Hikvision Best Alternatives Picked By Integrators

By: John Honovich, Published on Jan 26, 2017

While Hikvision has driven the market with an unprecedented combination of low cost, support, sales and marketing expenditures, integrator opposition to Hikvision is rising (see Hikvision's favorability results).

To that end, 200+ integrators told IPVM their picks for best alternatives to Hikvision.

7 manufacturers received notable support. We break down the results inside.

***** ********* *** ****** the ****** **** ** unprecedented *********** ** *** cost, *******, ***** *** marketing ************, ********** ********** ** Hikvision ** ****** (************'* ************ *******).

** **** ***, ***+ integrators **** **** ***** picks *** **** ************ to *********.

* ************* ******** ******* support. ** ***** **** the ******* ******.

[***************]

Overview *******

*********** *** *******:

  • ***** - ****** ********** by *********** ** *** closest ***** ** *********
  • ******* / ****** - generally ****** ** *********** as ********** ******** *** moderately **** *********
  • **** - *** ***** integrators ******** ** ***** on *****
  • ******* - *** ** and ****** ******* ***********
  • *******, *********, ******* ******** - *** ********** ***** being ********** 

*****

****** ***** ****** ******** ********** *******, ***** *** ******* the **** ****** ****** by *********** ** ** alternative ** *********:

  • "*****. ***** ***** *** image ******* ** ******* as **** ** *** being ***** ** *** Chinese **********."
  • "*****, ***** *** ******"
  • "*****, **** ******* ******** line ** *****, *** prices"
  • "*****, ***** **** *** compete **** ****."
  • "* ** *** ***** there ** ** *********** to ********* ****** *****. Both ****** *** ****** because **** **** *** prices *** ****** ** unfortunately *****-********."
  • "***** ******* ** ***** and **********."
  • "***** - ***** ** so ********* *** **** another ******* ************ *** compete ** **** ****."
  • "*****,****** ****** *** **** features **** *** ****."
  • "*****, ******* ** *** similar ******* ******* **** offering ** **** ***** range"
  • "***** ** ***** * good ******* *********** ** close ** *** **** price *****."
  • "*****; ***** **** ****** have * *:* **** (including ****) *** ****'** proven ** ** **** as ******** *** **** to ******."
  • "***** ******* **** **** a **** ****** *** decent *******"
  • "** *** ***** *******, Dahua ** *** ***** main ******, ****** *** is ********* * *** more ****-*********, *** **** readily ********* *******"
  • "***** ** ***** ******* in **** ***** **** only * ******* ** tech ******* **** *** a ******* ** ************ but *** ******** **** to **** **** *** its * ***** ** to **** ********* ***'* afford **** ** *** trying ** *** *** most *** ** ***** budget"

** ** ********* ***** or ***** *** *** its *** ********, ***** has * ****** ** move **.

Hanwha / *******

* ****** ***** ****** was ****** / *******:

  • "** ******* ******* (******) as *** ******* ** HIKVision *** ** *** name *********** *** *** cost ***** ** * competitive ***** **** *********"
  • "*******, **** *** **** offering ** ***** ***** with *******"
  • "******* / ******: *. These *** ********* ****** and ******* ******* *******. 2. **** *** *** owned ** ********* ** the ******* **********. *. Are ********* ***** ************* and **** ** ******* against ******* *** *** cameras *** ******* **** sell. *. ***** ********* sales *******."
  • "** ** ****** * lower **** ****** *** the ********, *******-*******-***** ***** be *** **** ***** offering."
  • "****** (*******) ******* **** / *********** / ***** / ******** *** *************"
  • "*******. ***** ***************, *** seems ** ** * lot ** *** **** specifications ****** ***** ***** of *******."
  • "*** *** **** *********, we ***** **** ** the *******/****** ******."
  • "******** * **** *** sold ***, ******* ** likely *** **** ****** i ***** **** ****."
  • "*******/****** - ****** *** same ***** *** ******* the ********* *******"
  • "******* - ***** **** are *** ** *** cost ** ********* ** feel **** **** ***** a ***** ******** ** a ***** **** **** our ******* *******."
  • "*******, *** ** *****, VMS *******, *** ******* mix"
  • "** ********** ******* ****** Techwin *******. ** ** price *********** ** **** level, *** ***** ******** new ********** ** ******* with ***** ****** *** lines."
  • "******* (******) ******* ** price *** ***********. ** continue ** **** ******* with *** ******* ********."
  • "****** - ******* **** - **'* *** * piece ** ****. *** seriously, *** ******** *****, Chinese ********** *********** *** weird ******** **** ******** on ******** **** ** a **-**. ** *** WiseNet **** ** "*** expensive" **** ** *** the ******* ****."
  • "****** ** ****** ***** with **** **** *******."
  • "******. ****** *********** *** reliability. ***** ****-*************. *** does *** **** *** questionable ******* ** ********* of *********."

*** **** ******** *** Hanwha / ******* ** that ** **** *********** still ***** ** ** as '*******' **** ****** that *** ******* ***** will ** ******* ** new ******** *** **** and ******.

****

***** **** ******* *******, that ** **** *********** mentioned **** *** ******** surprising. *******, *** ***** with **** *********** *** clearly ***** ******* **** price ***********:

  • "**** - ********* ******* and ********."
  • "****. ** ******* ** the ******* *** *******. Also ** ***** ******* the ******** ******* **** HikVision *****'* *****."
  • "**** ** *** ** to ** **** ** Hikvision. ****** ********* ****** higher *** *** *** same ****** *********, ** is * ******** *****. In ********, **** *** a ***** ******** ** many ********* ******* *** different ************."
  • "**** ** ***** ********* the ******* ***** ** capability * ***** ***** or ** ******* ** implement *** *******, ** I ** *** *** involved ** ***-*** ********."
  • "****, ** *** ***** camera *** *********."
  • "*** **** *********** **** we *** ** ****. Price ** ****** ** issue *** ** ** is, **** *** ****** not *** ***** ******** for **."
  • "****. ********* **** *******, quality *******, *********, **** company. *** ** *** up ** *** *******."
  • "*** *** ** ******* Axis **** **** ** their **** ********* ********* because ** ******* *** familiarity, ** **** ** fear ** * ****** "bargain ********" ******* **** them ** ****** **** is ****** ****** ** turns **** * ** nightmare **** **** ****** incident."
  • "****. ***** ********* *** performance ***********."
  • "** **** **** *** sell ****** *** ******* and ***** ***** ** budget ***** *******."
  • "****. ** **** ** sell *** ********* ** quality *** ***********. ** don't ********* **** ** sell ****** ** *****, that ** *** ******* value *** **** ** one ** *** ******* why ** ***'* **** Hikvision."
  • "****. **** ** ********** better."

4 ***** *****

*** * ***** ************* with **** **** * mentions ****:

  • *******
  • *******
  • *********
  • ******* ********

** *****, ******* *** the ********* *******, **** in ******* *** ********:

  • "*******. ***** ***** ******* product **** ** *** government *****"
  • "** ** **** **** customers **** *** ********* about *******/********. ** ***** cases ** *** *******, which *** ******* ******* and ***********. ******** **** is ***** ******* ************ the ******* ******* ** be ***** ** * Trust ******* ***** ** the **."
  • "** *********** ** ********* might ** ******* (** ownership) ******** ** **** yet ** **** **** for ******* *** ********* for *************."
  • "******* ** * *******, sometimes **** ****** ********. They *** **** * Chinese ******* ************, ******* quite **** *** **** have ******* ** ** a *********** ***** ** the ******."
  • "** ******* *** **** out **** **** ******* options ** ******* **** could ** * ****** alternative ** ****. **** just ***'* **** ** have * ******** ****** of ********."
  • "** ******** ** *** cost *******, ******* *** Dahua *** ****** *******. Univiews ******* ******* ** a ********, *** ****** terrible ******* ********* ** a ***** *** ****."
  • "*******. **** ***** *****, US ********* ***** ** a **** *** **** troublesome **** ***** ***** Hik. *** *** **** on ***** ****** ** the ****** (***)"

******, ******* **** *** cut *******'* *** ************ **********, ** *** ******** above ********, ***** **** work ** ** ** improve ******* ************ / availability ***************.

Comments (18)

Hi All,

I am really surprised to see that most comments say that price is the main difference and that the Hikvision products are virtually identical to Dahua and UNV. I think this is not correct. While there are alot of similarities there are certainly many differences between Hikvision, Dahua and UNV. 

Hikvision has Darkfighter and Lightfigher, Dahua do High WDR and Starlight in the one camera.

Hikvision have the Panovu cameras, Dahua and UNV do not

Dahua makes great Video Intercom systems, Hikvison is not as good, UNV does not have them

Hikvision has TVI max of 5mp, Dahua has CVI max of 4mp, UNV has not HD over Coax at the moment.

Hikvision and Dahua have intelligent parking solutions, UNV do not

UNV has the cloud firmware update feature, Hikvision and Dahua do not.

Dahua and Hikvision POE in NVR can do 100m and UNV can do up to 300m

Dahua recorders generally have better decoding performance than Hikvison and UNV. 

Hikvision have a nice little recessed camera ceiling mount camera. DS-2CD2E10F

I could continue on with a big list of the differences however my point is this. Hikvision, Dahua and UNV are not the same products. Once you know them better you will start to understand the differences between them.  

Overall i think it is a bad idea to say things like, I only use Hikvision or I only use Dahua. You should be selecting the equipment based on project requirements. 

e.g. 

If you need log runs out to the cameras use UNV because Ip cameras can be up to 300m away from the POE recorder.

If you are running alot of high resolution cameras Dahua might be good because for a similar price point the NVR can decode more high resolution cameras than UNV and Hikvision.

If you need a good looking camera for an office environment go for the DS-2CD2E10F from Hikvision with a Hikvision recorder. 

As an integrator you should simply be choosing the right product for the project. 

As an integrator you should simply be choosing the right product for the project. 

In fairness, there is a burden for integrators supporting multiple manufacturers. It means techs needing to learn multiple interfaces, it means the office dealing with different sales people, figuring out different warranty and return policies. Beyond that, there can be integration issues amongst different manufacturer's cameras with different manufacturer's recorders. To that end, I think it is reasonable for many integrators to pick Dahua or Hikvision or Uniview or Vivotek but not 2 or 3 of them.

I could continue on with a big list of the differences

Your list is helpful but many integrators would argue that most of them are not 'big' differences, meaning so important that you would choose one over the other (e.g., intercoms or multi-imagers).

Btw, Hikvision talks about 5MP TVI but is only shipping 3MP now and says 5MP towards the end of 2017 (unless you have seen differently elsewhere in the world).

Your right about the 5mp TVI. Currently I have not seen anyone selling it. 

With selling multiple brands, I agree that there are definitely the downsides you mention. 

I am really surprised to see that most comments say that price is the main difference and that the Hikvision products are virtually identical to Dahua and UNV.

Btw, whether or not this is 'technically' true, if I am Hikvision or Dahua, especially their marketing people, I would think carefully about this.

This survey is consistent with what we hear generally - that Hikvision and Dahua are widely perceived as being the basically the same when it comes to products. If you are Hikvision or Dahua, how do you better differentiate your products and communicate those differences?

Well, for example, I'll tell them the Dahua iOS app really sucks.  And that the Hikvision iOS app sucks less.  But really, nobody gives two **s what the product is.  I build their trust first, and when I tell them what we like they're fine with it.

Their iOS apps are nearly identical. There are small icon differences, but in general, to an end user, they are simply the same function-wise. 

In addition to that, I would also add that these two iOS apps are quite good at live view. 

However, they do fall short in the playback department. If they could simply add a timeline in the live view, instead of a separate section, it would be the best camera app. 

Their iOS apps are nearly identical. There are small icon differences, but in general, to an end user, they are simply the same function-wise.

Related, Hikvision vs Dahua Mobile Apps Tested. We found moderately more than just 'small icon differences'.

Dahua vs Hikvision:

Dahua may have similar products, but there are for sure differences. Some of these differences favor Dahua, but most favor Hikvision IMO.

One thing about Dahua that I prefer over Hikvision is on most of the Dahua domes, the screw holes to mount the camera are outside of the seal for the dome, where on all of the Hikvision domes I have used, the screw holes are in the interior of the dome, which could allow moisture and dirt into the camera.

Also, the Hikvision bullet cameras we have use recently have notches that you have to align when aiming the camera. These notches help hold the camera in the desired position, but we have found them to be too large, which doesn't allow us fine adjustments. We have found that from one notch to the next could make a huge difference in the view.

One other thing about some Dahua cameras that I like is the inboard RJ45 jack with a removable whip. I haven't found this in any of the Hikvision models that I can remember. This allows us to eliminate the need for a junction box in some cases.

But, with the difficulty getting firmware updates from Dahua on a regular basis, it is hard to spec them in larger projects. The safer choice is still Hikvision.

Dahua vs Hikvision

POE vs SOE

Dahua also has SOE shareholders. Just not as large of a percentage.  

Dahua also has SOE shareholders. Just not as large of a percentage.  

Jon, you know that's grossly misleading as we have discussed your contention here. In that discussion, you admitted that this was one shareholder with 1.84% ownership.

Hikvision issue is not having a SOE shareholder, it is that the Chinese government is the 'controlling shareholder' of Hikvision.

I'm unsure what your contention is here? I said it was not as large of a percentage. You quoted me as saying so. 

Jon, there is a fundamental difference between a 'controlling shareholder' and a shareholder. One 'controls' the direction of the company (i.e., Hikvision), the other does not.

If you want to debate the difference between controlling and non-controlling shareholders, start a new discussion and we will cover it there. This is now off topic to this product alternatives post.

Your technically right but do you think that the Chinese government really has less control over Dahua than it does Hikvision? This is China, not the USA.  2% ownership may as well be just as controlling as 42%. 

When Dahua touts "no government ownership" I call BS.

Your technically right but do you think that the Chinese government really has less control over Dahua than it does Hikvision?

Yes, I absolutely think that the Chinese government has less control over Dahua than Hikvision.

The reason being is that Hikvision's chairman is a Communist government official; Hikvision's VP of R&D simultaneously works for the Ministry of Public Security; Hikvision reports directly into the Chinese government, through CETC, etc.  None of this is the case for Dahua.

I do get your point that the Chinese government, as a single party state, is powerful enough to control any individual or corporation in the country. But the control is clearly deeper / stronger for Hikvision.

The largest shareholder in Hikvision is the state with 42% ownership.

How much of Dahua does the state own?

The figure we found was under 2%, I believe. 

We at Digital Watchdog really appreciate our integrator partners for keeping us in the conversation. We feel strongly that we deserve to be there. We work hard for the consideration.

Maybe as a means of continued conversation or further analysis -- here is one opinion: When you make statements about the "ownership" of anything that exists within mainland China, please take a moment to familiarize yourself with Communism. It is still a thing, regardless of how it is dressed for international business purposes.

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