Hikvision vs Exacq VMS

By: Ethan Ace, Published on Jun 15, 2016

Hikvision and Exacq are two of the most commonly used recorders in the market, but how do they really match up? With Hikvision so much less expensive than Exacq, what features, if any, are users giving up? 

In this report, we look at Hikvision's iVMS-4200 CMS with NVRs versus ExacqVision to see how they compare, analyzing more than 20 different aspects from our tests, including:

  • Price
  • Custom layouts
  • Saved views
  • Instant replay
  • Mapping features
  • Event management
  • Timeline use
  • Event search
  • Smart/pixel search
  • Multi-camera playback
  • Export
  • Camera discovery
  • Third party camera support
  • ONVIF support
  • Camera VMD/analytic support
  • Enterprise viewing
  • Enterprise management

Inside, see our results with image examples for these and other factors and full analysis.

******************** *** ** *** most ******** **** ********* in *** ******, *** how ** **** ****** match **? **** ********* ** much **** ********* **** Exacq, **** ********, ** any, *** ***** ****** up? 

** **** ******, ** look ***********'* ****-**** ******* **** ******************* *** *** **** compare, ********* **** **** ** different ******* **** *** tests, *********:

  • *****
  • ****** *******
  • ***** *****
  • ******* ******
  • ******* ********
  • ***** **********
  • ******** ***
  • ***** ******
  • *****/***** ******
  • *****-****** ********
  • ******
  • ****** *********
  • ***** ***** ****** *******
  • ***** *******
  • ****** ***/******** *******
  • ********** *******
  • ********** **********

******, *** *** ******* with ***** ******** *** these *** ***** ******* and **** ********.

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

*******

*********'* **** *******-**** *** **** ******* *********** **** compared ** ***********, ********** in ********, ******, *** third ***** ******/***** *******. ***, ** our *****, ** ***** iVMS ** ** ******, without ***** ********* ****** in ***** **** *******. Those ******* *** ***** surveillance *******, ******* **** of ********* ************ *** search/export *********, **** ****** find **** *********'* **** and *** *** ***** needs ** * **** lower ***** **** *****.

What ***** ****-****?

****-****'* *********, ****-****, *** been ********* ******* ***** America *** **** ****.**** ** ******* ** ***** trials *********, *** *** ** firm ******* ****.

***** *** ******* *********** between **** *** ****, including *** *** ******* to:

  • ******/****** ************:**** **** *** ** a ******* *** ******/****** architecture, **** * ******* machine ******* ************* *** multiple *******, ******* ** requiring ******/****** ** ******** to **** ****** *******.
  • ****** ********* ***********:******* ** **** *** architecture, ****-**** *** ** integrated **** ****** *********, instead ** ********* * separate ***** *** **** user.
  • ****** **********:****-**** **** ******** ****** monitoring (**/**** ******, ******* information, ***.) *** *** connected *******.

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

**** ***** ********* *** key ******** **** *** comparisons *****:

Pricing: ********* *********

*********'* ********* *** ************ **** expensive ** **** *** low *** **** **** compared ** *****, ** much ** **-**%. *** example:

  • *** ***:*** *******, ** ******* ********* *** NVR (**-******-**/**-**)***** *** ***** $*** online. By ********, *****'* ****** cost ******** (** ****** * **) ***** *** **** $1,000, *** **** *** include *** (****** ******** up ** ** *******, 4 ******** ********).
  • **** ***: ** *** **** ***, * 64 ******* ********* **-******* ***** *** ~$*,*** (w/12TB *******), ***** ******* * ******** ******* **** ***** sells *** ~$*,*** **** (~$3,500 ******), **** *** ~$6,000 ** ********** ** camera ******** (*** *** includes **** * **** the *******).

************, ********* **** *** iVMS-4200 *** ******* ****, with ** ********* *****. By ********, ***** ***** must ******** * ******** Subscription ********* (***) ** they **** ** ******* updates **** ***** ******* license ****** (****** **** 90 **** ** * years, ********* ** ******** only ** ***). 

Live ****: *******

**** ******* ** ***** and ****-**** *** **** similar **** ***** ********** in *** *******, **** as ****** *** *************. Both *** *** ******* camera **** ****** **** video ***** ** *** right, **** ****:

Saved *****: ****

**** ******* ***** ***** to **** ******** ****** views, ******* ** *** "Views" **** ** ***** and ***** "****** ****" in ****.

Custom *******: ****

**** ***** *** **** allow ******** ** ****** layouts, *******/********* ****** ** fit ******** ****** **************. Exacq ** ******** **** flexible ** *** **** may ** *****/******* ** order ** ***** *******, but **** *** ********* similar.

*****:

 

****-****:

 

Context **** ******: ****

*** ********** ***** ***** the ******* **** ******** by ***** ******** ** a ****** ** ***** and ****-****, ************.

**** ******* *** *** same, **** **** ****** easy ****** ** ********** options (****/*****), ******* ****, and ******* ******.

*******, ****-**** ******** ****** recording ****, ***** ***** lacks. ***** *** *** up * ****** ********* button **********'* "****** *****"******* ********** ** ****** versions, *** ***** ** no ****** ********* ****** by *******.

Instant ******: ********* *****

***** **** ****** ***** to ****** ******* ****** for * ****** ****** only, ***** ****** ***** to ****** ******** *** a ****** ****** ** the ****** ******, **** below, ****** ** ****** to ******* ****** ***** from ******** *******. **** users **** ******** ****** instant ******** **** **** camera.

Mapping: ****

**** *** ***** *** Hikvision ******* ***** **** map ******** ** ******** and ******** ******* **** a ***** ****, *** maps ******* ** ********* ways.

** *****, *** *** and *** ********* ******* load ** * ******. Maps *** **** ** included ** ***** ******* (above). *******, ** ****-****, maps ****** * ******** tab ******** **** ***** live **** *********. ****** clicking * ****** ***** its ***** ** * pop ** ******, **** the ******* **** **** context **** *********.

Event **********: ********* *********

***** *** ****-**** ****** events **** ***********, **** Hikvision's ******** **** ********** into *** **** ****** than *****. 

*********

****** *****, *********'* ***** list ** ********** ** the ******, ****** ** the ****** ** *** screen ** ***** ** its *** **** **** tab, **** ****** ******** the **** ** **** occur. ****** ******** ** event, **** *****, **** up * ******** ***** window:

**** **** **** ******** ****** only **** ********* *******, while ***** ******** ***** parties, ********* *****.

*****

***** ****** *** ******** ** specific "*****" *****, **** the ******* ** ****** to * ******** ****** or ****** **** *****. Users *** **** ***** video *** ******** ** double ******** *** *****, seen *****. **** **** the ***** **** **** not **** **** *** client, ******** **** *******.

*

 

Camera *********: ********* *****

***** ******** * ********* tool ***** ******* ******* (direct ****** *** *****) on *** *******. ***** may *** ******* ** bulk ** *** ** a **** **** **********, with **** ******* ** assign ** ********* (******* to ******** ************* ********* ** Axis *** ********).

********* **** ** *** include * ****** ********* process. *******, ***** **** manually *** **** ****** via ** *******. ***** is ** ****** ** add ******* *** ** IP *****, ******.

 

Third ***** ****** *******: ********* *****

** *** ***** ** hundreds ** *******, ** have *** *** ****** with ***** ********** *******, either *** ****** ******* or *** *****.

** ********, ********** ** add ****, *****, *******, Dahua, *** ****** ** * Hikvision *** (*** ****** drivers *** *****), ** encountered ******* ******, **** **** cameras ****** *** **********. *** example, ** *** ***** we **** ****** ** *** any **** ****** ** the **-**** **** ********* Axis ** *** ******, though *** **** ****** connects *** ******* ******** when ***** *****. ********, the ***/**** ******* **** little *************** ***********, ********* simply ********** ***** "** camera *********" ** "******* abnormal" ******.

 

Camera ***** ***********: ********* *****

***** ******** ******* *** camera **** *** ** many *************, **** *** direct ******* *** *****. Additionally, **** *** ******* camera ********* **** ****** ****/***** *****/******* ************,***** ***,**** ***, *** ****. **** that ******** ***** ******* are ********** *** ***** Linking, ***** ****, *** simply ******* ** *******:

 

** ********, ********* ******** support *** *** *** analytics **** ** ********* cameras. *** **** **** of ****** ********* (**** below) ** ********* ** cameras *** **** ***** include **** (*** *** report********* ***** ********* ****** *** **** *******).

Timeline *********: ********* *****

*****'* ******** *** ******* advantages ******** ** *********:

  1. ******** ******* *********:*****'* ******** ***** *** ******* in *** ******, ***** iVMS-4200 ******** **** *** currently ******** ******.
  2. ****** *********:***** ****** ***** ** click *** **** ** scrub ******* *****. ****-**** requires ***** ** ***** at * ***** ** the ******** ** **** to **.
  3. ***** ***** ** ******/********:***** ****** ***** ** select * ****** ** export ** ******** ** right ********. ****-**** ** *** have **** ******* *** are ******* ** ********* event ***** ** ****** of ******** ***** ****.

 

****-****'* ******** **** *** allow *********. *******, ***** click ** * ***** in *** ******** ** move *** **** *********. Users **** *** **** forward/rewind ** ****** ***** amounts ** *****.

Event ******: ****

**** *********** *** **** include ***** ****** ***** function *********, **** **** usability ********** ** ****:

** *****'* "**** ******", events ** *** ******* timeline ****** *** ****** one ***** ******* (********* motion, *****, *** *****) with * ****** ********* preview. ****** ******** ****** playback ** **** ***** with *** ******** *******, shown ** *** **** below:

**** **** *** ******* thumbnail ********, *** ****** searching ** *** *** event ********* ** *** Hikvision ******* ********. **** that **** ***** ** performed ** *****, *** requires ****** ***** ** each *****, ***** *** then ** ******** ** list ******. ****** *** automatically ********** ** *** Hikvision ***.

Smart ******: ********* *****

**** *** ***** *** Hikvision ******* ******* ***** search/pixel ******, ****** *********'* iVMS ****** **** ****** to ********* ******* ****. 

** *****, ***** ****** Smart ****** **** *** top ****, **** * region, *** ******** ****** are *********** *** ****** back, ******** ***-******** ******* in *******. **** ******* functions **** *** ******.

****' ***** ****** (****** VCA ******) ********* *********, though ***** **** **** Hikvision *******. ***** ******* a ****** ** *** camera's ***, ***** ******** the ****** *** ****** to *** *****, ***** below:

 

Export: ********* *****

***** ****** ***** ** export ******** ******* **** a ************ ********** ********** player, ***** ********* ********* to *** **** ***** client *** ********. **** example ***** ***** ********* (shown ** *** ********) and ****** ** .*** file.

 

********* ****** **** *** camera ** ** ******** at * ****, ****** multi-camera ************** **** **** consuming.

Synchronized ********: ********* *****

***** ****** ******** ** Exacq ** ************ ** default, **** ** *** to **** ************ *****. In ****-****, ******* *** displayed ************** ** ******* and ***** **** **** a ****** ** *********** them. *******, ** *** tests, ******* ********* ** synchronous ******** ** ****, occasionally ***** *** ***** not ************, ********** ****** when ******* **** ******** devices.

Multi-Server *******: ********* *********

****-**** *** ******* ** multiple **** ******* ********** licensing. *** ****** ** available ** * **** download **** *********'* *******.

** ********, ***** ***** wishing ** ************** **** multiple ******* **** *** the ************ ******* ** the ***, ** ******** of ~$*** *** **** per ******* (~$** **. $150). ******** ******* *** users ** ******** ******* requires ********** ********* (~$***/******).

Enterprise **********: ********* *****

***** ****** ***** ** configure ***** *** ****** settings ****** ******** ********* in ***** ************ *******. 

 

** ****, ******** *** be ******* ** **** a ****** ******** ** once, **** ** *** to ********* ***** ** rights ****** ******** ********. Additionally, **** ******** ** iVMS-4200 ** ********** **********, with ** ******* ******. Users **** ****** * settings **** *** ****** it ** ***** ******* to ***** ********.

Comments (22)

We tried to cover the key differentiators in this report, but readers, if you have questions on other features not covered here, let us know in the comments!

Very good report, very good comparison. I have always wondered some of these things. We have installed IVMS on hundreds of computers over the last 3 years and have seen major improvements over that time. I've found training customers on IVMS to be extremely easy. We also manage all of our customers NVRs and cameras (thousands of units now) with ease.

My biggest complaint, anytime we add a camera to an NVR it must be importanted in each client...what a pain. Many of our customers have 10+ clients running. One of the BIG reasons we switched to Spectrum was to solve this problem.

One comment I would make, in a newer release of IVMS you can configure cameras across multiple servers.

John, what versions allow that, and how do you go about it? I just grabbed iVMS from the website a couple days ago and didn't see any options for managing multiple cameras in the client or documentation.

Thanks for the feedback!

You should download from tech.hikvisionusa.com this site always has the most up to date software. it's in event management, you get to it on the main screen. You can use the "copy to" button to copy to multiple NVRs.

Alternatively, Hikvision should keep the regular website updated! :(

I'll check it out.

Nice work, Ethan!

When the chart shows for 4200 "Live viewing - Custom layouts - Single Camera Supported", does that mean that custom layouts with more than one camera cannot be selected in live mode?

That seems an odd restriction.

Is a one camera custom layout different than a saved view of a 1x1 somehow?

The rows for layouts and instant replay were accidentally swapped, fixed now.

Curious -- with the only export option in the iVMS being MP4 and no stand-alone player, has anyone found limitations when trying to share with police or use in court?

You can export with player from NVR directly but not from IVMS this is our 2nd biggest complaints as almost no one uses the system directly like this.

There is an issue with this report. We purchase (and have frequently for the last 2 years) 128 channel and 256 channel stand alone Network Video Recorders from HikVision. 64 channel is NOT the top of the line.

Multiple cameras on playback in iVMS is a breeze! We are running version 3.2.6 firmware on the 128/256 machines, different versions are running on the lower class 32 and 64 channel machines, what version are you using for your tests?

I looked at the website before a wrote this thread and it is what it is.

Please review and clear up the confusion.

You're right on the 128/256 models. That was a typo on my part.

As for playback being a breeze: in what way? Is there something specific you disagree with?

I have to agree with Ethan on this one. I feel like playback through IVMS is a pain. Playback on the unit is pretty nice but I need it to work well on the client too. My hope is that this will improve like many of their other features.

The export feature is definately the problem we run into with ivms4200. It is difficult to train the customer to accomplish this. The easiest way is to write down the camera and time period, followed by export. It puts it in a folder on the c drive, which the customer must find. In many cases, it gets saved to multiple mp4 files. The vsplayer should be installed, which allows viewing and management of these files, as long as you know where to look. You can use the merge utility to obtain a single file. I have not found any documentation related to authentication of the video and fear a good lawyer may get video tossed out. Exacq allows authentication result directly from the player.

We ran into the problem the other day when a new camera was added. Operator users need to be updated for the new camera and in their client they have to add the camera under groups. This is not easy to do. There are 8 operators for this system, so I will await phone calls.

My other gripe, as an integrator, is that with all the customer systems, there is no way to disable them in the device tree. I normally add a 1 to the port number or hddns name. Exacq provides a secure authentication with the user, but I can see no evidence that this occurs in the ivms client, which is a concern (you can secure access to the web client).

The asynchronous/synchronous feature is very unstable. When you search, it jumps you to the beginning of all recordings. When you hit stop, and then do this, it sometimes works. I wish they would default to synchronous. As with all features, once you have played with it and learned all the tricks, it is not too bad. As a new user, it is frustrating, and trying to train users on the nvr software, ivms software, vsplayer software, and mobile app software is near impossible.

Still, for the price difference, we can only hope that they eventually correct these issues (especially the easy of export, which is the major reason we use these in the first place) which may put pressure for license cost reductions in the industry.

Have you taken your issues to the Hikvision support team in your geographical area? Have you consulted your regional technical engineering partner about these problems?

Have you had formal training on the NVR or iVMS from Hikvision?

Hikvision offers excellent support, but you have to ask first!

These issues are not related to my/our training on the system, but in many cases, the ability to train a new system owner. (never fails, eventual calls regarding "how do I backup and get a copy to the police" - difficult to explain over the phone). A matter of fact, the .mp4 exports will not play on Windows based players, but will if you use the convert utility. (They will play on other players like VLC). We are starting to see .mp4 case management systems get put into cities, to go along with systems like WatchGuard, etc. for evidence. Their standard players are Windows media to play these. I did notice that Exacqvision just introduced an .mp4 export feature, so this format and need must be growing.

I do recommend that IPVM in their analysis do a test run for both systems and time/steps required to get a playable CD and exportable .mp4 (playable on Windows standard players) that would be normally provided to police/DAs.

I am considering doing some YouTube instruction video for customers so that I can send them there for after-training or reference. That would be a great resource that Hikvision USA could provide, especially for instructions to backup and export to a readable CD (to be delivered to police and DAs). That is how most of them want it.

I agree with you about support (most of our applications are Exacqvision with Hikvision camera products). It is stellar. Since we know that the Hikvision team reads these discussions, this may be the best way to push some of these issues to them for correction.

Good article Ethan. One area Exacq does really well in that was not covered was Access Control integrations- both deep and wide.

Remember seeing the Hik iVMS has an automatic PTZ tracking feature. Is that true?

This is a great report thank you IPVM.

Couple things I didn't see covered that stand out to me with exacq and not being a HIK integrator is some of the more advanced features for instance:

Does HIK have built in case management

How does HIK handle archiving,

Can HIK audit active logged in users?

Does HIK have system event logs, user event logs? Can I trace a users search history?

How does HIk event management alert notifications work? Is it capable to say send email when X camera fails or has a certain event activated

Can HIK handle TCP/HTTP custom string for event activations etc..

Can HIK server be monitored by seperated application for failover or reporting conditions?

What about function control of cameras such as trigger lights, or I/O of camera?

How does I/O handle actions of other cameras or PTZ presets, scans?

Excaq upgrades are one touch and don't require much intervention, how does HIK handle this? Seams like they have different software for different purposes,, rather than just enabling of a feature like exacq across licensing versions.

How is the Mobile application of HIK, any better or worse than exacq?

Can HIK record some cameras longer than others?

Does HIK allow user permission down to the camera level with permissions around export, playback, audio, etc?

One of the best things I have come to rely on as a personal user of exacq is the speed at which the client app opens, if I hear something I can click the exacq icon and have the app open and viewing cameras in a matter of seconds vs. Minutes with other client apps, how well does HIK stack up to this?

How does HIK work across multiple monitors? Does it support Drag and drop between them?

Does HIK have a video wall capability with remote control?

Joe,

I feel like google would be your friend to answer a lot of these questions. Some of them like videowall with remote control etc can be answered just by looking at their product guide and/or spec sheets.

I think Hikvision plays well in the low/medium part of the market and does well with value cost deployments. If budget is no option go with Exacq or a complete end to end with Avigilon. If I had to handle a large enterprise customer without a bunch of remote sites (think one hospital for example) I wouldn't have much of an issue going with Hik. If I were managing 100+ sites + a large head quarters I would go exacq or avigilon simply because the user management is better.

Does IVMS-4200 support importing a web link into one of the window views, such as cnn.com or weather.com to take one of the views? I know this function is in some major VMS's like Milestone, Genetec, and OnSSI, but not Exacq.

No, it doesn't. Video streams only in layouts. Maps are on a separate tab, as well. No HTML support.

Thanks Ethan. Great article by the way.

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