Monday, June 8, 2015

Video surveillance - Hikvision IP cameras with Xeoma NVR software solution

I recently switched from analogue cameras and dedicated DVR to IP cameras in order to consolidate my infrastructure.
I acquired 2 different Hikvision full-HD (3MP) IP cameras which appear to be a good quality/cost compromise.
These cameras are :
for internal use : DS-2CD2432F-I(W)
for external use : DS-2CD2332-I

These IP cameras come with internal software but I wanted to manage them centrally.
I had a look at different NVR software solutions.
- Hikvision offers a free but limited software (iVMS-4200 PCNVR) (Windows).
- ISpyConnect (Windows)
- ZoneMinder (Linux)
- Xeoma (Windows, Linux, MacOS, Android)

I wished to run it on Linux preferably to lower the resource requirements.

  • Hikvision solution runs well with good video quality but has no remote access for mobile devices, and event/trigger/action is pretty limited.

  • ISpyconnect seemed to work initially but has some smearing effects very often. It also requires to use a cloud account to remotely access your own NVR.

  • ZoneMinder is free and runs on Linux which are good points and offers mobile device oriented web portal. It has many many settings but interface is basic.
Main drawback here again is the smearing effect which is blocking for this purpose.

    •  First excellent point, the video quality is as good as on the proprietary Hikvision software

    • Then it runs on multiple OS
    •  It is composed of a server and a client, and you can then run the server only on a light headless linux machine (or a VM) and operate it from your Windows laptop for instance
    • The interface is clean, intuitive and event/trigger/action are graphically managed by chaining module boxes

    • You can as well use external service like clickatell to send text messages on alerts.

    •  I found that it lacks some monitoring app for IOS and Windows Phone, but you can create a custom view web server using the web server module and access it from your phone's browser or any device, so it's not blocking.
    • Basic network layout
 Definitely this piece of software makes it easy to manage your camera and if you have Hikvision IP cameras, Xeoma is the only one that displays/records correctly the streams (in addtion to Hikvision own software of course).