There are three types of IP camera 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. The number of cameras supported at each location depends on the Internet bandwidth available.
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. You can also select protected storage for your IP camera system that protects the evidence chain.
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 an 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 5 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 is designed to support very large enterprise IP Camera systems. 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:
- A very flexible system that supports a very large number of cameras manufacturers.
- Provides a range of solutions from medium to very large IP camera systems at multiple locations.
- Includes excellent alert notification including “push video” to selected consoles.
- Includes many powerful search and retrieval tools.
- Includes customizable video displays and alert notifications.
- Ocularis 5 supports 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 provides complete NVR solution. The model is determined by the maximum number of cameras supported and the 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 Hanwha (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 other brands of cameras such as Axis, Sony and other cameras that conform to ONVIF.
The latest WAVE NVRs from Hanwha are excellent for small to medium sized IP camera systems. The WAVE software is also available without the NVR platform. It can run on your own Windows PC. The NVR systems are specified by the maximum number of cameras supported and the how long you want to record the video.
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 supported on the Hanwha WAVE NVR
- 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 outbound bandwidth.
- Usually, not more than 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 this comparison and review table.
Comment: Many NVR and VMS systems just record video, but there are others that provide features that increase your security. The Recording system is a key part of the CCTV surveillance system.
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 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 an 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 Ocularis 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 Hikvision and Hanwha (Samsung) are proprietary NVRs that are a good choice when you plan to use the manufacturer’s cameras. It is recommended for small to medium systems.
Cloud offers remote recording services. Cloud services usually support 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