Worst NVR / VMS Manufacturers 2018

By IPVM Team, Published Jan 29, 2018, 09:03am EST

These are the manufacturers who integrators reported the most significant problems with.

220+ integrators answered:

In the past year, what VMS / NVR system have you had the worst experience with? What happened?

A notable shift occurred between the 2016 worst results and this year. While, in 2016, VMS software providers topped the list, in 2018, NVRs did. 

In this report, we share detailed feedback from integrators and examine key themes impacting the overall market.

Executive *******

********* *** ***** **** the ********* *********** **** often ********* ***** ** problematic, **** **** ******* overall ******** *** *******. The ***** ******* ***** was **** *** ******** of ***** *********, **** as ****, *********, ***, etc. **** ****** *** for related ************* ** ******* product ******* ********.

*******, ** ***** ******* came ***** ** ********* and ***** ** ***** of ******* ******** *********, though **** *** ******* some ******** ******** ********, which ** **** ***** below.

#1 ********* - **** ** *********, ******* **** ** **********

****** ******* ** *********, resource ***********, *** **** of *** **** ******* reasons *********** **** *** their ******** ******** ** Hikvision:

  • "********* **** *** **** - ** *** *********, slow, **** ** *** and ******** ********"
  • "********* ******** ** ******** daily **** **** ** our ******* **** ** some ****** ***** **** run ***. ****, ***-**********, resetting ******, ***, ***, etc..."
  • "*********. **** **** *** resource **********."
  • "********* ******** ***/**** *** only **** *** *** aspect ** *** ********* recording *******."
  • "********* **** **** **** is *** ***** *** on *** ******, ***** hours ** ***** * recording **** **** ***** glitchy ***** ** **** just ***** ********."
  • "*********- ********* **, ********* to *** **, ******* is ********."
  • "********* ** *** ***. Their *** ** ****** and ********* *** * non-technical ****** ****** ** navigate. **** *** ******* complaints *** ******* *****."
  • "********* **** ****. *** to ***** *** ***********."
  • "********* - **** **** client *** *** ****** at ***, ********, ****** in ****** ** *******, does *** **** **** with ******** ********. *** to **** *** ********* out ** * ******** due ** ******** *** the ****** ********. **** on *** *** ******** hog *** ***** *** consistently ***."
  • "********* *** ***-*******. **** an ******** ***** ** garbage. *** ****** **** here ** ******* ** all, *** ********* ***** problem ******** *** ** fix."
  • "***'* ***** ** * 'worst' **********. ********* **** 4200 ** *****. "
  • "*********, ** ***** * 31st ** ****** ** an *** ****** *** spent * ***** *** our **** ** ******** all ** *** ***** and ******** **** *** system ******* ******* ** Halloween...Trick ** *****!"
  • "********* *** ***** ******* solution *** **** ******** interface *** *** **** easy ** ***."
  • "********* ***'* ****** ****** using *** ******* ** just **** *** *****'* go ******** ** ** opinion *** *** ***** debacle **** ******** *** domain ** *** ***** of **** **** *** just * *****, *'* glad * ****'* **** that **** ******* **** them, * **** ***** for ***** **** ***."

** *** ******** **** for *********, **** **** signal **** *********** *** using ** ** ***** trying *** *********'* *********. Clearly, *********'* ******* *** stronger **** ***** **** but ********* ***** **** at *** ***** ****** than ******* *** ********* incenting *********** ** ** least *** ***** *********.

#2 - ***** ***** ***** ***************

*********** *** *** ******** experiences **** ***** **** commonly ***** ****** ******* to *****/******* ** *** cause ** ***** ***********:

  • "*****, *** ** *******. One ** *** ******** managers *** *** **** account *********** ******* ** the **** **** ****** to *** *******."
  • "*****. ******* ** *** security ********, ** *** a *** ******* ***********."
  • "***** ** ***. **** your *** *******, ***. hackfest ****."
  • "*** **** ****** ** have *** **** ****** Dahua ******* *** ** firmware *******."
  • "*****/********* **** ****** *** most ******* ***** *** to ****** ***** ******** issues."
  • "*****. ******, **** **** of ******** ********. **** go ***.. ***** ********."
  • "***** ****. *** ****..."
  • "*****. ***** ******* *** problems **** *** ******* security."

**** *********, ***** **** received ******** ******** ** user ********* *** *********** issues: 

  • "*****. ********* ** *** cameras **** ************* *** it *** ********** ** get * **** **** layout. ******** ** **** a ***** ***** **** than * ****."
  • "***** ***.... ******** *********"
  • "*****. *** ** ****** a ****** *** *** upgrading * ***** ****** and ***** ******* **** messing **. ***** ******** is *** ** *** intuitive *** *** * lot ** ******* ****** and *** ********* **********."

Exacq ******** ********

***** ***** *** ******** **** integrators, ***** *** ************* **** ******** responses ** ****:

  • "***** ******. **** ******* features. *******, **** ***** to ** ** ********** solution. **** **** ******* support *** ***** ***** products."
  • "**********, * *** ** software ******, *** ****** features."
  • "*****, *** **** ** hell. **** *** *** keeping ** **** ******* cameras ***** ******** ****** us *** ***** ** integrate ******* **."
  • "*****. *** ***** ******* team *** ******** * flawed ******. **** *** higher *** ***** *** honor *** **** *** wanted ** *** **% to *** *****."
  • "***********, ******* ********* ** ok. ****** *** ** garbage, *** *** **** not ****** ***** **** well. ********** ******* *** of ******* *** ** bandwidth ******, ***** ** sad ******* ** *** to ****** ******* ** bare ******* *** ***** software **** ******* *** load ** *******"
  • "***********. ******** ** *** user-friendly *** ****."
  • "***********,******* ********* ** **. Mobile *** ** *******, the *** **** *** handle ***** **** ****. Consistent ******* *** ** cameras *** ** ********* issues, ***** ** *** because ** *** ** adjust ******* ** **** minimum"
  • "** *** ** ***** NVR **** ********** ** down *** ** **** us **** ***** ** convince **** ** ******* the *** **** ** the *** ***** *** issues *** **** * year."
  • "***** ******, * ****(*) the *******, *** *** a ********* *** ***** warranty, *** *** * terrible ********** **** ******* replacement **** *** ****** time **** **** ******* on ****, ***** *** again. **** ******** * "refurbished ****" *** ** failed ******* ***** *******. No ****** * ***."

Genetec ******, ********* ******* *******

**** *** ********, ******* did ******* **** ********** about **** *******:

  • "*******. *** *** **** hold ********* *** *********** hostage *** ******* ** the ********* ****** *'** ever ****. **** *** RSM ** * ******."
  • "******* - **** ** credible *******, ***** ** very **** *** ******** limited ** ******"
  • "*******. ******* ** ** far *** ***** **’** seen. ** *** **** onsite ** *** *********, they ***’* **** **** to ***/***. ******* *** fact **** **** ********* in *** ****, *** use ** ** * daily *****, ** ******’* get *******. *** ***’* are **** ********* ********* and *** *** *** out ** ***** *** a *** ** *** retail *********."

*** *** *********** ********* *******'* ********* ** ********* ** ******* *** ***** dissatisfied **** *** *******:

  • "******* *** **** ********* and ** ****** ********** Hikvision."
  • "*******. ******* **** **** support ********* ********."

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

**** ***********, ****** */* of *** *********, ****** they *** ** ******** negative *********** ** ****. In **** ********, * few *********** **** ******** reasons *** **** *** not **** ******* ***** experiences, ***** ***** ******** around *********** ****** ************* and ********** **** * limited ****** ** ************ partners:

  • "**** ******. ** ******* the ******* ** ****** to **** ***** ** trust."
  • "* ******** **** *** had * *** **********. We **** *** **** to ***** *** ********* properly *** **** ********* a *** ******** **********, which ********* *** ***********. But ** ** ****, we ** *** ******* beyond *** **** ********* very *****. ******* ***** Networks *** ******* ********, we **** ********* *** our ****** ******** ****. We **** ******* ******* with ******** ** ***** our ***** **** ** a ******* ****** ** platforms."
  • "* *****'* *** *** real ******** **** *** selected ******** *** ** vet *** ******** **** carefully ****** ** **** / ******* ****."
  • "*****'* *** *** ***** wrecks. **** *****'* ***** anything ***."
  • "** *****'* *** *** bad *********** **** *** VMS/VNR **** ****** ***. That ** *** ** have ******** ***** ** our ******* ********. **** deliver **** ** ******** and ******* ****."

2016 ***** ***** - **** *** ***

*****, ****** * *** of ******** ***** ** 2016 ******* ** ******** in ***** ***** ** **** ********* *** ******* *********** ** ******, ***** *** ** many ********* ***** *** ***********. ***** ***** did **** **** ***** for ***** *** **** year, ******* ********** ******* on ***** *** ******* this **** ******, ********* that ***** *** ******** **** key ********* ******.

******* ***** ****** ** 2016,*****, *** *** ***** to ********* / ********** Milestone. ********* ** ********** well ***** ** ***********, which ***** **** ***** *** of *** ***** *** rankings.

*** ***** *** ***** choice ** ****, *****, for ****** **** ***** DS *** ****** ***** management ********, *** **** improved. **** ** ****** helped ** ***** ***** and *********** ** * new ***, *********** ***** ******** **** ****** critical ******** **** ****, but **** **** *********** praising **. ******* ***** had **** *** ********, which ** ****** **** all ******** ********, *** also ****** ********* **** Pelco ** ***** ****** ** regain **** ****** *****.

2020 *******

*********** *** ******* ****** problems **** ***-**** ****. The ******** *** **** is: **** *** *** manufacturers **** **** ****** in *** **** * years, ******* ** ******* and ****** ************* ******? Or **** *** *** manufacturers ** **** ** pitch *** ******* ***** offerings ** ******** *********** to ***** **** *** their *********? **** **** up ** *********** *********** and ******* *** *** next *** *****.

Comments (25)

The third bullet point negative on Genetec is great and as designed. 

As a dealer I appreciate, support and understand this policy.  My jaded thoughts are don't sell a solution that is constantly improving and evolving without keeping your staff certified. 

Don't complain about poor access to tech support when anyone can call in and get equal access and support. 

Also the comment regarding high pricing makes no sense - Genetec's equals are similarly, if not more expensive - feature set to feature set. 

Don't compare, for example EXACQ to Genetec and say Genetec is too expensive - apples and kumquats. 

Also - the kicking out/not supporting of Hikvision is awesome, as well, in my opinion and experience. Someone looking at Hikvision isn't looking at a Genetec type solution - Genetec isn't losing business over this and vice versa. 

EXACQ downfall is inevitable, why would this purchase be dissimilar to all the other past purchases?  EXACQ was a great openVMS solution, now the push for AD cameras and integration with other Tyco products is in direct conflict to what they were about before the purchase IMO.  Now they are owned, above Tyco, by Johnson Controls, a further watering down of purpose, beyond just making the best product on the market.

As an integrator - why would I want to support my competitor?

Don't compare, for example EXACQ to Genetec and say Genetec is too expensive - apples and kumquats.

As a counter, though, and I hear this from multiple integrators I know: do you sell Genetec in systems with simpler requirements knowing that it's more expensive than others? Or do you sell another VMS or NVR in those cases? 

Great article as always each year i look up to it, but just a curiosity question: where is your concentration in the world in getting feedback regarding the systems ? 

This site is heavily dominated by North American subscribers and the surveys will reflect this.  I did once ask if we could separate the responses to the surveys by geographic region.  Even NA to rest of world.

Campbell, the issue is the native English speaking world is heavily dominated by North Americans.

I actually think IPVM has the same proportion of Australian and New Zealand integrator members that we have for North America but there are simply 12x the number of people in NA than in Australia and NZ.

Campbell, the issue is the native English speaking world is heavily dominated by North Americans.

Of course.  I think NA makes up like 2/3rd of the native English speaking world.

However, there's still an estimated 400-600 million ESL speakers globally.  I have no idea how many non North Americans sub to IPVM, I still remain interested as to whether NA trends and thought patterns are a global match.

The globe is a big place. For example, IPVM is unlikely to have many integrator members in China (given the language barrier) so it does not reflect that region. Likewise, for other developing countries that do not speak English the results could be different.

A better answer would be:  "We welcome subscribers from all over the world and acknowledge diversity in needs and methods.  We will consider breaking down survey results by region as technical resources allow."

Many Thanks for your responses, i would want to agree to separate the responses coz it will not only get an idea for us from other regions but also support your studies regarding the same.
As to what John mentioned if i understood correct that the main issue is because of the english i think that we reached to a time where the population of people who enters these industries also are familiar with english :)

well that's an opinion perhaps you could open a regional office in other locations to support your studies it could expand! Thanks again!

Exacq, has gone to hell. They are not keeping up with current cameras being deployed making us use ONVIF to integrate cameras in.

Exacq is not the only VMS falling prey to laziness on drivers due to ONVIF.  Quite frustrating on other VMS as well for even popularly supported brands.  When Axis is barely supported that presents a concern.

At least Exacq attempts to keep up with new cameras. Vs their S2 rebranding, which is 1-2 firmware updates behind Exacq's version and you can't flash the latest version of Exacq onto it. 

I will freely admit to being an overt Genetec apologist, but the comments on Genetec in the article are just flat laughable.

"We can't get support because our technician isn't certified."

First, wait, you mean they hold to a stated policy? It is an AUTOMATED SYSTEM where you have to enter your tech credentials to even talk to someone, so it's not like they're singling you out.

Second, if the technician was certified before, the recertification course is ONLINE! It takes no time at all, and is (I think) $100 to get. If you're not keeping your technicians trained up to the point of taking an online course that is a few hours long, you probably don't want that tech working with tech support anyways!

I get that everyone likes to hate on the companies who hold firm to this policy, but it's there for a good reason and, for one, greatly appreciate it. Genetec is not a system that should be sold or installed without knowing what you're doing, and that policy protects both the end-user and the integrator.

Oh, and as for SSA's being too high? If you didn't inform your customer of SSA costs up front, that's on you. Also, there are substantial discounts available for multi-year purchases, which 100% of my customers take advantage of. A 3-year Genetec SMA is in the range of basically every other enterprise-level VMS SSA out there, and a 4-year is less expensive (or at worst equal to) all the enterprise-level VMS SSA's.

The last manufacturer (AMX) I had to deal with that started charging for support, even for dealers, we dropped like a hot potato.  Getting their technically fragile products repaired became impossible so most of it got ripped out and upgraded.  Their market share in resi sank and never recovered, and I don't think it went any better in commercial.

I know of companies that prioritize support for certified techs, but they still will provide support to anyone with their products.  That's a better way.

 

Very informative survey. Just out of curiosity, why Hik didn't have  negative comments on cyber-security in the summary while Hik and Dahua both had server cyber-security issues in the past year?

Hikvision's most serious cybersecurity issues were for their IP cameras and their discovered backdoor did not impact recorders. Dahua's backdoor impacted both recorders and cameras, which is the reason we believe Dahua had more mentions for cybersecurity on this NVR / VMS survey.

Curious to see what people feel about the AD VideoEdge platform. Any comments?

AD VideoEdge platform

Statistically, it's very infrequently used. Related, I've found it confusing why Tyco SP / now JCI has both Exacq and VideoEdge. They were acquired separately and VideoEdge was bought first, but it's a weird overlap. Also, see: VMS Matchup: Tyco Exacq vs VideoEdge

* Disclosure - I work for Genetec

To address the comments in the survey:

Regarding Support Pricing; No SW manufacturer can grow in a business model where they "sell" perpetual licenses & give away free upgrades, hence the need to purchase SMA (SSA / Support Etc.). Genetec now offers Security Center in an SaaS version, meaning that rather than pay upfront for a perpetual license, a customer can simply pay a monthly or annual fee that includes all upgrades & support without the upfront perpetual license cost

Regarding Support Certification: If a customer has purchased Genetec, it's most likely for a large scale or enterprise opportunity that requires multiple users, integrations etc. These type of projects require updated knowledge to optimize the configuration and leverage the full feature set of the product. As an integrator, if you've sold Genetec to win an opportunity vs. lesser competitors it's incumbent to deliver the best possible experience to the user who's purchased it. This is the foundation of a long term relationship and repeat business opportunities.

Regarding Training Classes: Genetec holds multiple certification classes across North America & Globally each month. Visit our web page for upcoming scheduled classes or Contact your RSM if you'd like  a class scheduled closer to you geographically

Regarding Cost: Genetec understands the marketplace & our competitors pricing quite well. Genetec is very competitively positioned on large single or multi-site projects. Simply bring the opportunity to your RSM or Business Development Manager to review and  construct pricing & strategy to help you win. 

 

 

OK Genetec, I understand the certification thing, that was a useless rant. However, the classes are laughable (at least the ones I have attended) but anyone that has been in this business for a while can feel their way around after getting a little direction. I like the VMS, the features are great and its easy enough to setup. Biggest problem, HUGEST problem, you screw over your integrators. So the customer doesnt understand or care about the importance of an SMA so dont give them updates; let them use onvif forever. But why cut off your partners when they need your help? Genetec is the only manufacturer that we use that does this. Milestone, Exacq, NUUO, Axis...NO PROBLEM.   

Undisclosed Integrator 8

Genetec offers the GTAP portal as a method to get support for systems not under a valid SMA. Within this knowledge base, including instructional videos, articles & downloads, you can find specific answers to most common questions about the product. You also have the ability to e-mail support if additional assistance is needed.

To Register for GTAP simply follow this link:

I like working with Genetec software, one of my favorites. However, our customer has left Genetec for another VMS. Reasons? Very expensive tech support and from a technician perspective, the tech gets stuck in the middle between the customer and the boss. They both want it repaired and neither wants to pay $1000's of dollars for tech support.

One more thing, training is pricey and very rushed. 2 day course is unacceptable for someone new to the product, secondly, to get the advanced course (troubleshooting) you need enterprise to qualify. I have no need to get enterprise certification. Again, the tech ends up not being able to help the customer when it comes down to deeper software issues. 

I find it interesting that people complain about the quality of the free Exacq support but then also complain about the restricted Genetec support which in my opinion is the best in the VMS business. Also Genetec is pretty much the only one, as far as I know who offers the cert classes for free(by issuing training credits for every purchase). Of course it still takes a tech or engineer out from the field for a week but it is still much easier to swallow when you don't have to pay a thousand dollars for the cert on top of that.  

No mention of Longse's VMS?

Longse is coming in the favorites list. I am kidding... obviously.

Related: Free Longse 'ONVIF' VMS Released, Partially Stolen From Milestone, Video InsightLaw Breaking Longse Enters USA

From numerous surveys we have done, Longse is just not widely used amongst professional integrators. Their absence from this list indicates more that we are simply not even under consideration for almost all integrators (which is a prudent move).

Hi

 

The report features the term VMS. For my money and that of our customers. We really like Milestone Systems... OnSSi seems to improve. We'll see.

The report also features "NVR"and there , i have to disagree as our experiences don't match ours. Hikvision NVRs are as good as we have seen on the field when it comes to do what people mostly need: Record video. They do and do it well and reliably. In places where power is an issue they simply work. no cots-based system has even remotely, approached  in our experience their reliability. THe interface is ugly, non-intuitive, you name it .. They however just work and record well and retrieving the videos is a simple and reliable. The performance of the new VMS on H.265 is surprising. YMMV ours is stellar when it come to Hikvision NVR we have close to 100 on the field and so far not ever a breakdown. 

Hik iVMS4200 is only good to view Hik cameras not much else ... the NVRs ? As good as ut gets! IOW seriously good IMHO.

We would like to see the  integration of Hikvision NVRs with popular VMS such as Milestone System. That hasn't happened yet. 

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