Home Technology CCTV Test: VMS Features & Functions (Part 2)

CCTV Test: VMS Features & Functions (Part 2)

by Benchmark

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 Bosch Security, Wavestore, Vista, SeeTec and March Networks to consider what they offer.


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 wide-ranging ­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.

Bosch Security: Bosch VMS

The Bosch Video Management System (VMS) has been designed to manage a wide range of new and legacy technologies, ranging from the analogue Allegiant matrix systems through to the latest UHD and intelligent video analysis technologies. The main focus is the management of Bosch IP cameras, encoders, recording systems and Allegiant matrix switches. However, it can support other devices via ONVIF compatibility.

Claimed to be fully scalable, installers and integrators can add additional channels, workstations and system functionality through licensing, allowing the system to evolve as an when needed. Alarms and events can be configured based upon device activations, system events or can be scheduled.

The Bosch VMS is supplied as a single installer; it requires the Microsoft .NET framework 4.6 and will install this if it is not present. With this done you select the components of the VMS which need to be installed and let the process run. There were a few points during the install that we thought the process had frozen. However tempting it was to fiddle, we left it alone and eventually the installation completed. There are a few required restarts, but these are clearly flagged.

Licensing is carried out using the Configuration Client. This is the management interface and will be the main tool used by installers and integrators. Licensing does require use of an on-line authentication tool, but this works well and is fast and trouble-free.

The configuration GUI is very reminiscent of Bosch menus; those with a history of deploying their systems and products will immediately feel at home. For those who are not so familiar with the Bosch way of doing things, a comprehensive manual in PDF format is included.

For many installers and integrators, one of the main benefits of any VMS is the ability to support best-of-breed devices and whilst ONVIF has its own set of issues, it does allow the use of legacy devices or equipment selected for a specific purpose, even if its from a third party manufacturer.

With Bosch being a founding member of ONVIF, you might expect that any interface using the protocol would be seamless.

However, the issue isn’t that ONVIF implementation is any way flawed or difficult, but that Bosch has somewhat marginalised it in the VMS. The real focus of Bosch VMS, and some will argue the best working experience of the software, is with Bosch products.

In comparison to most of the VMS packages within the test, the Bosch package makes working with third party devices more difficult than it need be. This isn’t to say that it’s unworkable, but much as was the case with the Axis VMS in part one of this test, the Bosch package is one that best fits with a Bosch-based solution.

Event and alarm handling is configured via the Event and Alarm menus. Events categorises incidents and is used to define the ‘cause’, while Alarms is where the ‘effect’, the result of the event is configured. That’s a general description of the difference between the two but pretty much sets out the best way of approaching event management.

Events can be created by a number of resources. These include (but are not limited to) edge devices, NVRs and servers, system events, user actions, authentication issues, inputs and outputs, schedules, etc.. Given that Bosch has recently opted to include its very flexible Intelligent Video Analytics functionality in all of its cameras, it does open up a wealth of possibilities to those who are opting for a Bosch-centric system.

There are some interesting options, such as creating an event if images are too noisy. Links to POS and ATM systems can also be used for triggering.

Where more complex needs are to be met, Bosch offers what it calls compound events. These are basically logical events using ‘AND and ‘OR’ operators. This enables the creation of events that require multiple trigger criteria or that need a degree of flexibility in the event handling process. The implementation method makes use of an expanding ‘tree’ type layout, and as such is simple to use.

Of course, the flexibility will be greatly enhanced if you’re using Bosch devices with the VMS and if that’s the case then it does make sense because of the possible interoperations.

Alarms can be prioritised and added to a workflow so that the user, via the Operator Client, has a simple method of interacting with the system, handling and closing down alarms and making notes if the event requires this. Again, the system is very flexible and does much to allow high levels of flexibility.

When compared with other VMS solutions in the test, Bosch VMS has a more specialised appeal. It’s open platform to a degree, but not as open as others. It is very much (and unashamedly) a Bosch tool, and if you want to enjoy full flexibility then this must be remembered.

If you have a Bosch system, then this adds a good level of event management for those who want to expand the functionalities beyond those typical of most NVRs.

March Networks: Command Professional

Command Professional is a single-server VMS solution aimed at medium-sized applications. The company also offers other variants of the VMS for different needs. The Professional package supports up to 128 video channels. With an open platform approach, Command Professional is claimed to support more than 600 third party IP edge devices through proprietary protocols; other devices can be supported through ONVIF Profile S integration.

Features such as video analytics and mapping require additional software. Event handling options include an alarm inbox, alarms and outputs management, automated notifications, video analytics handling and customisable alarms.

The VMS can handle all video resolutions and is therefore device dependent. Video formats supported are H.264, M-JPEG and MPEG-4, with refresh rates of up to 30fps per device.

March Networks might not be one of the most prolific brands in the UK, but the Ottawa-based business is a part of the Infinova Group, and as such has a rich heritage in video surveillance.

Installing Command Professional is relatively straightforward. The VMS server and client packages are accessed via a downloaded Zip file with a basic auto-run menu screen. We did find a slight issue with unpacking the Zip file, in that the naming conventions used by March Networks cause a problem with Windows extraction. A warning message advises that names are too long and should be shortened. If you don’t shorten them a number of essential files aren’t unpacked and the installation will not succeed.

The Client software does require the Microsoft .NET framework, and if this is missing the March installation wizard will try to add it. However, for us this failed on two different machines. The log showed it was because .NET framework requires a server reboot to finish installation, and we can only guess that the March software installation process doesn’t allow a reboot as it ends the process. This ‘guess’ is based on other VMS applications with the same issue. If you install .NET framework yourself and reboot before installing the Client, everything works as it should regarding installation.

Most VMS packages that use a server and client model allow system configuration via the server software, thus making the Client a day-to-day operational interface which prevent the operator from accessing the main system configurations. Others allow access to the configurations via the Client, which gives authorised users flexibility without accessing critical settings.

March takes another approach altogether. The Recording Server Management element is set up via Command Config which requires a browser using the Microsoft Silverlight development tool. With Silverlight downloaded and installed, logging into the server displays an error and you then have to download a plug-in and create a security certificate for the connection.

March Networks has taken an approach that isn’t orthodox in the world of VMS, and that’s all fine and dandy when it works, but it’s not if it doesn’t! Instead you find yourself questioning why, when so many companies get it right, one gets things wrong. It’s the risk of being different.

Unfortunately the certification process created an error loop. The certificate could be created and added, and indeed checking the location showed it was there. Despite this, it wasn’t seen by the software. A call to March Networks’ technical support team in Italy resulted in us being told to download a newer version which should cure the problem. To access the download required registration, and at the end we were advised that an administrator would be ‘in touch shortly’ to discuss the registration! Quite frankly, if a bug is even suspected by a technical support team member, this isn’t an acceptable course of action.

There is a workaround which involves adjusting SSL and TLS settings and ignoring ‘not recommended’ warnings, but in truth the process needs to be fixed. More than one member of the test team pointed out that with increased concern over the security of video surveillance solutions, some end users would have ended the installation at the first Microsoft security warning.

Once logged in, the Server uses a configuration wizard to set up the basic parameters. The first step is to name the system and set an admin password. The next stage is to add devices. Initially the VMS scans the network. In our test it found all connected devices.

The devices can then be added to the system and log-in details are set for device authentication and video codecs are defined from drop-down menus.

The next stage is to identify the storage destination and to enable recording from any appropriate devices. The final stage of the wizard adds any additional required users.

With the wizard completed, we couldn’t access any cameras. However, we could connect directly to the devices although the VMS routed everything via it’s own address. Then the system crashed. Interestingly, once the server was rebooted the cameras were connected. It’s the kind of coincidence that doesn’t exactly build confidence.

With regard to event handling, the VMS relies pretty much upon the edge devices to provide any alarm generation. There is an option to set camera parameters via the VMS, but we found it both slow and unstable. Therefore, you might want to configure the cameras fully before creating alarms.

Options include motion detection and, where supported, IVA, physical inputs and outputs, and a range of system status conditions. There are options when creating an alarm to set it to be logged, to manually test it and it configure a duration.

Alarm actions can be configured to notify via the client, to send email or to use the Benbria mobile communications platform.

Command Professional’s depth of event management features isn’t as great as many of the leading VMS packages, and what March Networks has provided is a management platform. In order to realise more flexible event management, a secondary software package, Site Manager, needs to be added. This puts it behind many of the other packages which recognise the central role that event handling plays in VMS specifications.

Whilst we acknowledge that March Networks has recently updated Command Professional which apparently has corrected some of the issues as advised by the tech support team, we can’t comment on it as no one ever came back to us regarding our registration. As a result, we could not download it, and that’s something the company needs to address.

SeeTec: Cayuga

Cayuga is available in three packages to meet a range of surveillance needs. Cayuga S50X supports up to 50 cameras on a single server. It supports motion detection. Stepping up from the base level is Cayuga S100. This version supports up to 100 channels on two servers. It also supports basic video analytics, motion detection and advanced event management. The top-of-the-range offering is Cayuga Infinity X, which supports unlimited devices and unlimited servers. It supports the full range of video analytics.

Cayuga takes an open platform approach, supporting in excess of 1,000 devices via direct integrations. Additional devices are supported using ONVIF compliance, and smart drivers are utilised to simplify integrations.

Cayuga can be supported with additional modules designed for specific vertical sectors. These include logistics, retail, finance and transportation. These add-ons are beyond the scope of this test. The current version is 6.8 (Release 8).

Cayuga is supplied as a single Zip file for installation of the Client and Server. Alternatively, a custom installation can be carried out. The VMS does require the Microsoft .NET framework (as most do), and with this installed the process can begin.

The only configuration required during the install is to identify the IP address of the server for installation; a drop-down menu gives you the viable options. From that point the installation is swift and straightforward.

Once logged in, there are four modes; these are accessed via screen tabs, making the interface clean and easy to navigate. The modes are Surveillance mode (the main screen for real-time use), Archive mode for playback and image searches, Report mode for system logs and events, Configuration mode for set-up wizards and ANPR mode for numberplate recognition.

The first stop for installers and integrators will be the Configuration tab. The page then delivers a number of wizards to allow system set-up. These allow the creation of alarms, cameras and users. The final wizard searches the network for connected devices.

Using the search facility the VMS discovered and correctly identified all of our connected devices. With the relevant authentication entered the devices were added to the VMS, although a few correctly identified were flagged as having connection errors. Changing the driver to a generic type resolved this.

One anomaly we did notice was that occasionally Cayuga would flag several cameras as disconnected, and then they would return as connected with no action being required. This happened during set-up of other system elements, and it was the only VMS on test to show such behaviour despite all packages using the same resources.

The process of installation and basic configuration is very straightforward, and this remains the case when establishing alarms and events. There is a wizard for creating alarms or a manual approach can be taken which allows greater flexibility.

Using the latter approach is the best for installers and integrators looking to create more complex event scenarios. The first step is to set up the general configuration for the alarm. This includes name and description, schedule, alarm priority (this impacts on how the alarm must be handled), customisable colour for display in the alarm window and a few other options such as PTZ priority.

The next steps are to create a start event and an end event if required. The start event can be a single alarm such as motion, IVA or a camera input. Where cameras have integral alarm features, these can be used as start triggers by the VMS.

Additionally, if the cameras are not configured, changes and tweaks can all be made via the VMS, which delivers a seamless experience for the installer or integrator.

There is an option for ‘expert mode’ when defining trigger events, and this delivers enhanced flexibility. It allows the configuration of additional triggers which must occur within a defined time window. Multiple additional triggers can be specified using AND logic.

With regard to an end event, an active time can be set, or a trigger can be defined to end the alarm. Whilst this will not be used in many circumstances, it can be a benefical feature in a number of business intelligence type applications where the user is happy to allow alerts to be automatically cancelled.

With these parameters set the next stage is to configure the visualisation of any alarm. This controls how video is displayed and which streams or defined views are added when an alarm occurs. There is also an option to prescribe PTZ presets if appropriate.

With these steps complete the VMS gives options to select users, either individuals or groups, who will receive notifications. There are also options to play alerts, display alarm text and even to trigger external programs should that be required. Again, the latter feature does give a good degree of flexibility, especially if the system is being used for business intelligence applications.

Alarm actions are then configured via the Server menu. This has a host of options associated with connected devices, recording server functions and the Alarm Watch Dog feature. The latter is an alarm management tool and can be used across multiple Cayuga implementations.

The final element of configuring alarms and events is for notifications via email and FTP uploads.

While there is a lot of flexibility for installers and integrators creating advanced event handling scenarios, Cayuga can deliver simple and traditional event/action type alarm events with a few basic settings. However, it can also allow a greater depth of flexibility to ensure that added value events can be managed.

The event handling functions work well, and even when the rules become more complicated, the VMS handles them with consistency and accuracy. In reality, if you use the Alarm Creation Wizard and don’t look in more depth at the many options, it could be easy to miss much of what the Cayuga VMS offers.

Add to this depth of configuration the ability to interface with video analytics and ANPR engines, and true capabilities of the VMS become apparent. Cayuga is a VMS that can provide the required performance for a wide range of applications, including those with a need for advanced event handling.

Vista: Qulu

Qulu is designed to be a VMS solution with unlimited connectivity options (dependent upon hardware capacity and licenses). The cross-platform VMS can run on Windows, Linux or OS servers. The VMS has an open-platform approach, and can support direct integrations with many of the leading quality branded cameras and encoders.

With regard to event management, features include automatic notifications with embedded links, a simple control interface for events and alarms, event-based searching and real-time alerts for incidents and system issues.

Vista provide the software download and documentation via a Google Drive. Our advice would be to download the various elements individually. We did try a complete download of all elements in one Zip folder but the resulting file was invalid. This is a Google Drive issue rather than a Vista one.

There is a single installer, and this gives the option of installing the Server and Client applications, or either of the two. Once you’ve named the system and set a password for the Admin account, the process is automatic.

The installation is fast, and when the VMS is initially started it prompts for an authorised log-in. With this done it found around 80 per cent of the cameras automatically (and very quickly). The only changes required were for non-standard passwords. If multiple devices share log-in authentication, this can be set across all devices.

The cameras that were not automatically discovered were found and added easily using the manual search facility.

Qulu uses an HTML5 interface and as such it is reminiscent of many current GUIs in the security market. It does rely on contextual menus, which is a benefit as it keeps the interface relatively clean. There are a number of icons (thankfully with ToolTips) if you need to access more specific system menus. One of these deals with alarms and events.

Qulu’s event and action menu is simple and immediately intuitive. The VMS has a number of basic rules automatically implemented. These cover basic alarms such as server failure, storage failure, network issues, licence issues, network device IP address conflicts, etc.. Installers and integrators can also add rules.

Each event rule is made up of various parts: event, source, action, target and interval. These can be configured in a basic mode, or an advanced menu can be used to permit greater control over events and actions. The menu also allows rules to be enabled or disabled.

The first element is the event itself. Options include camera specific events (motion, input triggered, disconnect, IP address conflict) and system events (server status change or failure, storage failure, network issues, licence problems or archive back-up completed). Filters can be added if required.

For example, if camera motion is a selected event, the installer or integrator can specify whether the event is created when motion starts or stops. Events can also be scheduled as active or inactive, thus allowing flexibility with regard to implementation.

This also allows different actions to be associated with events based upon whether a business is open or closed at the time, for example.

Selecting the source for the event allows a device to be specified for a camera event. There is an option to apply a rule to all devices if required. The source is automatically set for any system-based events.

With the event and source specified, the next stage is to set up the action and target. Actions are dependent upon the type of event selected, but include notifications (these can be on-screen updates, visual motion indications and emailed notifications), recording changes or panic recording (including bookmarking events), audible alerts including spoken notifications, output triggering or telemetry instructions.

The target instruction allows a specific user or groups of users to be added. There is also a setting to select all users. The final selection is for the duration of the action.

This can be instant or timed, and where continual activations are expected the repetition of an alert can be limited by time. Also, notifications can be repeated until cleared if action is required.

With regard to camera motion, Qulu allows the detection to either be actioned by the camera (if supported) or through the VMS. The latter obviously uses server resources. If opting for VMD via the field device, the only option is masking, while the software approach allows sensitivity settings to be configured.

The rules and events work well, and cover the vast majority of requirements for a mainstream application. A few of the features are a little gimmicky, such as the spoken text notifications, but there are also a range of events and actions that can provide both security and business intelligence benefits for most applications.

The event handling rules are simple to implement, and whilst they have more flexibility than most mainstream NVRs or DVRs, they don’t allow the creation of more complex scenarios or the application of AND/OR logic-based operators that some other VMS solutions offer.

Wavestore: Wavestore VMS 6

Wavestore v6 is a 64-bit Linux-based VMS solution. It is available in three variants: Base, Premium and Enterprise. Base is limited to 24 cameras per server and 1 server group. Premium can manage up to 128 cameras per server and 5 server groups, while Enterprise supports up to 254 cameras per server and 255 server groups. The VMS is open platform supporting most leading professional devices.

The Wavestore VMS is equipped to managed video sources, video analytics, sensors, perimeter protection systems and alphanumeric data from other devices. Event management is carried out using programmable rules.
Both the Premium and Enterprise packages include support for optional analytics or metadata.

For those with experience of previous Wavestore VMS versions, V6 is available as a 64-bit only system, and it makes use of the Linux platform. The software is supplied as an ISO file, effectively a disk image, and the installation or upgrade process is straightforward and simple.

Licensing is also a simple task, but does involve sending the machine ID to the manufacturer. However, the process is fast and doesn’t cause any issues.

As Benchmark tests many VMS-based systems and uses the technology in a number of assessments and longer-term trials, one of the signs we always look for is a straightforward install and licensing process. It’s fair to say that suppliers who get these elements right inevitably have built a decent product. Often those that start off clumsily retain that clumsiness throughout.

Navigating through the various menus is relatively intuitive. The screen makes use of a ‘ribbon’ type control at the top of the screen displaying icons, allowing quick navigation between the various menus.

The set-up process is straightforward and Wavestore V6 discovered all of the attached cameras at the first time of asking. Once the correct authentication details were entered the devices were added to the system.

Managing events is predominantly handled via three menus. These are Event Rules, I/O devices and Notification Targets. The latter two will create entities that are used when creating event rules in the VMS.

On occasions, certain menus will require a server restart. When this is required the system does notify you. Before you chalk that up as a potential issue, remember that this is a Linux system and the restart process is very fast!

The menu screen for event rules is very straightforward. When a new rule is created it is named and a schedule can be applied. There are also options as to whether the event rule is logged or can be controlled from the main screen.

There are then two configuration panes which is where the rule parameters are set. The first covers the event cause(s). When a cause is added a drop-down menu gives the various trigger options. These include alarm, camera event, camera movement, darkening, fault, input, log-in denied, log-in successful, motion, recording, video loss and warning. Multiple causes can be added with an OR action.

Unfortunately, AND operators are not available with event causes, which is a shame as it allows a greater degree of filtering.

The ability to link triggers delivers a higher degree of flexibility, especially with regard to the creation of business intelligence rules which add value for the customer.

The second pane is where you manage the event actions. Again a drop-down menu is used. Actions include alarm, boost recording rates, email a clip, notify, output, play sound, PTZ preset, record, record metadata, run a script, email, set cause parameters, spot monitor or text. Multiple actions can be set using an ‘AND’ condition. Actions can be triggered by an event starting, finishing or both.

The ‘set cause parameters’ option is interesting, in that an event can set up another potential event. This is done using text strings but the manual doesn’t give any detail about this function.

Wavestore V6 does offer a very high degree of flexibility with regard to event handling. It does lack a few of the more advanced options that the leading VMS products offer, but unless a site has very specialised requirements it will do more than most end users will need.

The interface, which is very much based around a single-screen approach, is intuitive and there are only a few elements which will have you reaching for the manual. Screen side panels, including the device tree and system control panes, can be hidden, and the use of pop-up windows keeps the layout clean and user-friendly.

The rules work well, and cover the vast majority of requirements for a mainstream application. These are simple to implement, and enhance the functionality on offer.

It must be remembered that Wavestore recently underwent an MBO and in that short time has set about ensuring its product range meets the needs of an evolving marketplace. V6 of the company’s VMS is a good and solid platform with a high degree of flexibility, and we’d expect to see that built upon. That said, the offering today is efficient and robust and delivers event-based benefits.


Bosch Security: Bosch VMS

Bosch VMS has clearly been designed to bring together various Bosch surveillance elements (and devices from other sectors), and as such it will make sense to someone seeking a Bosch solution rather than an open platform approach.

The event handling is flexible and allows the creation of advanced scenarios, and form that point of view it does add value and enhance typical system operations. So long as the limitations with regard to third party support are understood, the VMS has to be recommended as it adds value to Bosch-centric systems.

March Networks: Command Professional

March Networks has taken a different approach to most VMS providers with regard to how installers and integrators engage with the software. This isn’t a bad thing; in the world of software-based systems flexibility should not be limited to the user interface or video management performance. Sadly, our experience shows that maybe the approach taken is not necessarily the best one!

Installation was slow and beset with problems. The certificate issue could be resolved by a workaround, but given media coverage of compromised video systems (albeit at the lower end of the market) in recent months, we’d advise against any approach that may concern customers. The interface can behave randomly, event handling requires additional software to compete with some other VMS options, and the ‘registration’ we were instructed to make to receive the bug-fixed software was not followed up. As such, we cannot recommend Command Professional at this time.

SeeTec: Cayuga

Cayuga is, in our opinion, a VMS that somehow slips under the radar. SeeTec’s profile in the UK isn’t the highest, but more installers and integrators should take a closer look at what is on offer. The open platform approach works well, installation and configuration is straightforward, and there is a depth of additional functionality on offer.

The event management options of Cayuga deliver a high degree of flexibility, and for the vast majority of applications there will be ample potential to create complex scenarios, thus adding value for the customer. That said, the VMS can also deliver a workman-like performance if required. It combines power with simplicity, and as such will tick all the right boxes for those who are looking to VMS packages because they want the benefits of advanced event management.

Vista: Qulu

Qulu is very much aimed at the mainstream video surveillance market, and certainly fits the bill where installers and integrators are looking to improve on an existing system which utilises hardware such as NVRs and DVRs. The VMS is simple to install and configure, the interface is intuitive and the menus allow a good degree of flexibility.

With regard to event management, the options for rules use a simpler event/action relationship than some of the more event-focused VMS packages. For those looking to improve on the benefits offered by more traditional systems, it does offer wider choice. For applications where there isn’t a demand for more complicated scenarios, then Qulu has to be recommended.

Wavestore: Wavestore V6

Wavestore V6 ticks many of the right boxes for installers and integrators. The interface is clean and intuitive, set-up and configuration don’t present any problems and operation is reliable and consistent.

The event management options are very flexible and whilst they lack a few (and we mean a few) of the more advanced features, the functionality is still above and beyond that of many hardware-based options and many VMS packages too. As such, it is recommended.


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