of just undercutting the next guy.

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What about the Huawei/Hisilicon ban? That would knock out some of the alternatives.  Also, I hear people keep saying Uniview is American owned by Bain Capital.  Do they not know they sold it to a Chinese company or are they being deceitful on purpose? 

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Uniview was owned by Bain Capital.  In April 2017, Bain sold Uniview to Hangzhou Jiaozhi Technologies Co., owned by China Trans Info, a publicly based company (002373.SZ) with a ~$2.5 billion market capitalization. The price paid for Uniview was $535.5 million USD (see China stock filing on the deal).  https://ipvm.com/reports/uniview-sold

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people keep saying Uniview is American owned by Bain Capital. Do they not know they sold it to a Chinese company or are they being deceitful on purpose?

Blame Uniview for that one. I've never seen any English / non-China announcement from Uniview about the sell-off and the only news report about the deal I can find is IPVM's.

Worse, the Uniview US homepage emphasizes that Bain funded their founding but omits Bain selling out:

Agree
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...the only news report about the deal I can find is IPVM's.

when you are searching something and the only result you get is something you wrote, it’s an odd emotional mix of pride and disappointment ;)

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We are not in USA so not familiar with availability /sales channels there but we have had excellent results with ACTI. I think they have an office in california.. We import direct from Taiwan and the sales and factory level support has been excellent. Their current marketing focuses on solution selling as john mentioned but we have not really been using those except for one implementation of their ALPR which was about 80 % efective. To be honest some of those solutions are a bit immature because they have spread their focus very wide. We are focused on their cameras and NVR and we have had very low returns for rma and video quality so far good. their advantage is their range of models is very wide so as we purchase based on project we can always get the right spec somewhere in their range..for anyone reviewing their product selector and to not get overwhelmed I would focus on A, B and I series. E series use to be our goto for bids but that is rapidly being displaced by A series ...a couple new A series models are out this month. When quoting large opportunities we have had pricing similar to hikvision easy ip 3.0 with their A series line.

The quality of the english in their documentation is much better than hik and the product selector and project tools far easier to use than most other brands. I have begun to review hanwha as well and wave ..looking at this for larger projects where we are mixing dell and various camera brands.

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As a end user, Hanwha/Samsung has been disappointing. I have been replacing them with Axis. Now looking at Vivotek as their products match or exceed Axis and lower pricing. But Vivotek uses Hickvision chips in some or all cams I think but not sure.

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Hello Undisclosed #17,

Vivotek has an NDAA approved devices list on their website. Hope this helps your camera selection.

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I have been managing a VMS since April this year with over 1440 cameras of which 275 are Hanwha and have had only 1 fail The focus motor failed in high heat. We have several other of exact same model in same environment that are fine.

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Would be great to get an update on this. For instance, Uniview has a line of NDAA compliant cameras and recorders at or near the price point of Hikua. I am sure there are others that now have compliant equipment.

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Steve, we will do an update since it's been 2 years. That said, I don't expect radical changes in choices. Uniview is certainly in the mix but their lack of in-country 'factory' sales and support is a major limitation for most buyers. I think Uniview could improve their positioning in the US and EU by building up a local team to service integrators / buyers.

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Thanks John,

I was hoping there may be a lot of new information available, but I am sure you have a better handle on.tge industry than I do. That's why I subscribe.

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Steve, new results are published, summary:

Four manufacturers received more than 5% of the vote:

  • Hanwha the clear leader at ~26%,
  • Axis and Uniview at ~8%
  • Vivotek at 7%.

Axis decreased notably (down from 13%), while others all increased.

Agree: 1
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