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What is the Difference Between Normal, Smart, and Custom(Event) Playback when using a Monitor on a Hikvision NVR?

Dan

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All of the below testing was done on a DS-7716NI-I4/16P running the latest firmware v4.22.005, if after any future updates you notice any changes that may affect the below information then do let us know so we can update it.

Every so often customers have reported issues and confusion around the different playback options on Hikvision NVRs when using a direct monitor, one of the most common issues is users reporting that the event markers for Smart Event are not displaying correctly or at all in the Smart Playback menu. We have tested this ourselves and also experienced problems so we took the issue to Hikvision Support and they have now clarified with us the purpose of the 3 different types playback - Normal/Smart/Custom - which we have tested and our explanation of all 3 playback modes is below:

Normal Playback - here you are just seeing all the recorded footage, whether that is motion or continuous. You will NOT see any red Event markers in normal playback, it is just basic playback that allows you to scan through all the playback of one or multiple cameras. You may have noticed that the playback screen features 2 timelines, most people assume that this means it will show 2 different cameras timelines but actually the top line is the timeline of the camera you have currently selected in the split-screen view, while the bottom line is a combination of all the recordings from all the cameras you have selected.

Now obviously if all your cameras are recording continuously all you will see in both timelines is full blue bars, but it is important to be aware of this feature if all or some of your cameras are recording by motion/event because if the cameras physically close together they can be triggered by the same event and the bottom bar can end up very crowded with lots of recordings overlapping. So make sure if you are recording this way that you pay attention to top timeline and which camera you currently have selected.

Smart Playback - Smart Playback has 2 key playback functions, the first is to allow you to navigate through the smart events you have enabled in the Events menu with them displaying as red markers over the top of your continuous recording. The second feature is the smart ability to scan all your recorded footage for either motion/line crossing/intrusion detection whether or not you have any of those events enabled on those cameras. So, for example, you can hover over the playback image and select line crossing (see below), draw a line on the playback image, click the search button (magnifying glass), and the event markers in the playback will change to show you any person or object that has passed that line you have drawn on the footage. Now, because this smart setting is happening on NVR side instead of inside the camera the accuracy of it is not 100% but it can be a useful feature if you need to find something on a camera that doesn't have events set, has events set but in a different part of the scene, or cannot have events set at all. (footnote to this comment, we did try this feature with some ONVIF cameras connect to our Hikvision NVR and it didn't work so it is a feature exclusive to Hik cameras)

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Custom Playback - If you click "Custom Search" in the bottom left of the playback window you will open a window that allows you to search by the specific basic/smart events you have enabled (see below), this is useful in situations where you have cameras running multiple events because you can search for one specific type of event and only see those ones rather than seeing all the event markers as you do in Normal Playback.

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When you perform the custom search you will have 1 of 2 options as to how you view the Event notifications, you can either view them in a list format (see below) which allows you to select individual Event notifications and play them back, or you can exit the search and your search results will be displayed as Event markers on the playback timeline. Another big feature of both Smart & Custom Playback is the 'Play Strategy' menu (see below) which allows you to not only adjust the playback speed of continuous and event recording, allowing you to fast forward through non-Event footage, but you can also enable the 'Do Not Play Normal Video' function that allows you to skip over any normal continuous footage and only playback the Events. One final thing I should point out about the Custom Playback is that the search parameters stay locked in until you manually wipe them, so if you wanted to only ever use the custom search function for line crossing you can just leave a search for line crossing locked in. (although you may have to change the search date if you want to look for a specific event on a specific date)

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In relation to this you can also check for any basic/smart event notification by clicking the notification bell in the top right of the screen, here you can see all the different notification types you have received (e.g. Basic Events/Smart Events/Camera disconnect/Abnormal Shutdown/etc...) from every camera/channel on your NVR.


What About K-series NVRs?

All of the above, as you will have seen from the screenshots, is in relation to I-series NVRs running the 4.0 GUI, If you are running a K-series NVR with the older GUI the Playback menu will look different but all of the above features are available on those NVRs, you just have to look in different places. By default, the Playback menu on a K-series NVR will open on the Normal/Smart page, on this page you can view Normal & Smart Playback the same as was described above. If you want to view specific Events, as you do with the Custom Search on the I-series NVRs, you will need to click the drop-down in the top left of the screen that says Normal/Smart and then select the Event page. Once there you will see the interface is fairly similar to the Custom Search page, select an Event Type from the drop-down in the top right of the screen, select a camera, select a date, and click search. The only major difference with the K-series NVRs is that you can, after searching, navigate through a list of the individual Event notifications, but you cannot see these Events displayed all together in the timeline like you can with the I-series NVRs.
 
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DaveK

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My model DS7204 HQI-K1. Serial: C989XXXX7B.
For the past couple of weeks playback has jumped to 6th October 2019. I generally need to see yesterday and a day or two previous.
To get to the most recent I have to change setting to 24hours and drag the tool bar along until I reach the most recent.
How do I set it to show more up to date than 6th October?
Regards,
DaveK.
 
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Dan

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Hi @Capital_Singer

See this other forum thread about this topic

 

johnfitzy

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I have a DS-7608NI/8P firmware V4.50.000 Build 210125.

It seems some of the functionality of normal playback has changed a bit from what Dan explained in Sept 2019.

The new interface seems a bit easier to use... the playback screen has only 1 blue timeline that doesn't slide anymore... instead you position a red time pointer by clicking on a time or sliding the time pointer... seems like an improvement to me.

Why does a row of still images sometimes appear just above the playback menu at the bottom of the screen during normal playback? This has happened prior to this latest firmware... I'm sure they pop up for a reason but a can't figure out why... If you click on one of the images it moves you to that point in the timeline?
 

Dan

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Hi @johnfitzy

It sounds like you are using the new E-UI interface on the K-series NVRs which is different from the I-series 4.0 GUI shown in the screenshots from my original post but thank you for sharing your thoughts on it. (we also like the new look, it has been a long wait for a new GUI for the K-series NVRs)

The thumbnail images that appear above the timeline are just a preview to help guide you to a specific moment in the recording, I not sure if it will take you to that moment if you click on the thumbnails but that would make sense, give it try :)
 

johnfitzy

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Hi @Dan

Thanks for the quick reply and explaining the thumbnails!

I'm a bit confused about the "new E-UI interface on the K-series NVRs which is different from the I-series 4.0 GUI"? I downloaded this Firmware: NVR_K51_BL_ML_STD_V4.50.000_210125 from the us.hikvision.com site 2 days ago... best I can tell on that site it is for use on I-series NVR's... Did I load firmware intended for K-series NVR's?
 

Dan

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Apologies @johnfitzy

crossed wires there, we are UK based and currently the only firmware we are aware of with a .50. in version number is for the K-series, it was only after posting my reply that I started digging through the UK download portal and realised I couldn't identify the exact version you were describing for either the K or I-series NVRs.

I think this is a US exclusive firmware release that is not yet available here in the UK/EU, it may be released here in some form or it may not but thank you for sharing the information as I am sure there are a few other US users on this forum.
 

johnfitzy

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Is the I-series hardware the same in the US and UK? Is it ok to load firmware versions from the UK or EU download portals on my equipment?

Of course I'm asking now AFTER I just loaded firmware from the European portal V5.5.160 Build 210209 on a DS-2CD2087G2-L I just got... that camera doesn't even appear on the us.hikvision.com firmware list? Also, I just checked and I don't see that firmware on the www.hikvisioneurope.com site any longer?
 

Dan

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I believe the US hardware/software is slightly different which is why they do have a separate portal, I would not recommend using firmware from one region on devices from another but if that model does not exist on the US portal it may be your only option. You are best off speaking directly to Hikvision US support or a US installer/reseller that can advise you on the correct US firmware.
 

GTEM

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I found the original post very interesting, it taught me a few things I did not know about how to use the different views. The only bit I could not understand was where it said that in Normal Playback you will not see the event markers. I have always seen the event markers in normal playback. Event Markers show in red and recordings in blue (I have continuous recording so what is not red is blue).
I joined this forum to ask questions about removal of USB stick but read a few other posts including this one. I also noted the post about upgrading Firmware and thought I better do that even though I had no concerns about hackers as our system is not connected to ethernet at all.
After I upgraded the firmware using USB Memory stick I found I had lost the Event Markers that show in red which I previously to relied on.
I thought it best to downgrade back to the version I was on previously (DS-7208HUHI-K1 with Firmware V4.20.001, Build 190430) so downloaded and installed it but still I no longer have the Event Markers that I used to enjoy with the firmware that came with the system.
I guess that will teach me to leave things alone.
Not sure why they would not want to show event markers on Normal Playback and it also bugged me that there was no way of setting the colour for the event marker to something of your choice.
 

Dan

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Hi @GTEM

Thank you for the information about your system, the explanation above is only about Hikvision NVRs and you have a DVR which we have never tested and may use different software & GUI to the NVR models we used for the explanation above.
 

GTEM

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Oh right, my apology, thank you for explaining. Feel free to delete if needed. The screenshots looked the same as my system so thought it was the same
 
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