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Which is the Best Hikvision NVR for 8 Cameras?

Keoni Granger

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Which is the Best Hikvision NVR for 8 Cameras?

DS-7608NI-K2/8P or DS-7608NI-I2/8P?

There are currently 2 main choices for Hikvision systems with up to 8 cameras: DS-7608NI-K2/8P or DS-7608NI-I2/8P. The DS-7608NI-K2/8P is a -K series NVR and was designed to be a "middle level" product while the DS-7608NI-I2/8P is from the -I series and serves as a "top level" product. In 2015 the Hikvision DS-7608NI-E2-8P, which served as the entry level NVR, was made end of life leaving the -K series and -I series NVRs as the only choices on the market.

The -K and -I series are relatively similar in spec so it can be hard for users to decide which unit is best for their system. In this article we'll hopefully make the decision easier and cover the main differences focusing on:
  • Incoming/outgoing bandwidth
  • Recording resolution
  • HDMI/VGA resolution
  • Decoding capabilities
  • Firmware
Below we'll take a look more closely at the key features and specification. I'll highlight the main differences. :)

Key Features

DS-7608NI-K2/8P
  • Dimensions - (W - 385mm x D - 315mm x H - 52mm)
  • 8 x built-in PoE ports
  • HDMI output - up to 4K (3840 x 2160)/30Hz
  • VGA output - up to 1920 x 1080p/60Hz
  • Remote access
  • ANPR ready (Hikvision's recommended ANPR camera is the Hikvision DS-2CD4A26FWD-IZS. For more information on ANPR please see our Hikvision ANPR setup tutorial.)
DS-7608NI-I2/8P
  • Dimensions - (W - 380mm x D - 290mm x H - 45mm)
  • 8 x built-in PoE ports
  • HDMI output - up to 4K (3840 x 2160)/60Hz
  • VGA output - up to 1920 x 1080p/60Hz
  • Remote access
  • ANPR ready
Key Specification

DS-7608NI-K2/8P
  • Recording resolution - up to 8MP
  • Incoming bandwidth - 80 Mbps
  • Outgoing bandwidth - 160 Mbps
  • Two way audio
  • H.265+
  • 2 SATA drives (maximum 20TB)
DS-7608NI-I2/8P
  • Recording resolution - up to 12MP
  • Incoming bandwidth - 80 Mbps
  • Outgoing bandwidth - 256 Mbps
  • Two way audio
  • H.265+
  • 2 SATA drives (maximum 20TB)
I'll explain why some of these features are important below:

Recording Resolution - The resolution of a camera tells us how many million pixels will be in it's images. 8MP = 8 million and 12MP = 12 million. Currently, the highest resolution available in Hikvision's most recent range is 8MP. This is really high quality and pretty much the best consumers can get on the market for a CCTV system.

12MP cameras are rare and tend to be something like a DS-2CD63C2F-IVS Hikvision Fisheye camera. However, 12MP spread across a 360° field of view isn't actually very impressive and the image would seem of low quality.

To summarize the above points, either the -K series or -I series NVR would be a great choice unless you were looking to use above an 8MP camera. If you'd like to see some different resolution's compared please see our post on differences in camera resolutions.

Incoming Bandwidth and H.265+ - You may be wondering how you're supposed to know whether 80 Mbps worth of incoming bandwidth is enough bandwidth to support your 8 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, you could use 8 x 8MP cameras on both the -K series NVR or the -I series and have no incoming bandwidth issues.

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

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.

Outgoing Bandwidth - This tells us how much outgoing traffic the NVRs can handle. This covers things such as remote viewing your system from a browser or from an app such as Hik Connect. If you'd like to know how Hik-Connect works you can take a look at our post explaining Hik-Connect in a nutshell. We can see from the comparison that the DS-7608NI-I2/8P has a slightly higher outgoing bandwidth than the DS-7608NI-K2/8P.

A Couple of Differences to be Aware of

In November 2017 there was a new V4 firmware release for Hikvision NVRs which changed the user interface dramatically. However, this firmware was only made available to the -I series NVRs and this is still how the situation remains today. We aren't sure whether this firmware will be made available for the -K series.

You can look at our article about the New Version 4 Firmware for Hikvision NVRs if you'd like more information.

Hikvision also recently released a video called "Hikvision Product Lecture -- I series NVR V4 .1. 50 Firmware Introduction" which will explain a few more of the key differences.

One other thing to note is that only the -I series NVRs support POS integration.

For some users this may be enough of a reason to make the jump from the -K to the -I series. For others, it may not be an issue but it's something we like to mention so that our customers are aware! :)

What's in the Box?

DS-7608NI-K2/8P
DS-7608NI-I2/8P
  • NVR
  • Power supply
  • SATA cables
  • A short network patch cable
  • Mouse
  • Screws for hard drives
  • Software disk
  • User manual
  • Remote control
If you wanted to purchase a remote control for the DS-7608NI-K2/8P they are available in our online shop and can be found here.

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

To summarize, the DS-7608NI-K2/8P and DS-7608NI-I2/8P are both excellent units and are remarkably similar in spec. Choosing one for your system really comes down to personal preference and we hope that with the above information we have made it a little easier for you to choose one for your system! :D

If you're interested in which is the best 4-Channel NVR then please take a look at last weeks article.

In the next couple of weeks I'll also be looking at 16 and 32 channel Hikvision NVRs for bigger systems.

As usual, if you have any queries then please feel free to contact us.
 
Last edited:

rickwookie

New Member
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#4
Good stuff Keoni. One other difference is that the DS-7608NI-K2/8P can only simultaneously decode 2-ch @ 8 MP (according to the datasheet) whereas the DS-7608NI-I2/8P can do 4-ch @ 8 MP (or 2-ch @ 12 MP), so if you want to do simultaneous playback of 4 8MP channels, you need the I-series it seams. I assume it must have a more powerful decoder, and then presumably this only applies to the local monitor UI, since otherwise it's the PC (using the web plugin or iVMS software) that's doing the decoding.
 

internetevil

New Member
Messages
1
Points
1
#5
Do you need to have the same number of network ports on the back as cameras if your using a POE switch to power them?
should you always use the network ports on the back 1 for each camera?
 

Phil

Administrator
Staff member
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2,956
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83
#6
An NVR will only accept the stated number of cameras e.g. 8 in this case.
You can either use a POE switch OR the camera ports on the rear of the NVR.
You can only connect a single camera to a single port.
There is a method of connecting more than one camera to a port via a remote poe switch - video below:
(NB - this only applies to -I series NVRs running the V4.0 firmware)

 
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