DVR vs VMS Software: Test Results

Author: Benros Emata, Published on Mar 22, 2011

DVRs don't get much respect anymore. Widely viewed as old and antiquated, the buzz now goes to VMSes. When IP video people think good software, DVRs are generally far from their mind. Plus since VMS software, by design, works with megapixel and IP cameras, they support the latest and greatest cameras. Lots of savvy people look at DVRs and wonder why they would pay thousands of dollars for a proprietary, analog only, box.

In our discussions with numerous integrators, the strongest case made for using DVRs is choosing very low cost Asian DVRs. These integrators point out that the prices for these units are incredibly low ($250 or less for 4 channel DVRs, $1,000 or less for 16 channel DVRs, etc.). The total cost of these appliances are far less than just the hardware costs alone from Dell, HP, Intransa, Pivot3, etc. Add in the cost of software licenses and the higher camera costs for IP over analog and the cost savings of using Asian DVRs are massive.

We've been intrigued by this. The economics seem clear but what about the quality? The deserved historical reputation of Asian products is bad UIs, poor software feature sets, weak support, etc. We wanted to see for ourselves where these low cost DVRs truly stand today.

In this report, we share our test results of Hikvision's DVRs and contrast them to Milestone's Essential VMS software (including our tests of Milestone's Smart Client and Go). We found Hikvision to be a good representative choice - large revenues (hundreds of millions) and broad product use (either directly or through their DVR OEMs). Additionally, as Hikvision has been aggressively expanding its presence in both the EU and the US, this would give us a chance to see where they stand and what, if any, progress they have made. Milestone, of course, is a logical choice as well simply because it is so commonly cited and marketed throughout the world as a leading VMS software.

We were surprised how competitive the much cheaper Hikvision solution was with Milestone. Inside the Pro section, we dig into the comparison, sharing our findings and test results.

**** ***'* *** **** ******* *******. ****** ****** ** *** and **********, *** **** *** **** ** *****. **** ** video ****** ***** **** ********, **** *** ********* *** **** their ****. **** ***** *** ********, ** ******, ***** **** megapixel *** ** *******, **** ******* *** ****** *** ******** cameras. **** ** ***** ****** **** ** **** *** ****** why **** ***** *** ********* ** ******* *** * ***********, analog ****, ***.

** *** *********** **** ******** ***********, *** ********* **** **** for ***** **** ** ******** **** *** **** ***** ****. These *********** ***** *** **** *** ****** *** ***** ***** are ********** *** ($*** ** **** *** * ******* ****, $1,000 ** **** *** ** ******* ****, ***.). *** ***** cost ** ***** ********** *** *** **** **** **** *** hardware ***** ***** **** ****, **, ********, ******, ***. *** in *** **** ** ******** ******** *** *** ****** ****** costs *** ** **** ****** *** *** **** ******* ** using ***** **** *** *******.

**'** **** ********* ** ****. *** ********* **** ***** *** what ***** *** *******? *** ******** ********** ********** ** ***** products ** *** ***, **** ******** ******* ****, **** *******, etc. ** ****** ** *** *** ********* ***** ***** *** cost **** ***** ***** *****.

** **** ******, ** ***** *** **** ******* ***********'* ******* ******** **** ***********'* ********* *** ******** (********* *** ***** ** *********'****** ***********). ** ***** ********* ** ** * **** ************** ****** - ***** ******** (******** ** ********) *** ***** ******* *** (either ******** ** ******* ***** *** ****). ************, ** ********* has **** ************ ********* *** ******** ** **** *** ** and *** **, **** ***** **** ** * ****** ** see ***** **** ***** *** ****, ** ***, ******** **** have ****. *********, ** ******, ** * ******* ****** ** well ****** ******* ** ** ** ******** ***** *** ******** throughout *** ***** ** * ******* *** ********.

** **** ********* *** *********** *** **** ******* ********* ******** was **** *********. ****** *** *** *******, ** *** **** the **********, ******* *** ******** *** **** *******.

[***************]

Key ********

***'* ***** **** *** *** ******** **** *** ********* *** / ****** ****:

  • ***** ****** ******** ******* * **** ***** ** ******* *** capabilities ** * ****** ****** (********* ***** **********, ******* *** detailed ***** *****). *** ****** *** ****** **** ** ***. Nothing ************** *** ********* ******** **** ********* ** ***** *** / *** *******.
  • *** **** ****** / **** ****** *** ***** **** ****** controls *** **** ******* *** *** *******. 
  • *** *** ****** ******* ***** ************* ********* **** ****, ******/******** and ******/******** *************.
  • *** *** ** '******' *** ******** * ***** ** *** a ***** ****** *********.
  • ***** ********* ******* *** *****. ** *** * ************** ***** ** *** ** ******. ** * ** ***** ***** *****, ** **** ********* to * ****** ******* ******** ********* ******* ************** ****** * minutes (*** ***** **** ** **** ** ***** ****). **** support **** **** *** **** **** *** - *** ******* Time.
  • *** ****** **** ****** ** ******* ** ***** '*** ****' DVR *********. *** ****** *** ** ***** *********.
  • *** * ******* **** ** ****** *** ** **** ** $493. ** *** **** ****** (**-****), *** ** ******* **** *** ** **** ** **** over $****. ****: ********* **** * ******** ****** ******** ********* so ****** ****** ***** ** ************* ****.

***************

*** ***** ** *** ***** ******* (**** **** *** ** channels), *********'* ******** ******** *** ******* ***** *********'* ** * fraction ** * ********* ********'* **** (*.*., ********* ********* ******** licenses, **, *****, ***.). *** ******* ********** *** **** ****** segment ** *** **** ** ** / ********* ****** *******. For ***** ******* *** * *** **** ****** **** ***** remote ********** *** *** ******* ** ***** ** / **, Hikvision ***** ** ***** **********.

Contrast ******* ********* *** *********

***'* **** ** *** *** ********** ** **** ** *** two *********:

********* ********* **********

  • ****** ********** *******: ****** ***** *******, ******* ********, ***.
  • **** **** *** ********: ************* *** ****** * **** ** hardware **** ***** *** **** * ******* ********.
  • **** ******** *** ******** / ****** 
  • ******* ** ****** *** ********* *** ******** *** ****** ******* integration, ********** **********, ***** *********, ***.

********* **********

  • **** ***** ****** **** - **** *** *** ******** ****, Hikvision ** ****** ** ** */*** *** ***** 
  • ****** ****** ** ******* **** ************** *** ********* ***************
  • ******* ******** / ****** ***************
  • **** ****** *********** ** *********'* ********* ********* ***-** ******* ($*,***+ price) 
  • ********** ***** ********** *** ******* (********* **** *** ***** **** in ********** ****** **** ***** *****/****** *** ******* **)
  • *** ** ** ******** ****** - **** *** ***** ***** anti-virus, *********, ***.

** ***** ***** ****** ******** ******* **** *** ***** ******* for **** ********* ** ** ******* *******.

** *** **** ** *** ******, ** *** **** *** details ** *** ********* **** *******.

Thick ****** (**** ****)

** **** ***** ** **** * **** ** *********'* ***** client ***********,****-****. *** *********** ******** ******* ****, **, *****, *** *. We'll *********** *** ************* ** **** ***-**-*** ****** **** *** both ********* ********* *** **************. ** ***** ** ******* *** to *** ****** ******* ** **** ** *** ***********. ****, we ***** **** ******* ** **** *** ****-**** ***** *** 'Preview' ***. **** ******* *** **** ** ** *** ***** tasks, **** **, *** *******, ****-*****, *****-****** *****, ******* ****, local ********* *** ***** **********. **'** **** **** ** *** built-in ******* *******. **'* * ******** ******* ********* *** ******** typical *** *************, *.*., ****** **** *** ******* ********* ***** of ******* **** ***** ****. **'** **** **** ** ** archive ******** ** ******** ************. ** ******** **** ******** **** provides ******* ******** **** ** ****/**** ****** **** ** *********** timeline, *********** ********, ***** ***** *** *********, *****-**-*****, *** ****/**** playback ***** ***********. **'** **** ***** ***** ** **** **************/********** functionality ** *** ******. ** *** '*****' *** *** ***** client ******** ****** *** ************* ******* **** ** ***** ******/******* settings, *********, ****** *********/******, ******* ******** *** **** ***** ********* options ** ****. *******, **'** ******* ***** *** '****' ***, where ****** ** **** ******** *** ****** ***** ****** *** be ********, ******* *** ******** *** ******. ** ***, *** IVMS-4000 ** * ************* ***** ********/************* ********* **** **** *** features ** * ****** **** ******** ***.

Web ****** (******** ********)

** **** ***** ** ******* * ****** ** *** ********* DVR's ***-****** ***********. ** **** ****** * ******** ** ** is ***********. **'** ****** **** *** ********* ******* '*****' *** has * **** ***** *** ******. **'* **** ** ***-**-*** type *********** ********** **** ******** *** ************** ************. **'* *** quite ** ****** ** *** *****-****** *** ***** ******* ** keep *** ********/*************. **'** ** ******* *** **** **** ****, playback **** *** ***** ***** ******** ** *** * ***** of **'* ******* ********* *** ********. ****** *** ***** ******, the ***-****** **** *** ******* * *** *******, ******* ***, or *****-****** ********. *************, *******, *** ***-****** **** ******* * wide ***** ** *** ************* ******* - **** **** *** thick ******.

Mobile ****** (**** **** *** ******)

** **** ***** ** ******* *******-**** ****** ******. ** ******** * **** ****** ******* **** *** *** Store, *** **'* ********* ** ***** ****** ********* ** **** (Android, ******* ******, *** **********). **** *** ***** ****** ** can ****** ******** ********* **** (*** ** *******), *** ** has ** ******** *************. ******** ******* *** ** ****** ****** live ****, *** ********, ********/********* ***********, *** ****-***** *** ** user ******** *********.

Hikvision *** ********

*******, **** ** * ***** ******** ** *** ******** ********** of *** ********* **** ****** ***. **'* ****** ****** *** straightforward - ***** **** ******, ****** **** **** ***** ******** via ***** ***** ** *****.

Login to read this IPVM report.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts unique testing and research funded by member's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.

Related Reports

Verkada, Silicon Valley VSaaS Startup, Targets Enterprise on Oct 19, 2017
Verkada says they are building an enterprise-class VSaaS offering, calling it "The new platform for video security". This is a departure from the...
Axis 'Sold Out' P3707-PVE Multi-Imager Tested on Oct 18, 2017
Axis faced significant product shortages over the summer. Perhaps the most notorious and significantly sold out model was the Axis P3707-PE 8MP...
Top Problems Searching Surveillance Video (Statistics) on Oct 13, 2017
When crimes, accidents or incidents happen, the video surveillance system is a key component in finding out and proving what actually...
Exacq M Series Low Cost NVR Tested on Oct 12, 2017
With recent cyber security issues hitting NVRs and cameras from low cost leaders Dahua and Hikvision, users are increasingly seeking alternatives...
Hanwha 20MP Multi-Imager Tested (PNM-9081VQ) on Oct 09, 2017
Hanwhwa has introduced the latest in their multi-imager camera line, the PNM-9081VQ, a Wisenet 5 20MP model with four repositionable 5MP camera...
Exporting Video Surveillance Tutorial on Oct 05, 2017
Exporting video surveillance is important when incidents or crimes occur. However, there are multiple ways to export video which have their pros...
Geovision 4MP Super Low Cost Turret Tested (EBD-4700) on Sep 29, 2017
~$100 cameras, even for 4MP, are now expected by many dealers, as price cuts and ongoing sales have set this expectation. At the same time, many...
ASIS Show 2017 Final Report on Sep 27, 2017
ASIS is in Dallas for 2017 and this is our final show report (compare to our 2016 ASIS show report). When walking in, one is greeted with Dahua's...
Hanwha Launches Wave VMS on Sep 27, 2017
Hanwha Techwin has been teasing the launch of a new VMS: But what is it? Did they develop their own or? And how will this impact their...
Avigilon 'Blue' Cloud Entry Examined on Sep 19, 2017
Avigilon is moving to the cloud. The company announced their Avigilon Blue platform, designed to be a web-managed surveillance system, utilizing...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Exacq Unbreaks Avigilon Integration on Oct 18, 2017
For nearly 4 years, Exacq had broken and effectively blocked use with Avigilon cameras, as IPVM reported in January 2014. Now, Exacq has...
Search More Important Than Live Monitoring - Statistics on Oct 18, 2017
Search is overall more important than live monitoring to integrators, according to new IPVM statistics.  The key themes found in integrator...
Axis 'Sold Out' P3707-PVE Multi-Imager Tested on Oct 18, 2017
Axis faced significant product shortages over the summer. Perhaps the most notorious and significantly sold out model was the Axis P3707-PE 8MP...
Dahua Removes Auto Rebooting on Oct 17, 2017
For years, Dahua has automatically programmed its IP cameras to reboot weekly, a highly atypical and questionable practice. Following IPVM...
Deep Learning Tutorial For Video Surveillance on Oct 17, 2017
Deep learning is a growing buzzword within physical security and video surveillance. But what is 'deep learning'? In this tutorial, we explain...
Multipoint Lock Access Control Tutorial on Oct 17, 2017
Doors are notoriously weak at stopping entry, and money can be misspent on wrong locks that leave doors quite vulnerable. While closed and locked...
Buy From B&H, Ship Direct From ADI on Oct 16, 2017
B&H, one of the largest online sellers of video surveillance equipment to end users, regularly purchases their video surveillance equipment...
Competing Against Siemens on Oct 16, 2017
Siemens entered the integration business with 15,000+ customers, through their acquisition of Security Technologies Group in 2001. Since that time,...
Geovision GV-EDR2100 Tested Vs Hikvision on Oct 16, 2017
A number of ADI's top selling IP cameras are, at least surprisingly to us, from Geovision. We recently bought and tested the Geovision EDR2100...
Top Problems Searching Surveillance Video (Statistics) on Oct 13, 2017
When crimes, accidents or incidents happen, the video surveillance system is a key component in finding out and proving what actually...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact