Bosch Edge Recording Reviewed

By Ethan Ace, Published Mar 26, 2012, 08:00pm EDT

Quietly and for a number of years, Bosch has offered edge and direct to storage surveillance solutions. Before Axis, Bosch already had a free 'no VMS' edge recording offering. Now Bosch is adding 3rd party camera support. In this note, we will overview Bosch's approach, its features and compare to other edge recording options from Axis, Genetec, and Exacq.

Overview

Key technical details of Bosch's edge recording support:

  • Edge storage is supported on a number of Bosch cameras, including the 200 series [link no longer available], FlexiDome IP [link no longer available], and Dinion IP [link no longer available] models.
  • Most cameras support SDHC cards up to 32 GB. 1080p FlexiDome and Dinion models support SDXC cards, currently available in 64 GB, with a theoretical limit up to 2 TB. Cameras also support network recording directly to iSCSI devices.
  • Edge recording is configured directly on the camera, and may be continuous, on motion, or on analytic event when using IVA-equipped models.
  • Archived video is accessed via the Bosch Video Client [link no longer available], which may also be used to access Divar 700 series recorders.

Bosch Video Client is available and is free for up to 16 channels. This may be increased to a maximum of 128 channels by purchasing additional licenses.

3rd Party Support

Bosch has announced support for 3rd party cameras via ONVIF in the Bosch Video Client (BVC). This is delivered via the Bosch Video Streaming Gateway, a free feature, allowing third-party cameras to record directly to network-attached storage, and the video client to access live and archived video. The gateway receives ONVIF streams, 'wraps' them in a Bosch recording/storage protocol, enabling them to be retrieved like Bosch cameras in the BVC. Local storage, however, is not supported for 3rd party cameras.

Those wanting to add 3rd party cameras will need to upgrade to the BVC 1.3 release 1 and Bosch VRM 2.2. When links to those versions are available, we will add to the review.

Competitive Comparison

Bosch's edge recording architecture is most similar to Axis' recently-announced Camera Companion, with both supporting 16 channels for free, and capable of writing to local SD and network storage. Axis has an overall broader line than Bosch, with more models available at multiple pricing levels. However, Bosch has an advantage in scalability and flexibility, due to 3rd party recording and 128 channel maximum limit. Bosch also supports its IVA analytics while Axis Camera Companion only supports its motion detection 'plus' offering.

When compared to open platform VMS options featuring edge recording, Genetec is more flexible than the Bosch Video Client, as it offers both redundant recording, as well as the permanent archiving offered by Bosch. Bosch cameras are compatible with Genetec's Trickling feature, as well. Exacq Edge, on the other hand, offers permanent recording, but not redundancy.

Recommendation

Ultimately, using the Bosch edge recording offering depends on preference for Bosch cameras. However, Bosch adds in a number of more advanced features not typically found in free offerings such as 3rd party support, analytics and larger camera count expansion. These will help make the offering more attractive. We plan to do a series of tests this Spring of the edge camera offerings to better understand the nuances of these packages.

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