There are three types of recording systems to consider. Each one provides some unique capability.
- Video Management Software
- Network Video Recorder
- Cloud service systems
Video Management Software (VMS) is software only that runs on your Windows computer and can be scaled to any size of IP camera system.
Network Video Recorder (NVR) is a complete system that includes the computer and software.
Cloud service provides remote recording (over the Internet) for IP cameras at many different locations. It doesn’t require any computer at your location, but supports very limited number of cameras.
The IP recording and management system is a key part of your IP camera system. If you select the wrong system, you could find yourself without the key video evidence you need when an incident occurs, or worse still your security could be breached and safety threatened because of the wrong choice.
We compared one VMS from OnSSi with two different NVR systems and one cloud system. The two different NVR systems were selected because of the different capability they provided. The NVR can be open system, in that it supports a very large number of camera brands, or it can be a proprietary NVR from a camera manufacturer that supports a limited brand of cameras. The review tries to highlight the differences and advantages of each recording system. We left out some of the common features such as viewing multiple cameras, scheduling recording, and client viewing software since they all support this.
Comparison of IP Video Recording Systems
OVERVIEW: Ocularis Video Management Software (VMS) from OnSSi is available in different versions depending on the feature set required. Since you only pay for the version you need, it can be a very economic solution.This software runs on a Windows platform. It supports thousands of cameras on multiple recording servers. The client software runs on as many computers as required and allows you to view any camera or set of cameras from any of the recording servers.
PROS AND CONS:
- Very flexible system that supports very large number of cameras manufacturers.
- Includes excellent alert notification including “push video” to selected consoles.
- Includes many powerful search and retrieval tools.
- Includes customizable video displays and alert notification.
- The LS and ES versions support edge recording at the cameras.
- Supports two-way audio and intercoms.
- Flexibility leads to complexity of installation and use, so some training may be required.
OVERVIEW: Exacq is an example of an open type of Network Video Recorder that supports many different brands of IP cameras. These systems can support hundreds of cameras from many different manufacturers. Exacq sells both their complete NVR solution as well as the VMS software (by itself). NVR systems are specified by the maximum number of cameras supported and size of storage. Some systems allow NAS to be added.
PROS AND CONS:
- Very easy to install and use.
- Open non-proprietary system
- Supports a very large number of camera brands.
- Includes flexible alert notification, but doesn’t support “push video”
- Two-way audio is very limited, and edge recording is not supported.
OVERVIEW: The Hikvision and Samsung NVRs are primarily designed for their cameras. They are best for small security systems where only the supported cameras will be used. It provides the full functional capability when the manufacturer’s cameras are used. These NVRs also support a small number of other brands of cameras such as Axis, Sony and other cameras that conform to ONVIF. NVR systems are specified by the maximum number of cameras supported and size of storage..
PROS AND CONS:
- Easy to install and use when using the Hikvision or Samsung cameras.
- Proprietary NVR system
- Does not include advanced management and analytic features.
- Relies on camera functions for alarm conditions.
- Two-way audio is not supported
- Edge recording is not supported.
OVERVIEW: Cloud type systems are actually remote servers that provide the video recording at a remote location. The cloud system primarily provides video recording for a limited number of cameras. Requires cameras with edge alarm detection. Outbound Internet bandwidth determines the number of cameras that can be supported.
PROS AND CONS:
- No computer equipment is required
- The number of cameras supported is limited by the out-bound bandwidth.
- Usually not more that 5 or 6 cameras can be supported.
- Open system
- Motion detection and other alarms must be provided by the cameras.
Video Recording Summary and Conclusion:
The video recording system does more than just record the video, it also provides user management, camera management, real time displays, audio support and alerts from alarms, and more. Your IP camera system is not complete without the video recording and camera management system.
Where do you begin? As usual we start at the objectives. Do you want to just have a record of someone who stole the laptop, or do you want to catch the person when they are doing it? Do you have a security team that is watching the video in real time? Do you want to stop people from climbing the fence or entering a secure area? Take a look at our previous article about understanding your objectives. Once you know what you need you can make use of the this comparison and review table.
Conclusions: All the systems record video, so if that’s all you need to do, just select the one that’s easiest to use, is inexpensive and provides reliable recording. But, there are a number of other things that are only available from certain recording systems.
Ocularis is an excellent and flexible Video Management Software solution. It provides the best alert handling, so makes it the best choice when you need active alarms and notification. It is also the best choice for a complex IP security systems that integrate IP door access control, intercoms or other security platforms. It is the only system that supports two-way audio. It has proven to be a very reliable system.
Exacq is a top rated NVR solution. It is very reliable and includes a wide range of capability making it a good choice in many applications. Exacq is primarily a NVR solution and includes the ability to operate on a Windows or Linux platform supporting up to 128 cameras per server. Since the server usually comes with the NVR solution, the hardware is right for the task. It doesn’t support intercoms and remote door controls as well as the Oculairs solution.
In general the NVR systems are very simple inexpensive solutions that are perfect if you just need to record the video. Be careful to make sure that the cameras you plan to use are supported by these NVRs.
The Hikvsion and Samsung are proprietary NVRs that are a good choice when you plan to use the manufacturer’s cameras. It is recommended for small systems.
Cloud offers remote recording services. Cloud services usually supports only 4 to 8 cameras per location, and is not the best for general security and surveillance applications.
The right system for you is based on your security and safety objectives. Yes, selecting the right video recording system can be complicated, so please rely on us for help selecting not only the recording software, but also your complete IP camera system. We are the experts in IP connected security products. We provide free consulting and the very best pricing so you get exactly what you need at the best price.
Need more information? Just contact us If you would like some help with your IP Camera System, please contact us: 1-800-431-1658 914-944-3425 (outside the USA) FAX: 914-944-0717