Exacq M Series Low Cost NVR Tested

By Ethan Ace, Published on Oct 12, 2017

With recent cyber security issues hitting NVRs and cameras from low cost leaders Dahua and Hikvision, users are increasingly seeking alternatives to this low priced gear.

Exacq's M series NVRs aim to challenge low cost models from Dahua and Hikvision, building Exacq's VMS into a compact recorder with built in PoE, at a price point much closer than traditional PC/VMS offerings.

We bought and tested the M series NVR, examining the following features and how they compare to low cost models from Dahua and Hikvision:

  • Physical features
  • VMS features
  • Adding cameras
  • Camera compatibility
  • PoE budget
  • PoE monitoring and control
  • Throughput handling

*******

** *** *****, *** Exacq * ****** *** *** several *********, *********:

  • ***** ********** ********:** **** **** ** record *** ********* ** Mb/s ********** ***** ************** local ******* *** ******** searching *** ******** ** video, **** ** **** in ********* ** ******* frames. **** ********** *** far **** **** ****** for * ******** ** our *****, ***** ******** below ** **/*.
  • *** ********** *** ******:*** * ****** ****** easy ********* ** ******* via *** ***** ******, as **** ** ********** of *** ****, ******** not ***** ** ******* low **** *********.
  • ****-******** ******** *************:******** *************' ******* **** automatically ********** *** ***** to *** * ****** NVR ******* *** *************, including ****, ******, *********, and ****. ******* *** cost ********* **** ************* add *** **** ***** of ******.

*******, ***** *** ******* key *********** ******** ** low **** ****** **** as ***** *** *********, as ****:

  • ****** ******** *******:**** *** * ****** NVR *** ** ****** at * **** ** default, * ********** ** ExacqVision ***** ***** ***** loaded ** *** ***. By ********, *** **** NVRs ********* ***** ******** devices ** ** ****** simultaneously, **** ****** ********* in *** ******** ** recorders. ***** *** **** multiple * ****** **** by ********* ** ***** Pro, *** **** ******* costs ****** ** **** as *** ******** ******.
  • ******* ******* *******:**** * *** * port * ****** ********* ship **** * ** max, ***** ***** *** Hikvision ********* ********* ******* options up ** * **, with **** ****** ********** a ****** *****, *** an ****** ** *** M ******. ***** **** they **** ***** ** introduce ********* ******* ******* before *** *** ** 2017. 
  • ****** *** ******:******* ** *** *** PoE ******, ***** *** find ****** ********** ****** power ******* ** *** M ******, **** ** outdoor ** *****, ********** those **** ***** ** heaters. **** *** **** models **** ***** *** Hikvision ******* ****** ***-**** PoE ******** *** ******* for ***.***.
  • ***** ***** ***** ******** features:*** ***** ******* ******** on *** * ****** lacks ******* ******** ******** found ** ***** ***/** Hikvision's ********* **** **** with ***** *** ********, such ** **************,****** ***********, ****, ***-*** *****, and ****. ***** ******** may ** ***** ** upgrading ** ***** ************, though **** ************* ********* cost.

****: *** * ****** runs * **** ******* of*********** *****, *********** ********* ******** to ******** **** ******** of *** ***. ********** readers ****** *** ******* **** ****** ** Exacq*** **** ***********.

User ********* **********

**** **** ** **** report ** **** *** reviewed *** **** ********** of *****, *****, *********, or ******. ***** **** features *** *******, **** preference *** ********** ************ ******* impact ***** ** ** "better" ** * ***** install.

Exacq ****** ***** ******** ******

***** *** *** ***, if *** ******* ** cyber ***********************/********, * ******* ********* compared ** ********* *** Dahua, *** **** **** had ******** *************** ********* in *** **** *** years (*** ********* ******** ************** ******** ********* ***** Recorders, *** ******** ** recent ******).

Potential **. *********/*****

*** ***** ******* *** a *** **** *** to ******* **** ********* or *****, *** * series ****** ***** ******** at * ******** ***** premium, ** **** ** broad ****** ***** *******, automated ***** *** **** manufacturers, *** *** *******, not ***** ** *** cost ******.

*******, *** ***********, ********** in *****-**** ******* *** storage *******, ** **** as *** **** ** advanced ******** ***** ** Dahua/Hikvision ********* *** ***, *** likely ** ** ************ for **** *****.

*******

*** * **** * series *** ***** *** about $*** *** ******, moderately **** ********* **** 8 **** ********* ******, ~$400-500 **** *** **** drives (**-******-**/**-********-******-**/**-***). *******, **** **** comparable ********* *** ***** NVRs ***** ******* ** multiple ********* ************** ***** the * ****** ******** an ******* ** *** for **** *******, *** typically ******* ****** *** budgets, ****** ********* *****.

* ****** ******* ** about $*,*** **** **** the **** ****** **** Exacq ******, *** **, which ****** ****** $*,***. The ****** ****** *** ********** ******** *** ***** sells *** ***** $*,***.

Physical ********

*** * ****** *** two ******* ******** *********** from ******* *** ****:

  • ***, ***, *** *** ports: ** ******** ** *** PoE *****, *** * series ******** *** ***-*** ports, *** **** ** connect ** ****** ******* (connected to ******** ******* ** its ** ***** *****) and *** **** *** uplink ** ******* *** (labeled ***) *** ******* clients, ***** ****** ****** and **********/******* ******* ** be *********. ******* **** have * ****** *** port ** ******** ** on ***** *** ***** and ** *** ******** this *******.

  • ****/****** **** ******:*** * ****** *** is ****** **** ** is ****, ******** ** the **** ****** ** typical ****, ***** *** typically ****** ** **** mount ***** (**"). **** form ****** ***** ** moderately ****** ** ***** the **** ** *** unit **** **** *******, as **** ***** *** closer ** *** **** of *** ****, *** may **** *** ** many *****.

** ****** ***** ******** features ** **** *****:

Major **********: ****** ******** *******

*** ** *** ***, users *** **** ***** from **** *** * series *** ** * time, * ********** ** ExacqVision *****. ** ********, Hikvision *** ***** ********/****** apps ******** ******* ** multiple ******* ************** **** no **** *********, **** limits ** ***, ***, 500 ******* ** ******* depending ** ***** ****** or ****** *** ** used.

***** *** **** ***** from **** **** *** recorder ** ********* * series ******** ** ************, a ~$*** ******* **** (********* street *****), ******** *** cost ** *** ****.

Other ******** ******** *******

** ******** ** *****-**** viewing, *** *** * series/Exacq ***** **** ******* other ******** ***** ** typical *****, *********, *** other *********, *********:

  • ** ***** ******:***** ***** *** ********* include **** ***** ****** via ***** ***-******* *** Easy4IP *********, ***** ***** must ******** **** ******* (port *****) ** *** VPNs *** ****** ******.
  • ** ****** ******* ***********:************ ********* **** ******** access ******* ******* ***** integrates **** ***** *** their ******** *** **** software **** ** ******* fees. ****** *********** ** available ** *****, *** requires *** * ****** be ******** ** ************.
  • ** **************:* ****** **** ** not ***** *** *****-********* out ** *** *** (requires ******* ** ************), while **** ***** *** Hikvision's *** ********* ***** switching ******* **** ********** and *** ********** ******* (manual ****, *** *********).
  • ** ****:******* ** *** ******** in *********** ***** (******* Professional *******), *** ******** in ********* ****-**** *** Dahua ********. 

PoE ******/******

* ****** **** **** a *** *** ****** of ***, ****** ** supply *.** (***** *) PoE ** *** *****. This ** ***** **** many *** ****, **** as*********'* ****** *** ***** ****** [link ** ****** *********], which **** ***/**** *** specs. 

** *** ** ****** powering ******* ****** ** compact ******* ****** (***** bullets/domes) ** *** *****. However, **** ****** **** models **** ******* ****** to ***** ** *** to ****** ***** ************. Users ****** ** ***** of **** ********** *** plan ** *** ******** PoE ******** ** ********* for ***** ******. 

PoE *******/**********

*** ***** ****** ******** an ********** **** **** connected ** * ****** NVRs *** *** ********** and *******. ***** *** see ****** ** ***** displayed ** ***** *** reboot ******* **** *** click (***** *****).

 

************, *** ****** *** current **** *** ***** below, ***** **** **** status:

Some ******* ***** *************

*** ********* ******* (*******, Axis, ********, *********, ******), users ****** **** ** plug *** ****** **** the *** **** *** the ******** ************* ******* it ** ******* *** adds ** ** *** VMS:

Most ******* ******** *************

*******, ***** *************' ******* must ********* ** ******** configured *** **** ********* to *** *** ****. The ******* ***** ** shown ** *** ***** interface ** *** *** when *********** ******* *** connected, ****** ***** ************ on *** ** *******. In *** *****, ******* **** Bosch, *****, *********, *** some ****** ****** ******** this *******.

Driver ********* *** ** *********

** **** *****, ********** cameras **** ***** ***** the ***** ******. *** instance, ***** ******** ********** Hikvision ******* ** ******** (above), *** *** ***** them ** ***** *** ONVIF, ******* ***** ***** a ****** ********* ****** available. ** ***** *****, the ****** *** ** manually ******* *** **-***** as *** ****** ******, but ***** ** ** way ** ****** ****** driver ******* ***** **.

Local ********* *** *******/*************

*** * ****** *** has * ***** ********* which *** ** **** for ******* *** *************, but ** *** ***** it *** **** ****** to *** **** *** Exacq *******/*** ****** ******* on ****** **** ********. For *******, ****** ******* the ***** ****** **** 20 ******* ** *** local ********* **** ***** normal **** (compared ** *-* ******* on ******** ******* *** *** machines ******. ****** ******* and ******** **** **** to ************* ** ******** are ********* ********.

**** **** ***** ** a *** ******* ******** in *** * ******, but ** ** *** openly ***** ** ********* as * *******. ***** may ***** *** ********* command ** * ******** (available ** *** **** bar) ** **** ********, including *** ********* *******, in *** ******* *******:

***-**** ****://

**** **** **** ******* runs ** *******, ** live ***** ***** **** MJPEG ** *********** *** configuration *** ** ******* for **** ******** ***** require *******, *****, ** other *******.

40 **/* ********* ***** ********

** *** *****, ** were **** ** ************ record **** ** **/*, the ***'* ********* ********* spec, **** ** **** while **** ***** *** local ********* *** ******* and ******** ********* *** 8 ******** ** *****. Note **** ***** **** such ** ***** ** Hikvision **** ****** **********, but **** ** ********* aggregate, ********* ********* ** well ** ****** ******* streams.

******* **** *** ******* included *****, ***, *** and **. ******* *** ********* with ***** ****** ******* was ~** **/*. ******* were ****** ***** *********** ***** ** **** maximum ********** (** **/*+).

Fan *****

*** ***** ** *** Exacq * ****** *** noticeably ****** **** ******* PoE ****. ** ****** the * ****** **** * cameras ********* ** *** rear *** ***** *** live **** ******* ******* the ***** *********.

**** *** ******* ***** ~1' **** **** *** NVR, *** ***** * series **** ~****, ~**** above *** ******* **** noise ** ~****, ***** in *** ***** *****:

*** ********* ******-**/** *** noticeably ******* ** ~****, only *** **** *******, shown *****:

 

Comments (21)

Did Razberi not have a patent on server/switch combos?  It seems like everyone has one now.

If yes, it does not mean that you are able to use it, you just need to pay a fee to them.

Razberi has several patents, but without reading them I'm not sure which would specifically refer to the server/switch device. Just skimming them, also, it seems they're fairly generic.

What OS is it running?  Windows or Linux?

The positive side is that the hardware tested fine (which was a question originally given the reduced specs (and the upcoming storage increase should resolve that limitation).

I do think Exacq and other VMS software providers need to re-examine what features they charge premiums for. Over time, 'premium' features become commoditized. There was a point years ago where forcing people to pay a premium to view multiple recorders at the same time made sense. It does not know. For example, if you had 20 cameras on multiple Exacq servers, it would cost more than $1,000 just for the software upgrade to see cameras across those servers at the same time. That's very difficult to justify when it is so commonly available free and is a simple thing to do.

How is the units noise? Are the fans constantly running? I’m interested as this unit as a more residential/end user unit, not a unit that would be installed in typical Comms room. 

How is the units noise? Are the fans constantly running? I’m interested as this unit as a more residential/end user unit, not a unit that would be installed in typical Comms room.

Jeff, The fans are constantly running. I set up a decibel meter ~1' away from the fan and it consistently read ~57 dB, here is a short video:

Note: The NVR had 4 cameras connected to the POE ports and I was viewing live feed in the interface.

I have installed one, but the noise is higher compared too hikvision and or Dahua. making it difficult too install in a residential environment.

in an office as well it starts irritating

I have installed one, but the noise is higher compared too hikvision and or Dahua. making it difficult too install in a residential environment.

Geert, I did the same thing with the Hikvision 7608 NVR (4 cameras connected while viewing live feed with dB meter ~1' away), it consistently read ~48 dB. 

Short video here:

What is the Country of Origin? 

It's assembled in Canada:

The processor is HiSilicon, which is Chinese, as with most electronic components. 

Here's a photo of the inside of the NVR (click for full size version):

One notable thing: the NVR includes a second HDD connection on the motherboard, and mounting posts for it. So it's technically possible to add another hard drive, but Exacq doesn't offer it as an option.

Thermal management was also a clear consideration, as the path of airflow is essentially straight across the hottest components, the processor and PoE ports.

I find the Noise of thee unit high compared too others. 

It appears that one of the continuing challenges at TYCO is a disconnect between features, value and price. We saw this with the over-priced and poorly performing American Dynamics/Illustra line of hardware, and I think we are seeing it here, too, with Exacq. 

Not sure how they believe they can release an entry-level NVR that cannot connect to multiple units simultaneously, when that is an entry level standard at this point.

We have looked into these units before, but typically find better bang for the buck with low cost server grade hardware.

 

Of course the updgrade to Pro really hurts too. Start is fairly useless in many applications.

Update -

Added a section comparing fan noise between Exacq M series and Hikvision 7608.

Update: Exacq has increased the drive size options in the M Series, with up to 4TB now available in the 4 channel model and up to 6TB in the 8 channel NVR. Previously, 2TB was the max for both channel counts.

Ethan,

Is there a report on the LC series?

We do not have a report on the LC-series, is there a feature/capability of the LC you are interested in?

As Ethan noted in the report, the LC-series are generally more expensive than the M-series, while offering more storage, higher PoE output, and direct analog camera connections in some models.

Sean,

No special feature on the LC series.  However I thought I read that it doesnt have POE, maybe I am incorrect.

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