Looking for opinions on NVR's

Discussion in 'Chit-Chat' started by bclements01, Apr 19, 2019.

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  1. bclements01

    bclements01 n3wb

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    I work with all commercial IP camera systems, and VMS, so I don't know much about the quality and features of equipment and software outside of my world. I currently use Blue Iris for my home system. My wife wants me to install a system in her business. I really like Blue Iris, and would consider using it, but the hardware requirements for the PC to run it with 8 - 16 cameras would be pretty expensive. I believe it would be more cost effective to purchase an off the shelf NVR.
    I would like to know what NVR's are the best value. I need 8 channels, but 16 would be nice for future expansion.

    If anyone has some different thoughts, let me know.

    Thanks
     
  2. fenderman

    fenderman Staff Member

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    The number of cameras is irrelevant to Blue Iris. You can run 8 cameras easy on a 100 dollar PC. It all depends on the fps x resolution. See wiki. You will not be happy with a standalone nvr.
     
  3. looney2ns

    looney2ns IPCT Contributor

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  4. mat200

    mat200 IPCT Contributor

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    Hi @bclements01

    In terms of pricing - often buying NVRs separately can be rather pricey compared to getting them in a kit.

    Sometimes you can get lucky and find a deal on only a NVR.

    In general - the prices many vendors charge for just the NVR is imho not a good deal.

    Also remember the NVRs should ideally be matched to the cameras from the same OEM to get the best compatibility.

    example Lorex is asking $730 ( - 10% off with code for this NVR .. )
    4K Ultra HD 8 Channel Security NVR, 2TB Hard Drive, Cloud Storage, POE, Records 4K (4 x 1080p) at 30FPS, Onvif compliant with Audio Recording
    NR9082
    $729.99"

    During BF-cyber week you basically got this NVR + 4 cameras for about this price point.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2019
  5. catcamstar

    catcamstar Getting comfortable

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    I know I'm moving myself into a danger zone by stating the following: it depends. My own first "personal" project, I opted for an NVR (5216-16P-4KS2) from @EMPIRETECANDY. Price around $300. But having this POE NVR, eliminated already $150+ 16 port POE switch (or 2 times 8 port POE switch) - including cabling etc. Plus another advantage that the NVR "auto-routes" traffic for each POE-cam so you can access the cams individually (through the NVR), just like a 2NIC BI pc would do, with additional software configuration). I only added a 2TB disk I had flying around, but that's not the money.

    Was this an easy choice? No, NVR GUI's are terrible (eg some features are to be configured in the cam (eg iFrame settings), some features are propagated between CAM & NVR (eg IVS etc)). But you get an "all-in-one" experience - especially with Dahua (and NVR & IPC's on dahua): once you set it up, you download free iDMSS/gDMSS, you toggle push notifications and off you go. For $300. To that NVR, I added video doorbells and automatic doors. All through the same app. Performance wise, the NVR can handle the load with two fingers in the nose. And the misses can use it blindly on her phone, am I a lucky bastard.

    For another project, we evaluated BI. I must admit: lots of features! But without reading all the help, you get lost in the configuration settings. You need to be a BI expert.

    Your bill of material becomes:
    - you need the pc hardware (like @fenderman wrote: for $100 you're set if you're not expecting too much fps/quality)
    - you need windows license ($20?)
    - you need BI license (now in sale: $49.99)
    - you need the networking hardware (count $100-$150)
    - you need to pay for mobile app ($9.99)

    Adding up almost gives the same amount, much more "freedom in configuration" and "upgradability" but the misses was not impressed by the interfaces.

    But like I said: some like BI once they see it, some don't. So bottom-line, my advice to you: evaluate BI. See for yourself. If you're into twiggling each feature, go for it.

    Hope my 2 cents help you out a bit,
    CC
     
  6. fenderman

    fenderman Staff Member

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    Windows is free with the pc. If you decide to limit yourself to the cameras own limited motion detection you can bi with little resources and the 100 dollars machine would handle almost any load. You dont HAVE to use all blue iris features. It takes the same amount of time to learn bi as an nvr.
    Most folks avoid nvrs with poe both for noise issues as well as taking advantage of the biggest benefit of network cameras that is not having to homerun to the nvr.
    Little things like not being able to toggle specific cameras on and off when you get home, or to quickly review alerts get old fast.
    Standalone nvrs suck.
    Blue iris is far superior in many ways as discussed in soo many threads that even for basic use its the smarter way to go.
    I have 50 people who don't know what an ip address is using the blue iris mobile app. It makes the dahua app look like a joke. Btw see the latest thread on the buggy dahua app, will probably be another few weeks before they get around to fixing it.
    I would not recommend a standalone nvr to my worst foe.
     
  7. CCTVCam

    CCTVCam Pulling my weight

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    Not sure that's an advantage. Having all in one is great until something blows. Then with all in one, it's a whole new NVR, with a separate eg switch, it's a new switch. I learnt a long time ago with non CCTV stuff that separate can often be better than all in one for that very reason.
     
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  8. tigerwillow1

    tigerwillow1 Getting comfortable

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    I've been running a Dahua 5216-4k for a couple of years and want to contribute just one thing about it: 100% reliability (so far, of course). It's sitting in the crawlspace just doing its job without any attention. I went with a separate POE switch because I wanted to keep the investment in the NVR down in case I ever want to move to something else, or if something breaks. I'm not able to compare with BI. Yes, the NVR has bugs that are often frustrating to work around, but consistently doing its job with no hiccups has me appreciating it. I have to admit, after lurking on this forum for a few years, I'd be highly tempted to use BI if I were starting over. If I was bored and needed a new project I'd run a BI system in parallel with the NVR to see for myself which I think is better. That's not the case so I won't be seeing for myself any time soon.
     
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  9. Frankenscript

    Frankenscript Pulling my weight

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    Here is an i5-6500 SFF PC, 8 GB RAM, Win10 Pro licensed, with a built in 256GB SSD for the OS. It may even have manufacturer warranty left. $259 shipped. Though it lists Win7, the product number comes back as Win 10 Pro. Many computers of this vintage shipped with 10 but were downgraded to 7 by corporate IT; the 10 license is still valid in cases like this.

    HP EliteDesk 800 G2 SFF (C) - Core i5-6500 - 8GB RAM - 256GB SSD EB010285 (P4... | eBay

    Just add a POE switch ($60-150), maybe a second NIC ($15), and whatever storage, and you are off the races. I have just about this identical model and am running 9 cameras at full res (1080p or better) at 10 fps direct to disc, 25-30% CPU utilization.
     
  10. bigredfish

    bigredfish Known around here

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    I concur. I do understand BI has advantages, but at this point in my hectic life, stability counts for a lot. I have 4 that I'm responsible for and knock on wood no issues thus far. Its a time thing, if I was retired I'd probably embrace the added feature set and capabilities of a true VMS like BI, but for now I'm good with great cameras, reliable recording and understanding the tradeoff.
     
  11. fenderman

    fenderman Staff Member

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    Blue iris is just as stable as any NVR that I have seen. The notion that its not is false. I have over 20 blue iris systems most running for 7 years now with no issues. Any system can have an issue, just as we have seen a bunch of threads with NVR's having issues. It takes no more time to setup a blue iris system than it does an NVR.
     
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  12. P. Banks

    P. Banks n3wb

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    I'm running an NVR (hikvision) for years now...never had any hiccups :) ... happy with my system.
     
  13. dryfly

    dryfly Getting the hang of it

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    I've had BI running for 3 years and it's been perfect. Five Hikvision cameras and two Geovision cameras. Over the last month I've been playing with a Hikvision 8P-6084K NVR and for my needs it will do everything my BI computer did.

    I know for the power user there are many more features that BI provides, but for basic recording and playback I've been pleased with the Hik NVR. I have noticed with the Hik NVR that I'm getting a lot more video compression on record. 24/7 recording got me about 12 days on the BI machine with a 4TB WD Purple. It looks as if the Hik NVR is going to get me about twice that much video. Camera settings are the same, but maybe I'm missing something.

    As far as the user interface, each has their benefits. My big complaint on the Hik NVR is the fan noise from the power supply. I built my BI computer to be super quite, and it was. I miss that.
     
  14. fenderman

    fenderman Staff Member

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    Simply misinformation, the nvr has no control over the storage bitrate unless you are using a different codec in the camera. The only thing that could explain this is if you were not using direct to disc mode in blue iris (you should have) and were wasting cpu power reencoding everything.
    Also dont have to be a power user to benefit from blue iris, it is superior is so many ways particularly remote viewing, alerts, video review and scheduling. Not to mention far superior motion detection.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2019
  15. dryfly

    dryfly Getting the hang of it

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    Yes, I had direct to disc enabled. Nothing was changed in the cameras on the change-over to the NVR. I am not knowledgeable enough to explain the storage differential, but it's there.

    I've witnessed the BI vs. NVR debates over and over and have no intention of giving an opinion. I really like BI and may well return to it. As my post stated the Hik NVR meets *my needs* so far, but as I continue to try it I may well change my mind.
     
  16. fenderman

    fenderman Staff Member

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    Once again, it is impossible that there is a storage difference. You are doing something incorrectly It is misinformation.
    I would not recommend an NVR to my worst enemy, it is practically useless unless you record 24/7 and very rarely need to view recorded video and dont need alerts as you cannot properly schedule and disable alerts for specific cameras when using an NVR. Not to mention there will come a time when hik will deem it obsolete and refuse further firmware updates.
     
  17. CCTVCam

    CCTVCam Pulling my weight

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    The fact that it's twice as much suggests to me the NVR is re-encoding the stream in HEVC / H.265 whereas the camera to BI was set to encoding in H.264. That would double the storage for about the same quality. Either way, nothing to do with BI vs NVR more the difference in codecs used.
     
  18. fenderman

    fenderman Staff Member

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    The NVR does not have the capability to re-encode, it simply accepts the stream from the camera.
     
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  19. dryfly

    dryfly Getting the hang of it

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    I agree, however just for info, the NVR is set for H.264 video encoding. After rechecking the camera settings I did have one of the 5 cameras set to H.265, and changed setting back to H.264. Might make a difference, however the NVR menu has a drop down box for video encoding but the only option shown is H.264.

    As an example, I can fill up my 4TB HD on my BI machine in about 12 days. On the Hik NVR I've still got a little under 1TB free on a 4TB HD after 13 days of recording. Not a big deal but worth mentioning when comparing.
     
  20. fenderman

    fenderman Staff Member

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    Its not worth mentioning because the storage capacity does not change by the medium it's recorded to. The only thing that matters is the bitrate. And that is absolute fact. If you are recording using variable bit-rate you will have discrepancies from month to month.