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Which is the Best 4-Channel Hikvision NVR?

Keoni Granger

Which is the Best 4-Channel Hikvision NVR?

Hikvision offer a range of NVRs with differing features meaning that there is always a suitable choice for your application. For systems with up to 4 cameras, however, there is currently only one Hikvision NVR available on the market. Luckily this NVR is more than capable to meet the needs of most small systems! :)

The DS-7604NI-K1/4P was released in the summer of 2016 as part of the -K Series and was designed to bridge the gap between the -E (entry level) series and -I series (top level) NVRs. The Hikvision DS-7604NI-E1/4P is now end of life and an -I series 4 channel NVR has never been released leaving the DS-7604NI-K1/4P as the only choice for small systems.

Key Features
  • Small and compact (W- 315mm x D - 240mm x H - 48mm) making it a great choice for small businesses or home owners.
  • 4 built-in PoE ports allowing the user to power the cameras directly from the back of the unit.
  • HDMI and VGA interface for monitors
  • Can be remotely accessed
  • ANPR ready (Hikvision's recommended ANPR camera is the Hikvision DS-2CD4A26FWD-IZS. Please see here for a Hikvision ANPR setup tutorial.)
Key Specification Information
  • Maximum 8MP recording resolution
  • 40 Mbps incoming bandwidth
  • 1 audio input
  • 1 audio output
  • H.265 video compression (New (B) NVRs now support H.265+)
  • 1 SATA drive (maximum 10TB storage)
You may be wondering how you're supposed to know whether 40 Mbps is enough bandwidth to support your 4 cameras. Below is a guide to roughly how many Mbps are needed by 3MP, 5MP and 8MP cameras from the Hikvision EasyIP 3.0 (G1) Family:

With H.265 at 15fps -
3MP - 2.5Mbps
5MP - 4.2Mbps
8MP - 6.7Mbps

With H.265+
There aren't any exact measurements for how many Mbps are used by cameras running H.265+ yet but Hikvision's literature tells us that H.265+ offers a 83.7% saving over H.264 and a 66.8% saving over H.265.

In conclusion, this tells us that even if you are planning to use 8MP cameras on all 4 channels of this NVR you will only need around 26.8 Mbps worth of bandwidth leaving plenty to spare.

H.265/H.265+ also offers a huge saving on storage needs meaning that hard drives will reach maximum capacity much slower. Western Digital Purple hard drives are recommended for CCTV use and are available in a range of sizes from 1TB-10TB. I use this storage calculator to help customers choose a hard drive size.

Please see here for an article explaining H.265 and H.265+ compression.

Things to be Aware of

There are a few things that we like to make our customers aware of when they are looking at purchasing the DS-7604NI-K1/4P.
  1. Every other -K series or -I series NVR supports H.265+ while the DS-7604NI-K1/4P only supports H.265. This means that your cameras won't record at H.265+ and will need to be rolled back to H.265 in the configuration. (UPDATE 05/07/2018 - New DS-7604NI-K1/4P(B) NVRs do support H.265+, 4 channel NVRs without (B) at the end of their product code will only support H.265)
  2. Only the -I series NVRs support POS integration
  3. The -I series NVRs received a V4 firmware release in November which the -K series didn't receive. The new V4 firmware changes the user interface in a significant way and it's unclear whether the -K series will also receive this update. Please see here for more information about the Hikvision V4 firmware update.
What's in the Box?
Why Not Hiwatch NVRs?

Something we've been asked about recently is whether we plan to stock the Hiwatch series of NVRs and cameras. We decided not to sell Hiwatch for a number of reasons but it boils down to quality and future-proofing:
  • Only cameras up to 4MP are supported
  • Only supports H.264+ video compression
  • Hiwatch NVRs don't receive any firmware updates
  • There has been reported issues about mixing Hikvision cameras with Hiwatch NVRs and vice versa
  • Hiwatch is already being phased out to make way for another budget series called Hilook
In summary, the DS-7604NI-K1/4P is a great choice for small businesses and home owners; it supports the highest quality cameras and offers a simple plug and play solution. We have recommended the -K series NVRs since their release in 2016 with very little complaint and find them to be great, reliable units.

In the following weeks I'll also be covering 8, 16 and 32 channel NVRs and which of those we think are best so watch this space! :D

As usual, if you have any queries then please feel free to contact us and let us know or reply to this thread!
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