CCTV Test: VMS Features & Functions (Part 1)

The growth in deployments of VMS solutions for video surveillance and security management has been significant in recent years, and for good reason. Many VMS providers take an open platform approach, ensuring that third party devices can be supported. This enables ‘best of breed’ solutions to be easily created. However, the systems are increasingly winning favour with installers and integrators due to their highly flexible and efficient event-handling capabilities. Here Benchmark looks at solutions from Axis Communications, Milestone Systems, Cathexis, Genius Vision and Axxonsoft to consider what they offer.

READ PART TWO OF THIS TEST, WITH VMS SOLUTIONS FROM BOSCH SECURITY, MARCH NETWORKS, SEETEC, VISTA AND WAVESTORE.

In the past it would have been true to say that the mainstream video surveillance market was very much hardware-centric when it came to recording and system management. However, with today’s evolving technological landscape, the case for software-based open platform VMS solutions is becoming ever more compelling.

VMS – video management system – is actually something of a misnomer. The leading packages combine video management and recording, access control, perimeter and intruder detection, building management, health and safety, business intelligence and a host of other benefits. In many cases, a VMS can provide an advanced and flexible security management solution, which is highly cost-effective, for a system which doesn’t even include video! The depth of flexibility and the ability to create truly bespoke solutions can be deployed in so many different ways.

When migrating to a VMS solution, there are a number of drivers for installers and integrators. The systems deliver the simple installation and integration of a wide range of third party devices. Many VMS packages support hundreds of devices from professional manufacturers, with the market-leaders boasting thousands of supported products. This eliminates the frustrations associated with generic specifications such as ONVIF and removes the limitations of many NVRs.

Often hardware-based NVRs have limitations with regards to third party compatibility. Many NVRs support the manufacturer’s own cameras and codecs, along with a few models from partner companies. In some cases, future firmware upgrades don’t support new models, so systems cannot be upgraded as camera technologies advance.

Not only will an open platform VMS offer a vast array of supported third party models, but because the drivers have been created specifically for the individual devices, typically all features and even proprietary functionality should be supported.

This rarely happens with a common protocol approach such as ONVIF where a generic specification is applied.

The ability to bring together seemingly disparate system elements with ease allows installers and integrators to select devices which best fit the needs of the site. As a result, often legacy system elements can also be retained, ensuring that the resulting system is cost-effective.

Another driver for the deployment of VMS solutions is the fact that they are scalable and upgradable. As the heart of the system is software-based, developments in security technology and advances from other sectors can be quickly implemented, ensuring that end users can realise the full potential from their investment.

Many installers and integrators that switch to VMS platforms find that the functionality and flexibility on offer is far in excess of what is available from most hardware solutions. Additionally, they usually discover that the feature-set is also significantly greater than anticipated when the VMS solution was first considered!

One area where VMS solutions excel is with regard to event handling. The reason for this is simple: software-based solutions have the ability to exploit the full functionality of supported products, and this allows the creation of alarm and event management rules based upon both physical and logical triggers.

These can be used in combination to create scenarios, or to apply filters that dictate differing actions dependent upon a wide range of criteria.

With the VMS solutions in this test, Benchmark focused on the configuration of events, alarms, actions and rules to ascertain how flexible the options are, and to assess whether the value-added benefits which installers and integrators can offer increase the potential of the specific VMS packages.

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Axis: AXIS Camera Station

AXIS Camera Station has been designed to enable surveillance management of small- to medium-sized applications. While the system is optimised for use with Axis cameras, it can also be used with a number of third party devices, predominantly those that support ONVIF Profile S. With Axis being a leading stakeholder in the association, you’d expect this to be well implemented.

The software is capable of supporting an unlimited number of cameras (dependent upon hardware server limitations), but the graphical user interface has been optimised for systems with camera counts of up to 50 devices.

The VMS supports video resolutions of up to 4K and frame rates up to 60fps. Video formats supported are H.264 and M-JPEG; Axis’ own Zipstream proprietory algorithm can also be deployed.

Axis Communications offers a compatibility tool to check whether specific ONVIF Profile S devices are supported. Even where third party devices are compatible, the software will only handle features and functions that are aligned with those in Camera Station.

The compatibility tool requires the Microsoft .NET framework to be installed (version 4.5 or later). The Axis installer will implement this, but only if the server running Camera Station has on-line connectivity. If an application is off-line you’ll need to do this yourself with the freely available Microsoft off-line installation package.

With the tool installed, Benchmark did check a number of third party devices, which requires the IP address and log-in details to be entered. All were returned as not having the correct log-in details. Out of curiosity we repeated the exercise with a few Axis cameras and got the same results! The tool is designed to ensure that installers and integrators can check a site before installing Camera Station.

Installing AXIS Camera Station is straightforward as the VMS uses a single installer package. It then runs a set-up wizard which found and correctly identified all of the cameras attached. However, some of these could not be added as the VMS software refused to accept their log-in details. We are aware that ONVIF has a few foibles when it comes to log-ins, but couldn’t pin the issues down to any known problems.

With AXIS Camera Station up and running, a browse through the various options shows a well designed and intuitive interface. Several of the procedures have a similarity to how features and functions are handled on Axis cameras, which is only to be expected. This is certainly true when it comes to event management, which uses Advanced Rules.

Those familiar with Axis devices will already be aware of the Action Rule process in the cameras and codecs, and the implementation for the VMS is very similar.

The first step is to identify event triggers. This can be a single event or multiple triggers can be specified. If the latter option is taken, these are on an ‘OR’ basis, so any of the events will make the Rule active.

Options for triggers include motion detection, an event from the AXIS Cross Line Detection plug-in, active tampering, a device input or output, a device event, a system event or error or an action button. Each option has a variety of configurations, thus allowing events to be instigated by a system-based or device-based incident.

Where parameters haven’t initially been configured at the device, Camera Station allows a direct interface to the menus for set-up. Obviously, if you’re working with an ONVIF device rather than an Axis unit, the process won’t always be so straightforward. With Axis devices it works very well.

Once triggers have been established, the next stage is to configure actions. These vary dependent upon the type of trigger, but options include setting different recording criteria, switching live views, sending HTTP or email notifications, switching outputs, etc.. As with triggers, multiple actions can be specified.

Rules can be scheduled. Options are for a Rule to be always available, or for it to be only available during pre-defined periods. This is useful if, for example, some Rules are designed to add value for a business, such as alerting a depot manager if a vehicle enters a loading bay. Whilst this is beneficial during working hours, such an event out of working hours would probably be treated as an alarm incident.

Finally, the Rules are named and saved. They then appear in the Rules list. From this, they can be activated, deactivated, edited or deleted as necessary.

The Rules work well, and incorrect configurations are eliminated by the fact that the software won’t allow the creation of incomplete or ineffective Rules. All the Rules we created performed as expected, but the degree of complexity that can be introduced isn’t vast.

The Advanced Rules are more effective when used with Axis devices than generic ONVIF devices. The company makes no bones about the fact that certain functionalities cannot be managed through Camera Station, and that’s a limitation of relying on ONVIF compatibility.

There are a few ‘workarounds’ to get closer to an ‘open platform’ feel, but the flexibility of Camera Station will be at its best when used with Axis devices (especially if they’re also running supported ACAP plug-ins).

Compared with some VMS solutions, AXIS Camera Station can be seen as limited. It’s not truly open platform, but it doesn’t pretend to be so. It can support some third party devices but installers and integrators should make use of the compatibility tool if they can get hold of a working version.

AXIS Camera Station also lacks some of the in-depth flexibility that is inherent in VMS solutions with more advanced event handling capabilities. For example, linking Rules or applying specific AND/OR logical operators isn’t an option. This may well be a result of the VMS being targeted at smaller solutions, but as we often say, a low camera count does not always indicate a low risk!

What AXIS Camera Station does do is deliver a decent event management choice for installers and integrators looking to expand the ‘alarm handling’ functionalities of a system beyond those typical of most NVRs.

AxxonSoft: AxxonNext

AxxonNext is an open platform VMS system supporting unlimited devices and unlimited servers (dependent upon hardware and infrastructure capacities). The VMS is claimed to support in excess of 6,000 third party devices; 1,500 of these are direct integrations with the remaining 4,500 supported via ONVIF compatibility.

The VMS can handle all video resolutions. Video formats supported are H.264, M-JPEG, MPEG-4, MxPEG and Wavelets (does anyone remember Wavelets with any fondness?).

The system delivers a degree of integral video and audio analytics, efficient archiving functionality, interactive mapping and the proprietary TimeCompressor and MomentQuest features which simplify searches and event-based management.

When AxxonNext was first launched in 2012 to great fanfare, the product caused a stir as it was free for the first 16 channels, albeit with a few (and we mean a few) limitations. That’s no longer the case; today the free product carries more restrictions and puts it on a par with many other providers’ free products.

Along the way there have been some ups and downs with AxxonNext, but the latest version (v4) is claimed to have changed that for the better.

Installing AxxonNext is straightforward as the VMS uses a single installer for both the client and server. Once up and running, the first task is to identify the location and size of the video and data archive. You can then run the auto-discovery routine. This found and correctly identified all of the cameras attached. However, some of these were identified twice: once as not supported and again as needing manual configuration. None were automatically added and there were a couple with default log-in details.

With AxxonNext up and running and delivering basic video (before any events or alarms were configured), we did note that the software was prone to the odd freeze in streams. This didn’t always affect the same cameras, and the VMS did seem to recover quickly. However, it was something that we didn’t see with many of the other VMS solutions on test.

It would be fair to say that AxxonNext isn’t the most intuitive VMS you’re likely to come across, neither does it have the most attractive GUI. However, once you’ve taken some time to settle in and work through the various options, it’s not likely to leave you confused and baffled, as some other VMS options can.

Setting triggers for events is carried out via the Detection Devices menu. This lists the attached cameras, and selecting one give the options of I/Os or creating a detector. The ‘Create’ link offers several options: ANPR, Signal, Face Detection, Situational Awareness, Noise, Loss of Quality, Position Change, No Signal and Motion. Each of these then delivers a relevant configuration menu.

For most installers and integrators, the Situation Awareness will be the most used option as this includes video analytics choices such as motion, stopping in a detection zone, object appear/disappear, abandoned object and loitering. The selected operational mode will dictate the various parameters that can be adjusted.

Working through an analytics set-up could be made more straightforward, but it’s not a problem as it stands. Once a Situational Awareness detector is created, you need to expand it to reveal another ‘Create’ link that allows further parameters to be set.

The entire field of view is active by default. There is an option to mask out unwanted parts of the detection area, but not one to select active parts of the scene. Dependent upon the selected mode, there are additional buttons to set minimum and maximum object size and perspective. Tool tips are pretty much standard in many software applications, but AxxonNext doesn’t use them, which does make reliance on the manual a necessity when you’re new to the GUI.

There are a number of configurations to help tune out any nuisance activations. It must be said that all the necessary flexibility is there; it could be presented better but it’s not unworkable. As with any software, after a few uses it becomes more familiar.

Once triggers have been set, the next task is to create the Rules. This is done via Macros. If you’ve ever worked with Macros before, the first point to make is this: don’t panic! Thankfully you don’t have to write the Macros. The process is completed via a series of menus.

There are two options when writing Macros. These can be completed from the Detection Devices screen as a device is set up, or via the Programming menu. Macros can include triggers with filters applied, and multiple actions can be added. Also, Macros can be written which link separate devices, thus allowing elements within the system to be interoperable.

As with many elements of AxxonNext, it pays to spend some time getting used to how Macros are structured. The system does feel a little disjointed at times, added to by terminology which differs from that of traditional security. However, everything that most applications will require is there.

Macro actions include the usual: camera recording, live view changes, alarm notifications, output switching, showing an image with map, etc.. There is also the ability to keep alarms active until an operator action is taken.

Once configured the event management functions work well, and there’s no doubt that the VMS is capable. It also runs well once set up. However, we did have a few freezes while writing Macros.

AxxonNext is a decent VMS. It’s not as intuitive as the best options, and a few tweaks could make it so much better. However, it’s not unusable either. Those who are new to VMS options might put the interface down to it being a software solution. Those who have tried some of the other options will notice the differences.

GeniusVision: NVR

Because of the nature of the VMS market, new providers are popping up all the time. Few, however, show longevity in the market for a number of reasons. Often, if the truth be told, the product is simply poor quality, integrations don’t work well or functionality is simply lacking. Benchmark has seen many unstable and virtually unusable packages in recent times, all claiming to be the VMS that was about to change the surveillance market.

At times a gem will appear and that fact alone underlines why we’re always interested in new software packages. GeniusVision popped onto our radar earlier this year, promising the security sector a VMS that would be unlike many others, in that it would work.

It can be said that you can often get a feel for a VMS by the company it keeps, and a brief glance at the devices supported by GeniusVision reveals all the big names: Arecont Vision, Axis, Bosch, Panasonic, Sony, Pelco, Hanwha Techwin, etc., along with the catch-all promise of support for ONVIF-compliant devices. However, there’s more to this than meets the eye.

The VMS is available in a number of guises, with standard versions supporting unlimited channels (a Lite version is restricted to 64 channels per server). Up to six displays can also be supported.

Features include support for hardware- and software-based motion detection, and events are managed using AND/OR logical rules. Support for intelligent video analytics and panoramic cameras is also available.

The VMS uses a server and client relationship, with both elements being installed from a single executable package. The installation is very quick (around 15 seconds), which does imply that there’s not much to the software. On the first installation the VMS loaded, but then created continual server crashes.

Luckily the Benchmark team always creates disk images before loading any software, especially from new vendors, so it didn’t take long to get things up and running. The second installation was pretty much the same, but this time it didn’t bring the server to a halt!

The initial start up is relatively straightforward and uses tool tips to help select the archiving drive and to add cameras. The latter task is frustrating.

Despite a very impressive list of ‘supported’ devices with over 400 manufacturers, a further investigation shows that the software actually had – at the time of testing – just over 20 proper camera integrations, none of which were with leading devices.

Typically connections are achieved via RTSP or using generic drivers for webcams and non-security cameras. Even then the interface is a bit of a mess, with auto-discovery being a bit of a joke. In some cases it ‘discovered’ non-existant devices, and their descriptions were IP addresses of other units. Performance was inconsistent, and in the end we had to add each channel manually for any hope of success.

When video streams were finally established, image quality was poor and dropped frames were commonplace.

Event management is carried out using Trigger Policies. When creating a Trigger Policy, there are three tasks. The first is to define an input (or inputs). The choice includes triggers from a channel (device), the system or a scheduled event.

Where multiple inputs are used, the next task is to select an AND/OR operator. This allows either one input to trigger an event, or all to be required.

The final task is to create an output. This can be to switch recording configuration or to generate a notification.
Whilst the processing capabilities required for such a simple selection are relatively low, we did find that when creating Trigger Policies the general performance became a touch haphazard.

It’s obvious when viewed against other VMS packages that GeniusVision simply has got it right. One tester commented that it felt like a home enthusiast’s software product masquerading as a security tool. However, another pointed out that there are much better home-focused video packages out there!

One final note is that if you uninstall GeniusVision it leaves bits and pieces of itself scattered around the server. That’s another good reason to ensure you make a disk image before looking at unknown VMS packages.

Cathexis: CathexisVision

CathexisVision is available in four variants: Lite, Core, Professional and Premium. These support 48 cameras and a single server for Lite and Core (the latter enables an increased number of connections and includes additional event management tools, plus is upgradable), up to 150 cameras with unlimited servers for Professional, and unlimited cameras and servers with the Premium package.

All versions of the video management solution support VMD (IVA is a licensable extra) and ANPR, along with various event management and alarm handling functions. Events are managed by Rules which can be configured for a variety of requirements.

The Cathexis VMS is open platform with direct integrations supporting the majority of leading camera brands in the surveillance market, along with a number of specialist options such as panoramic cameras and devices using edge-based technologies. It also supports ONVIF devices.

Many years ago, Benchmark looked at an NVR from Cathexis and didn’t find it to be intuitive or installer-friendly. We therefore weren’t overly optimistic about the company’s VMS despite their claims that the key points were ease of set-up and flexibility. However, we were wrong!

The VMS is made up of a server package for system management and a client for connection. Unlike many VMS solutions, the two elements cannot be installed on the same server. For some smaller applications that might be an issue.

The installation package is very straightforward and runs without issues. Once completed there is a short ‘optimisation’ program that runs. This disables a few Microsoft services and turns others on. Following a reboot, the VMS is up and running.

The initial log-in prompts the addition of a license. There is an option to get a demo license if you’re trying out the package.

Licensing is a straightforward procedure and the quickest way is to perform the process on-line. However, there is also an off-line procedure using a license pack.

Adding devices is also a straightforward and trouble-free procedure. At first glance it appears that the wizard requires camera details to be entered for each individual device for separate scans, but the Scan button will identify all attached discoverable devices. With our selection of cameras, every device was found.

If there’s one downside, we couldn’t see a way to add multiple cameras with shared log-ins in one go; there’s no mention of this in the Quick Start Guide or the full Set-Up manual. there is an option to cut and paste configurations, but that’s as close as you get.

With regard to manuals, CathexisVision is supplied with more than adequate documentation which is easy to follow and accurate. For those using the software for the first time, this is a definite bonus!
Once the various devices are added, it’s a simple task to set up recording attributes and to configure device inputs, outputs and any required streams for video analytics.

Events can be tailored to suit any needs, and are made up of three elements: trigger, action and resources. Events can be scheduled or always active, and where workflows are used the event can also be allocated a priority.

One nice touch is an option allowing the operator to push repeat nuisance events to the background. These alarms aren’t removed or stopped, but they won’t be flagged up in the GUI. This can prevent operators getting irritated by system errors, but doesn’t give them the ability to indulge in subterfuge.

Events can be initiated by any triggers configured on the system. These include VMD, IVA, inputs and outputs, tamper alarms, etc.. Multiple triggers can be configured for a single event, and these can also be from multiple devices, thus allowing the creation of system-based events as well as those specific to an individual device. There is an option to end a trigger based on time or another trigger.

Cathexis defines triggers as ‘While’ and ‘When’. The former last for the duration of the trigger, and the latter are commencements and therefore need an end to be specified. There is also an option to select a compulsory trigger element, thus ensuring the trigger is present regardless of any other specified criteria. Effectively, it’s an AND/OR operator. This part of the trigger configuration could be simplified; it caused us a few errors before we understood the difference.

Actions dictate the results of an event, and again can include device-specific or system-based activity. As with triggers, multiple events can be configured. This allows for recording configurations to be changed, an alarm notification to be sent and an output to be triggered, for example.

Actions can include changes to recording (selected channels or the trigger device), switching of outputs, telemetry control, notifications and generation of a local alarm. One of the notification options is to send a message to Base Stations; this feature uses the alarm priorities.

The final element, resources, allows control over which devices receive alarm video and audio.

The Events work well, but the implementation isn’t as smooth as some of the other VMS solutions. The process could certainly be improved. There;s enough flexibility on offer, but some installers and integrators might not fully exploit it.

CathexisVision certainly delivers a greater degree of flexibility with regard to event handling than a hardware-based NVR, and its performance is on a par with many of the VMS solutions in this test. It’s not the best in this field, but it does deliver enough functionality for most mainstream applications. The good news is that it wouldn’t take much from Cathexis to enhance this element of performance, and given that there isn’t much wrong with the VMS, it might be an area they focus some attention on in the future.

Milestone: XProtect Corporate

XProtect Corporate is Milestone Systems’ flagship VMS product. Despite its pedigree, the package is under ongoing development, which is evident as the latest incarnation of the software recently won the Benchmark Innovation Award 2016 for Video Surveillance Software. A fully scalable option, it supports unlimited devices in multi-server and multi-site applications.

XProtect Corporate features all of the functionality you’d expect from a high end VMS including failover servers, mapping, edge recording management, flexible archive control and a host of features to cater for most user requirements.

When it comes to the open platform approach, Milestone leads the way with direct integrations for all of the leading and credible security manufacturers.

However, whilst often underplayed in the marketing message, the VMS has one of the industry’s best developed and flexible Rules engines which allows the creation of advanced event management scenarios using AND/OR logical operators via drop-down menus.

XProtect Corporate works as a server and client model, but uses a single software installer.

When the installation utility is run, it checks the system and identifies any missing Microsoft elements. Milestone uses a licence file which is supplied direct, and this is loaded before installation commences. There are single server, multi-server and custom options. This relates to where the database and recording server software are installed.

Initial server configurations are carried out using the Management Client and an integral wizard is used to add cameras and encoders. A nice touch is that you can add multiple usernames and passwords for non-default devices before searching.

Due to Milestone’s open platform approach, all connected cameras were found and correctly added. Cameras can also have inputs and outputs and any integral VMD of IVA added as potential sources of triggers or recipients of actions, dependent upon their type.The VMS also has options to add a wide range of other devices including audio and I/O equipment.

Installers and integrators have flexibility to enable or disable camera features such as microphone, speaker, inputs and outputs, etc.. Enabled functions can be deployed as a part of Rules to manage alarms and events.

Before looking in more detail at the way events and alarms are managed, it is worth noting that with regards to installation and configuration, XProtect Corporate was one of the simplest VMS packages to implement in the test. For those new to the platform, the depth of flexibility may make it look complex, but everything works as it should, and that’s an important point.

XProtect Corporate’s event and alarm management is handled via its Rules engine. Despite an enormous amount of flexibility with regard to the creation of Rules, the process is simple. Creating the Rules makes use of nothing more challenging than radio buttons, menus and links which bring up all of the relevant options, based upon the individual system. This prevents creating Rules that cannot be run!

Rules options can include security events and actions, business intelligence, site management, transactional triggers, system events, maintenance schedules, etc..

The first step is to define an Rule type. This can be triggered by an event or may be scheduled. An event-based Rule can include a device – motion detection, video analytics, I/Os, detection devices or interactions with access control systems – or system triggers such as recording server or system monitor events. Rules can even be instigated manually via a user-defined event or by way of a generic event.

Rules can then have Conditions added to control or filter events. Parameters can be applied to filter potential triggers by time, date, duration, motion detection window, etc..

The type of event, its source and the parameters are predominantly configured using clickable links. These show all of the valid choices and the installer or integrator simply selects the appropriate choice.

With triggering and conditions configured, the actions to be performed can be defined. These are diverse and cover any relevant options based upon the set-up of the system. Actions are effectively the results of the Rule. Multiple actions can be selected such as recording changes, PTZ commands, notifications, switching outputs, etc.. The final step is to establish Stop criteria if required.

The creation of Rules is intuitive, and despite sounding complex it is an easy and straightforward process. When writing Rules, it’s not possible to progress if required criteria are not set or are set incorrectly. As such, this acts as a safeguard for installers and integrators.

The Rules engine works very well, and its performance is consistent and robust. The flexibility on offer will suit the needs of most applications, whether it be for simple event/action relationships or for more advanced event management.

With Milestone involved in ongoing development of the Rules engine, it continues to set a level of functionality and flexibility for event handling that few other VMS solutions can match.

BENCHMARK VERDICT

Axis Communications: AXIS Camera Station

AXIS Camera Station is very much a tool for small- to medium-sized applications which are predominantly using Axis devices. It can support third party cameras and encoders (mostly those which support ONVIF Profile S) but it’s advisable to check this first as we found a few that didn’t act as expected. Even those supported might need a workaround implemented if you want to use them for advanced event management.

AXIS Camera Station certainly offers more flexibility with regard to event management than the majority of NVR-based systems, and it is on a par with a number of the more mainstream VMS packages. However, it lacks the depth of flexibility that the more advanced video management solutions offer. AXIS Camera Station is recommended, but with the proviso that it’s best suited to Axis-based systems.

AxxonSoft: AxxonNext

AxxonNext is a decent VMS: it’s not the best, but it’s not bad either. That said, a few tweaks could definitely enhance what’s on offer. During configuration we experienced a few video freezes, but once set up and running it behaved well. It is supplied with a manual, and you’ll need it because it’s not as intuitive as other options in the test.

Event management – both in terms of triggers and actions, and the Macros that control them – is flexible, but again the process of configuration could be improved. Small changes could make the software more installer-friendly. Despite this, it is recommended, because the functionality on offer makes up for the quirky interface.

Cathexis: CathexisVision

CathexisVision is a reliable and stable VMS solution, and it is certainly an option that many installers and integrators would be interested in. The VMS is easy to install and configure, and while its open platform approach might not boast the numbers of the market leaders, it still covers the vast majority of good quality branded devices.

The event management options do allow for a high degree of flexibility, and whilst there’s nothing wrong with the Rules engine – indeed, it works very well – it could be improved in terms of configuration by making the process more fluid. If that was to happen, you’d be looking at a serious contender in the current VMS space. As such, CathexisVision has to be recommended.

GeniusVision: NVR

GeniusVision makes many claims about the performance of its NVR product, and it’s debatable whether the company achieves a single one. The company states that the VMS will stand out from competitors because it works. However, we found it stood out due to its fragility and the fact that it didn’t work very well. Despite having hundreds of manufacturers – including a number of quality players – named in its compatible product listing, the reality is very different and not impressive at all.

When it came to event management, the options were very basic and the implementation wasn’t one that inspired. GeniusVision NVR should not be considered as a professional surveillance option in its current state, and cannot be recommended.

Milestone Systems: XProtect Corporate

The latest version of XProtect Corporate has some interesting features and functions that add many benefits to the VMS package. Deployment is straightforward and we saw no issues with regard to the installation, configuration or addition of devices.

When it comes to event management, the depth of functionality is very impressive, but is also accessible to installers and integrators. The Rules engine enables advanced event management, the addition of value-added benefits and a number of options with regard to site management too. XProtect Corporate is not only recommended, but with regard to event handling it also achieves ‘Outstanding’ status.

READ PART TWO OF THIS TEST, WITH VMS SOLUTIONS FROM BOSCH SECURITY, MARCH NETWORKS, SEETEC, VISTA AND WAVESTORE.

BENCHMARK
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