Testing Dahua HDCVI Encoder With VMSes

Author: Ethan Ace, Published on May 14, 2015

HD Analog cameras have incredibly low prices for true HD video.

But HD analog recorders are pretty simplistic and underwhelming.

Moreover, many want to use HD analog cameras with their established, higher end VMS software systems.

Now, Dahua has released 4, 8, and 16 channel 1080p HD-CVI encoders, which should make it easier to connect HD-CVI cameras to VMS software.

We tested the Dahua NVS0404HDC-A, a four channel model, with multiple fixed and PTZ cameras, attempting to integrate with Avigilon, Exacq, Genetec and Milestone VMSes:

  • Did all HDCVI cameras, 720p, 1080p, from multiple manufacturers, work without issue?
  • Were there issues streaming all channels at maximum frame rate?
  • What features worked and did not with each VMS?

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Comments (25)

Why in the world is this encoder so big?

My guess is that since it's the first of their CVI encoders, they wanted to use a common form factor for 4, 8, and 16 channels, and settled on 1U rack mount. If I were a betting man (and I'm not), I'd guess that smaller wall mount models similar to the Hik/Axis form factor would come eventually.

If you open it up I have to guess there is a ton of wasted space. Some of the budget equipment out there from Hikvision and Dahua is twice the size it needs to be. This one takes that to the extreme. Ethan's observation above is probably spot on as far as using common enclosures to save cost.

Hi Ethan, if I've got this right, the only advantage of the encoder over a DVR is that the encoder works reliably with third party VMS software systems and the DVR doesn't. Is that right?

If so, I wonder why Dahua wouldn't just enhance their existing DVR's rather than creating an entirely separate line of encoder-only products? It's not like their dedicated encoders are smaller or cheaper than their DVR's! I'm puzzled.

Yes, that is our take away from the testing.

Why does Dahua do what they do? They are a hard company to understand.

Thank you John. I thought I'd missed something. Dahua release a lot of products but often they just release specifications without any story about why the product should be interesting. It's probably obvious to their engineers but not always to me.

I believe the demand is there for HD-CVI/HD-TVI encoders. I have been pestering Hikvision myself to come up with encoders. Sometimes a customer wants a low end system due to budgetary constraints but the long term goal is a more robust VMS.

Hikvision says 2-3 months for TVI encoders.

I almost wonder if a Cheap Dahua HD-CVI DVR will also encode to the same equipment as well?

"encode to the same equipment as well?"

Can you clarify what you mean here?

Can the regular ol Dahua HD-CVI DVR's encode to (Avigilon, Exacq, Genetec, Milestone). If so, this would save people alot of money as opposed to buying the encoder. But sorry, I oviously didnt read the entire article before I posted that. I just read the paragraph "Compared to HD-CVI DVR's" which clearly answers my question and compares and contrasts the 2.

We are currently testing the Dahua HD-CVI encoder compared to the Dahua limited Tribrid DVR for recording analogue and HD-CVI cameras to Freedom VMS. Initial test results indicate no benefit with the encoder and that using the DVR supports SD analogue cameras, costs less and one less product to support and keep on the shelf.

In our comparrison experience - admittedly only a handful -the TVI 4ch DVRs v POE NVR's from the same manufcturer see the DVR's perform better than the NVRs in the responsiveness of the IOS and Android apps. Could this be because of a lower processor load?

I know it seems likely that the anologue HD solutions (TVI in our case) will dominate our lower tier sales through price alone with the benefit of genuinely good performance to boot.

If I was a large legacy brand (Pelco, Vicon?) I'd be jumping all over the encoder idea and assausting the retrofit market.

Opinions?

"If I was a large legacy brand (Pelco, Vicon?) I'd be jumping all over the encoder idea and assausting the retrofit market."

David, good point / question.

On Vicon, they are probably busy with the merger / integration of IQinvision and their new CEO is an 'IP guy', so I do not suspect that would be a priority.

For Pelco, I see the benefits like you do. Huge analog customer base would be quite a good match for HD analog + HD analog encoders. Will they do it? When will they do it? I don't know. They too seem to be IP-focused right now.

Hello John,

Do you know if the 16 channel model will also only require 1 Milestone License? Do you have any plans to test the performance of the 16 channel model?

Thank You

Hey Undisclosed, it should indeed require only 1 Milestone license, since they license by the number of IP addresses.

We don't have any plans to test performance of the 16 channel model, since it's the same series as this one, just more ports. If they release more encoders or claim newer features, we'd look at testing it again.

What are the lines of resolution after encoding? The Cisco encoders I'm stuck working with are effectively 480.

Undisclosed 3, what type of camera are you connecting to the Cisco encoder?

Most encoders are traditional SD analog only with a max of VGA / D1, so yes you should not be getting anything more regardless of what camera you connect to that encoder.

So are there encoders with a higher output resolution that is apparent in a vms?

Yes, for example, this Dahua CVI encoder. And there are a few SDI encoders out there as well for HD-SDI cameras.

You will, of course, need to make sure you are using appropriate cameras with those encoders to take advantage of the higher resolution.

Anyone have a US based supplier for the Dahua CVI encoders?

Hi Ethan, a quick question :

if Genetec does have a Dahua DVR driver is it fair to assume that driver also supports the DVRs from Dahua ? With all the features ??

That would be cool but i remember in the original article about CVI/TVI that Genetec wouldn't connect to the DVRs ( and only Milestone did ). Is this driver newer ?

Thanks,

Hi, I would need to double check it again but from what I saw in the past, yes, Genetec supports the Dahua DVRs. If I remember correctly, they support all video channels, DVR motion detection, and local recording. I may have some screenshots around from when I looked at it previously, I'll check.

I'm not sure exactly when that driver was released, but I would say it's within the last 6-8 months.

I would be eager to see the Hikvision DS-6700-HQHI-SATA tested as well. It's listed as supported on the Exacq site, which is pretty exciting.

James,

Thanks for the recommendation. We have a discussion here. I am not sure if we are going to test it. We were waiting to see if they came out with anything new, especially because of its large form factor and because TVI 3.0 is supposed to be out now.

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