Testing AHD 2014

Author: Ethan Ace, Published on Sep 24, 2014

This is where the innovation is at.

During Essen and days before ASIS, IPVM is leading with a test of an analog (HD) camera, reflecting both how bad the big names are doing and the key trend we see accelerating.

A number of non IP HD offerings are emerging (for background see: HD Analog vs IP Tutorial and HD-SDI Vs HD-CVI Vs HD-TVI Vs HDcctv?)

Earlier this year, we tested Dahua HDCVI and Testing Q-See Analog HD Kit, which generated a great member response.

Now, we are testing an emerging rival, simply named "AHD" which is increasingly the go to option for smaller Asian manufacturers.

We bought three AHD cameras and two HD DVRs for a grand total of less than $250 to find out.

We tested these AHD models against competitive HDCVI and low cost HD IP cameras to see how they compare, answering these questions:

  • How does image quality compare to HD IP and HDCVI cameras?
  • How does analog video support work?
  • Was latency an issue?
  • Were cameras and DVRs from different manufacturers truly compatible?
  • How well does Analog HD perform over long or low-grade cables?

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Comments (14)

Have you guys heard of HD AVS? Someone contacted me from Clearview about their Panther HD AVS equipment, their claiming 1080p, 1,600 foot runs, no compression.

HD AVS looks like IC Realtime's term for HDCVI.

ClearView's page on the HD AVS recorder shows "Powered by IC Realtime", and IC Realtime's AVS1700 DVR is a relabel of the Dahua HCVR7204/7208 (the DVR we tested in our original HDCVI test).

Differing marketing terms for relabeled HDCVI gear is one of its main issues. Knowing whether HD AVS (IC Realtime) is compatible with Heritage HD (Q-See) is compatible with MPX (FLIR), just to name a few, is very difficult without a lot of market knowledge, research, or simply testing it yourself.

This reminds me of the "HDCCTV" vs "HDcctv" vs HD-SDI confusion. Is there a reason the silicon manufacturer producing these cannot write into their contract with the DVR manufacturers that HDCVI shall be known by no other name?

because the

silicon manufacturers want to sell to

dvr manufacturers who want to dupe the

dvr buyers into thinking HD-XYZ is their own technology.

I asked this guy if it was a rebrand, he said they manufactured it, I thought it looked familiar.

I get a lot of calls where people tell me they manufacture it themselves and usually its Hikvision.

Yeah, it's amazing how many companies will claim that, in the face of proof otherwise. Even big names. Some will also claim that they use "custom firmware" which is technically true, I guess...they change the logo. :)

From what I've seen there's a 98% chance it's Hikvision, Dahua, or Dynacolor.

Some of the big names truly change the firmware on OEM. Sometimes because they find things that the vendors don't believe are an issue (security or integrity/IP issues). Or for custom improvements and product compatibility. Not just logos and colors :)

I believe because Dahua is so accustomed to being an OEM under a lot of different names, they simply didn't think about the potential benefit of having an HDCVI alliance of sorts, or keeping track of who is calling it what. It's not something they had to worry about with analog or IP cameras, as they were widely compatible, and a known territory. All these HD over coax variants and their many different names are still sort of the Wild West, and it remains to be seen which will last and which won't.

Are you planning to test Samsung Beyond series (analog 1000TVL - 1280H) like SCB-5003 camera and SRD-476D DVR?

Dawid, I just ordered those two. We'll test it in October.

It's a weird approach - proprietary, strange pixel count / aspect ratio - 1280 x 576, not MP even in the best case scenario, etc. On the other hand, it's Samsung so I am sure there will be some member interest.

What I am seeing in all of this is that the price of a good HD camera is falling and rock-bottom doesn't even begin to decribe it. IP retain an mount of flexibility that analog and its variants cannot (yet?) match. For smaller deploymnet however or those where there is an already in-place coaxial cable plan these are very attractive alternatives. As for those manufacturers, my personal experience with Hikvision DS-2 series showed me they (DS-2) were clearly superior to offering so called established brands (Axis, IQinvision, Arecont, Vivotek, etc). Good cameras are popping up at amazing prices . Reliability could be an issue but witout field reports not much one can say. The industry is a-changing . better bracefor it.

All the best

Dear Ethan,

How do you think about a test with UTP cable with passive balun? It's just a suggestion, because I think to be an interesting comparision between HDCVI, AHD and HD-TVI about the perform on over long and low-grade cable. Maybe 200 meters it's good distance for test.

Best Regards.

Hi Juan, we tested HDCVI over UTP, but I didn't repeat the test with AHD. We have HDTVI gear on the way, and will run the test for both of them when it arrives. I'll add it in here when we're done. Thanks!

Can I use Decoder (analog to IP converter) with this news HD analog cameras?

the reason is I want the low latenty and easy to connect (at the operation side)

but the recording option by NVR (supervision/IT side)

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