PoE Powered NVR (Aimetis E3200PoE)

By Brian Rhodes, Published Sep 06, 2012, 08:00pm EDT

Most NVRs or VMS servers need to be plugged into mains power and (hopefully) connected to a local UPS to ensure backup power. What if you could eliminate both of these and simply plug an NVR into a network switch and power it up just like you would do with an IP camera? That's the concept behind Aimetis newest NVR appliance. In this note, we examine the key differentiators, its cost and competitive positioning in the market.

4 Key Differences

The E3200PoE series NVRs support up to 8 cameras using Aimetis' "Symphony Standard" VMS on Windows 7 OS embedded.  The four key uncommon elements of it are:

  • PoE Powered: The key distinction of this unit is it requires no wall outlet our power connection to operate. The E3200 PoE DVR is 802.3at compliant (High PoE, not 'regular' PoE) and draws less than 25W of power. The device does not pass-through power to cameras (i.e., cameras need to be connected to a separate PoE powered switch.
  • No Need for Dedicated UPS: Unlike wall powered recorders, the E3200PoE series benefits from existing UPS/backup power for network switches to remain operational during outages. Because of the low power demand, the unit can be accomodated by existing backup power sources associated with the switch or midspan providing the PoE.
  • 4G Remote Connectivity: The unit also has the option for a factory-installed 4G LTE modem. This feature allows the unit to be placed in areas without LAN connectivity, covert areas, or for redundancy.
  • Small Footprint: The E3200PoE series is smaller than typical, full function DVRs. The case measures 10.5" x 6.8" x 1.73", and weighs less than 6 pounds. The size makes it possible to place the unit above ceiling tiles or inside of cabinets to mitigate the risk of tampering.

Additionally, when registered for warranty, the unit gets one free enterprise license that can be used for video analytics such as people counting.

For storage, the OS is on a 8GB CF card while the video is recorded on a 2.5" SATA. The SATA drive comes in 500GB or 1TB.

The image below overviews the unit:

In addition to the small size and weight, the E3200 chassis is a fanless design, and the external case doubles as a heatsink to help prevent overheating in closed spaces. The unit is rated for use in temperatures between 0 and 40 C.

Aimetis positions the unit to be "designed to be hidden or wall mounted where you may not have power available. In many non-IT environments like gas stations and restaurants, there is no server room. In other cases, you don’t want the employee to have easy access to the unit."

Pricing

The unit comes in two options. MSRP pricing is:

  • AIM-3210POE model (8 camera licenses, 1TB storage) is $2,395 USD
  • AIM-3205POE (4 camera licenses, 500GB storage) is $1,995 USD

This is certainly not inexpensive nor is it priced for budget applications. 

Competitive Comparison

Given that this is an appliance for Aimetis's VMS only and since VMSes cannot be mixed and matched easily, this will likely be a nice tool for Aimetis users and a moderate attraction for those looking for new VMS solutions. While nothing is 'revolutionary', the key differentiating features here (PoE powered, no dedicated UPS needed, 4G and small size) make it an interesting and uncommon alternative to the NVR appliance form factors on the market today.

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