Testing Exacq VMS

By Ethan Ace, Published Aug 06, 2014, 12:00am EDT

This test is part of an ongoing VMS test series were we provide in-depth explanation and analysis of video management software manufacturers.

Inside this report, we have 40+ minutes of video screencasts testing ExacqVision version 6.2. The 14 videos cover:

  • Client Overview
  • Live View Basics
  • Live View Advanced Options
  • Customizing Layouts
  • Multi-Monitor Support
  • Timeline Search
  • Thumbnail Search
  • Smart Search
  • Exporting
  • Case Management & Bookmarking
  • Adding Cameras
  • Camera Configuration
  • Enterprise Management
  • Event Monitoring

Here is a sample video covering thumbnail search:

This video briefly reviews the basic layout of the ExacqVision client:

Live View

In this set of videos we review live viewing in ExacqVision client, including layouts, replay, PTZ controls, logical groups, saved layouts, and maps.

Live View Basics

This video reviews the basics of the ExacqVision client live page and how cameras may be accessed, via the camera tree, logical groups, maps, and saved layouts.

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Live View Advanced Options

In this video we review other live view options including PTZ control, event monitoring, and ExacqReplay. 

Customizing Layouts

In this video we review options for creating, saving, and customizing camera layouts. Exacq allows flexible options for custom layouts instead of just the standard 2x2, 4x4, etc. options, and these may be sized to fit 4:3 or 16:9 monitors.

Multi-Monitor Support

Unlike many VMS clients, Exacq does not spread to fill multiple monitors when connected by default. Instead, users run a second instance of the ExacqVision client, which may be moved to another monitor. 

Search

In these videos we review Exacq's three search methods: timeline, thumbnail, and smart search, as well as options for export.

Timeline Search

Timeline is Exacq's default basic search mode, allowing users to search one or more cameras based on specific times. Cameras are organized the same as in live view, with groups, maps, and layouts available in addition to the camera tree.

Thumbnail Search

Exacq's thumbnail search allows for only one camera at a time. Thumbnail size is adjustable by changing the layout of thumbnails. The timeline zoom level may be adjusted by clicking through a given thumbnail until the desired video is found.

Smart Search

Smart Search is what Exacq names their pixel based archived video search, which looks for pixel changes in a user-defined zone. Motion is generally not pre-indexed and may be time consuming for even small sections of video as it searches all recorded frames. Motion metadata from some cameras is saved, speeding this search, but not all.

Export

Exacq allows exporting one or more cameras in proprietary format or standard video CODECs. Their clip player is smaller than most VMSes, a simplified version of the playback page of their client, and supports authenticating video via HMAC-SHA-256. 

Case Management & Bookmarking

Exacq supports bookmarks which may be saved alone or as part of a larger case. Bookmarked video may be retained indefinitely so it is not overwritten. Single bookmarks or entire cases group associated cameras for easier review of the timeline and may be exported as a whole or in portions.

Configuration

Finally, we look at configuration options, including camera discovery and connection, camera setup including framerate/codec/resolution settings, enterprise management, and event monitoring.

Adding Cameras

Exacq supports discovery of cameras on the local network, though the process is not always reliable, depending on manufacturer and model, and works best when connected to the same switch as the NVR. Cameras may be added manually by IP address, with many direct drivers and ONVIF available.

Camera Configuration

Most fundamental camera settings such as framerate, CODEC, and resolution, may be configured one at a time or en masse from the Exacq client. Integration of other features, such as motion zones and sensitivity, privacy masks, rotation, etc., varies, with most cameras requiring these parameters to be set up via the camera web interface. 

Enterprise Management

Exacq's enterprise management features allow users to add/remove users and adjust access rights, check camera status and change FPS/resolution, and check storage health across multiple recorders from the client. However, these settings are pushed out to the recorders, not saved via a central directory server as in other enterprise VMSes. 

Event Monitoring

Exacq allows for basic event monitoring and rule generation, with events triggered by motion, system events, user defined alarms, etc. Video from associated cameras may be raised in a single pane or preset layout.

Camera Integration

Exacq's supported devices list includes over 2,000 cameras and encoders from dozens of manufacturers, as well as ONVIF Profile S. Exacq's ONVIF implementation also includes support for motion detection in a number of camera manufacturers (Bosch, Dahua, DRS, GeoVision, and more), not commonly found in other VMSes.

Licensing Costs and Tiers

Exacq does not require base server licensing for Start and Pro versions of their VMS, only camera licenses. ExacqVision Enterprise requires a license per server and may be applied only to Professional servers, not start. Pricing is as follows:

  • ExacqVision Start: $50 per camera USD MSRP
  • ExacqVision Professional: $150 per camera MSRP
  • ExacqVision Enterprise: $500 per server

ExacqVision Start and Professional are also available in Edge versions, which may be run directly on supported cameras. Pricing of Edge versions is the same as standard camera licenses ($50/$150).

The main difference in license versions is the number of servers and cameras. Start systems are limited to a one server per client, up to 16 IP cameras. ExacqVision Professional systems may be up to 512 servers, 128 IP cameras per server. Enterprise adds further options for server management and monitoring, but does not increase system capacity.

Maintenance Costs

Yearly maintenance is required only for new versions of ExacqVision. Tech support is available without a maintenance agreement. Maintence costs, called a Software Subscription Agreement (SSA), vary depending on which version of Exacq is used:

  • ExacqVision Start: $10 USD per camera per year, free for first 90 days
  • ExacqVision Professional: $25 USD per camera per year, free for one year
  • ExacqVision Enterprise: $83.50 per server per year

Exacq's NVR applicances include 3 years of SSA, regardless of software version.

Channel

Most Exacq products, including Start, Professional, and NVR appliances, are available through distribution, without certification. ExacqVision Enterprise, Enterprise System Manager, and Edge, are available only to certified dealers.

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