Hi from UK

strutha

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Hi - I just found this forum after several weeks of struggling to set up the HikVision HiLook kit I bought which is:

NVR-108MH-D/W HiLook 8Ch H.265 4MP WiFi NVR with 2Gb HDD
4 x IPC-B120-D-W HiLook WiFi 1080P IP Bullet Camera with 30m Night Vision & Built in Mic

Things I'm finding:

1. User manuals are cr@p. I worked in various technical IT roles for >30 years but I still found the documentation either difficult to understand or non-existent. For example the NVR has a built in web server for accessing the system through a browser but is there a user manual for this to be found anywhere on the interweb? No.

2. I found several different clients for accessing the system; the console interface on the NVR, the aforementioned web interface on the NVR, iVMS-4200 client, and umpteen different apps for mobile phones. Might be a good thing except not all of the functionality is available through all of the interfaces so in the end its just plain confusing about which one to use.

3. The wifi sucks. With the cameras in the same room as the NVR connection was fine but as soon as I moved the cameras to outside the double-glazed window of the room the connections became unstable/broken. Yes I know that wi-fi signal strength can be affected by walls etc getting in the way but losing signal strength because of two sheets of glass in the way - seriously? I ran some tools to measure signal strength from the NVR SSID and it was on max on the meter, so I'm guessing that means the wifi on cameras is the issue. Only savng grace is the cameras can also be wired in with ethernet which I wanted to avoid (hence wifi connection seemed like a good option) so that's what I'm now having to do. If I'd known that in advance I'd probably have chosen a different system and/or manufacturer. Even the little battery-powered Arlo cameras I am replacing could hang onto the wifi signal when outside my house - one of them was even mounted on an outhouse 15 metres away from the Arlo hub and on the other side of a 450mm thick stone wall.

4. I like the features for setting up motion detection and the cameras are responsive when motion occurs. But I have a big problem with one of the cameras which is set up to email when motion is detected. Currently it is swamping my inbox with several hundred emails/night because it is detecting an unbelievable amount of insect activity. Now I'm not blaming HikVision for the insects and to be fair the motion detection support has enabled me to define very minimalist detection zones and set the sensitivity as low as it allows but they missed another feature that would really help - the ability to set a constraint on time between conscutive email alerts from the same camera. I say they missed that feature - in fact I found it in the iVMS-4200 client but you can only enable it if you toggle on the option to attach a video clip to the email, and even then the maximum interval you can set is 5 seconds! With further research I found a presentation by HikVision relating to a different NVR which showed the ability to set the threshold at several minutes - so why they should cripple this feature for anothe NVR in their range is anybody's guess.

5. I've raised the email threshold with the dealer I bought from and directly with HikVision UK support but so far, silence. So now I'm having to work up some Javascript to do some judicious discarding of emails as they hit my Gmail inbox. My conclusion - HikVision support sucks. I also note the dealer I bought from is no longer listing this kit. I'm guessing he has rumbled it is going to bring him more trouble than it's worth.

Having got this far with this system I'm going to stick with it but would I recommend it to anybody else? Definitely not. And HikVision won't be on my list for upgrades and replacements in the future.

Would be interested to hear if anybody else in this forum has experience with this particular HiLook combo.

Andy
 

gwminor48

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Hello, welcome to the forum. I don't have any experience with the HiLook combo. I have a couple of Hikvision but they are wired, poe. I don't think you will find wifi to be any better with a different camera, you are correct - it sucks. My experience with wifi led to the conclusion - never again. You've got to have a wire of some type to the camera, either power or ethernet, so poe is the best solution. Powering those wifi cameras can be a real pain in some situations. Maybe someone else will join in here with experience about that particular combo.
 

strutha

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I don't think you will find wifi to be any better with a different camera, you are correct - it sucks. My experience with wifi led to the conclusion - never again.
Thanks @gwminor48 for your thoughts. I guess I got lucky with the wifi of my previous battery-powered Arlo cameras which held a pretty solid signal for the most part. That's why I was really surprised when the powered HiLook kit did so badly at holding the signal. Anyhow, lesson learned. I'll be converting the cameras to poe wired but it's a pain because routing cables discretely around our house is not an easy task (it was built around 1760 and they never thought to future-proof for running cables easily :) ) which is why I went for wifi in the first place.
 

gwminor48

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I'm surprised you had such good luck with your other cameras on wifi. Mine would go down every time our microwave was in use and other times they would lose signal for sometimes a few minutes, sometimes hours. I guess something in our neighborhood was causing interference. I even added a wfi access point, tried different wifi channels. At least my house wasn't too difficult to wire. 1760?! That's an old house!
 

strutha

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Ok I have to take back what I said about HikVision UK support and say I was a little hasty it in rushing to judgement. Today they got back to me and the support guy was really helpful in suggesting a few things I might try to address the issue. I'm not entirely convinced they can be done/will work but at least they are trying to help. Real kudos would be if they could somehow unlock what I believe to be a missing or hidden feature, but I suspect holding my breath for that to happen would turn out fatal.

@gwminor48 so my old house (aka moneypit) is in a semi-rural locat ion and doesn't have too much else around to interfere with my wifi so that probably accounts for my better experience with wifi cameras. I was staying at a friends place in San Francisco recently and couldn't believe how many SSIDs I could detect in the vicinity. With noise like that I can easily believe a lot of devices struggle to make themselves heard.
 

Tokens

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Return the crap and get some proper camera. They will never work as you expecting.

Sent from my CLT-L29 using Tapatalk
 

ipOsX

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There must be some wi-fi camera success stories out there somewhere but despite frequent adventures into wi-fi land, I haven't experienced one myself. When I recently upgraded my rural home broadband from ultra-slow copper wires to hyperfast 1000Mbps fibre and maxed out the signal in every room with a wi-fi mesh I thought the time had surely come for a functional wi-fi CCTV system. But I was wrong. All I succeeded in proving was that the problem with wi-fi is very little to do with the LAN; wi-fi cameras don't work very well because the wi-fi chip or card within the camera is a POS which shouldn't be legal in a so-called security system.

The definition of stupidity is to keep doing the same thing and expect a different outcome. I already knew about wi-fi lag of maybe 2 seconds which meant that a murderer would be out of vision and home free long before the camera sprung into life on the network; and I knew that I couldn't ever hope to get more than 10fps out of a 2mp 25fps camera; and that I would have to turn the image quality down in order to see any video at all; and that even then I would suffer stuttering video every few seconds and regular dropped connections. All on an outdoor camera only 10 yards from my router with only a window in the way.

When I still suffered all of the above on my new fibre LAN with a 600Mbps wi-fi speed and all the signal bars lit up when testing the signal at the camera location, I realised finally that there was nothing I could do to make wi-fi work even moderately well for my CCTV needs. All my new cameras will be wired POE and that will be the end of my wi-fi dream.
 
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