VMS 101

By IPVM Team, Published Mar 03, 2020, 10:01am EST (Info+)

This guide teaches the fundamentals of video management software.

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Inside, we cover:

  • NVR vs VMS
  • Viewing Video - What are common client features? Layouts? Camera Lists? Timeline?
  • Searching Video - How is video searched for? Time? Motion? Analytics? Thumbnails?
  • Exporting Video - How is video exported? File Format? Watermarks? Cloud? Mobile?
  • Camera Discovery/Addition - How are cameras discovered/added? Auto? Manual?
  • System Administration - How is the system configured? Recording? Users? Health?
  • Mapping Support - How are maps supported? Images? Hosted Maps? Dynamic?
  • VMS vs Low-Cost NVRs - What are pros and cons of each? Cost? Features?
  • Installation Comparison - Why are NVRs easier to install? Training? Skills?
  • VMS Hardware Flexibility - How are VMSes more flexible and scalable? Open?
  • Widely Used VMSes/NVRs - What companies are widely used or notable?

NVRs ** ***

*** *********** ********** ******* ***** ********** Software *** **** (** ******* ***** Recorders) ** **** **** ******* *** bundle *** ***** ********** ******** ** their ********** **** ** ********* ******. As ****, ***** ******* ******** (*.*. on-premise ********, ******* ********, ** ** the *****) *** ** ********* ****** to ********.

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***********, *** ******** ***** ** ***** greater *************** **** ****, ****** **** is * **** ** *****, *** required. ******, **** *** ******** ********* offer ***** *** *** ******* *** simplicity ** **********. ****, **** *** providers ***** * ***** ****** **** supports ********** ** ******** **** ************** with ********* ************* *** **********.

Viewing *****

*** **** ****** ******** ** *** surveillance ****** ** ******* **** *** recorded *****.

************ ***** ** ****** ** ******** typically ******** ** ** * "******", which ******** *** ***** **** ******* or ********* ** ******. ***** *** typically *** ******* **** *** ** PC/workstations, *** ********, *** ***********.

******* ****** ********* ******** ******* ** viewing *****, ****** *****, ******* ******** menus, ***** ********, ******* ****** ********.

Viewing **** *******

******* ******** ******* ** *** **** time ** * ****** **** ********** task. ******* *****/******* ***** *** ********** views ** ******** ******* (***, ***, 4x4) *** ***** ****** ** **** camera ***** *** ********* ** ********** and ************* ******* ** **** ***** (e.g. *** *********, *** ******* ****, cafeteria *******):

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*******, ******** * *** ** ******* simultaneously ** *********, *** ******* ******* can ** **** ** **** ****** is **** *****.

Camera *****

****** ***** ****** *** ***** ****** to ******* *** *********, *******, ** a ****** *** ***** *** ** difficult ** ******** ******. **** ***** offer ********** ******* **************** ***/** ** building ****/********, ** * ***** ****** bar *** ****** ******:

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Common ******* ******** ****

******* ******** ***** ***** ***** ****** to ****** ******* **** ****** *********, PTZ ******** *** ******** *********.

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  • *********:******* ********* * ***** ***** ** what ** ******, ****** **** * video ****, ******** ***** ******* *** save ** *****, ***** ** ******* and ****** ** ***** **** *****. However, ********* *** *** ********* *** entire ********.
  • *** ********:****** *** ******* ******** ** * target ** *********** *** ****-******** **** monitoring. ****** *********** *** ****** ******** settings ****** ** **** ** ****** the ****** ** *** ******* (*.*. looking ******** ** * ****, ***** by * ****** **** ***** ********** an ********, ***.).
  • *********:**** ************* *****, *********** ****** *** easier ******* ** ***** ** ******* a ***** **** ** *** *** which ****** ********* *** *** ******** instead ** ** **** ** ******. However, ******** ********* ** *********** *** them ** ** ********* *** *********.

Video ********

***** ******** ****** * **** ** quickly ***** ******* * *** ** video ( ******** ********* *** ******* time ** ***** ******):

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*******, ***** ****** ***** *** ****** designed *** ******* *** ******** ****** or * ******** ***'* *******.

**** ***** ******* ********* ******* **** and ******** ***** ** ***** *** Timeline.

Instant ******

******** ********* *** **** ********* ******* while ********** **** *****, *** ******* Replay ****** ***** ******** ***** (*** - * ****) ***** ******* **** video, ****** *** **** ** **** a ********* ***** ******.

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*** **** ***** *** ********* ***** the ******** ****** ** ** ****** live *** ******* ****** ** ** useful.

Searching *****

********* *** ******** ***** ** * critical ******* *** * ***, *** offering * **** ***** ** ****** for * ******/*******, *****, ** ****-****** object ** ********* *** **** *****.

***** *** ********* ****** ***** ****** in **** *****, **** **** **** and ****, ********* ** **** *********** is *****. ****, ******, *********, ********* and ******** ******** *** *** **** common *****

Time-based ******

****-***** ****** ** *** **** ***** search *** ** ****** ** *** system **** *** ***** ********* *** only * **** ***** ** ***** for ** ********:

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****-***** ******** *** **** ************* ****** than **** ***** ****** ***** ******* you **** ** ***** ******* *** full **** ***** ** *****.

Motion ******

****** ****** ** ********* ******* **** time-based ****** ******* ** ***** **** motion ****** ** * ****** ***** can ******** *** **** ****** ** find * ******** ********.

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*******, ** ****** *** *** ******** by *** ******, ** ** ***** are **** ****** ****** ** * camera, ****** ****** *** **** ** much **** ** ****** ** ****-***** searches

Analytic ******

******* **** *** ****** ******** *** take * **** **** ** ** through ******* ** **** ******, ********, or *******, ******** ******** *** ******* increase ****** *****:

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*******, ************** ****** (****** ** *******, male ** ******) *** ***** **** results. ********, ** ****, ******* ** is ******** *** ***** ** ***** robust ********* ************, ********* ****** ********* will **** ******, ********* ** *** VMS.

Thumbnail ******

********* ******** *** ** ******* **** time ** ****** ******** **** ** object (*******, ***) ****** ** ****** the **** ** *** ******, *** analytics *** *** ******* ** *** VMS/cameras.

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******* **** ****-***** ********, ***** ***** must ** ******** ********, *** ***** events *** ** ****** ******* * thumbnail ******.

Bookmark ******

******** ****** ****** ***** ********* *** an ***** **** **** **** ********** identified ******:

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Exporting *****

**** ******, ********* ** ******** *****, exporting ***** **** ***'* ***** ************ system ** ******** ** ******* *********.

***** *** ******** ****** ** **** VMSes, ********* ****** **** *********, *********** video *******, *****-****** ******, ******** **** players, ************/********** *******, **** **** ******* support.

Export **** *********

******* *** ******* ***** *** **** time ******* *** ******** ***** ** make ***** *********** ****** ********* *****, without ****** ** ******* *** ****** process ***** * *** ****** ** use:

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*******, ********** ******* ** *** ****** menu *** ***** ********* *** ***-******* users.

Proprietary ***** *******

********* ***** ** *** ***'* *********** format ** ******** *** **** *** require ***** **********/**** ******** ** ********** to ****-*******. ****, ********* *** ****** are ******** **** *********** *******, ***** can ** ******** *** ******:

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*******, *********** ***** *** **** ** reviewed ** *** *** ****** ** standalone **** ******, ***** *** ** difficult *** *** ******* (*.*. ****** departments, *******).

Multi-Camera ******

****** **** ****** ** ****** ***** from **** ****** ************, *****-****** ****** can **** *********** **** ** ******** users ** ****** ******** ***** ***** from ********* ******* **************:

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***** **** ** **** ********* **** single-camera ******, ** *** *** ********** when ********* *** **** **********.

Export **** ******

******* *********** ***** ******* ******* ******* software *** ********, ****** **** ******* offer ******** ******* ************ ** * VMS ****** *** ***-**** ******** (*.*. zoom, *********, ******* ******, ****** *** bookmarks):

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***** *** ********** ******** ** ******* back ** ****-****** ******* (*.*. ******* Media ******, ***, *********).

Watermarking / **********

******* **** *** ***** **** ** ensure **** ******** ***** ** *** tampered ****, ************ *** ********** *** be ***** ** *** ***** ** ensure ** *** *** **** ****** or ******** ****:

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**** ***** ********** **** *** ********** to ********* ***/** ******* ***** **** exporting *** **** ******* ****.

Open **** *******

********* ** ****-****** ***** ***** (*.*. MP4, ***) ***** **** ***** *** more ****** **** ******** ***** ******* they *** *** ****** ***** ******* (e.g. ******* ***** ******, *********, ***):

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******** ******** **** ********, ******* ****, and ******/********* *** **** **** ********* to **** *******

Camera *****, *************, *** ***********

****** *****, *************, *** *********** *** the **** ****** ***** **** ******** a ************ ******.

***** *** ****** ********** ******** ****** to **** *****, ********* *********** *** adding *******, ********* ****** ********, ****** health **********, ******** **********, ****** ***** reports, *** ****** *********** *****.

Discovering *** ****** *******

****** ********* *** ****** ******* ** a *** *** *** ***** ***** to ******** * ******, *** ****** be * ***** *** ****-********* ******* that ***** *** *** ******* ****** and ******* *** * **********:

*******, ******* ********* ********* *** *** always **** ********* ** *** *******, manual ****** *** ****** ***** *** be ****.

Adjusting ****** ********

******** ******* ****** ******** (**********, ***** rate, ***********) *** ******** ** *** proper ******** ** * ***, ***** on *** ****** ************* *** ********* and ******* ************:

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*******, *** *** ***** ******* ********* camera ******** *** *** ****** *************.

Camera ****** **********

******* * *** ** **** ********* when ******* *** ********* *** *********, camera ****** ********** ***** ******* * critical ********. ***** ********* **** *** alert ******** ** * ****** ** offline ** *** *********, ************, **** offer ******/******* ****** ****** ******* **** can ** ********* ****:

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***** ***** *** ** ********* ** monitor ****** ****** ****, ***** ********** false-positive ****** ******* ****** *** **** to ******* ***** ******** ****.

Firmware **********

******** ****** ******** ** ********* ******* helps **** * *** *****-****** *** as ***** ******* ****** **** ******, it ******* **** ********* *** **-**-**** and ******** ** ********:

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******** ******** ******* * *** ** typically ******* ** ****-************ *******, *** often ******** ***** * **************** ************* *********** *** ****** ************.

Camera *********** *****

**** ******* **** ** *** *******, being **** ** ****** **** *** configuration ** ******** **** *** ********** installed ****** ** *** *** ****** is * ******* **** *** ******* technicians/installers:

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*******, ****** *********** ** **** ****** in **********-******* *****.

System **************

***** *** **** ********* ****** *** camera ************* **** ******* ** * VMS.

***** **** *** ****** ******* ** configuring *** *****/*********** *** *** ************* that **** **** ************* ********* ** the *** *** *********, ***** *** common ********** ********* *******, *********, **********, and **** ***********.

Storage

***** ***** ** ****** *** *** long ** ** ****** ** *** of *** ******* ********* **** ******* up * ***. ******* ***** ** recording ** *** ******* ****** ******, and **** ********** ** *** ***** to ****** ** **** ****** *** the *** **** *******.

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******* **** ********* **** ******* ******** days ** *********, *** ****** ******* allowed ****, ****** ************* ** *** long ** ****** ***** ** * necessity.

**** ***** ******* ***-****** ********* ********, however, **** *** *** ********** ** system **************.

Recording

******* ** *** ********* ***** ** customers, ********* *** **** ** ********* (e.g. ******, **********) ** ********* ** provide *** ******** ******** *****.

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**** *** ************* ****** *** ****** of ******* ********. ********, ********* ****** settings *** ** ******* *** **** monitoring *** ********* *** ********* **********.

**********

******* ***** *** ** ********* ********** for ********* ********* ** *** **** of *** ** ****, ********* *** primarily **** *** ******* ************. **** is **** ******** **** ** **** as ******* ***** **** ********* *************. They *** **** ** **** *** controlling ***** ************* *** **** *****:

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********* ** *** ********** ** *** configuration **** *** ******* *********** ********** setup **** ** *** ***.

Users - *********** *** ******

*********** **** ******* ***** *** ******* to ***, *** ****/*** **** ****** the ****** ** *********. ***** ***** user *** **** ***** *************:

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********** ****** (**** ******* *** ******) provide *** ******* ***** ** ******** and **** ********, *******, **** ** 2022, ****** ****** *** ********** *****, who *** ***** * ********** ** is ***** ******.

**** ***** ******* ******** **** ****** to ******** ******** ********** *********** *** each ****, *******, **** ** **** common ** **** **** ***** *****.

Mapping *******

************* ***** ********* *** ********* ***** live ********** *** ************* *** ******** relationships ******* ******* ** * *** is ********* *** ******** *********, *** can ** ********* ** *** ****** of ******* *********.

***** *** ****** *** ******* ******** including * *** *****, *** ***********, and *** ******.

Map *****

***** *** * ******* *** *****:

  • ****** ****** (**):******* ** *** *** *********, *** limited ** *** ******** *** ****** feedback ******* ** *****-*********** *** **** mapping.
  • *****-*********** (**):** *** ** ****** ** ***** suspects ******* ****** ***** ******* ** provides ******** ****** **** *** ****** view *********** **** ****** ** *******. However, ** *** ** **** ********* to ********* *** *** ** ********* for ***-******* *****.
  • **** ********** (***):****** * ****** ***** ** *********** to ******* **** ******* ******** *** dispatch ******** ***** ** ****** ****** and ****-******** **********. ** ** ********* an ********* ***** ** ******** *** mapping.

Map ***********

*********** **** ***** ****** ****** **** for *** ****** *** **** **********, which ****** ******** ***** ** **** easily ***** ******** ** ******** ********** behavior.

************, **** ****** ****-******** ******* (*.*. Jails, ********, *******), ****** *******, *********, LPR *** ***** ******* *** ******** integrated **** **** *** ******* ****** monitoring.

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*******, **** ***** *********** **** *** create ********* *** *********, ***** **** negatively ****** **** **********.

Map ******

******* ************* *** ****** *** ****** can ****** ********* **** ***** ** an ********, ***** **** ******* **** where ** *** *** *** ***** was *********, ********** ***** ******** ****.

*******, ***** **** **** **** ****** can ** **** ******** *********** *** confusing **** * ***** ********* *****/***** list.

Rising ************ ** ***-**** ****

* ***** *********** ** *** **** 5 ***** *** **** *** ******** in *** ************ ** **** ***-**** Asian **********, *** **** ********* **** their ******* ************.

******* ***-***** ********** *** ********* *-* times **** ********* **** ***** ******** ones. * - ** ******* *** Appliances **** **** ****** ** ***** from $*** *** ** ***** $*,*** USD, ** ********** ** ******* ***-***** appliances ** *** $*,*** - $**,*** USD ***** **** ***** ********.

*** ********* ********** ** ******* ********** include:

  • **** ****** ****** ****** ************
  • **** ********* **** ********** **** ******** Video ****** *** ****** *************
  • ****** ********* *******
  • *****-******/*** **********
  • ****** ****** **********
  • **** ********
  • *** *******
  • **** *********

**** ***** ******** *** ******* ****/****:

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Appliances ******* ** *****

***** *** ******** ** ***-****** ** appliances, *** ********** ********** ****** ********** the ********* ******, *** ******** *********** itself, ******** ********** ********, ***. **** can **** * *** ***** *** eliminate *** ****** **** ********** ********.

Appliances ****** ** ******

***** ********** *** ********* ***** ********** to ******* ***** ***** ******* **** on, ** ********** *** **** ** know *** ** *** ** * PC/server *** ******* * ********/*** ***********. For **** *************, **** ***** ** knowledge ** ******* *** ***** ** advantage, *******, *** ******, **** *** allow **** ** ** *********** **** less ******* ***********.

VMS *** ****** ************ ***********

* ************ **** **********, *** **** to *** *** ************'* ********. *** common ******** ***** ****:

  • **** ************ *** ************ ***** * certain ******** (*.*., ****, **, ***.) and *** **** ********* ***** *** servicing ******** **** **** ************. ** appliance ****** **** * ********* ******** falls ******* **** ******* *** *** be ******* *** ***** ** ***** logistical ******.
  • *** ****** ******* ******** ************** ** component ******* *** *** *** *********** with ********* *** ********* ********. **** is ********* **** ** ***** *** advanced ********* *****.

** ****** ****, *** ******* ** pick **** *** ******** ** *** of *** ********** ** ***** * Software **** ********.

Virtualization **** ***

******* ******** **** *** *** ** installed ** *** *******/***** ****** ********, many *** ********* *** *** ** a ******* ****** ***********.

** *** ******** ************** ******, **** will **** ******** **** *** *** add ********** *** ************ *** ************ and *******. ********** ** * ******* server *** ******* * ****** ***** trained, ****** **** **********.

Appliances ******** ***************

***** *** ************ ******** *** ******** and ***-****** *** ********, **** **** much **** ******* *** * ****** understanding ** **** ***** ** ***** and *** ** ************ **. ** is **** ****** *** *** ************ to ************ ******** ****** ** ******** ******** ** ***** *** **** more *********.

** ***** ****** ****** ** **** time *** **** ****** ***, ** the ***** ****, ** *** ****** in ******-******** *** ***** ***** ****** that ** ** **** ********'* ******.

*** ****** ******* **** ********** ******** and ******** ********** ** **** ** can ****** ** ****** *** ************* responsible *** *************** *** ************ ******. The **/****** ******** *** **** **** one ***** ***** *** ********/*********** ***** into *******. **** *** ******** ********** and ***** ****** ** ********* ******** compared ** ** *********.

Many ********** ******* ** ****** ******** *****

****, *** *** *** ********-**** *********, charge ****** ***** *** ***********/********* ***** software. ***** ***** *** ****** *** upfront ******* **** **** * * year ****** (*.*, *** $*** *** a ****** ******* ******* **** ******* $100-$150 **** *** **** *** *****). By ********, ********* ********* ********* ** not ****** ****** **** ***, *****, give **** ******** ********.

*** ********* ***** ***** **** ***** annual **** ****** ** **** **** advanced ************* **** ********** **. ********* this ** **** *** *** ******. This ***** ****** ** ********* ********** on *** ***** ********* *** ** considering.

VMS ******** **** *********** ** *****

********** ********* **** *** ******* ** a ******* ** ************** *** ***** have ************ ** *** **** *** be ********.

** * ******* ****, ** *** exceed *** **/** ******* ***** ** even * ** * *******, *** will **** ** *** ** ********** appliance. ** ********, ** ***** * software-only ********, *** *** ****** ** add ********** ** ******** ** *** please, ** *** ******* ********* ******* a **** ****** ****** *** ****** count (***-***).

** ******, **** ******* *** **** the ********* ****** ** ** ** but *** ***** **** **; **** can **** ** ****** ** ***** the ************ ****** **** **** *******, higher **********, ****** *******, ***.

**** ********* ******* *** ***** ******** NAS/SAN ******* ******* ** ****** ******* storage ********, *** ***** ** *** add **** ********** ********, **** ****** retention *****.

Appliances ****** *** ***** ****** ***********

*** ***** **** *** ******* ** VMS ******** ** ****** ********, ******* the ******* ** ******** * ** 64 *******. ** ***** **** * hours ** *** ** * ******* recording * ******* *** ******* * for *** ********* ** *******.

*******, *** **** ** ****** ************** as * ********** ** *** ***** job ** **** ****** ** *** 4 ****** **********. ** ****, ********** are ************ ********** *** ***** **** small *******. *** ********, **** ** a **** *** **** ******* *** they **** ***** ****** *** *********, appliances ***** ******* * *********** ********* as ** ***** ********* *** ***** of ************ *** ********.

VMS **** ****** ** ***** *******

**** ********** *** ******** ** ***** to ******* ****** ****** - *, 9, ** *** ** ******* ***** the **** ******. ** *** **** more ******* ** * ***** **** or **** ********* ************ (***** **** resolution ***/** ***** *****), ********* ******** only ** * ****** ****** ** you *** ********* *** ******** *** your **** ********* *****.

Widely **** ** ******* ***** *** ****

***** ** ** ************ **** ** widely **** ** ******* *** *** NVR *************:

  • ********: ******* ** * ******* ********** VMS / ** ****** / ***** analytics ********, ************** ** *** *** side *** ***** *** ****** *** real-time ********* (*** *****,*,*,*).
  • ****: *** ***** ** ****** ************ and ***** *** ******* ***-***** ***, Axis ****** * ******* ** ***** but **** *** ********* **** ******** used *** ********.
  • *****: * ***** ***** ****** ************, they **** ***** **** **** *** widely **** *** ** ***-**** *** not ********** **** *******.
  • *****: * ****-******** ***, **** *** of **********'* *********, *** ******** ** favorability ********* ******** **** ** ****.
  • *******: *** ** *** ******** ***** and ***** ***********, ******* *** ******* to ** * **** ****-*** ********, whose ******* ** ************* ** **** of *** ****** *** ***** ******** functionalities *** ********** ****** ** ********** end-users.
  • ******: * ***** *** ****** ****** manufacturer, **** ***** ***** *** *** and ******** ******* ****** ******* *****'* VMS.
  • *********:*** *****'* ******* ***** ************ ************, in *** ****, **** *** ********* a ***-**** ****** *** *** ************. Their ******* ***** **** ****** **** but ********* *** ****** *********** ** **********'* overall.
  • *********:*** ** *** ******** *****, ********* offers * ***** ***** ** *******, from **** ** **********, **** ***** on ***** '****' ** ***** ** 3rd ***** ******* *** *********. **** have ******** ** ************ ** *** past *** ***** *** **** ***** their ***** ******** **** ***** ******* company *******.
  • ******* *****:* ********** *** *** (******* ****), they ********* *** ***** ******** ** partners (******, ******* ********). **** **** risen ** ************ ** * *****-**** mid-market *********** ** ***** *** *********.
  • ******* (*** ***):*** *** ******* ***** ***** ************ manufacturer, **** *** ******* ** **** camera *** *** *** ** *** West, *** ** **** *** *****, their **** **** ******* ******** ** Dahua *** *********.

*** **** ************ ** *** ***** ********** ******** (VMS) ************ * **** ******** ******* ** VMS *************.

Comments (17)

Uniview (aka UNV): The 3rd largest China video surveillance manufacturer, they are gaining in both camera and NVR use in the West, due to bans for Hikua, their NVRs have similar problems to Dahua and Hikvision.

Is there an article to explain what problems their NVR has?

PS: Interesting term: Hikua...

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From Glossary / Acronyms for Video Surveillance:

Hikua - a portmanteau of the words Hikvision and Dahua, this is a simplified way to refer to the two giant PRC manufacturers when discussing trends or actions that the two companies are both similarly engaged in

John says it was coined by Chris Dearing.

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I would choose "DaVision" since Da means big or huge. :D

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Related, I find it funny that Dahua's name (大华) literally means "Big China".

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Big China is Watching You

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Hua means magnificent , splendid, something along those lines. it is also an abbreviation for the country's name. in dahua case, I think they were after the meaning of big and splendid.

china is "zhong hua gong he guo" , not just hua :)

perhaps you will find this interesting if you like history :

Zhonghua minzu - New World Encyclopedia

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Hua means magnificent , splendid, something along those lines.

No, 华 (huá) is an ancient Chinese word for China that also carries the meaning of magnificent, splendid, etc.

As for "zhong hua gong he guo", what you mean is 国 (zhōng huá rén mín gòng hé guó) which stands for the PRC / People's Republic of China, not simply China.

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hua is an abbreviation of zhong hua. it doesn't stand by itself. when Chinese people refer to their country its zhong guo, not hua guo.

similar in English, your country is the United states of America, you'll say "I'm from the states " or "I'm from America ", you won't say "I'm from United "

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you won't say "I'm from United "

United does not mean America, in any way. 华 (huá) does mean China.

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Wow, this comment is going viral! Well, both of you are right... It depends on when you use it and how you would combine it with other characters.

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John says it was coined by Chris Dearing.

Truth be told, it was Rukmini :)

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Here's a partial answer to the other part of your question (article from 2017): Uniview NVR Tested

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Thanks, will take a look.

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I just want to say, I read the entire back and forth between John and Undisclosed #2.

All I have to say, I lost 30 seconds of my life. LOL.

John, can you all 30 seconds onto my subscription to reimburse me for the time lost browsing real content? lol

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Dear Sir,

Let us know How to have this ?

REgards

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what vms is the solid and easy to configure as well as create maps and camera layouts for interactive map alerts?

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Great question Jeremy, as many VMSes that offer strong/deep feature sets for mapping, tend to have less "plug-and-play" configuration:

Do you have a general idea for what types of interactive map alerts you are looking for?

While many of the VMS/VSaaS interfaces that have fewer steps, fewer options to configure, generally have limited/basic mapping:

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