In this review, SEN’s editor takes a closer look at the IDIS Direct IP DR-2316P 16-input NVR using the IDIS DC-Y8C13WRX hemispheric camera.

Along with H.265/H.264 codecs, UHD display, 480ips throughput, one-click network config, plug and play connection of IDIS cameras and support for Axis and Panasonic cameras, this solution has excellent flexibility and sweet build quality.

First impressions when unboxing the IDIS DR-2316P 8-input NVR were about the quality. This is very well constructed NVR. The IDIS DC-Y8C13WRX hemispheric camera has the same build quality – it’s a real tough nut with the sort of hand feel that suggests a capacity to take a lot of punishment. While this is not meant to be a camera test – not yet, anyway – I can’t help but notice throughout the test that this IDIS hemispheric camera is doing a nice job.

IDIS DR-2316P is a Linux-based NVR that has solid core specifications, including 320Mbps inwards throughput, up to 480ips UHD real-time recording, support for H.265/H.264 codec and UHD display, with up to 480ips live display, an integrated 8-channel PoE switch, 16 video inputs in total; DirectIP, AXIS, Panasonic and ONVIF compatibility; and HDMI and VGA outputs. Storage is 2x SATA HDDs and eSATA x1, with up to 8TB capacity for each disk.

Display resolution options are 3840 x 2160, 1920 x 1200, 1920 x 1080, 1680 x 1050 and 1600 x 1200, there’s x2-x12 digital zoom, UHD throughput of 180Mbps/480ips (4-channel at 4K), with the ability to support cameras of up to 12MP, encoding modes include CBR and VBR, and recording modes include timelapse, event, pre-event and panic. There are trigger events, including alarm in, audio detection, motion detection, trip-zone, tampering, video loss, text-in, ANPR and more, while search modes include timelapse, event log, thumbnail, motion and text-in.

There’s 2-way audio, client viewer options include IDIS Center, IDIS Mobile, IDIS Web, IDIS Solution Suite, -/1RCA + 1HDMI IP camera delivering 16/16 depending on the camera, alarm input/output, alarm reset in, serial interface RS232 terminal, a USB 2.0 and a USB 3.0, as well as mouse, IR remote control and a network remote keyboard.

On the network side, there’s a Gigabit Ethernet port, Remote Data Export via IDIS Player, AVI and JPG, and event notification mail (.cbf and .MP4), callback to remote S/W, and push notifications to IDIS Mobile service. The case is 300mm x 62mm x 231 mm and the unit weighs 2.3kg with a single HDD, has a working temperature of 0C to 40C, power inputs of 12V DC 1.76A for the NVR and DC48V 1.1A for the integrated switch – power consumption peaks at 21.12W for the NVR and 52.8W for the switch.

Meanwhile the IDIS 12MP Panomorph IR fisheye camera is rated IP67, has a 12MP Sensor with 9.4MP (3200 x 2944) resolution, a fixed F1.2mm lens, a pair of micro SD/SDHC/SDXC, smart failover for up to 256GB, 2-way audio, alarm in/out, IK10/IP67 ratings, PoE (IEEE 802.3af Class 3), 12V DC, day/night functionality, wide dynamic range of 120dB, IR LED range of 15m and 6 dewarping view modes.

Test Driving IDIS NVR

Before to do before steering the system is get the system connected. The whole thing with this IDIS solution from Hills (IDIS used to be branded Pacom, remember), is functionality and simplicity. This well-made NVR is designed to self-launch with the bare minimum of intervention from installers, which is lucky from SEN’s point of view, as our first attempt involved powering up the NVR without powering the integral 8-input PoE switch.

Once this penny drops, IDIS does its own thing, commissioning itself with no more than a worried glance at the big red light on the front from the SEN operator, finding the connected camera and then allowing settings to be tweaked in the easiest possible way.

Sometimes with older plug and play solution setups, you’d tango a bit with the wizard only to find the system settle itself on a screen that offered little functionality and no obvious escape route. Happily, IDIS Direct IP DR-2316P is cut from richer cloth and it’s around 2 minutes from power up to commissioned.

While I’ve not got the NVR overburdened with cameras in this little bench test, the way it comes together makes it clear that firing up cameras, twiddling camera settings, naming each camera and so on, would be a very simple undertaking. The most challenging bit would be establishing cable runs in the sorts of SME applications ideal for its functionalities.

Management of the system from the main screen is directory and icon-based, and is set up in such a way that you don’t have to drill deep cores to uncover fundamental truths. At the top of the screen are the display options, you can also click between cameras in full screen with a forwards and backward arrow, which I rather like. Next is a freeze button, a panic button and a sequence function selection.

The next icon shows status – and the way it works really underlines the beautiful simplicity of IDIS, as well as highlighting the reason installers and customers still love NVRS. You click and up comes a table that shows a camera grid and all possible settings relating to it and their current status – motion detection, audio, shutter speed. Next comes device, then VA box, alarm box, system snapshot showing disk state and other details, then there’s storage and finally a graphical map of the network that includes useful information like ports in use, total power draw, and network availability.

The search function is the same – it’s designed to be as simple as can be. There’s a click and drag timeline, a calendar, play and playback controls and bookmarks. From here you can clip copy, print and zoom. Next along is the setup function and this is where all the heavy lifting gets done in terms of general setup, managing user rights, user and network security, storage settings, self-diagnosis and custom values.

There’s also access to camera details, including MAC address and passwords, privacy masking, VA object calibration, SSLs, stream settings, audio, SD cards, recording write parameters, scheduling, pre-vent recording, smart failover and statistics. Event recording options are very comprehensive, there’s alarm device setup, network settings, notifications, display options and status. For a compact CCTV application, this system is very well featured, indeed.

When it comes to the IDIS 12MP panomorphic IR fisheye camera, because the test I’m doing is about the IDIS system, I don’t do a full street test with the IDIS DC-Y8C13WRX hemispheric camera but that is definitely on the cards. This is a nice camera. As mentioned, the build quality is other level – very impressive – and the image quality tags along behind. There’s strong resistance to blur and IR performance is strong and even – ideal for the sorts of applications this camera will find itself in.

Resolution is excellent, as you’d expect, but the camera also does well in areas like colour rendition and sharpness and there are low CAs and good management of backlight and blooming. During the test I notice IR transitions take only a few seconds. Obviously, with a very short focal length you’re going to get barrel distortion of the full sensor image, but that does not alter the fact this camera is a situational awareness powerhouse.

Combining a 360-degree view with big resolution and H.265 compression (which I am using in this test), gives the best of both worlds – you have strong detail without a massive bitrate. You could support multiple panomorphic IDIS cameras with this NVR and you’d wind up with a solid surveillance solution. A particular advantage of image quality is that it makes analytics more reliable and that feeds into this IDIS solution, too.

Conclusion

This 16-input IDIS NVR and the IDIS panomorphic camera are well matched in SEN’s compact application. Setting up this system was a breeze – you’re really a passenger – but the system has functionalities that reward the engagement of a thoughtful technician. Managing the system is easy, thanks to a simple GUI that keeps key functionalities within reach at all times, and the search function is intuitive and full featured.

Things I particularly liked include the ability to get a one-click snapshot of system state, including network availability, camera link, HDD state and internal temperature. Finally, the IDIS hemispheric camera is pro quality and well up to the task of supporting retail and other SME applications. It would also reward external 180-degree applications, thanks to resistance to overt ghosting when provoked with direct light.

This is the first time in a while that we’ve been hands on with IDIS (formerly Pacom) gear, and we were impressed.

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