Choosing Pre-Loaded VMS Appliances / NVR

By John Honovich, Published May 31, 2012, 08:00pm EDT

An integrator member asked today about choices for pre-loaded VMS appliances (NVRs). He explained that while he could load it, he has techs that are not ready to setup VMS software and that overall, their time would be better spent not having to deal with this task. He has considered Intransa but rejected them because they were too expensive. He's now looking for other options on the market.

In the following 7 minute webinar excerpt, we discuss with him a range of options available in the market:

Today, many options exist. Almost all VMS providers now offer their own NVR appliances. For example, in the last 18 months software stalwarts, Milestone and Genetec have both released NVR appliances - Milestone Essential NVR and Genetec SV-16 and SV PRO. That is not to say those are the best. Indeed they tend to simply be VMS software put on a generic PC. However, if you prefer a specific brand of VMS, it is best to start by evaluating the brand's own hardware options.

When looking at appliances, a few features differentiate offerings:

  • Linux or Windows-based - If you a true 'embedded' appliance, Linux has appeal. Unfortunately, most VMSes are Windows only (e.g., Milestone, OnSSI, Genetec, etc.) prohibiting this.
  • Integrated encoding / encoder board - If you are dealing with existing analog cameras, having this built into the appliance (a true hybrid 'DVR') can further simply setup time and complexity.
  • Integrating PoE switch - Similar to encoder integration but for IP cameras; having the PoE switch integrated within the NVR appliance can further reduce setup time and complexity.

With those 3 points in mind, 3 products merit specific consideration:

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