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

Milestone: "Easy Money Days Are Over" on Feb 17, 2017
Contrary to IPVM's criticisms, Milestone has reaffirmed that glory days remain. But they admit that they 'easy money days are over': Are the...
Panasonic Favorability Results on Feb 16, 2017
Panasonic is one of the largest brands in the world and a long term provider of both video surveillance imagers and cameras. But, like all...
Hikvision Silicon Valley and Canada R&D Expansion on Feb 15, 2017
After massive growth in their sales team, Hikvision is now planning to add two new R&D centers in North America. In this report we examine...
Bosch/Genetec Video Cybersecurity Partnership Examined (CHAVE) on Feb 15, 2017
Surveillance products have been relatively weak when it comes to cyber security. Default passwords, open ports, and weak authentication mechanisms...
Avigilon New VMS Version ACC6 Examined on Feb 13, 2017
Almost 4 years after ACC5 was released, Avigilon is releasing the next major revision of their VMS, which includes their Appearance...
Hitachi Taking On Security Industry on Feb 09, 2017
Hitachi, bigger than Sony and Panasonic overall, with $89 billion USD 2016 total revenue, is expanding into the security industry. They are...
Milestone App - PSIM Lite (Alesys) on Feb 09, 2017
Milestone has many features in their VMS, but it is not a PSIM. Italian PSIM developer Alesys thinks sensor integrations and alarm management can...
Axis Favorability Results on Feb 03, 2017
For many years, Axis sold the most IP cameras but, with the rise of Hikvision and Dahua, that has changed. How would that impact Axis...
Veracity Acquires PSIM Manufacturer on Feb 03, 2017
Most well-known for their Ethernet extenders, with their own video surveillance storage offering, Veracity has now acquired a PSIM. UK-based...
VMSes Adding 2 Factor Authentication on Feb 01, 2017
2 Factor Authentication (2FA) support is growing across the Internet to improve the security of critical web services. For example, banks...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Hikvision Leads Multi-Manufacturer Sales Promo on Feb 21, 2017
Earlier this month, Hikvision launched new 'super value' kits, with 40% discounts, and now Hikvision is offering another promo, but this time they...
Washington DC MPD's Surveillance Equipment on Feb 21, 2017
The Washington DC Metropolitan Police Department's surveillance system was hacked in January 2017. Two immediate questions were: Whose...
Hikvision Ezviz Mini 360 Plus - $80 Autotracking Camera Tested on Feb 21, 2017
Autotracking, integrated IR, local storage, full HD, cloud access: $80. That is the claim of Hikvision EZVIZ's new Mini 360 Plus. But for this...
Lenel Improving Customer Support on Feb 21, 2017
Lenel has faced significant criticism recently (see Lenel Partners Angry, Lenel Does Not Care, Worst Access Control 2016, Lenel Favorability...
'Dirty': Hikvision Attacks Genetec on Feb 20, 2017
Hikvision is angry at the growing public awareness that Hikvision is owned by the Chinese government. They took aim at Genetec,...
Directory of Alarm Company Brokers on Feb 20, 2017
Selling an RMR based business, such as alarm company, can be highly profitable, with acquisition prices of 36 to 48x RMR (equivalent to 3 to 4x...
Hikvision Hiring 50, Direct Out of College, Sales People on Feb 20, 2017
Hikvision is hiring 50, direct out of college, field sales people across the country. This is the next major expansion for the Chinese...
Simplisafe is 'Blowing The Doors Off' on Feb 17, 2017
The company alarm dealers love to hate, Simplisafe, is 'blowing the doors off' according to Michael Barnes, one of the top financial advisors in...
Hikvision OEM DDNS Devices To 'Lose Remote Access' on Feb 17, 2017
The fallout of Hikvision's DDNS discontinuation is expanding, this time hitting OEM partner Supercircuits, who reports that on June 30th: The...
Milestone: "Easy Money Days Are Over" on Feb 17, 2017
Contrary to IPVM's criticisms, Milestone has reaffirmed that glory days remain. But they admit that they 'easy money days are over': Are the...

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