Most helpful critical review
61 of 66 people found the following review helpful
Nice hardware, too many software problems
on December 2, 2013
While this is a lovely little camera, there are significant problems with the HikVision software which have cost me hours in trying to get it configured to do what it says it can do. Apart from things just not working, there is absolutely no useful feedback from the software about what is wrong! HikVision's web site does not list a technical support number or e-mail address. I called the main number and got transferred to tech support.
The litany of problems I encountered:
1. The installer for the SADP utility found I had a newer version of the WinPCap library and asked if I wanted to keep it. I did, but then SADP couldn't find the camera. I eventually installed the latest WinPCap (4.1.3) and it then worked. The SADP utility apparently reports the "SDK" port rather than the HTTP port.
2. I was unable to reliably set non-default ports. After the device rebooted I couldn't reach it via the new HTTP port. I found I could get to it via the original port (80), but when I attempted to login I would get "Network abnormal" errors. I had to perform a factory reset multiple times and then gave up since I was planning to access the camera via IPv6 anyway and didn't absolutely have to use port forwarding to get to it.
3. After adding the camera's IPv6 address to my Windows hosts file I could connect to the camera, but the Live View kept reporting "Live view failed". I discovered that if I connected to the camera via the raw IPv6 address, the live view worked. So there is a problem with the browser plugin. Bookmarking the URL with the IPv6 address in the browser worked around this problem.
4. I tried to set up FTP to upload snapshots. The same credentials from my PC to the FTP server work fine. Nothing uploaded from the camera. There is no "Test" feature to confirm that the FTP configuration works and nowhere to tell you why it failed (e.g. authentication error, timeout). I even copied/pasted everything to be sure it was correct.
5. I tried to set up e-mail for alerts from the camera. I kept getting "Parameter error" when I tried to save my configuration. I discovered from HikVision support that you cannot have a period in the e-mail addresses! So first.last (at) yourmailserver won't work, but firstlast (at) yourmailserver will! I was able to setup a user without a period in the name and I was able to save the parameters. Still no e-mail received for motion detection with 24 hour arming enabled.
6. I tried to configure storage via NAS. It reports my NFS volume is "offline". Other systems can see the NFS volume just fine. There is no error report to clarify the problem. HikVision support says it is not yet compatible with all NFS, just a couple of NAS products and could not provide any further diagnosis.
7. There is nothing in the camera log at all. HikVision support says you have to have a flash card installed, but there is nothing in the manual about this! Elsewhere I found a reference that you have to have storage configured, but I can't do that because it cannot access my NFS volume!
I've had four calls to support. The first call got dropped after less than a minute (sudden dial tone). The next call recommended I upgrade the camera firmware. They have to give you credentials for an FTP server to get the latest firmware (5.0.2) since it is not accessible via their web site. That didn't fix any of the issues. During the third call I accidentally discovered the work around to the "Live view failed" problem. A few days later, my fourth call revealed the problem with including a period in e-mail addresses, but on all the other issues all I got was "I'm not the programmer, just support" when trying to find out how to diagnose the other problems. Absolutely useless! I will have to resort to a network sniffer to try to diagnose each of these problems.