VMS Live Monitoring Shootout - Avigilon, Dahua, Exacq, Genetec, Hikvision, Milestone, Network Optix

By Sean Patton, Published Dec 05, 2018, 11:35am EST

Viewing live video is the first interaction and most common task most users have with a VMS.

Who does it best and worst? Who offers the most features and capabilities and who the least?

We tested 8 manufacturers - Avigilon, Dahua, Exacq, Genetec, Hanwha, Hikvision, Milestone, and Network Optix to find out:

In this test we scored VMSes based on 13 criteria, grading them bad, average and good:

Inside, we detail the full results including who won and lost and how the systems performed across each of the 13 categories, including 7 video screencasts, one for each manufacturer in the shootout.

Performance ********

***** ** *** *****, VMS ****** ********** *********** falls **** ***** ******:

  • ****** ***********:******* *** ******* ***** (and *** ****) **** the *** **********. ******* scored ******** ** * out ** *** ** categories *** ******* ** the ********* *, ***** Network ***** *** ****** scored ******** ** * categories. *** * ******** no **** ******.
  • ***** ***********:******** *** ***** ****** strongly ** * **********. Avigilon ****** ****** ***** Stream *********** *** ***** scored ****** ** ***** Stream ***********.
  • ******** ***********:*****, *********, *** ********* were *** ****** ******* VMSes. ********* ****** ****** in * *** ***** scored ****** ** * categories, ***** ********* ****** poorly ** *. *** 3 ****** ******** ** 4 **********, *******, *** only ****** ****** ******** was ****** ******* **********.

*** **** ********, *********** rankings **** ***** **** common ***** ********* **** monitoring ******* **** **** a ***. ***** ********* of ******** *****, *** control, ********* ******* *******, and ******* ****** ***** playback.

***** ** ** **** Webinar ** *********, ******** 19th, ** **** *** where ******* *** ******* will ** ********, *** questions **** ** ******** (******* ************ ****).

Summary ** *******

***** ****** **** *** full ******* *** **** Live ********** ******* ********. Some ** *** ******** like "******** / ******* Favorite *****" *** "**** Event **********" ****** ******* or ****** ** **** of *** *****, ***** "Video ****** ***********" *** "Digital *** *******" *** average ** **** **** more **** **** ** the ***** ** *** test.

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

*** ********* ********** **** areas **** ****** *** most ******** ******* *****:

  • **** ********* ******: ***** *** ********** designs ******* ****** ***** and ********** ****** ******** allow ********** *** ******** everyday ***** ** ******** tasks ******* *** *********. Avigilon, ******* ***** *** Hanwha ********* ********. *****, Exacq, *******, *** ********* scored *******, ***** ********* performed ******.
  • ******* *** *******: ***** **** ** quickly ****** ******* *** presets ** * **** important ** * *** than ********* ********* *** presets ** *** *** of ****** ********** ******* continues ** ******* **** (**** ***** *** ***** Declining). * ***** ***** Digital *** ******* (******* and *****), *******, ***** requires *** ****** ***** Page *** ****** *******, while ******* ****** ****** creation *** ****** ***** in *** ********** ****. 3 ***** ***** ******* Multistream ***** **** ***** views (*****, ******* *****, Hanwha), ***** **** **** in ***** ** *******. 2 ***** ****** ****** (Hikvision *** *********) ******* they ***** ** ******* PTZ ****** *******.
  • ******* **** ******* *************: ** ** ********* that ***** *** ********* viewing ***** ****** *** standard (***, ***, ***.) layouts. ***** **** ***** tested ******* ** ******** in **** ********, *** difference *** *********** ******* the ********* ********** (*****, Genetec, *********) *** *** poorest ********* (*********)
  • ***** **** *******: ***** **** ******* is * ***** *******, however, **** *** ****** video **** ******* ******* remote ****** ** ******* output *******. **** ***** tested ******* ** ******** in **** ********, ****** Dahua.
  • ***** ****** ***********: **** **** ** the ***** ******* **-****** diagnostic *********** (***** ****, throughput, **********), ***** *** provide ***** ****** *********** for *************** *** *******.

Video ******** / *** ********* *** **********

** *** ********* ******, we ****** **** *** scoring, ****** *** ********* and **********.


******** ****** ******** ** 7 ********, *** ******* in *. **** **** scored ****** ** ***** Stream ***********.


***** ****** ******** ** average ** ** **********, and ****** ****** ** Video ****, *** ***** in ********** *****, *** Video ****** ***********.


***** ****** ******** ** 7 **********, *** **** scored ****** ** ***** Stream ***********. **** ****** average ** *.


******* ****** ******** ** 9 ********** *** *** not ***** ****** ** any **********.


********* ****** ******** ** 4 ********** *** ******* in * **********. **** scored ****** ** * including ** ******, ***** Sequences, ******* *** *******, Web ***** ** ********** Tile *** ***** ****** Diagnostics.


********* ****** ******* ** 6 ********** *** ******** in *** *******, ***** Sequences, ******* ****** *********, Stream ******* ********** *** Web ***** ** ********** Tile. **** ****** ****** in **** ******* ************* and ******* *** *******.

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

******* ***** *** ****** scored ******** ** * categories *** *** *** score ****** ** *** categories.

User ********* ******

*** ** *** ***** except ********* ****** ******* or ****** ** *** category ** ** ******. The ******** *** ** Design *** ********** *********** functionality *** **** ********, uncluttered **** ****** *** responsive ********** **** *** not **** ******** ** options **** **** *********** based ** ****** *************. A ********** **** * Masters ****** ** ********-***** Interaction **** ******** ********** reviewed **** *** *** the ****.

** ******* ** * strong ** ****** ***** is ******* *****, *** the ******* ******* ***** and ***** **** ******:

******** **** ****** ********, however, ***** **** **** minor ****** **** ******* PTZ *******. **** ***** can ** ********** ***** a ***** *****, *** left-click-and-drag ** *** ********* for ******* ****** *** "hand" ******* ****** ** selected. *** *** ******** is ********** ** *****-*****-***-********, which ** ** ************ behavior ******:

Digital *** ****** ******* *** *********

* ** *** ***** scored ******* ** ****** in *** ******** ** Digital *** *******, ********* and ********* ** *** offer ****. *** ******** for ******* *** ******* was ******** ***** ** create *** ****** ******* within *** **** ********** View, *** ********* *** user ** *** *** configuration **** ** *** VMS.

* **** ******* ** Genetec's ******* *** *******, which *** ******* *** recalled **** *** **** monitoring ****:

***** ****** *******, *******, it ****** ******* *** presets, *** ******** *** user ** ***** *** live **** *** *** up *** ******* ****** the ***** *****:

*****, ******* ***** *** Wave ***** *****-**** *******, but *** *** *******, which ****** ********* ****** windows **** *** ** saved ** * ******** View *** ******:

Tile ******* *********** *********

* ** *** ***** scored ******* ** ****** in *** ******** ** Tile ******* *************, **** Milestone ******* ******. *** criteria *** **** ******** was ******** ***** ** create ****** *******, **** no *********** ** *** many *** ** *******. Milestone **** *** ***** customization ** ******* *****.

* **** ******* ** Exacq's ******* ************* ****, which ****** ******** ****** layouts ** ** *******, up ** ** ******* on * ****** ******:

***** ******** ****** **** Pattern *************, **** ****** average ******* ***** ** a ***** ** ** total ******** **** *** be *****.

Video **** ******* *********

******* ***** ***** ***** a ***** *******, ***** VMS ****** ******* ***** wall *******. *** ** the ***** ****** ******* or ****** ****** *****, which ****** ****** ******* it ***** *** ** successfully **********, **** **** technical ******* **** *****. Hikvision *** ********* ****** average ******* ***** ***** wall ***** ******** ************* more ************* ***** ** function.

** ******* ** * strong ***** **** ***** is ******* ****** ****, which ****** ****** ******* of ******** ******** **** Clients ****** ******** ******** from * ****** ******** Desk ********** ****:

Video ****** *********** *******

**** **** ** *** VMSes ****** ******* ********** stream *********** ** * live ********** ****. **-****** diagnostics *** ******* *** quick ****** ******* *** troubleshooting, ********** ** ****** systems **** ******** ******** streaming ***** **** * WAN.

** ******* ** * strong ***** *** *******, which ******** ******** *********** on * ***** ******* that ** ******* ** or ***:

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

  • ******** ******* ****** *.**
  • ***** ***** *** *.**.*
  • ***** ****** *.*.*.***
  • ******* ******** ****** *.* SR3
  • ********* ****-****
  • ****** **** *.*.*.***
  • ********* ******** ********* **** R3
  • ******* ***** ********* ******

Shootout ****** *******

***** ** ** **** Webinar ** *********, ******** 19th, ** **** *** where ******* *** ******* will ** ********, *** questions **** ** ******** (******* ************ ****).

Comments (91)

Love the shootout. 


RE: 36 second mark on the Avigilon video. Right click and drag to pan when digitally zoomed.


RE: 2:03 mark - digitally zoom in on camera's field of view and save the view to maintain digital zoom


Thanks for the feedback, I noted the hand-icon-to-pan in the report but did not note the right click and drag. I will update the report for accuracy, while also noting that Avigilon was not significantly penalized for that originally.

Sean, you can also enable Video Stream Diagnostics in ACC. You would have to contact support for this info.   Not as detailed as Genetec but helpful. 

The pan function is controlled by right-click-and-dragging, which is an inconsistent behavior design:

NX/Wave and Spectrum all pan with a right click too.  Once you get used to it I find it to be fast since you don't have to move the mouse or my eyes to a different area of the GUI to enable the feature. 


The overlay is available for diagnostics through AV Support and Sales Engineering. As the Health report provides device info the 'debug overlay' is not a standard feature in ACC at this moment in time.

Right-click in Network Optix and Wave moves the entire layout, and does not pan the zoom area. Let me know if this is not the action you're refering to:


Forget about zoom area.  Put your mouse over a camera window and mouse wheel-in to zoom into the image then right click and pan. 

exactly! on top of that, you can rotate zoomed area around its center if you hold ALT. 

The problem with that is it breaks a fundamental rule of UI design consistency:

Source: (Adobe Design Blog - 4 Golden Rules of UI Design)

Functional consistency (Consistency of behavior)

Consistency of behavior means the object should work in the same way throughout the interface. The behavior of interface controls, such as buttons and menu items, should not change within a product.

So in Zoom Areas, Left click and drag performs the pan function (just as Left click and drag is pan while the "Hand" function is selected in Avigilon). However, in every other control mode, its right click and drag.

At the end of the day, both Avigilon and Network Optix were scored highest for UX Design because the interfaces are clean, do not have deep dive right-click menus, and don't require users to change their point of focus from one side of the interface to the other while completing common tasks. 

I think its ok to bend the rules and I am glad they did.   I find it to be easier and faster so I am happy Avigilon and NX/DWG/WAVE have both options.  

I don't disagree with that feedback, and we did not score either poorly overall because of it, however, there are rules for interface design and we are trying to apply some standard/repeatable criteria to each category based upon feedback from our consultant. 

our UX designer would agree with your feedback BTW, we already have new mockups for a while..:-)

Sean, as a UX designer from Network Optix I'm completely agree with you.

Currently It's a total mess of possible interactions – click and drag over the video can perform 7 different actions, depending on the different states and circumstances (not counting click and drag over specific elements, like zoom windows or PTZ handles).

The problem is that amount of possible operations user can perform is much higher that the number of simple actions, which are intuitive and can be found without looking deep into the manual. In general, it is just click, drag, zoom with the mouse wheel, maybe right-click and double-click. The choice is between making some actions easy to use and to find, but not consistent; consistent, but very hard to find; or flooding interface with many different buttons and other controls.

However, we have several ideas about how this situation can be significantly improved – by all parameters – and are already working on it =)

(I did not read Sergey's comment above before posting mine)


With NX to zoom in on the specific RIO, you just mouse over that region(on any camera) and use a mouse wheel.  Double click to get back. 
That simple.

Holding down the right mouse button also allows for digital PTZ through the view. It is not necessary to first select the 'hand' icon. Oohps, sorry Sean just saw you picked up on that already.

No problem, there has been a lot of comments and subcomments in this discussion. I'm upvoting you to make up for the "Unhelpful" vote. 

Much appreciated Sean. Why that comment was deemed 'Unhelpful' I will never know...

NX allows you to resize individual cameras and save them as layouts. This really gives you tremendous amount of flexibility in having a layout with different aspect ratio cameras as well as having more important views set to larger fields on the layout.

UI #2 I agree with what youre saying, however operationally having preset "blank" tiled layouts has its advantages too. The flexibility of their layouts was highlighted, and Network Optix interface was scored strongly in UX design.

For example, if a customer has N identical small retail stores (convenient stores in the US), all with X number of cameras with relatively the same field of views. That customer wants the monitor in each manager's office to have the same layout with that specific location's cameras (obviously).

With a blank tile layout, the tile pattern is set once, and then each location's cameras are dropped in:

With Network Optix (and its OEMs) each site layout would have to be configured and streams stretched and shrunk individually. Because of the customization and flexibility of the layouts, despite not offering blank tile layouts, they scored average.

AVIGILON also offers the option of customizing multi-screens to allow for larger panes for more important views or narrow panes for corridor views etc. You can also save views with cameras zoomed in to various different parts of a scene which is particularly convenient when using larger MegaPixel cameras such as 24MP and 30MP.

Interesting results. Great write up. We moved to Spectrum almost three years ago and haven’t looked back. The live view capabilities are one of the reasons our customers love it. 

We moved to Spectrum right before you and absolutely love it. Mainly because it is so easy to review and export recordings. 

Good write-up Sean.

Interesting on digital PTZ presets - I've never had a customer or integrator ask about them. All kinds of small things people ask about, but no one's asked that one before. 

If the camera allows the creation of digital PTZs, those could be imported into Milestone no sweat. I would presume this is how customers are doing it now if they want them, though I could see it being convenient to make them VMS side.

(Milestone employee)

From my experience, you can usually pull the existing presets from the PTZ, or establish new presets through Milestone. Most likely this will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. I think you can also pull the pre-sets that you establish through ONVIF, but its be awhile. 


(Milestone Certified Fanboy)

Excellent report Sean! As a Genetec end user of a relatively large system (1,000+ cameras) we never utilized sequences, instead opting for task cycling as that fulfilled much of the same objective.

I agree with your finding on the PTZ configurations. The tour and pattern configuration is a unfortunate chor in what otherwise is a pretty slick interface.

Regarding Avigilon as UM1 wrote you can pan using right click or the hand icon.

Regading no debuging.
1. There is site health window that will not display overlay info on the cameras, but will give you both site and camera current parameters.

2. There is a hidden option in Avigilon to see the camera parameters overlay on the camera. But since its hidden I guess it doesn't count :)

Can you explain how to display this hidden menu? I called support regarding this and they did not divulge any hidden menus.

Good Report Sean. 

What is your view on comparing paid fully fledged VMS platforms against free client software from Dahua & HIK? 

#6, Dahua and Hikvision have VMS software, they simply bundle it with hardware and sell it as appliances. It's like Milestone XProtect on a Husky box. It's still VMS software, it's just sold as a kit.

We compare what we see as the most widely used offerings, ergo Dahua and Hikvision are clearly in that group.

As for the cost, when one makes their evaluation that certainly should be a factor. If the premium paid for other VMSes / NVRs cannot be justified by an individual user, then they should go for the lower cost product.

John, my own personal description of VMS software is Milestone, Genetec, Avigilon as they are VMS firstly and they can then sit on generic hardware. Milestone with Husky is slightly in the same field as Dahua / HIK but I am sure you get where I am coming from.

I suppose the word VMS is wide ranging and no one is incorrect saying Smart PSS is a VMS but anyone who uses standalone recorders (Dahua / HIK) and supplies Milestone would consider Milestone a VMS and Dahua / HIK a DVR/NVR (standalone, LINUX). I would call Smart PSS / iVMS4200 client software as apposed to a VMS, but this is just my wording when speaking to customers.

If I was deploying a large multi site customer on a Dahua solution I would be proposing the DSS platform (Express or Pro) and 100% keep away from Smart PSS as a solution for managing Dahua devices.

So to conclude, I think to compare SmartPSS / iVMS to Genetec etc. isn't to me really correct and the more correct comparison would be to compare the paid versions of DSS Pro / HIK Central against Genetec, Milestone etc. 

While this is true, Hik also offers a licenced VMS, HikCentral.

It would be more fare to compare this software as iVMS is freeware. As with any freeware you can't expect it to be awesome, it was free.

Great comprehensive test, happy to see you are as positive as we are about Nx.
When looking at cost for end users it's also great they have lifetime licenses vs repeating high cost at Milestone like systems.

Sean, fantastic report.

Perhaps I missed it above. Can you share how these particular 8 VMS providers were chosen for the shootout? I assume market share, international footprint, others?

Was “real” PTZ control evaluated as well as digital? 

Network Optix has a very unusual PTZ control, which personally I find difficult, although I suspect maybe I’m not using it optimally.

U7, do you mind sending me a private message explaining why is unuseful, maybe we will be able to address it together..

Sure, will do.  Like I said it could be me, or maybe it’s the PTZ I’m using, but it seems hard to control.

In the meantime, do you have a video that shows someone actually using the controls (with a mouse) on a live PTZ and how it responds?  That would be helpful!

I managed to find a couple of old videos 

I embedded the videos for you, thanks for the information Sergey!

I managed to find a couple of old videos...

Sergey, thanks, that first video totally explains it!

btw, anyone looking to make a honest video about their product should emulate that one.

Apparently, the Dahua PTZ that I have is not one that is currently supported for advanced ptz.

Do you support Dahua PTZs in general?  It says it uses the DH-1 ptz protocol, so maybe I can just tell NX to treat it like another model?


U7, can you please let us know Dahua PTZ models you use. We'll contact Dahua and make sure we calibrate them if 
1) they can provide access to it 

2) it's their popular model(s)

I love their advanced PTZ. It’s very good. The normal ptz is ok but nothing like a good old fashion analog camera. Lol

General idea is that if you can give us access to popular PTZ camera we should be able to do advanced PTZ within hours. We'd love to cove popular brands(if we miss some).

Nice report Sean.   How the users may actually interact with the Client is  a different test metric for me.

The screen diag overlays are very helpful in what I do in the lab and being able to how them is key.   The assessment you have is spot on.

Some of the VMS actually have a log file that contains the diag information, but do not provide a path to show the info on the GUI.

Others have a way to enable counters into the Windows perfmon tool which does help a lot when doing overall performance testing.

The performance capability is the primary question I am asked about all the time.   This is defined as what one has to put into a system to show a certain amount of streams across a number of monitors at a particular resolution and FPS.

Each VMS has a different way to perform this basic task so the results of running a 1080p 15 FPS stream of 3Mbits/s "standard load" varies quite a bit on the same hardware.

One item that is showing up more and more lately is the use of large format 4K screens as opposed to large format 1080P ones.    This is very stressful on the hardware driving the screens, so be sure to ask the question about the monitors so an appropriate GPU card is part of the solution.


this post made me chuckle...

not because everything you said wasn't spot on, but because I also post as Undisclosed a lot - and I often post in a style that (I hope) allows long-time IPVM readers to easily recognize who I am when I post without my own name on it...  ;)

I'd bet solid cash money on who UD #9 Manufacturer is....  just sayin'

Mike Nissan?


First let me say I understand, you can't put everything and everyone in every shootout. That said, I would be curious to see how Mirasys stacks up in your testing. I find the UI to be one of the easiest for end users to move around and get what they need.

you must be kidding me. Comparing iVMS to Milestone, Genetec, etc.? It's like to compare nissan versa to Mercedes or BMW.

Is there a reason why you didn't pick Hikcentral for this shootout? Except for the fact that IPVM hates Hikvision and doesn't want it to look good?

Agreed.  HIKcentral is a fantastic program. 

Dennis, 99.9% of Hikvision users use iVMS, not HikCentral, so that's why it's included in the shootout.

That said, we are happy to test HikCentral (separately) but Hikvision has repeatedly denied us authorization for the product, which is dealer only.

Hikvision and you know we do fair tests (e.g., Hikvision won the 4MP shootout recently and was in the top class of our VMS Mobile App Shootout) so if it makes you feel better to vent, so be it.

There must be a US dealer where you can purchase it, or is it that you need it for free?

There's a standard trial version for the software that Hikvision offers publicly.

As you know, we buy over $100,000 of products per year to test, most significantly Hikvision ones, e.g., the $3,500 DeepInMind recorder that did not work and Hikvision later falsely accused us, the ~$3,000 DarkFighterX, etc.

Even if we could buy this from a dealer, we do not have authorized support for this. Since this is a restricted product, we will need Hikvision's direct support for this.


You might have the wrong dealer. As a dealer/distributor ourselves we don't boxmove and rely solely on ourself for tech support.

It's a strategy our customers appreciate. I would sugges looking for a local dealer with good tech support, they must be out there.

Then again, I am confident IPVM has knowledgeable staff that can handle a VMS.

John, just wondering, what kind of support you’re looking for? That’s a very simple system and your employees are smart and professional enough to figure it out in 1-2 hours.

All VMSes / NVRs are complex enough with various low-level, underdocumented and undocumented features, we want to have manufacturer technical support trained in the product available to speak with us. Sean spends a lot of time (far more than 1-2 hours) with each VMS for every feature / element we test (e.g. with Hikvision's general release products, at least we can get general tech support).

And, god forbid, we test HikCentral 'unauthorized' and get some low-level detail wrong because Hikvision refused to answer our questions, Hikvision dealers will crucify us as further proof that we hate Hikvision.

Do all ever ask yourself, why cannot Hikvision be professional and simply provide us with support for such questions? 

There must be a US dealer where you can purchase it...

I’m sure any that carry iVMS 5200 would have it...

Dennis and everyone else who is asking about this:

I looked into purchasing HikCentral for a standalone test of HikCentral. A Hikvision USA HikCentral Product Specialist told me all HikCentral sales in the US must be reviewed and approved by the local Hik RSM, based upon the Approved and Trained HikCentral Dealer, Customer Information, and system design.

I spoke to 2 distributors in the US to doublecheck this, and they confirmed this information.

So we would need to go through a process of either making up a fake customer and placing a Hikvision dealer in a tough situation or expecting that a Hikvision RSM is going to approve the purchase of a HikCentral system for testing when Hikvision Corporate already has denied us access to the full version of the software.

Good news Sean! John knows how to get a free trial!

We downloaded and have a large percentage (20-30 hours of testing) of a HikCentral free version test completed, however, because of the differences and limitations in the free version, we chose not to complete and publish it. That was when we originally contacted Hikvision about purchasing a full version.

John made a new request with Hikvision Corporate to get HikCentral yesterday, forwarding the concerns that were posted here.

Thanks for the update Sean!

could you elaborate on "the differences and limitations" please

Here is Hikvision's Comparison Document: HikCentral Full vs Free

A quick snapshot of just Control Client differences:

to be honest, not too many critical for your shootout things removed from the free version. I'd say these ones are important:

- Custom Window Division

- Smart Wall

But everything else was out of the test scope.


Ultimately including HikCentral Free vs iVMS-4200 is a pointless effort, A) because its still free vs paid VMSes and B) it introduces the complaint of "if you would have tested with the full version"

While iVMS-4200 is free, it is a full version software release, utilized by a significant number of users and integrators.

Sean, what is Dahua's position in the USA about selling there newer DSS Pro / Express?

I am not sure what their position is, but there are so few mentions of DSS Pro, and concerns about not testing it (vs HikCentral or Network Optix before we added them) I don't think there are many users of that compared to SmartPSS.

Comparing iVMS to Milestone, Genetec, etc.? It's like to compare nissan versa to Mercedes or BMW.

Please correct me if I’m wrong but iVMS-4200 has at least one feature that is missing from HikCentral, the ability to record video locally.

Isn’t that the one thing that every other VMS does?

It’s not a universal VMS like others. I don’t think someone will use Hikcentral with axis or samsung CCTV system. They designed it that way: you have your NVR’s and you can have SAN or cloud as a backup.

Hikcentral is a controller, not a VMS in a classic understanding.

Hikcentral is a controller, not a VMS...

Then why would you be so upset that it’s not included in a VMS shootout?

Because it’s not a VMS shootout in this case. Hikvision shouldn’t participate

Because it’s not a VMS shootout in this case. Hikvision shouldn’t participate

unless they want to unleash the market disrupting 5200?

Most of these type of systems where it simply manages a bunch of NVRs are usually called a CMS.

One of the features on Genetec Security Center you should have tested is visual tracking. It makes following a person very simple 



IPVM is a goldmine for us. The reports are usually fair and informative. This one is not. Comparing Genetec, Milestone and Avigilon multi-thousands VMS to freebies is not fair. Hikvision iVMS is not a VMS. It is free and frankly you get what you paid for. A fair comparison would have been with Hikvision offering the Hikcentral. 

Cheers and Happy Holidays.

#14, why did you (nor any Hikvision dealer) complain when we published VMS Mobile App Shootout - Avigilon, Dahua, Exacq, Genetec, Hikvision, Milestone

When Hikvision 'wins' (like in the mobile app shootout with the 'freebie' iVMS-4500), Hikvision dealers are happy. When they lose, they cry foul, saying IPVM hates Hikvision and is unfair.


Would it kill you to agree with your customers for once instead of talking them down as ‘crybabies’

When several of your customers make the same point instead of being offended it would help us if you look at the arguments. 

Frankly your rebuttal of lack of support is not making sense, your team smart enough as your customers (not just me) are pointing out.

Would it kill you to agree with your customers for once instead of talking them down as ‘crybabies’

Let's be clear. IPVM runs a research, testing and reporting service. We are not here to make any distributor or dealer happy about the products they sell (whether it is Hikvision, Hanwha, Axis, etc.).

Please just look at the point made, we know that you are independant, it's why we subscribed.

Adding the payed solutions from both Dahua and Hik would make it more fare. It would also be a nice test to see if either has mastered not only making a camera but also a piece of software, which in my honest opinion a totally different ballgame.

Jonathan for some one as outspoken as you, especially when it comes to Hikvision, you should do your homework a little better. You have littered various threads with your praise for especially Hik without educating yourself.

Does HikCentral actually work with the iVMS mobile app's? I think they have a dedicated HikCentral app for it.

Dahua have dedicated DSS apps for use with DSS Pro and Express and it doesn't work with the iDMSS. 

So maybe the better testing would have been to compare the Genetec, Milestone apps against DSS and HikCentral apps.

Consumer app's like for entry level devices typically have more features but that usually results in more bugs too.....

Hikcentral has its own mobile app.  You would not believe it was made by the same company responsible for ivms.  Our end users who desire mobile access prefer it to any other app we have provided on other brands.  Our company policy is to never open ports to any nvr equipment to the internet.  They must use vpn software to connect to the camera network then launch the app and it works flawlessly.  I might add that Hik’s support for hikcentral is beyond professional.   It is run from their Canadian office.  It is a shame their US reps and SEs don’t know much about the program.  It is a must for any Hik install.  

So maybe the better testing would have been to compare the Genetec, Milestone apps against DSS and HikCentral apps.

Whether or not we add more VMSes to the shootout, we are not going to drop Dahua and Hikvision NVRs. They are widely used, so dropping them would be a disservice to everyone else who uses them and everyone else who competes against them. The only reason to drop Dahua and Hikvision VNRs would be if people stopped using them (either because there is some mass shift to Hikua paid VMS or people stop using Hikua recorders generally).

I disagree. I think comparing "paid" products to "free" products is a good measure to keep paid products honest. After all, if a free product comes even close to a paid product, shouldn't that indicate a problem with the paid product? If a free product is scoring the same as, or even very close to, my paid product, I need to really start asking myself what is the value in my paid product.

That's a good point. But to be fair, I think they should have added the paid versions as well.

So when you pay 'nothing' you get 'nothing'?

I do not have a clear idea of what you are asking if you are replying to me directly. You apparently do get something from the "free products" (even though I know nothing is really "free" in the world, you pay for it one way or another). In this case you get a functional VMS that may not work as great as the paid products, but may be all you need.

Please elaborate if I did not understand something correctly.

The UX of the client application is the one thing that OnSSI Ocularis does the best, in my opinion. We've looked into switching to one of the bigger players a lot, but we keep coming back to the client application. Circular menu, easy movement of the timeline, just a smooth UI.

There are a few places that I'd like to see improvement, such as the way scrolling works in the views menu or the slowness of the bookmarks system. But on the whole, our customers use it and as far as I know, love it. When I look at the other programs on this list, I really can't see our customers liking them. Just not the same "smoothness" of the UI.

I can't comment much about the advanced client features, such as alarms, video walls, or audio. We don't use those.

I noticed there were a couple comments letting you know that in Avigilon you have the ability to save the view of your digital zooms which you said they did not have that ability.  I also noticed that you did not update the report re-scoring them and reevaluating since this had been a big hit against them.  I assume it is simply a time issue.  I took the liberty to set this up in under a minute and then screenshot it to share with you.  I pulled 4 streams off the same camera into 4 views then digitally zoomed each one to a different area of interest.  Saved the view.  Exited.  Then reopened and it populated all four back to my saved zoomed in positions.  Thank you in advance for updatingdigitally zoomed saved views with Avigilon the scoring and report to reflect this.  

Interesting that there is still no response to this or update.  Or the fact that in digital ptz you pan by holding a right click and that wasn't corrected from the video either.

Thanks for your concern UM17, I will be updating a couple scores based on user and manufacturer feedback.

Is it possible to have an updated test result now? Any chance to include HUAWEI?

Ameen, thanks! We'd like to test Huawei video surveillance, though we need to figure out where to buy it. It's not sold in the US....

I created an issue for us to look into where and what to buy. If anyone can sell us Huawei cameras, recorders, etc., please email me at john@ipvm.com

looking on the Huawei 'Find a Channel Partner' page - using the product line filter  'Video Security' - I can find no resellers in ANY country - including China.  :( 

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