VMS Camera Connection Comparison

By: Sarit Williams, Published on Sep 09, 2013

Adding cameras to a VMS is the most basic admin task in any surveillance system. And, of course, it is one of the first. Worse, it can be one of the most frustrating if a camera cannot connect.

Which VMSes are better or worse at managing camera connections? In this report, we share the result of our study.

We tested adding 10 different cameras to Milestone, Genetec, Avigilon, Exacq, Network Optix and Video Insight VMSes.

Key Differentiators Examined

We identified 5 key differentiators for VMSes when connecting to cameras:

  • Auto Discovery Tools
  • Auto Discovery Options / Advanced Features
  • Search Speed
  • Bulk Additions
  • Troubleshooting Connection Options
  • ****** ******* ** * VMS ** *** **** basic ***** **** ** any ************ ******. ***, of ******, ** ** one ** *** *****. Worse, ** *** ** one ** *** **** frustrating ** * ****** cannot *******.

    ***** ***** *** ****** or ***** ** ******** camera ***********? ** **** report, ** ***** *** result ** *** *****.

    ** ****** ****** ** different ******* ** *********, Genetec, ********, *****, ******* Optix *** ***** ******* VMSes.

    Key *************** ********

    ** ********** * *** differentiators *** ***** **** connecting ** *******:

    • **** ********* *****
    • **** ********* ******* / Advanced ********
    • ****** *****
    • **** *********
    • *************** ********** *******

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

    [****: ** ***** ******* in **** ****** *** an ******** ********* ****** on ***** *********** ** coming **. ***** ******* / ******** ** ********* but ** ******* ****** to ******* *** *** report.]

    * *** *************** **** revealed ** *** *****:

    • ****-********* ****: ***** *** ***** offer **** *******, *** offer * ***** ********* **** Discovery. ******* *****/******* ******** and ******** **** **** automatic **** ********* ***** no **** ************ ** needed ** ******** ******* (Some ***** *** *** want ********* *********. *******, we ***** **** **** *** benefit **** **** ********).
    • **** ********* *******: ******* *** ********* (including *** ******) ******* the **** ******** ******* ranging **** ******** ************ **********, IP ***** ********** (******* Optix, *** ******** ** well), *** * **** of *********** ***** *** at ****.  *** **** of *** ***** ***** one **** **** *** auto ********* ******* ** all ******* ** * network (***** ******* *** Exacq) ** **** *** manufacturer at * **** (********).
    • ****** *****: *** ****** ****** Auto ********* ***** ***** * significant ****** ** **** (~10 ***) ** *** ********* ******* (Genetec *** *********'* ********); either *** ** ***** manufacturers, ******** **** ** credentials *** ** ***** sets.
    • **** ****: ** ******** *** Exacq **** ****** ********** has ** ** ***** individually ****** **** ** the *************. ******, *********, Network ***** *** ***** Insight *** ******* *** ability ** *** *** cameras ** ****.
    • *************** ************: ** ** ********** that ****** *** ***** and *********** ****** ** help *** ***** ************. Video ******* ******* ** message, ***** ********, *** Genetec ******* ******* ********** messages. *****, ******* ***** (unauthorized, *******, *** * Diagnostic ******), *** ********* (CSV ***** ******** ******) offered **** *******.

    Auto ********* *****

    ******* ****** ******* ** a *** ***** ********** and ********* *** ***** without ******* ***** **** in ***********, ****** ******** and ***************.  *** ***** tested ******* *** ******* to **** *** ******* via **** *********, ******* only *** (******* *****/******* Watchdog *** ********) ******** scan *** ******* ** soon ** *** **** was ******** ******* ******* for * **** ************.

    ************, ******* *****/******* ******** had *** **** ******* the *********, *** **** added *** ******* ** the ****** **** ******** instant *********, ******* ******** required ********** *** ******* and ****** **** ************. However, ** **/**, ****** you *** **** ***** cameras *****, *** **** remove **** **** *** network, ******* ******** **** manually **** **** **-*** **** every **** ****** ** launched- **** ***************** ** Enterprise ************* ** * camera ****** ** *** to ** **** ** the ******

    ** ********, *********, *******, Video ******* *** ***** needed *** **** ** trigger *** *********, ***** requires ******* *** ******, clicking ** *** ******* for *** **** ** run.

    Auto ********* *******

    ***** ** * **** balance ******* *** ****** of ******* ********* ** *** one ****** ***** ** can *** ****** **** and ******* (*** ***** for **** ******* ********* as ******* *** ********* offer) ****** ***** ********** where * ****** ***, all ******* ** *** network, ******** ** ** the ***** *****.

    **** ** * ******* at * ******:

    Network ***** /******* ********

    ******* *****/******* ******** *** the ********; *** *** immediately ******** *** **** the ******* ** *** server ***** ******* *********** so ********** *** ***** immediately.

    **** ***** ******** ****** searches ********* ******** *********** (only *** ***), ** ranges, *** **** ****.

    **** ** ** ******** video:

    *********

    ********* ****** *** **** options *** ************ ****** additions (*******, *** ********) taking **** ******* ******* levels ** *****: ********-********. There ** *** *************** CSV ****** ****** *** those **** *** ****** organized (*** ********) ** begin ****- ** ****** for * ***-***** ****** list ** *** ******* whether **** *** ****** now ** ***, ** configuration *** ** **** independent ** ** ************.

    **** ** * ****** of *** *** ****:

     

    ***** ******** ****** ****** users ** *** **** discover *******, *** **** checks ** *** **** are ***** ** ******* the *********** *****, ****** for ****** *** *******, and ****** **** *** connection ** *****- *********** while ******, ****** **** just ******** ** **** in ***** ******* ***** only ********* ** *******.

    **** *** ******** ** there *** ******* ******* all ********* ** *** screen ** ********* **** than *** ***** *** adding ******** ****** *********** at **** ***** ************* add ** *** ********* time *** ** *** number ** ********** ** each *** ** ***********.

    **** ** ** ******** video:

    *****

    *****’* **** ********* ****** competitors. **** ***** *** user ** *** *********** on ** ********** ******’* basis *** ******* ******** as **** ** ************. However, **** ****** *** ability ** *** **** number ** ******* **** the ********** **** ********* users ** ******, *** add ************. ***********, *** UI ****** *** **** feedback: ** ******** *** or *** ********* *********.

    **** ** ** ******** video:

    Video *******

    ***** *******'* *** ***** Auto ********* *** **** to ******** ******* ** the *******, ** ******* a ******** *** *** the ******* ** *** all ******* ** ****. However, ** ******* *** set ** *********** *** ALL ******* ********** ***** may *** *****. ***********, there ** ** ********** or ************* ***** *********** which ******* ** * myriad ** ****, **-********* cameras ***** ***** ********** cameras **** ***** ***** assuming **** *** *******. There *** *** * specific ** ***** *********, or ************ ********** ********* ******. In **** ***, *** discovery ** **** ****, while ************* *** ** be **** ***** ********* is *********. 

    *************** ****** ****** *** non ******** *** ******** showed ******* *** ***** errors (****** *********) ** System *** ***** ******** not ******* *** ****** specific *********** **** ** loading, ** ******, ** no ********** ** ** credentials ********.

    **** ** ** ******** video:

    ********

    ********'* **** ********* *** automatic, *** ****** ******* Optix/Digital ********, **** ** not **** *** ** the ****** ******* **** option ** *** ************* to **** *** ******. The ********* ****** ****** was ******* ** *** manufacturer ** * **** when ***** ** ** range *** ** *********** in **** ******* ***** allotted *** * ****** port ***** ** * time.

    **** ** ** ******** video:

    Genetec ******** ******

    *******'* **** ********* *** problematic; ** *** ******* issues **** *** ** the ***, ****** **** help *** *** ****. Though ** ********* *******, ** shows **** ********** (***** do * ******?).  ******* to ****** *** *** timeout ******** **** ****** for **** **********- ****** the **** *** **** one * **** ************* the ******* ** ****** them ** ****. ***********, adding ***** (***-****) ******* ***** to ** * *** issue - **** ****** in ****** **** ********, ghosting (******** * ********** ***** camera) *** *********** ******** they *** ** *** supported ****.

    **** ** ** ******** video:

    Search *****

    *** ****** ****** **** discovery ***** ** **** in *********, *** ******* took ~**-** ******* **** all ****** ******* **** used: ******* ********** ****, IP ****** *** *** manufacturers.  ****** ** ** more ****** ** **** users ****** * ******** manufacturer *** *** ** range.  ** **** **** results *** ** ******** within * ****** ** less - *** ***** that **** * ****** number ** ****** ************* and ***-******** *********** ****** them *** ** *** auto ********* ***** *** to *** ********* ****, though *** ***** ***** it ***** ******* ****** it ***** *** *********** is ***** *** ********.  This ********, ****** ********** slow ** ****, ***** on ************* ***** *** discovery.

    ** *** ***** ****, when *** ******** **** version ** **** ********* is **** ** ** Avigilon, ***** *******, *****, Milestone *******, ******* (**** limited *************), *** ******* Optix ** **** *** cameras ********** *** ***** to * ****, ** although *** **** ****** more **** **** ********* to *********, *** ****** itself ** ******* *** unspecific.

    Troubleshooting ***********

    *******' ********* ** ****** to * *** *** be ****** ** **** different ****** ******* **** the ****** ******, **** packets, *******, ******* ** as ****** ** ********* credentials.  ********, *********** ***** of ***** ** *** culprit *** ** **** consuming. *** *** ****** assist ** ********* ** much ****** ** ******** as ** *** ***** the *****.

    ******* *****/******* ******** *** the **** *********** *** by ******* ********** *** errors (******* ** **** Logs) *** ******* **** a **** ** ****** (via ***********) ** ******** displaying ***** ****** *** which **** ********** ** well ** ***** ** correct *** *****.

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

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

    ********* ******* ****** ******** and * '************' ******* during **** ********* **** the *** ****** ******** exact ***** ******, ****** a ****** *****, ** duplicate ****** ****, *** displayed ** ********* ******* data **** *******.

    **** ** * ****** duplicate ****** **** *****:

    *** * *******, ***** CSV ****** *****:

    ***** ******* *** *** worst ** *** ******** any ********* ******** (*** lacked ************** ****** *** entries) **** ****** *******, so *** ** **** were ***** ****(**** ** visual ******** ** ** the *****), *** ***** indicator ***** ***** ********* a *******/********* ******.  

    **** ****** ****** ** lost **** ** * generic *****:

    *** **** **** ******* *** added, **** ** * sample ***** ** ****** Log:

    *****, *******, ** ***** offered **** ******* ******** whether camera ************ *** ********.

    ****** *** ******* **** just ** ********* ******* "Due ** ******.." ** a ***** **** **** Avigilon's ***-*** (********'* ****** log ******* "**** *** received" **********) ****** **** errors, **** ** ****** or ********** ****** **** more ***********, *** ****'* elude ** **********. 

    *****'* ****** ***:

    ********'* ***-** *****:

    ******* ******* *** ******* 'Timeout' ****** *** * single *********** '*** *****' error ******* *** **** wondering ** ** *** bulk **** ****** ** timeouts. ***********, ****** *** Bosch ***** ** "******** somewhere ****"- ** *** VMS ********* ** ****** one ****** ***** ** more **** *** ******?

    **** ** * ****** Timeout *****:

    ****** ********* *******:

     

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

    • ******* ******** ****** ******* Server/Client *.*.****.** *** *** 5.2.1045.3016
    • ********* ********** ******* ********** ****** ******* 8.1a/Client *.** ****
    • ******** ******/****** *.*.*.**
    • ***** ******/****** ******* *.*.*.*****
    • ******* *****/******* ******** ******/****** version *.*.*
    • ***** ******* ******* *.*.**.*

Comments (7)

Any comments here asking to test other VMSes will be deleted as they distract from discussing the specific technical issues in this test.

if you want other products tested, submit your request and explanation here.

Also, see our future VMS test plan.

If there is a specific feature for connecting to cameras that another VMS supports that is clearly superior to what is reviewed here, feel free to share it in the comments below.

Regarding the CSV import function, I had run across a limitation to its use that may affect the way some users add the devices.

The limitation is that the import funtion is not able to handle devices that use multiple ports on a single IP address using the range syntax ...ie IPADDR:port1-IPADDR:portN.... only the first added 'port line' will get added.

You do not get an error, it simply does not include the extra ports.

I run into this in my lab due to the way the camera emulator I use works, so I am not familiar with any real devices that present themselves to the VMS with 'port ranges'.

Your future ONVIF one will be interesting to see.

Hi Mike,

I haven't used the Syntax Range option of the CSV for this test. To add a device that has different ports (which should be rare, right? what camera emulator are you using with same IP different ports?) you'd have to use IP range scanning where port numbers can be added separated by a comma.

I can attest that I have already attempted Range scanning with the VMS with the top technical person remoted into my lab machine.

We tried doing this from the VMS gui as well as through the CSV.

No dice.

I use the Axis Virtual Camera tool from Axis of course.

Hi John !

Thank you for this report.

We use mostly Milestone and Avigilon VMS.
What I miss from the VMS is info about what features the VMS can use from the camera. A VMS that use a spesific driver for the camera should offer a list of choices like codec MPEG4/H.264/profile/MJPEG/dualstream/IO/Audio and so on. Det default in Milestone is MJPEG no IO.
For a "simple" installer/user, he will use the default, and not dig in to the menus to find the optimal settings.

/Thor Heggedal
Elektronix Com-Scan as, Norway

Hi Thor,

Yes, The VMSes do offer a dropdown list of CODECs (which differ depending on the camera functions) as well as other features (like audio). We'll cover those differences for a few cameras in a future article where cameras are added as either ONVIF or Direct Driver to note those differences.

Yes, I do know the VMS offer dropdown lists with the cameratype spesific features, but this is after you have added the camera to the system...

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