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

D-Link ONVIF Switch Tested on Dec 04, 2017
D-Link's surveillance switches claim to "enhance ease of use and streamline management" for network administrators, with simplified UIs and...
Top Recommended Home Video Surveillance Systems By Integrators on Dec 01, 2017
Friends regularly ask security integrators for their recommendations for video surveillance systems, trying to tap into the expertise of their...
Hikvision Door Station Tested on Nov 30, 2017
Hikvision has entered the video intercom market, aiming to bring the race to the bottom to a whole new audience. To see how it stacks up, we...
Hikvision Vulnerability Permits Wi-Fi Attack on Nov 28, 2017
Hikvision acknowledged a Wi-Fi cyber security vulnerability on November 27, 2017. No special passwords, text strings, or programming...
Camera Multi-Streaming Usage on Nov 22, 2017
IP cameras typically support multiple streams, allowing a single camera to transmit multiple streams at different resolutions, frame rates and even...
Law Breaking Longse Enters USA on Nov 22, 2017
Longse has established itself as world class, at least in spamming the industry, ripping off Milestone and Video Insight as well as Hikvision. But...
Panasonic Unified Surveillance Strategy Analyzed on Nov 17, 2017
Panasonic is now a "Unified Surveillance" offering, as their ASIS 2017 booth proclaimed: Looking to make a comeback in the security industry,...
Hikvision NVR 4.0 Improvements Tested on Nov 14, 2017
Hikvision has released firmware version 4.0 for select NVRs, touting two years of research and development, and claiming "the new generation GUI...
Hikvision 4K IR PTZ Tested (DS-2DF8836IV-AELW) on Nov 10, 2017
The IR PTZ trend continues, now with 4K resolution, with Hikvision releasing its DS-2DF8836IVAEL-W camera, a 4K 1/1.9" PTZ model specifying 200m IR...
Milestone XProtect Essential+ Free VMS Tested on Nov 09, 2017
Milestone continues to expand its aggressive free and low-cost offerings, with this year, Milestone releasing XProtect Essential+, part of their...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Hiring Camera Calculator Product Manager on Dec 12, 2017
We are working on making the Camera Calculator even better and hoping you can help us find the right person to join our team. IPVM is hiring a...
Testing $20 WyzeCam, The Money Losing Amazon Vet Startup on Dec 12, 2017
This startup is perfecting the old adage: We lose money on every sale, but make it up on volume But it is no joke. The company, Wyze Labs, is...
Xiongmai New Critical Vulnerability - Same Manufacturer Whose Products Drove Mirai Botnet Attacks on Dec 12, 2017
The Chinese manufacturer whose products were primarily responsible for the 2016 Mirai botnet attack has a new critical vulnerability, confirmed by...
Robot Vandalism on Dec 11, 2017
Vandalism of security systems is a common concern. It is so common that camera vandalism statistics show that designers routinely sacrifice camera...
Access Controller Software Guide on Dec 11, 2017
Properly configuring access controllers software is key to a professional access system. These devices have fundamental settings that must be...
2018 Video Surveillance Cameras Overview on Dec 11, 2017
This report concisely explains the developments for surveillance cameras offered in 2017 and the state of offerings going into 2018, including...
Imperial Capital Security Investor Conference Review on Dec 08, 2017
Investment bank Imperial Capital holds an annual Security Investor Conference where 60+ companies present, including this year: IPVM bought a...
Integrator GPS Vehicle Tracking Statistics and Success Examined on Dec 08, 2017
GPS vehicle tracking is a growing but somewhat controversial topic. On the plus side, tracking may increases productivity by providing greater...
Hikvision NA Biggest Sale of 2017 on Dec 07, 2017
Hikvision North America has been relatively disciplined the past 5 months, reducing the number of sales and the breadth of what is on sale. No...
Security Integrator IT Expertise Statistics on Dec 07, 2017
20 years ago, putting physical security systems on IP networks was just emerging. Today, almost every system is networked in some way, IP cameras...

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