Testing Geovision MP License Plate Camera

Author: Ethan Ace, Published on Feb 28, 2014

Capturing license plates is one of the most requested, and underserved areas, in IP cameras. The question comes up a lot, and there are not many purpose built options.

One of the few IP / MP License Plate Capture cameras is from Geovision, the GVLPR HybridCam. So we bought one and tested it.

In this report, we examine the physical construction, software configuration and fundamental performance of the camera during the day and at night at speeds up to ~40 MPH.

With this completed, our next report will match up the Geovision LPC camera against the Avigilon Integrated IR camera and the Samsung super low light camera in an LPC shootout to see if a dedicated camera like Geovision camera is needed or if 'regular' IP cameras can do the job. 

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Comments (25)

This is great, I can't wait for the next test with the standard IP cam to see how they fare.

Great report! Definately interested in the rest of the reports.

What does it capture too? How do you search for plates that have been captured? How do you configure plate lists and can you trigger events on plate list match?

We only tested the capture capabilities of the camera. We did not test automatic recognition. However, GeoVision sells both a software based LPR server and a single-channel boxed server, but we haven't tested either.

Thank you for producing this series. This had long been on our company's list to do ourselves. Looks like once again IPVM will save us a pile of time and money. Thank you!

For those interested, we've embedded a short clip of the camera in the report, as well as download links to this video.

Have you tested any LPR software?

No we have not. It's been considered, but not a priority to this point.

How far away (Camera to Plate) was the optimum capture distance at night? It seems from looking at these and from our experience with the ones that we build, that the IR is very wimpy, and might struggle with some plates especially in inclement weather (fog, rain, snow, etc...) Obviously you could add an external illuminator...

Is it a fixed lens or varifocal?

Hi Greg, GeoVision claims 12-20m as optimum capture distance. We were capturing at about ~15m. I can't attest to performance in inclement weather, but if we get the chance we'll do a quick test.

It's a 5-50mm lens.

Thanks, Ethan. IR brightness is key and it's puzzling if they have a 50mm lens why they wouldn't include the IR to match.... With 50mm you could capture a single lane out to about 35m if you had enough IR. Great test as always.

Greg, it states in the video that 30 ft was the optimal distance and that it has a CS mount lens with a 5 - 50mm zoom.

We we have actually spec'ed this camera along with the ANPR software for a project that hasn't been approved just yet, but looks to be closing soon. We hope to have this installed by Spring or Summer this year. this project will actually have three of these Geo LPR cams installed at one site.

Thanks Jon! That's what I get for not watching the video....

Seems like a very capable camera at a good price point. I see that you landed the camera on Exacq during testing; was it able to record on motion within that VMS? I wasn't able to find this model in Exacq's IP integration list to know whether or not that specific feature was supported.

Sorry, I somehow completely missed this question! Motion detection is supported in Exacq via ONVIF. They added it a few version ago. It's worked fine with all the GeoVision cameras we've tested.

Was the question from Undisclosed B Integrator answered? I'd also like to know if this was enrolled on Exacq, and if so what were the details of the integration (i.e. motion detection recording).

Does this require special software to read or enhance the license plate?

It does not read plates. It just captures them for either human review or as a video input feed to LPR software.

Background: License Plate Capture Vs Recognition: LPC Vs LPR

Sorry, I used the wrong term... I was referencing the ability to view the plate not to have it read.

Just tried testing one. It says it's 802.3at powered, but it does not work connecting it to an 802.3at switch. You still need the injector. I was quite perturbed.

I need 2 of these cameras for a gated community. It will replace the ones currently in place (not sure of the brand). But then I also need additional cameras for the entry/exit observation. Is it possible to use these LPR cameras with a regular DVR setup? Or do I need two separate systems?

The Geovision software won't likely run on a regular DVR setup.

Ok after a little more research and actually talking to a Geovision rep, I now understand how it works.

So thanks, very much appreciated!

I looked on Geovision's website a couple weeks ago to and couldn't find the exact model that was tested anymore. Did the rep offer a direct replacement to this model?

He recommended the "GV-IP LPR Camera 5R) and also, GV-LPC1100.

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