Hikvision Access Control Tested

By Brian Rhodes, Published on Oct 19, 2017

Hikvision aggressive pricing and marketing combined with generally reliable hardware and free software has made them a major player in video surveillance.

Now, Hikvision is ramping up their access control offering. How will it fare?

We bought Hikvision's two door controller, the DS-K2602 [link no longer available] and Hikvision branded readers, as shown below, to find out.

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With this report, we cover these findings and more:

  • 5 key strengths plus 5 key weaknesses
  • Examining price competitiveness
  • A teardown view image showing the inside of the K2602 Controller
  • 3 screencasts of Hikvision's iVMS-4200 access management client
  • Detailed examination of the video integration feature
  • Initial cybersecurity review

Inside, we detail our findings on how well the system operates, where it is weak, and how it compares to other access systems.

Key ****** *********

*** **** ***** ********* Access ****** **** ********* that ***** ***** *********** for ********* ********** *** often ****** ***** ** much *** ***** *********** / ********:

  • ****** ********: ******* ***** *** to **** *******, *********'* access ******** ***** ****. No *******, ********, ** bugs **** ***** ** the *********.
  • ***** **** *****: *** ******** ********* containing *********'* ***** ** equipped **** **** ******* breakers, *** ******* ***********, and * ****-***** ********** connection ********. *** **** shows ***** ****-*** ********* are ****** **** *** low-end *************.
  • **** ***** ***** ***********: *** ******* ****** that ********* *********'* ******* with ****** ***** **** and ** ***** ** operate. *** '***** *******' is ******** **** **** iVMS-4200, *** ***** **** faster *** **** ******** in ******** ** *****'* similar ********.
  • **** ****** ************* ******:** ****** *********'* ****** configuration ****** **** ******* speeds ** *** ******** inexperienced ****** ********** * guide **** ********** *** systems. ***** **** ***** configuration ** *******, ***** but *********** ****** ******* can ** ********* ** a *** *******.

Low ***** * *** ******

*********'* ******* ** *** but *** ** ********** low ******** ** ****** end ******* ****** ** access ** ********* *** been **** *****. *** example, *** ***** ***-**** access ********** ** ****** priced ~$***, **** * single **** ***** ********* for ~$***. ******* *********** are ********* ****** ** $600 - $*** *** a ****** ****, *** a ****** **** *** ~$425.

** *******, ********* ****** will ** ** *** low *** ** ******* compared ** ****** **** Lenel, ******** *****, *** S2. **** ********** **** Dahua ******, ********* ** more *********. *** *******, Dahua ******* ~$*** *** a *** **** **********, where *********'* ***** ** over ** ****. **** of *********'* ****** **** is *** ********* ** product ***** *** ******** with *****, ********* * locking ********* ***, ****** to ** *** ***** transformer, *** * **** size ******** ********** ***.

*** **** ******* ********, see ******** *** ********* ******** Access *************** ****** ******* ***********.

Key ****** **********

*******, *** **** ******* and ********** *** ********* to ***** ******:

  • ******* ************: ****** *** ****, there **** ******* ************ or ****** ******* ** non-typical ** ***** ****** platforms, *** *** *********** guides ***** *** *** consistently ***** ** ********* using *** **** *****. Inexperienced ****** ********** *** be ***** **** ********* and ****** ** ******* of ****.
  • **** **** *******: **** ******* **** support, ********* ****** **** hold ***** *** ******** agents ** **** *** answer ** *********, *** the ************ *** ******* of **** ********** ****** control ** *** ** market *** *******. **** is * ************ ****** given *** *********** ********** to *** ***** *** access ******* ******** ** video.
  • ********* ******** ****: *** ********** ** only ******* *** *********'* own ********, *** *** controller ****** ** ********* or ******* ******* *** other ********. **** *********** means **** ********* ********* can ** **** *** some ** *** **** powerful ********, **** ***** verification.
  • ** *** *******: *********'* ********** **** not ******* ***, ** contrast **** **** ***** small ****** *******. *** lack ** *** ******* means **** ********** ************** needs ** ** *** to *** *****, * potential **** *** ****** with *** ***********.
  • **** ******* ** ***** Readers: ** ********* ******* types ** *******, ********* Hikvision's *** ******* ******, and *** *** *** or **.** *** ******. The **** ****** *** connecting **** ** ***** units *** *****, **************, unsupervised ******* ** **-***. Many ******* ********** ******* ****** ** ****** ** increase ******** ** *** reader ***, *** ********* does ***.

Compatible **** **** ********* ********

*** ** *** ****** barriers ********* ***** ** the ****** ****** ** that ********* ****** *********** only **** **** ***** own ********, *.*., *******-****, *********'* **** ******* and ********** ******. ***** locked ** *********'* *** platforms **** ****** ***** market ******* ****** ** new *** ***** *******, especially ***** **** *** power ***** *********** ***** only **** *********'* *** recorders.

*** *********** ** **** and ** ********** ******** licensing ** ****** ** use ******** **** *********.

** ******** ** *** party ***********, ********* ****** operates **** **** * platform, ***** ******* ******** works **** **+, *** VertX **** **+, *** Axis **** *+ ********* systems.

iVMS-4200 ********** ******** **** ****** *******

*********'* **** ********** ******** combines **** *****, ******, video ******** ******** ********. Our **** ******* ** access ******* ********, **** Hikvision's **** **** *******, user **********, *** ********** configuration *****. *** ****** functions *** ********* ** iVMS-4200, *** ***** ******* like ************ *** ******* *** ****** ******** can ** **** ** installers ******.

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******* ***** *********'* ****** interface ** ** ********** with ***** ***** ****** platforms, ********* ******** **** pushed ****** ******, ****** access ********, *** **** controller *** **** **********. During*******, *** ******** ********** correctly **** ** ******* or ***** ******** ** the *********.*** ***** ***** ***** off *** *********:

*** ******* ** ****** cardholders *** ************ ****** is ******* ** **** access *********, **** ******* to ******** **** ******** containing ** ********, ****, card *******, *** ****** profiles:

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********* ****-**** ****** ****** includes *******, ********** *****/****** event ***********, *** ****** door '******' *** '****' controls ******* ** ***** small ****** *********.

Quick ***** ************ ** **** ******

********** ***** ***** ***** on **** ****** **** card ***** ** ******* is * ******* ******* that ****** ******** ****** our ****. ** ******** to***** *********** *** ******* ***** took ** ******* ** more, *********'* ******** *** this *******, ******* ** a ***** ****** ** under * ******. *** animation ***** ***** *** this ******** ***** ** operation:

DS-K2602 ********** ******** ********

*** ** *** **********'* strengths ** ** ********** grade *********, ******** **** heavy **** ***** ********** and **** ***** *********** points. *** ***** ***** illustrates *** **** *** build ******* ** *** controller.

*** ********** ***** ** dressed *** *** ******** for ****** ******* ** closets ** *********** *** has *** *** ******** and ************ ** *****, but **** *** ******* PoE ***********.

High ******* *****

****** *** ********* ** a ***-********* **** ******* circuit *******, ********** ********** for *** *** ****** phase ** ** *** VAC. *** ********* ***** supply ** *** ** a ***** *******, *** depending ** *** ****, a ******** *********** *** be ****** ** *** power ** *** *****.

*** ******* ******** ** shown ** ***** ** this *****:

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*** ***** ****** **** 12 ***, ** ** low ******* *********** ****** run *** *** ** an ******** ***** ****** is ****, *** ******* can ** ********* **** other ****** ******** ** just ********* **** *******.

Panel ********** **** ********

* ********** ********* ** that ********* ******* ******** metal ***** ********* ****** the **** ****** *********, factory ********* *** ********* with ********** ********* ***** furnished ** *** **********:

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********** ********* ********* ** not ******* ***** **********, and ***** *********** (***** $0.20 ** **** ****), lock *** ****** ************* often ******* **** ** prevent ********** ****** ** controllers **** **-********** *****. Hikvision ********* ************ ***'* is *** * *********** cost *******, *** **** are ******** ***** ******* are ******** ********* ***** they *** ******** *******.

Incomplete ******** ********* *****

*** ********** *** **** to ******* ** ****** control, ********* ****** * full **** ******** ****. However, *** ********* ***** do *** ******* *** taps ****** ** ***** connect *******. *** *******, the ****** ********** **** offer *****, ******, *** wiegand, *** ** *** include ******, ******, ** LED ********** **** *********. Those ***** *** ******* directly ** *** ******* panel, *** **** ***** bypassing *** ***-********* ******* installed ******** *****.

*** ************ **** ** the ******* ****** *** non-typical ** ****, *** example ********* ***** *** Wiegand '**' *** '**' wires '**-*' *** '**-*' instead, * ****** ********** but *** **** *** cause ********* ** ************* installers. *** ***** ***** shows **** ***** ** detail:

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Panel ******** ****

****** *** *****, *** printed ******* ***** ******** with * ***** *********** CR-1220 ***** *******, ***** sounder, *** ** ********* tamper ****** ***** *** present. *********'* **-***** ** built ** *** **** board ** *** **** door ***** *******:

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Software ****** *** **** ***********

********* ******** * ******** wizard *** ***** ************* of ***********, *****, *** access ********* **** ****** iVMS-4200. ***** *** ****** allows ***** ******* ** be *********** ** ***** ten *******, ******** ************* of ***** ******** **** video *********** **** ****** or **** **** ************* are *** ********* ** the ******.

*** ***** ***** ************ the ******* ** ******* detail:

*** ***** ****** ************* Is *****

********* ******** ****** ** or ** *** ******* readers, ** **-*** ***********. We ****** **** ********* with ** ******, ***** Hikvision ******* *******, *** ones **** ****:

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** **** ****** *** multiclass ******* ***** *******, with * ******* ** credentials ********* *** *** and **.** *** ***** with ** ******** ******.

********* **** *** ***********, ***** ****** **** security *********, ********** ****** communication. *** ******* ********* now *** ***** *** rudimentary, *** **** *** meet **** ********* ****** specifications.

*** **** ******** ****** on *********'* ********** ****** Terminal **-*******-* [**** ** longer *********] (~$***) **** follow ** * ******** post ****** ***** **** fall.

******* ************* ******

*** **** ******** ***** port ******** *** ****** sniffing ** *** ********** and *** *** ********** server ************ ****** *********. The ********** **** *** use '***-*******' ** ***** ******** exploited ********* ****** ********, and ************ ******* ******* on *** ****, ****.*** ****** ****** *** no *********, *** ***** indexed *** ** *******, all ****** ************* *** management ****** ** ****-****.

******************* ******* ****** **** is *** '**** ****' and ** ******** ******* command **** ********:

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Awkward *** **** ********* *******

********* ***'* **** ******* was ********** *** ****** control *********, ****** ***** generally ***** ***** *******. Wait ***** ****** ** minutes ** *** * attempts, *** ** **** as ***** ********* ******* agents *********** *********. ** the ******** ****, ********* were ********** ******** ********** and ************ *** **** after ** ******* ** ~45 ******* *** ***** waiting *** *********. ** two *********, ********* ******** questions ** ** ******** in ********** ** ** actual ***** *** ******** questions ***** ** **** example ****** ****** **** a ********* *** ** internal ****** ** ****.

** ******* **** **** is * ****** ** Hikvision *** **** ******* being ********** *** ** the ****** ******* ********. We ***** ****** ** to ******* **** ****, though **** *** **** remains ** ** **** given *** *********** ** technical ********** *** ****** vs ***** *** *** access **** **** ****** remain * ******** ***** in ********* *****.

** *** ***** ****, technical ******* ** ******** more ********* *** ****** than ***** ******* ****** control ******** ****** **** safety *** ******** ****** to ***** / *********, unlike *****, ***** ******** can **** ********** ** tolerated *** ** ***** short ******* ** **** since **** ** *** as ******** ****** ******** occupants.

****: **** **** ** alias **** ******* ********* support, ** ***** *** biases, ******** ** ******** towards **.

Comments (45)

Brian it is so nice to see that you have finally "seen the light' and agreed with Marty that Hikvision is the choice of choices. Excellent addition to your limited portfolio!

Marty - which 'Marty' are you referring to?

Also, did you read the "Weaknesses" section?

I don't think this would be labelled the "choice of choices" relative to other access control platforms and integrations.

If you were serious about being your brand's informal ambassador, you really would think twice about posting nonsense like this.  

IPVM routinely and fairly assesses Hikvision equipment positively.  This test result is no departure from what we have seen and noted in previous Hikvision tests.

If you have specific feedback on a result, lets talk about that, otherwise do not unfairly editorialize our test results.

At 85 IPVM RD, what does the R in "DNR" refer to "Resuscitate", "Rehire" or "Remove"? :)

that guy needs to lighten up!

I think Marty forgot to hit the "post as undisclosed" button...

 

Good write up

Or Marty needs to be posting in the binge drinking in this industry post.

I think both of you need to 'lighten up' and realize that what I said was written as comical satire. Marty takes more heat than anyone, I have never been 'snippy' or felt there was a need for rude comments although many distasteful comments have been directed my way.I can take it and I can dish it out if I wanted to but I always considered this to be somewhat a professional platform, apologies if I upset you with something I considered comical.

You left out the regulatory smiley face to designate humor or satire.  

Marty takes more heat than anyone...

Leave Marty out of this and speak for yourself.

Maybe Marty just likes to refer to himself in the third person? Nothing wrong with that, probably very empowering...

Really enjoyed seeing the write ups for both the Hik and Dahua access control systems. Anyone who knows me knows my company switched from Hik last year to Dahua for video. For access our go to is Kantech and I am interested in these low cost access systems for the clients who balk at a 2-3K/door price tag. I must say I was dissappointed to hear that the performance of the Dahua access/video integration wasnt up to snuff (although it seemed otherwise like a very viable basic card access system).

I am hoping to see a head to head comparison between the Hik and Dahua access control systems in the near future and hear any updates on how these systems are performing both in terms of cybersecurity and functionality.

Thanks IPVM for the great tech info and what I consider very unbiased and outstanding journalism.

We have the 'Hikvision vs Dahua Access Control Faceoff' queued up, as well as 'Hikvision vs ZKTeco/ZKAccess Control Faceoff' coming as well.

They will publish this fall in coming weeks.

We installed 1 ZK system and we were pleased with it. We are quoting a couple more now.

 

I am looking forward to the faceoff.

 

It may be worth mentioning ZK has a new "Pro" line that incorporates any ONVIF camera. Before you had to have one of their cameras (which they stopped making). Will you be testing a new ZK system, or will you be using previous tests results?

 

That's interesting, thanks for the heads up.

We'll be testing new/up to date stuff, not 'grey market' items.  ZKAccess will be the line, so sales/support will come from them, not via ZK Teco.

We have the 'Hikvision vs Dahua Access Control Faceoff' queued up...

which will determine who is the "choice of china".

why not include Suprema in the faceoff with ZKTeco VS Hikvision? 

I must say I was dissappointed to hear that the performance of the Dahua access/video integration wasnt up to snuff (although it seemed otherwise like a very viable basic card access system).

 

I agree. That was disappointing.

Hello Brian,

Thanks for the flat but relatively and unexpectedly fair report of Hikvision access control systems. Still as I mentioned before in some of my previous comments ( :) ) for a new companies that start on this market you need to do in-depth research and test in order to make sure you will leave the correct impression for that (good or bad) in IPVM subsribers. I don`t really see it in your previous reports and I don`t even see it now but you can always improve. 

Anyway, let me help in this case by putting some light on this report. 

 

Hardware range

On the international website  you can find the full hardware range (a lot of new devices coming) starting from IP access controllers (with enough power reserve for additional locks and option to easily restore 80 percent of the data inside the controller if you the server is broken), encrypted bi-directional RS-485 supervised RFID and biometric readers (with in-house developed fingerprint sensor module), face detection fingerprint intercom terminals, IP elevator controller, secure door control module, enrollment stations, buttons, locks and even wiegand LPR camera.

 

The company also have a distributed access control system with master access controller ( call it control panel) and additional smart "slave" controllers that provide higher level of security of larger projects. For china domestic market there are also turnstiles, door gates, flap briers parking systems, entrance control, face recognition terminals and many many other hardware that completes the huge portfolio Hikvision have. At some point all of this will be available overseas.

 

Software Range

Here are the market segments segments Hikvision products can cover:

SMB:

iVMS4200 - as we all know this is the free of charge integrated management client that supports CCTV(recorders with ONVIF and 3rd party camera support, cameras and video walls, Access control, Video Intercoms, Intrusion Systems (Pyronix + China domestic systems) . For access control additional modules are:

 

  • Access control - Configuration of groups, users and credentials (supported card, PIN, QR code, fingerprint, face and license number plate soon), set access levels, set readers authentication modes, create multiple authentication groups with operator confirmation, create hardware based cross device global anti pass back that can work without the software running and even without connection between controllers(mifare card based), define multi door interlocking, configure elevator floor settings and finally create custom wiegand protocol to ensure compatibility with wide range of readers
  • Status monitoring - Operator specific module for controlling door and elevators (with elevator controller) status and open schedules, filtered window for users credential events with user information screen and shortcuts for captured picture and live view of the linked camera, alarm module where operator can choose by themselves what types of alarms they should receive(live filter)
  • Time and Attendance  calculate employees working hours, overtime, absence and many different advance reports
  • Electronic map - control and monitor all the doors inputs outputs alarm zones, door stations cameras etc.
  • Event linkage - link cameras with events that will cause video pop-up with live view and captured picture( the empty window you have in the pop-up) and option to playback, audio notifications and send email. Create linkages /logic inside the controller that will work regardless of client availability. Create cross device linkages that will perform various actions between devices
  • Search module - search any event in the database with linked picture and video recording, export the list
  • Storage server -  module that will collect all of the video materials captured on linkages and even record IP cameras. If the cctv system is down the operator can view the captured footage because it is safely store in the storage server module

 

Hik-Connect - free of charge smartphone app that supports CCTV, Video Intercoms, Intrusion and any moment Access control.

Enterprise:

iVMS-5200E - This is higher version different from 5200P that supports the following modules - CCTV, Access control, Time and attendance, Video Intercoms, Intrusion, Elevator control, Business intelligence (statistics, analysis, system heartbeat), Parking system, Visitor system, entry and exit control, and many more...For access control it supports the same features like 4200 plus the following:

  • Multiple Client – Multiple Server architecture
  • More flexible configuration structure
  • Centralized management
  • Active Directory
  • WEB client for system management and time and attendance control
  • PostgreSQL database
  • Server Redundancy
  • SDK for integration
  • 3rd party and ONVIF camera support

 

iVMS-5200E smartphone app - control of all of the above mentioned systems and modules.

Also now in development is the next generation VMS Hik-Central that will soon integrate the whole ecosystem. Software customization options depending on the project and customers craziest requirements are also worth mentioning.

Unlike most of  current integration methods that are done typically on the access control or intrusion side, here the integration is done on the VMS side which is the most used system most of the time. And while typically current integration options between two different vendors offers no more than 10,15 percent of integration in iVMS integration is full 100 percent. In other words integrators and customers can use a single software for full configuration of all of the systems. Of course symbiosis between systems could be endless and is something that could be limited only by developers imagination and resources. 

As we can see the company is very serious about access control it is not just a hobby and lets not forget that before coming out of Asia those systems are tested for some years in huge projects there with hundreds of thousands of cameras, doors and users so stability should not be a concern at all.

Still the systems needs polishing to fit better overseas standards(OSDP, Access control ONVIF, PoE),  but people that follow Hikvision development and access control in this case can notice that all of the product family is constantly and frequently being improved . As we know software is the biggest problem of access control and  current market leaders struggle to keep up with trending technologies but as a technological leader in CCTV and as a member of the top 10 most technological companies in the world for Hikvision this should be a breeze.

 

Hope the above information will help you answer your and IPVM readers questions and sorry for the mistakes, it si 4 am out here!

 

BR,

Krasimir

iVMS-5200E - This is higher version...

It's not ready for us to use it in the U.S. yet.  Last I heard they were Americanizing the British English, which apparently takes several years.

Krasimir, thank you for your feedback. To give context, Krasimir criticized our previous Hikvision access control coverage here - Hikvision Employee Laughs At IPVM.

Previously you said "80 percent" of our Hikvision access coverage was 'totally inaccurate' and now you appear to continue with, noting "I don`t even see it now".

You do list other items like that Hikvision in China sells "turnstiles, door gates, flap briers parking systems". That's great but it's irrelevant to the buyers and dealers outside of China where this is not sold. You also give a laundry list of features including that the iVMS-5200 has a web client and an SDK. That's great too but we are not going to list every feature of every product.

 

Finally, you dismiss things the system is missing:

Still the systems needs polishing to fit better overseas standards(OSDP, Access control ONVIF, PoE)

So you are saying Hikvision sells things 'overseas', outside of China, but 'overseas' buyers should not care about valued 'overseas' elements that Hikvision is missing? 

Many manufacturers try the "sure we'll have it later" defense and when they do, we will update our coverage and change our analysis. But we reflect the same mentality of a responsible buyer, which is that they are buying what is being sold today, not what the provider may or may not add at some undefined time in the future.

Hi John,

As an active hik distributor we like that hik builds a track record with their hardware before bringing it all here. European standards are differtent to China standards, as I imagine US standards are too.

For us the VMS integration outways the downsides of OSPD and PoE.
A typical camera company is used to iVMS so adding access in the way is a lot easier than looking for an integration solution.

ps @brian:

This nifty bit of thechnique can also be done with Hikvision hardware:

https://ipvm.com/reports/axis-access-qr-codes

 

 

Great article. I am positively surprised with this product overall features.

 

Keep it up guys!

 

Regards

It wont be long before Hikvision will be dominating the Access Control industry like they already are in surveillance. Boom Shocka Locka!

I'll be happy when they start to offer wireless alarm systems. This industry is begging for a disruptor right now.

Will be nice to tie it all together in one software. I wonder when they will be offering NVR/Access Control plug n play all in one units.

NOTICE: This comment has been moved to its own discussion: It Wont Be Long Before Hikvision Will Be Dominating The Access Control Industry Like They Already Are In Surveillance. Boom Shocka Locka!

Hikvision access has good strengths, but I would be surprised to see them dominate in access in the existing channels.

Say whatever you'd want regarding Hikvision in defense, but the brand has some significant cybersecurity baggage to overcome that many 'access-only' providers do not have.  Mix in the question/uncertainty/doubt of potential backdoors, and it is quite the uphill march.

Moreover, I'm not sure that Hik's strength the video installer channel translates to access installers.  I know the lines are are increasingly being blurred between security systems and installers, but the incumbent access market is hard to break into, no matter how strong your brand in cameras may be.

See: Axis Admits Access Control Expectations Low for 'exhibit A' in that regard.

There will be a significant “drag” in HIK breaking into the access market place as there is so much legacy kit out there that just does the same boring job day in day out. In the UK the market place is pretty well dominated by Paxton at this level, so I see the HIK as having been specifically developed for the US market as it would not sit comfortably in the UK.

So much about it shouts “US” - the large industrial boxes, screw terminals etc - which is no bad thing - but is not a UK/EU format.

Regarding IVMS5200 - don’t hold your breath. Almost certainly there will be little or no further development of it, as HIK Central will soon take to the stage and is set to be a game changer....

I’m not sure I would place the HIK access in the same context as Lenel, CCure etc that are full enterprise solutions. Interesting that DSX, Continental and Kantech weren’t used as benchmarks as they are the ones that HIK is taking aim at.

I think the review could have included a few more of the positives regarding things like the elevator control and map functions, but generally a good write up.

 It could be that some posters have taken their eye off the ball. HIK acquired Pyronix some time ago with a keen eye on their excellent radio kit. The EU market is considerably harder to crack than the US in terms of intruder due to the standards being significantly more challenging than the UL. So I expect to see the US market decimated when HIK are ready. I’m very familiar with the US side of things in terms of radio, so I know the only commercial issues will be adjusting of the kit to the specific US quirks, latch setting/home/away and radio signalling etc. This will be a very interesting time in the sense that no US intruder manufacturers have ever made it in the northern EU countries, and EU manufacturer had made it in the US. The US fits in any Latin market but is woeful in the Anglo Saxon areas.

Where I’d like to HIK go is the electronic lock sector to smash SALTO, Vingcard, AlarmLock, Simon Voss and Assa Abloy. They have the ability to and it’s a massive sector less reliant on legacy systems - particularly the Hotel locking sector. Similarly, with locker management - a massive growth sector ripe for the pickings.

 

 

Regarding IVMS5200 - don’t hold your breath. Almost certainly there will be little or no further development of it, as HIK Central will soon take to the stage and is set to be a game changer....

So iVMS 5200 is not the VMS component of HIK Central, but rather a distinct code branch, that is to be obsoleted shortly?

Interesting that DSX, Continental and Kantech weren’t used as benchmarks as they are the ones that HIK is taking aim at.

Is there a source for this?

The basis for the comment is that they are clearly not looking at full enterprise solutions such as Lenel/CCure etc. Nor are they looking st EMEA solutions, so that leaves the lower end US solutions. They can’t invent a market that doesn’t exist, but they can seek a market share where the equipment would slot in nicely at a significant keener price. 

I sold DSX and Continental whilst at Napco - so the comment is based upon the experience of both HIK and the said manufacturers.

 as HIK Central will ... be a game changer....

Why? I took it to be just another VMS. What am I missing?

IVMS4200 is often cited as the weak link in the HIKVISION offering and differs little from its original release in terms of the overall feel and user experience. We frequently see HIK cameras sat on expensive licensed platforms for this reason alone. By game changer I mean for HIK. Once implemented it will give a total new GUI that will easily compare with its expensive licensed rivals and help support a full end to end solution. Commercially, it will start to cut off the reliance on Milestone et al.

Ive never been a fan of 4200, not least as attempting to train an end user on it is far from fun. It has improved over the years but still retains the clunkiness and overall poor feel that lacks an intuitive experience.

If you’ve seen the latest interface on the HIK IP keyboard, then you’ll see how they are moving forward on the GUI side of things. The NVRs will soon have their new GUI and HIK Central will be the icing on the cake. It will be interesting if they do take it down a license route (as 5200), but it will undoubtedly be less expensive than the competition.

HIK have often been criticised for the bleeding edge approach rather than cutting edge when introducing hardware and firmware. So I feel they are slowing things down a tad on the HIK Central to get as close to bug free as possible.

On a personal note, I’m looking forward to Central far more than any hardware release as my gut feeling is that it will a real step up for HIK, removing an obstacle for some and excuse for others.

 

So I feel they are slowing things down a tad on the HIK Central to get as close to bug free as possible.

Sure, sure...

In 30 years of software development, I never saw a product that was delayed because of minor bugs.  The only thing that delays introduction of software is major, show-stopping bugs, and even that sometimes is not enough to stop them.

 

You would never even know though would you.....?

 The  Thanks in the same way as “undisclosed” hides many reasons why you would choose to knock a product that you have no knowledge of - other than fear for what you do know.

So what would be your VMS of choice and how does this compare with HIK Central - oh I forget, you don’t actually have an answer for that do you?

 

 

So what would be your VMS of choice and how does this compare with HIK Central - oh I forget, you don’t actually have an answer for that do you?

Actually I do, I have been interested in iVMS 5200 since it was announced, and downloaded/installed the trial (from the international site) and documentation years ago.  But, as of yet haven't been able to get a legit copy of the production software.

How does it compare to HikCentral? Until you mentioned there will be no more development on it, I thought that it was HikCentral, or a part of it at least.  

So you tell me how they compare...

You would never even know though would you.....?

I know this:

Bob Germain said in June, 2014, that iVMS 5200 wasn't released in the U.S., but that they were a few sites in beta-test.

Might give the impression that they were "slowing things down a bit" to get it right, no?

Over two years later, nada...

So I think I am rightly confused about the Hik vision concerning enterprise VMS software.  

The Thanks in the same way as “undisclosed” hides many reasons why you would choose to knock...

The reason I choose to knock as undisclosed is simple: I'm interested in the facts, not the bombast.  I'm not trying to personally attack you and wish to inflict the least ill-will  possible, by avoiding the personality baggage that inevitably occurs when named vs named poster ensues.

However, since you object, I will engage with you nomyously hence.

I have sold and installed Hik-Central, it is available and has been available for some time. The software has no similarities to iVMS-4200, it works 100% GREAT. My customer is impressed and is very satisfied with this solution. We tested it for many months knowing we were one of the first, yet it worked without any flaws. The installation was complex as it was in a Detention/Courts type complex. Hik-Central was a perfect fit and I will use it again.

The software has no similarities to iVMS-4200, it works 100% GREAT.

Well, that is quite an improvement!

But iVMS 4200 is not exactly similar to iVMS 5200, right?

Does this look more like 42 or HikCentral:

What country did you install this in? Was it as a stand-alone software package - or preloaded on a Blazer?

USA, stand alone

The 5200 very much has the look and feel of 4200, rather than anything else newer.

Going back to the facts. I expressed my opinion that I didn’t feel 5200 would be developed further with the Central in the wings. Yes I could be wrong - but there seems little point in 3 versions of a VMS being in circulation - not least from the tech support perspective.

As I understand, and I could be wrong. A version of Central is used within the Blazer range and has performed well within that controlled environment. My feeling is that as 5200 was not widely adopted, the logical route market would be to replace it with Central, working as a package outside of the Blazer. This will either leave 4200 as it is - a free perfectly function (if not intuitive) VMS - or we would hope to see a dumbed down Central. But as I say, my view is that there has been very little uptake on the 5200 - so replacing it would not be particularly difficult.

As for the HIK knockers, you would bring any forum to it’s lowest ebb if you jump on the bandwagon and knock something that you have not seen, used, read a review on or know anything about whatsoever. Once it’s widely available you will have the opportunity to critically review - but until then, just stick to your unhappy employee stories, or some backstreet corner shop that is no longer using HIK.

 

Going back to the facts. I expressed my opinion that I didn’t feel 5200 would be developed further with the Central in the wings.

Where's "the facts"? Your opinion?  Is the fact just that you "expressed" your opinion?

In any event, it was a strong opinion

Regarding IVMS5200 - don’t hold your breath. Almost certainly there will be little or no further development of it,...

But now, you explain the basis for your certainty in ways that seem more suited to water-cooler speculation:

Yes I could be wrong - but there seems little point in 3 versions of a VMS being in circulation - not least from the tech support perspective.

Yet is HikCentral a VMS or not?

The Gospel according to Marty:

(iVMS-5200) actual name is Hik-Central and it is not a VMS and not intended as one, it is a Hik-Centric management platform to MANAGE multiple HIKVISION NVR's, DVR's and the cameras attached to them. 

Finally

Once it’s widely available you will have the opportunity to critically review - but until then...

...leave the speculation to you?

Hi Tom,

So, Hik Central is not the same as 5100/5200? We want to buy one for our internal needs as we have several sites with Hik cameras and there're so much more to install. Just want to pick a proper product. Is it like Milestone or Genetec, can you just install it on your server? I know, 4200 is just a disaster compared to Milestone. What about the user interface of Central?

It is interesting that both the HIK Vision and Dahua products are based around an RTOS and an external NOR flash model and ST 32Fxxx processor running a maximum of 180MHz. This goes a long way to explain the lack of OSDP, which would be challenging to implement across 4channels (but not impossible). It does greatly reduce the cost of entry to the market however as the cpu costs $5 against the typical $60-$100 cost of a Linux module.

Most high end manufacturers run full Linux on the panels (Mercury and cCure being good examples) The main reason for this is too simplify the software development process and maintain legacy support for old applications.

So if you wish to install something that does what it claims to do, but is highly unlikely to be capable of future upgrade, go with these products. This does of course meet a lot of the market.

Two very good articles, keep up the good work!

Totally disagree that HIK and Dahua lack OSDP because of running on "only" 180MHz boards.  It is much more likely that they simply lack the development expertise for this type of serial communications.

The older non-Linux Mercury boards, which run at 80Mhz, support OSDP even with Secure Channel encryption!  Even the older reader interface boards, with 50Mhz processors, can run OSDP.

Development for low-level protocols is a bit of a dark art, and it's not a skill that "kids these days" come out of school with.  It is generally passed down by some gray-hairs.

Full Disclosure:  I worked at Mercury for 10 years, and have developed OSDP drivers for others in the industry.

Jonathan, that is what I said not impossible, but not to sound like the old man that I am, I agree with your sentiments.

However, I note you don’t disagree with my comments on flexibility and future enhancements 

I do agree that Linux makes future enhancements much easier.  With RTOS's and BSP's (board support packages), every last thing is an order of magnitude more difficult.

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