Samsung Goes AHD, Sets Battle with Dahua and Hikvision

Author: John Honovich, Published on Jul 20, 2015

HD analog continues to grow.

One of the biggest problems so far is the lack of big brand support. Though Hikvision and Dahua are now mega surveillance manufacturers, they clearly do not have the name recognition globally.

To date, the biggest names have been Honeywell (HQA) and FLIR (MPX), both going for Dahua's CVI.

Now, Samsung is joining a rival alliance - AHD.

In this note, we examine Samsung's move and offering, with feedback from Samsung, how they match up against CVI and TVI, plus what the future looks like for the three rival offerings.

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Comments (26)

According to the little Chinese Spam suppliers, AHD is way more popular in Asia than CVI and TVI. I like the idea of AHD a little better, simply because its not tied to rivalry partners Dahua or Hikvision. More open-ness is always a good thing in surveillance IMO.

Why is it more popular according to them? It seemed the main reason / clear differentiator was even cheaper pricing than the already low CVI and TVI.

Basing it off sales volume I guess,, who knows, maybe they are BS'ing, but thats what they all say. Pricing isnt much different though. Maybe just a smidge cheaper, like a dollar or 2 per camera, atleast from the price lists we have seen. Not enough to get excited about. I guess though, when cameras cost $10-15, $1 could mean a decent percentage.

I believe you that the Chinese spam suppliers are favoring AHD, I see it in their emails (unfortunately every day). I am just not sure why. It's clearly not better technology or better video quality.

I have heard that Nextchip is selling AHD chips for considerably less than CVI or TVI, which I could believe is a real factor.

Sean, I spoke with Nextchip.

They say AHD 1.0 is easier to integrate / drop-in into existing 960H DVRs because it is 'pin to pin compatible' with the existing chip many use, eliminating a need to redesign the recorder. I do not know the internal of SD DVRs, but that sounds possible and would explain why smaller players who find it appealing.

Genius move by NextChip.

Although you say that CVI and TVI technologies have been licensed and/or OEMed to other companies, are there any examples of the former, someone just licensing the technology and creating their own unique camera around just a chipset or even just a design?

Most of what I see is Hikua OEMed, more like reselling the technology than licensing it.

AHD was different since their hasn't been a mega-manufacturer involved... until now.

It's easy to spot the non-Dahua HD-CVI cameras. If you follow the Dahua product lines, you will get a sense of their design styles. When you see a non-Dahua dome, it looks just like the other spam Chinese crap cameras. Price is also usually an indicator as well. We have used both the Dahua made and the non-Dahua made and can clearly see a difference in both build quality as well as image quality.

These competing formats are going to cause so much confusion, if they are not already. I was hoping that AHD would drop out but now that big names are becoming attached that does not look possible. Is it possible for someone to make a "universal" DVR for these that supports AHD, CVI, and TVI? Even if it cost a couple hundred extra it would be worth it to not be stuck with an obsolete format... HD-DVD comes to mind.

Well, there is The Magical HD Analog Converter, though that has a lot of risk to it.

Beyond that, nothing yet but there's clearly demand for it, so let's see what happens.

Looking at the spec of that package, it seems to be a 960H DVR.

Does that mean they are abandoning 1280H for AHD ?

My understanding from recently speaking with Nextchip is that this is how AHD 1.0 works. Their receiver handles / ingests both 960H and 720p, but not 1280H.

Whether they are abandoning 1280H, I do not know. With real HD from AHD or CVI or TVI, I do not see the point of continuing with 1280H.

In addition to being the death knell for 1280h, AHD may leave little use for another Techwinner, the strange HD-SDI over twisted-pair camera.

We are awaiting delivery of a sample camera from China that supports a switchable choice of a SD, HD-CVI, HD-TVI or AHD. It is competively priced compared to HD-CVI only supported cameras. Has anyone else tested any of these multi format HD analogue cameras?

Magic cannot be tested...;)


Where did you order yours from?

As undisclosed 1 alluded to, those units almost certainly violate TVI, CVI and AHD's intellectual property and are going to be unsupported by them, so it is a big risk.

I just got this email today. The prices are absurdly low:

Our VMS partner in Australia has close ties to many of the Chinese CCTV hardware manufacturers and has ordered it for us to test to satisfy our curiosity. Many of the smaller Chinese camera manufacturers are trying to claw back market share from Hikvision and Dahua. We will bench mark these multi format cameras against Hikvision HD-TVI and Dahua HD-CVI cameras for performance and quality. Happy to share the results good or bad.

Do you care that the owners of these technologies are saying this violates their IP and that they will not support them?

Good quality, bad quality, what is the future of a product like that?

Ha, I got the same email, probably along with millions of other people. Looks cool but the legality of it scares me. Not sure about the long term availability of something like this.

Deep in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and tiny tropical island exists. It is of no strategic importance and of little significant value to anyone. Yet (2) major super powers fight to possess it. They spend billions and gamble everything to win, yet no one truly knows why.

Now, hearing of this pointless glorious battle, a 3rd super power has weighed in to join the fight. They load their MARCOM battle weapons, and charge, "charge with honor!", into the fray.

In the end, one still stands.

Broke and broken from the fight, the victor hobbles forth, throws his head back to face the sky and reaches to collect his bounty... only then to discover:

No. One. Cared.

While they fought their battles, ravaging both the tiny island and their bottom lines, the rest of the world scratched their heads and continued to live on their IP islands that are superior in almost every way to the tiny crimson stained spoil.

The masses ignore both the woeful desert island and it's bruised and bloodied victor. Leaving him to sit upon his throne, thirsty, bitter, and alone.


That's really funny and well crafted!

I disagree though with the underlying point. There's a lot of HD analog being sold and it's growing very fast.

Perhaps I'm wrong. And if I am, someone please set me straight...

But at this time, I see virtually no 3rd party integration with these cameras. No PCI boards for PCs or inexpensive conversion devices to make it work on the Genetecs/Milestones/Exacqs of the world. Compatibility seems to be largely limited to the less than steller proprietary NVRs that are being sold by the individual camera manufacturers. (I know DW is coming out with an HD analog line, but will there be a card, or do you have to buy their complete box to record it?)

Swann and the other low end direct to consumer products seem to be picking these cameras up as OEMs so they can offer an HD solution to sell in Costco, SAMS, etc. (But they don't readily identify the camera standard used) And the camera manufactures are in a neck and neck race to the price bottom.

IP has more resolution, more flexibility, more capability and features. Apart from the smallest home residential install, or the smallest of small businesses, I have trouble seeing where these things really fit in. Particularly when you can't really use them with any quality NVR software currently on the market.

Dahua has a DVR that will regurgitate video streams… so to use their cameras, you have to use their recorder to make the streams to record with your NVR. Yeah for extra points of failure and complexity.

It seems to me if the Chinese manufacturers spent half of what they've dumped into the race to the bottom for HD analog, and put that into making their ONVIF profiles work and perfecting their IP cameras, they would have wiped the floor with the rest of the security industry already.

Jason, you are right on all technical points.

However, there are some important market dynamics that need to be factored in:

  • HD analog is significantly less expensive than its IP counterpart - easily 50% even against the lowest cost IP offering and 80%+ when looking at the really low-end AHD products.
  • For small businesses everywhere and for non-super rich countries (most of Asia, most of South America, etc.), the price savings are a really big deal. This is who is buying it right now.
  • HD analog has only been out for 2 years (or less depending on the flavor). There is going to be many HD Analog encoders, higher end HD analog cameras, etc. and as these roll out, it will become more attractive to the mid to high.

Net/net - HD analog is already doing extremely well at the low end of the market (both smaller systems in rich countries and more broadly in less rich countries). It is going to move up-market over the next few years as it matures.

That said, Jason, I do not believe that IP is going to 'go away' or be 'replaced'. As you mention, there are many powerful things IP cameras can do (higher resolution, embedded analytics, multi-imagers, on-board storage, etc.) that HD analog cameras cannot do. And because of this, plus IP's big head start, IP will remain dominant in the high-end and strong in the mid-market but HD analog is disrupting the lower end of the market.

Dahua has a DVR that will regurgitate video streams… so to use their cameras, you have to use their recorder to make the streams to record with your NVR. Yeah for extra points of failure and complexity.

Dahua has several CVI encoders available, and capture cards are available thru EXAR.

It seems to me if the Chinese manufacturers spent half of what they've dumped into the race to the bottom for HD analog, and put that into making their ONVIF profiles work and perfecting their IP cameras, they would have wiped the floor with the rest of the security industry already.

To be clear, Techwin and Nextchip (AHD) are Korean companies.

I don't know what exactly what would constitute a floor wiping, but what percentage of the market do you suppose Dahua, Hikvision and Techwin constitute today versus 5 years ago?

I heard a little rumor that Hikvision is moving over to AHD. Has anyone else heard this?

Hikvision responded, says no.

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