The DiskStation NVR1218 from Taiwanese manufacturer, Synology, is a standalone network video recorder (NVR), designed for small CCTV installations. It has a maximum camera capacity of 12 IP cameras at 720p resolution and 30 frames per second. It can also double as a network-attached storage (NAS) device allowing the user to use it as a backup server or file server.
Storage and setup
The NVR1218 is supplied without hard drives thus allowing the purchaser to decide on how much storage space they require. It supports up to two internal hard drives with a maximum raw storage capacity of 20 TB (10 TB per drive). This can be expanded up to 70 TB raw capacity with the addition of Synology’s DX513 expansion unit that connects with an eSATA cable. The drives can be configured in a number of different RAID configurations. Internal drive installation is accomplished by removing some screws off the back of the unit and sliding the lid off. The NVR comes with an external power supply.
Once the drives are installed they need to be formatted and the NVR’s firmware installed. Rather unusually, we found it necessary to read the manual for the initial setup of the device. However, once we had successfully logged onto the NVR the rest of the configuration was accomplished with minimal reference to the user/installation manual.
If the user doesn’t have the NVR1218 connected to the Internet, an HDMI monitor and mouse are required for the setup of the device. A USB dongle containing the NVR firmware is provided to allow the device to be set up without being connected to the Internet.
Camera support and performance
We tested the NVR1218 using its web browser interface only (Google Chrome browser) and did not use the HDMI/mouse interface. The web interface responded quickly and we found the controls intuitive and logically placed. The Windows 10 (64 bit) workstation used for the testing had an Intel i7 1.73 GHz CPU with 12 GB RAM and an SSD. The CPU load caused by the Chrome browser on the workstation was approximately 20%.
The NVR1218 supports more than 6900 different camera models from 120 manufacturers. We tested the unit for a week using four 3-megapixel cameras. This load equates to approximately 66% of the video capacity of the unit. The unit performed impressively at this load with the browser graphic interface remaining responsive at all times.
The NVR1218 has the following built-in features that we did not test: DHCP server, firewall, DOS protection, LDAP/domain authentication, Wake-on-LAN, SNMP UPS support, and task scheduling (e.g. S.M.A.R.T. or update checking). There is also notification support via SMS and e-mail for situations such as disk failure, high temperature, UPS failure problems, unusual login behaviour, security risks found, malware detection etc. It has support for multiple video and audio CODECs.
Whilst we didn’t test this component of the NVR1218, it comes with a serial COM port to support point-of-sale (POS) system integration. This port allows video indexing against transaction records. It also has analogue audio inputs and outputs to allow communication with supported cameras.
The NVR1218 is just 100 mm (width) x165 mm (height) x 22 mm (depth) and has a power consumption (excluding the hard drives’ power) of less than 14 watts.
The Synology DiskStation DS1218 is priced such that the purchaser only needs to pay for the number of cameras that they wish to monitor. It comes standard with four camera licences and additional camera licences are available in increments of one, four and eight. The device has a three year warranty.
This article was sponsored by Synology. For more information contact Synology’s local distributors, www.hsbd.co.za/brand-suppliers.aspx?agacc=5874, or contact Synology at www.synology.com/en-global/form/inquiry/product
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