Hikvision HDTVI Cameras Tested

Author: Ethan Ace, Published on Oct 22, 2014

HD Analog is the most interesting new trend in the industry now, claiming HD quality over legacy coax, with simpler configuration and lower prices than IP.

IPVM has tested two of the entrants already, Dahua HDCVI and Nextchip's AHD

Now, in this report, we test HDTVI. HDTVI is a technology from Techpoint but is most associated with mega manufacturer Hikvision.

We bought three TVI cameras to see how they perform. Pictured below, they are the Hikvision DS-2CE16C2T-IR 720p bullet, Hikvision DS-2CE16D5T-IT3 1080p bullet, and Sunivision AP-14SGH-TV 720p dome:

We tested these cameras against similar form factor and resolution IP cameras to answer the following questions:

  • How did HDTVI image quality compare to HDIP, day and night?
  • How well did HDTVI perform using low quality cables and UTP?
  • How did bandwidth compare to IP?

This is the first in a series covering TVI. Next report, next week, we will cover Hikvision's Tribrid TVI Recorder and finally, next month, we will do a shootout of Dahua HDCVI vs Hikvision TVI.

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Comments (26)

Looking forward to the head to head vs CVI. Looks like CVI might win out due to cable issues, but I guess it will depend on side by side examples. We have one installed CVI system using CAT5e and baluns. We were unimpressed with the 720p quality. It seemed like it had less image quality than an IP 720p camera, but since we didn't have both on site to compare, we can't be sure. Just the feeling we got after install. The CVI cameras we used were not made by Dahua, but some other unknown China OEM. So that may have been an issue similar to what you saw with the Sunivision TVI camera here. We have seen a lot of flashing in grassy areas, which we were unable to resolve. Also, night shots appear overexposed and what would appear to be a dirty lens, but only at night (IR mode).

Looking forward to the CVI vs TVI tests!

Will IPVM test HD-CVI over UTP vs. HD-TVI over UTP results above?

FYI. There is a special Hikvision HD-TVI passive balun avalible to boost UTP distance. The pair goes for around $15-$20.

Dahua offers a similar balun for CVI

Hikvision response:

The Hikvision UTP Baluns are model number DS-1H18. Test distance is around 200m. They are not a booster, atleast not that we have tested. I do not know what the expected performance would be with standard passive baluns.

Thank you for the clarification and please excuse my poor wording:)

Hi Ethan, thanks for a very helpful report. When you test CVI vs TVI, would you please test with the new Gen II HDCVI cameras? An additional test with a Gen I HDCVI camera would be an added bonus. Thank you for your help.

Do they make active baluns compatible with this? Can you just use any baluns such as ones from NVT or Nitek?

Austin- I will look into this and advise.

Hi

I fail to see the real attraction in HD analog. The infrasructure cost are about the same IMO. Why analog could be an easier fit for those not trained into IP, it must be said that Ip techonology is no longer the formidable and impossible to comprehend realm it used to be back in the 90's.. Right now you have switch that almost configure themselves for cameras Basic DVD/VMS come bundled with the camera for free (e.g the Software fom Vivotek, Hikvision and others). I am not sure cost is an issue truly as the Hikvision HD-CD21 cameras series are around $120 online ... and there are countless of other cameras for much less, I mention the Hikvision becaude of the superb image quality at a dit-cheap price..

I would call that a transitional technology while everyone moves toward IP

"I fail to see the real attraction in HD analog."

Because, apples to apples, the cameras and recorders for analog HD are significantly less expensive (as we showed in our 'comparison to IP' pricing section above). That's #1.

Even if you know IP, it does reduces setup and troubleshooting costs because it strictly eliminates issues of connecting IP cameras to recorders.

And for everyone that does have coax in place, still a lot, it is significantly less expensive there as well.

IP has been mainstream for 6 years now. The fact that analog HD options are gaining such ground goes to show that, despite IP's long head start, there is real demand for what it offers.

I am certainly not saying this will replace or eliminate IP, but it will provide an important low cost, simple, more backwards compatible way of adding in HD.

I have to agree with John's points above. I do not see this as a threat to IP surveillance except on the low end. While I was an early adopter of IP cameras since late 2003, fought very hard with local A&E consultants/my superiors to push IP cameras, and still believe it is the inevitable future there are still many challenges that can be run into in the field and with long term support. Not always is there appropriate network infrastructure in place or available to attach to. The cost of adding a properly designed network with fiber backbones and hardened network infrastructure for 10 or so IP cameras in a dirty factory may not be cost effective.

There are reasons that analog SD cameras are still being deployed -- less points of failure, poor or no network infrastructure, ease of management, and reuse of existing cabling. With these various analog HD offerings the ability to easily offer customers the opportunity to have decent HD cameras at reasonable cost is attractive.

One important item to consider -- this isn't to replace IP cameras but to offer another solution that may fit the needs of certain types of clients. There has always been a point of equilibrium as the system scales where IP actually costs less than analog deployments due to cabling cost and labor. IP cameras are currently far more evolved in their feature sets and are still the best fit for enterprise grade surveillance, analytics, panoramic cameras, multi-imager tech, etc.

I think the 1000' cable tests are unfair, maybe they werent meant to be, but to me, its a no-branier that you will have video degradation loss on 1000' cable, whether it be for Coax or Cat5, especially on an HD camera. I can see the same thing on SD Analog cameras. Of course if they are advertising possible video at cable runs at this length then it is fair game. I havent personally seen the cable length specs for TVI myself so I apologize for any possible ignorance.

Another question, did you have power running at 1000' or was the power run shorter? I assume if power run was 1000', that could have also affected the quality since a 12V DC power run would have significant voltage drop at that distance.

I'd like to see some more real world test cable runs such as 150', 300', 500' to see how they do.

Sean, we used the 1000' spools of cable because that's what we did with HDCVI. See our HDCVI test and HDCVI over UTP test. We used the same baluns in this test we used with HDCVI over UTP. Hikvision has pointed out that they offer baluns specifically for HDTVI which we'll try, but they use one pair for video, just as the Muxlab baluns we used in this and other tests do.

Power was shorter, probably only about 10'.

It's impractical for us to test a lot of different cable lengths but I won't rule out maybe some shorter test when we do HDCVI vs. HDTVI. The point of the test was to get a feel for potential issues you may see over UTP.

Thanks Ethan,

I didnt look that far into the HD-CVI cable test, thats quite nice. I hear ya on the cable length testing, its a pain in the butt.

It's a pain in the butt!
But you don't want to start shipping cameras just trusting the spec sheets!

Exactly!

If your're using Cat5e, you need to use a 60Mhz ballun(tested).
http://syscom.mx/producto/TT101TURBO-EPCOM-72763.html

If you use a regular one, you get that black and white image.

With the TVI one I did:

1000ft 100% Copper CAT5e

360ft CCA Cat5e

We just ran a quick test ourselves and found that the TVI does indeed seem to be finicky about cabling. Testing it on some 100' premade siamese, the video had shadowing, lines and noticeable degredation. yeah I know its premade but this is the stuff that people are going to use and/or they will use the cheap copper clad spool cable. I will mention that we have higher quality premade cable that has the nice thick coax on it, not the spaghetti junk that you normally see on premade. I then tested it on 100' cat5 with baluns. This was solid copper cat5, video quality was a little better but still slight shadowing. I did not use the Hik Baluns. When using a short 3' coax cable, the image of course looked brilliant.

Doing the same testing above with CVI, little difference was found between the 3' and 100' lengths. I will say that comparing the images using the 3' cable test and comparing CVI to TVI, TVI had a better image IMO, but that was just using a bench test cable.

Granted I could have probably gotten better image quality with high quality coax and special baluns, but I have found is no matter how you tell your customers that they need to use high quality cable or this and that, they will still sometimes get that cheap junk you find on fleabay for $50 a spool. Good thing about CVI is that it still worked fine on that cheap junk cable.

Looks like cvi is the way to go. The cable issue seems significant.

Ethan, did I miss your excellent usual inter-incompatiblity report sectional, where you join-up all different things to the brand dissimliar, in a short-out shoot-out best take'em all? AHD is black&white compatible champ over CVI from last one, right? Hook up all three at once, just in case it works anyway.

No, you didn't miss it. It's coming in another test. We wanted to keep this one focused on camera performance.

Hi

Where can one purchase the Hikvision analog HD cameras in the US? Online not a problem but we would like to have US-firmware . We would also be interested in their DVR.

This link shows authorized distributors of Hikvision products. Note the online offers you see are NOT thru authorized channels.

Have you tested the true WDR in the DS-2CE16D5T-IT3?

We didn't. Actually I don't recall that camera being specified as true WDR when it was released, so I want to make sure there wasn't a change in hardware along the way. Especially considering the FLIR $100 True WDR CVI camera we just tested, that's potentially interesting.

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