Uniview (UNV) IP Cameras Tested

By Ethan Ace, Published Feb 22, 2017, 12:14pm EST

"We're #3," in China says Uniview (UNV). While the company significantly trails Hikvision and Dahua in total sales, one notable difference is that Uniview is owned by Bain Capital, the American investment firm.

In the past few years, Uniview, has been quietly expanding their international distribution, aiming to take market share from their domestic rivals.

We tested two Uniview 4MP cameras against competitive models from Axis, Dahua, Hanwha, and Hikvision, testing low cost dome models and motorized zoom models in full light, low light, and WDR scenes, as well as bandwidth consumption, physical features, configuration, and more.

Competitive **********

***** ***** / *********'* ***** quality **********, ********** ***** *******, and ********* ************* ***** *** support, ****** *** ****** values * ********* ******* and ***-******* *********, ******* is ***** ** ** a ***** ****.

Summary ****

** *** *****, *** two ******* ****** ******* solid **** ***** ******, with ****** ** ******** increases ** ******* ******* compared ** *********** *** models, ** **** ** competitively *** ******** *** to ***** *-**** ***** codec (********* *.*** ***** codecs).

************, ***** *.*** ******** may ******* ****** ******** compared ** ***** *.***, up ** **% ** our ***** (******** ** both ******* *******). **** competitors ************* ***** *.*** (***** from ****** ** **** test). 

*******, ***** *** *** key limitations:

  • ***** ******* ***:******** ** *****, *********, Hanwha, *** ****, *******'* WDR *********** *** ****, with ******** ****** *** by ****** *********.
  • ** ************: *** ******* *** **** camera (********) ********* ******** to ****** ** ************, especially **** ******** ** close *****. **** ***** be ******** ******** *** smart ** *****, ****** at *** ******* ** severe ********* ** *** rest ** *** *****. These ****** **** *** seen ** *** ******* dome *******, *** *********** models.

*******/*******

** ******* ******* ** both ******* ******* ****** here ** ******* ** competitive ******.

  • ******* ********-****** (*** ******* **** w/2.8mm ****): ~$***-*** *** estimated ****** *****
  • ******* **********-***** (*** ********* zoom ****): ~$***-*** ********* street *****

*******, *******'* ************ **** we ****** **** ***** not ** ***** ***** what ******* ******** ***. We **** ***** ******* that ******* *** **** aggressive ** ******* ********** ad *** ***** / pricing **** ***********.

Protected *******

******* ****** * *** cost ********** ** *********, Dahua, *** ******, **** an ************ ********* *******. Uniview **** *** ***** online ***** ** ******* (even ****), **** * limited ****** ** ************ [link ** ****** *********], unlike most ***** ****** ***** can ** ***** *********** anywhere. ******** *** ******* product **** ** **** a ******* ** ****** via ****, *******, *** other *******.

No ****** ***** *******

******* **** *** ***** North ******** *******, ***** may ** ** ***** for **** *****. *******'* distributors [**** ** ****** available] ***** ** ***** first **** ********* *******, though****** ******* ** **** available *** *****

Physical ******** 

*** ******* ******* ****** are ********** ******* ** typical ******* **** ***/** motorized **** ******, **** cast ********/************* ************, **** rated, ***. 

************ *** *****, *** with *** ******:

  1. *** ******** ***** *** *** gimbal ** *** ********* zoom *****, ***** **** loose ******** ** ***********, with ** *** ** lock ** ** *****.
  2. **** ******* *** **** dome, *** ******* ****** fell *** ********** **** the **** *** *******, though**** ** * ******* issue ** **** *******.

** ****** *** ******** features ** **** ***** in **** *****:

*** ******* ******** ** slightly ****** **** *** Hikvision ****, ***** *****:

***** *** ********* **** IPC314 ** ***** *** same **** ** *********** zoom ******:

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

*** ******* ******* *** interface ** ************* ********* from ******** ******** (*** *** ******** ******* test), ********* **/******* *** proper *********/**** *****.

*** ******* *** ********* was ****** ** ***, with ******** ********* **** out ** ******** *****. Most ************* ******* *** found ** *** ***** (exposure, ***** ***********, ***, etc.) *** ***** (***** settings) ****, ***** ** our ******** **** *** test ** ***** */*" starlight *****.

*** **** **** *** options ** *** ***** tab, ***** *** ******** menu ***** *** *.*** (in ******** ** *.*** and *****) ** **** as *-****, *******'* ***** codec (********* *****).

4MP ***** **** ********

** ****** *** ******* cameras ******* *********** ****** from ****, *****, ******, and ********* ** *** how **** ******* ** well ***, *** *****, and *** ******, ** this ****** ***** ** view:

** **** ***** (~*****), the ******* ****** ******** clearer ******* ** *** subject, **** *** ******** more *********** **** ** other *******. *******, **** legibility ** ******* *** worse *** ** ****** overexposure.

*** *****, ~*.***

** *** ***** **** IR **, *** ******* camera ***** ******** ****** images **** ******, **** more ******* **** **** the ********* ****. *** Axis ***** ** ****** black ** **** ***** due ** *** **** of ********** **. 

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

*******, ******* *** ******* an **** **** **** strong ******** ******, *** Uniview ****** ******** ***** than **** *** *********, with *** ******** ****** out ***** ** ** fully ****** *** ****.

4MP ********* ****

** ****** *** ******* IPC3234SR3 ******* *********** *** zoom ******, ******** ** this ****** ***** ** view:

** **** *** ******* minidome ******, *** ******* camera ******** ********** ******* facial ******* ** *** subject ** **** *****. Text ********** ** ******* in *** ****** ****** here.

*** *****, ~*.***

** *** *****, *** Uniview ****** ****** *** more ** *** **** chart *** ******* ******* than ******, ******* *** inclusion ** ***** ** (see *****).

***** *** ******* ***** IR ****, ****** "******", the ******* ** *********** at *** ******, **** his ******** ************** ** he ********** *** ******, despite *** ****** ******** IR *** *****, **** here:

**** "************ ********" **** on, ******* ******* *** visible ** ** ********** the ******, ****** ***** slightly *********** ** *** furthest *****. **** *** subject ** **** **** the ******, ** ** near ******* ***, **** the ***** ****** ********** dark, ***** ***** ******* other ******** ** *** scene ** **** ******* behind ***.

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

** **** *** ******* dome *******, *** ******* 4MP **** ***** ** overexposed ** *** *** test ***** ***** ****** the ****, **** ******* details ****** ***.


Bandwidth **********

*******'* ******** **** ******* to **** ***** *** models ******, *** ************* lower **** *** ****** QNV-7080R ** *****, ***** below. **** **** ***** comparisons **** ********* **** H.264, ****** *** ****** supports *.*** (*** *****) because ** ***** ***** VMSes ******* *******'* *.*** stream ** *** **** of *******.

*.*** ******** **** *-**** enabled **** ***** **% lower **** *.***. **** U-Code ********, *.*** *** ~20% *****, ***** *****.

Test **********

*** ********* ******** ******** were **** ** **** test:

  • **** *****-*: *.**.*.*
  • ***** ***-*********-*: *.***.****.**.*
  • ********* **-**********-**: **.*.*
  • ********* **-**********-***: **.*.*
  • ******* ***-*****: *.*********
  • ******* ********-******: *********-*************
  • ******* **********-*****: *********-*****************

Comments (12)

It will be great if we can have a similar testing for Tiandy cameras

Readers, note that in addition to this test, we also have a test of Uniview's NVR coming up next week.

One novel feature not covered in this report: when using Uniview IP cameras with their NVRs, they claim extended PoE lengths of up to 300m. We'll be looking at that in the NVR test report.

Hi Ethan,

The 3234 firmware looks a little out of date. Did you try to update the firmware at all or just use what came out of the box ?
You should be able to cloud update to B5017P30D1607. I can see a newer version but will check when it will be released for cloud update.

If you get the latest EZTools software (1103-B0009) you can firmware upgrade the cameras via the cloud.

Will you be testing the IPC-2222 any time soon ?

Cheers

Ash

Disclaimer - I work for CR Kennedy, the Australian Distributor for Uniview.
My role is Technical and Sales Support.

Thanks, Ashley! I actually did run a cloud upgrade on all cameras before testing and the versions listed where what came up. If there are newer versions available that make substantial improvements, I'd like to check them.

We don't have any immediate plans to test other Uniview cameras, but I'm curious why you ask about the IPC-2222 specifically? 

After my internal testing, I found the IPC-2222 a cracking good camera for the price and would love to see how it compares to the other brand low light cameras you have tested...

Let me see if I can dropbox link you the latest firmware if the cloud upgrade doesn't work for you.

Cheers

Hello Ashley. I realize this comment is 2 months old, but would you be willing to update your comment on the UNV Cameras? I had a sales rep contact me about these cameras in the US and a 3rd party option would be appreciated. 

We have been using the Uniview 2MP starlight PTZ (IPC 62525R-X22U) and the Dahua SD 59225UN-HNI) for outdoor applications.

While $40-$50 more, the Uniview focuses better/faster and (due to the Sony Exmor sensor I believe) has noticeably better night color. We have primarily moved to Uniview. In our opinion all other things are about equal. We feel our customers simply get a better image overall, and that's what pay for.

And yes, being owned by Bain counts in our book.

Hi Ethan,

bitrate and u-code comparison looks off in my opinion.

In case of u-code comparison, are you comparing VBR/CBR in different conditions? Your bar chart shows 10x difference between u-code on/off for the same codec. 

Would you be able to disclose encoder settings you have used in your tests for dahua, hikvision, univew cameras for Bandwidth Comparison chart.

Thank you.

 

Off in what way?

In the U-Code comparison, we are comparing the camera to itself (in this case at night). It's simply showing the difference in bitrate with U-Code enabled versus disabled. On the left is H.265, on the right is H.264.

A 10x difference is not unusual for smart codecs like U-Code. Others have shown 90%+ bitrate reductions, like Axis Zipstream 2, Hikvision H.264+, Dahua Smart H.264+, Panasonic Smart Coding, etc.

I can tell you the encoder settings, but it will take me a little time as this test was a month ago and we've used the cameras for other tests since. Typically when we test smart codecs, we adjust levels to whatever their reasonable maximum. Reasonable meaning those settings which don't have drastic negative impact in the scene. For some there is only an on/off (Dahua, Hikvision) but others have level settings which we select as appropriate.

Ethan,

As a disclaimer: i haven't tested u-code myself.

in case to U-Code comparison numbers are very different from what expected. Axis for example claims up to 50% reduction on zip stream on average.

I would like to confirm that comparison is not being done between VBR+U-code vs CBR in encoder profile.

 

No, we never test with CBR unless we clearly specify in the report, and there are only a few instances in which we would.

Axis claim 50% in marketing, but it's a very conservative claim. In our original test of Zipstream, we saw some reductions over 90%. In Zipstream 2 with dynamic FPS, we saw up to 99% reduction in still scenes.

The U-Code numbers above were in still day and night scenes. The H.265 vs. H.264 chart uses nighttime numbers, as it's a higher complexity/more difficult scene to encode. We have testing of other smart codecs in high motion scenes (roadways, intersections, etc.), but we have not done so with U-Code yet. 

Ethan,

In such case Bitrate graph above is confusing, it displays result for Univew camera of 320/270 kbit/sec.

But at the same time graph with U-Code claims it should be 2600 kbit/sec without U-code enabled?

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