HD Analog DVRs With Exacq, Milestone and Genetec VMSes Tested

Author: Ethan Ace, Published on Aug 23, 2016

HD analog offerings have proven to deliver HD video at radically lower prices.

However, the main limitation for professional applications is their recorders / VMS software. The advanced features and usability of Dahua and Hikvision's DVR / VMSes are not close to that of the Favorite VMS Manufacturers 2016.

In this test report, we share results of integrating Dahua and Hikvision HD Analog DVRs with VMS software from Avigilon, Exacq, Genetec and Milestone. Essentially, we made the DVRs act as encoders feeding video into the VMSes.

Some combinations worked, some did not, and one crippled a VMS.

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Connecting *** ****

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ONVIF *******

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VMS *** ***** *******

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*******: When attempting to add the Hikvision DVR to Exacq using the same method, we encountered critical errors requiring services to be restarted or server reboots in order to remove the DVR from the server. In one extreme case, our test server became nearly inoperable and required reinstallation. As such, we do not recommend trying to add these models to ExacqVision.

Avigilon ** **********

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Comments (25)

Does un/non-official ONVIF support mean a)product not listed as complicant or b)maker wil not give the support? How did you know to find it out works?

Is this Onvif Vms spec or Onvif JBOC?

About encoder licenser, dont all streams have same ip/mac too?

Not listed as conformant. Hikvision DVRs don't support MJPEG which is required for Profile S. The Dahua DVRs simply haven't been listed as conformant. Whether they will be in the future is unknown.

We found it works by accident, as they were discovered automatically by ONVIF DM. Exacq also detects both DVRs when you search for cameras.

I don't know what you mean by JBOC, but these devices are ONVIF devices (cameras/encoders/etc.) as opposed to clients (VMS/NVR). Also known as NVTs.

Yes, all streams have the same IP and MAC address. How each VMS chooses to handle licensing is up to them.

Thx. Good answer.

JBOC = Just Bunch of Cameras, seperated not tied up in bundle

Did every camera channel require a lic?

Has Milestone officially commented on HD Analog licensing? I know that their stance with traditional analog cameras is one license per IP encoder but did they intend for this to extend to HD Analog? Even though the software allows it, I'd like to make sure that is compliant with the license agreement before bidding any jobs.

Good question.

In our test, all the channels in the DVR only required one license.

I sent an email to Milestone askng for clarifiication / confirmation. I will post their feedback when received.

Milestone confirmed policy is 1 license per encoder, regardless of whether it is SD or HD analog.

The policy is the same for DVRs, however, Milestone noted, "DVR licensing is currently under review and may be changed in 2015."

Will the Milestone server store the footage locally?

Is there anyway that the camera footage is stored on the DVR, and streamed back through Milestone - so Milestone is ultimately acting as client software?

Have a site with 80 analogs that wants to move to HD solution gradually!

TC, that is an interesting approach.

I don't think that you can do this because Milestone would have to be able to retrieve video recorded and stored in the DVR.

The ONVIF integration only covers streaming video in, not accessing recorded video on another device.

I asked the same question of VI's developers, and got a similar answer as John gave. While the DVRs have recording capability, the streams are one-way only and do not support storage read/write or search functions ... that's really the core function of the VMS working with the server's .Net and SQL technologies (in VI's case).

As a related side-note, I could not find a setting inside the Dahua firmware to turn-off it's incessant 'missing harddrive' trouble beeps, so I resorted to installing a scrap HDD just to populate the SATA port and answer the trouble. If there is any local recording happening to that drive, it's of no use to the VMS.

Haven't yet tested HIK's HD-TVI units, but that's next on my 'to-do' list.

I've got four HD-CVI test systems in the field using a mix of 1080p and 720p Dahua DVRs as encoders, tied to Video Insight v5.5. The setup is just like an analog encoder, with a shared IP address feeding separate streams to the VMS.

Pictures are great, with all VMS features intact and fully-functional using server-side motion detection. I'm still playing with optimization of the camera streams by adjusting the DVR settings via Dahua "SmartPSS" interface. There are some camera-local adjustments available via OSD, but so far I've left the cameras' default settings in place. I have yet to test PTZ control via the VMS, but will do so once sample cameras arrive.

Video Insight accepts the streams beautifully. My target market for All Campus Security is small business- and home-owners of out-dated analog systems who are up to swapping out their dusty DVR and cameras on a DIY-basis.

Michael,

Have you had a chance to try the PTZ control?

Not yet. Expecting delivery of the PTZ by mid-January.

Michael,

Have you found that VI allows you to use server side motion detection on all of the RTSP streams? I have been playing around with Exacq and have not been able to use server side motion at all.

Yes, server-side was the easy part. All cameras are triggering and recording properly in the VI/HD-CVI systems that I have running in customer settings. The server is seeing the RTSP streams like any other camera feed.

I'll test camera-side and let you know. BTW, my PTZ arrived recently, and I should know soon how it performs through the DVR-as-encoder arrangement.

Michael,

Can you tell me what settings you used to see the Dahua DVR in VI? I am playing with it right now and VI found the DVR immediately. It shows it as Dahua and Dahua IP Camera. I only have 2 HD-CVI cameras currently connected and when I manually added the second camera as port 2, I am seeing the same image as port 1?

You'll need to be running one of the later versions (5.5.22 and on). The use the Dahua drivers, and then Dahua IP Camera. Check the 'shared IP address' box, and then set the first to stream 1, next to stream 2, etc. That should do it.

BTW, you need only one open licensed camera 'available' b/c the encoder is only on IP address.

Thanks for the clarification. I had originally set it up just as you described and was getting the same live image on port 1 & 2(on VI side). I deleted both from VI and then re entered them, seems to work fine now.

Thanks!

That sounds great. It must just be the difference between VI & Exacq.

I am not sure if maybe I am missing something in the configuration on the Exacq side. The VMS sees the cameras with no problem, but absolutely no option for motion detection. based on the article above, it looks like it all depends on the DVR/FW version, etc.

We have also installed many VI servers, I have not had an opportunity to test with the HD-CVI.

I am anxious to see what you find with the PTZ.

  • Avigilon Control Center does not connect to either manufacturer's DVR, displaying only the first channel of Dahua DVRs, but timing out when connected to Hikvision.

We have be able to get ACC to connect to both Hikvisions TVI encoders and TVI DVRs.

I have tested the the option to connect Hikvision HD TURBO DVR to OnSSI Ocularis 5.2 and it works great!

(ONVIF Profile S)

Thanks for posting this article as it triggered me to figure out a way to get a cheap No Name Brand 4 channel DVR enrolled in to Genetec so I can view all 4 channels. Before reading this article I had enrolled it using the ONVIF Profile but was only getting video streams 2 of the 4 channels. I would get the Main and Sub Stream of 2 of the 4 channels only.

After reading this article I used the CAM File Editor for Genetec and created a custom driver in which I was able to identify 4 channels using the RTSP Stream syntax which was provided for the DAHUA DVRs and I was able to enroll the DVR and get both the Main and Sub Streams in H.264 format for all four channels. Thanks again.

Would I be wrong in assuming that Xprotect offers access to both Live and Playback when integrating a Hik DVR? Does the same apply to other VMS's? I often see reports of "integration" with the major VMS's, however the detail drops off when it comes to Playback and other functionality, like alarm integration and audio + I/O. I accept that ONVIF doesn't accommodate playback (yet, I guess....Profile-G....), however, having the ability to stream Live and obtain Playback + the vital VMS search functionality is vital to achieving true integration. I suspect that only the VMS's that offer API/SDK integration are those that will be able to truly integrate.

Hello John, would be great to have an updated test report

does anyone know if this works for any other DVR/NVR? I have 2 Speco NVR that this solution would work great to add them into my Milestone Corporate.

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