Milestone Super Low Cost HD Solution

By John Honovich, Published Dec 15, 2014, 12:00am EST (Research)

Recent IPVM testing has shown and verified a super low cost HD solution using Milestone that has never been marketed.

In this note, we break it down, explain how it works and what the cost savings are.

Solution - Analog HD + Milestone Encoder/DVR Licensing

The main advantage of Analog HD (Dahua HDCVI, Hikvision TVI) is super low cost cameras and recorders. A 16 camera analog 1080p HD system including cameras and recorder is ~$2,000, 50% less than even the entry level Axis IP cameras.

The main disadvantage of Analog HD is their DVR software. Basically the same as Dahua or Hikvision NVRs, their feature set and usability is limited.

The solution is using Milestone's VMS taking advantage of their 1 license per encoder / DVR. Dahua and Hikvision Analog HD DVRs can connect to Milestone as a mulit-channel ONVIF encoder. 

This video from the Analog HD DVR / VMS test, shows how to integrate with Milestone:

The Savings

You save on both sides:

  • Cameras: Even adding in the Analog HD DVR as an encoder, Analog HD cameras are significantly less expensive than their IP counterparts. Plus, for those with existing coax infrastructure or replacing analog SD cameras, additional savings exist.
  • VMS: Each IP HD camera requires one Milestone VMS channel license (e.g., 16 IP cameras, 16 licenses). However, up to 16 analog HD cameras can be connected with only a single license. For a 16 camera analog HD license, this means savings of 15 licenses, which is $750 to $3,000 depending on the Milestone version selected.

You get Milestone's high end VMS for nearly nothing plus very low cost cameras, delivering a combination of functionality and price that is incredibly hard for competitors to match.


We verified the licensing policy with Milestone, who noted, "it does not matter if it is standard or HD analog cameras only one license per hardware/IP address is required." Milestone did mention that the DVR licensing policy, in general, "is currently under review and may be changed in 2015."

It is such a deal for integrators/users, and, conversely such a disadvantage to IP camera manufacturers, that we are skeptical if this can be maintained long term.

That noted, with so many people looking for lower cost ways to get high quality HD systems delivered, the combination of Analog HD + Milestone encoder / DVR licensing is a strong approach.

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