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Synology DVA3219 Review

Synology’s Surveillance Station app has consistently been a favorite of ours as it is capable of turning any of its appliances into a professional IP camera monitoring and recording system. It makes perfect sense to team it up with an appliance that can make the most if its features and the DVA3219 aims to do just that.

The DVA3219 may look like a standard 4-bay desktop DiskStation but inside lurks an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GPU card equipped with 4GB of GDDR5 memory. This gives the appliance the necessary grunt to handle all the features the Surveillance Station app has to offer including multiple real-time video streams, intelligent video processing, image analysis, people counting and more.

The DVA3219 isn’t best value but it does provide everything you need to get on the road to surveillance and the price includes an 8-camera license which is worth nearly $360. Its base 4GB of DDR4 memory can be upgraded to 32GB but although the Nvidia card has HDMI, DisplayPort and DVI outputs, you can’t use them as they are hidden behind the rear blanking panel.

Surveillance Station 8.2

The DVA3219 supports up to 32 camera feeds and the Live View can be easily customised with different views

For testing, we loaded up three 12TB Seagate IronWolf HDDs and used Synology’s web discovery portal to locate it and install the latest DSM 6.2 software. After creating a RAID5 storage pool, we then visited the Package Center app and installed Surveillance Station 8.2 which automatically applied the 8 camera license pack.

Surveillance Station opens a separate browser session and you start by discovering IP cameras. The app supports over 7,100 models so it had no problems identifying our Axis and D-Link cameras.

If your cameras support multiple streams, it’s worth activating them all from their own browser interfaces first as they can then be selected as stream profiles in the IP Camera app. Once you’ve provided the camera admin credentials, you can check them out in the Live View app and directly access a range of tools for each one including instant playback, snapshots, manual recording and changing the stream profile.

The DVA3219 supports up to 32 IP camera feeds and the live view automatically scales according to the number installed. If you prefer, you can manually change the view by creating new layouts and choosing from a range of plans.

Recording features

The DVA people counting app will prove useful where customer footfall needs to be monitored

Recording is a key feature of Surveillance Station and for each camera, you can set it to record continuously, during up to two custom daily schedules or when motion detection is triggered and each option can be assigned a specific video stream. You choose which volume on the appliance to store recordings, decide how long to keep them and set the maximum size of the archive.

The Timeline app provides easy access to all recordings as you can pick a day from its calendar, view all feeds or selected cameras and apply filters to show specific recording modes such as motion detection events. Synology’s Windows desktop client goes further as its Smart Search feature looks through all recordings for specific events including missing or foreign objects and allows you to draw a detection zone in the view for even closer examination.

If you’re monitoring a public place you may come under data protection regulations and access to recordings can be tightened up by enforcing Synology’s standard two-factor authentication combined with the Google Authenticator mobile app. Surveillance Station also offers a dual authorization mode that can be used to set full Manager or view-only Spectator user privileges.

Synology’s LiveCam app turns your mobile into an IP camera and recording device. After loading the iOS version on our iPad, we logged into the appliance, set our iPad in the desired orientation and tapped the app’s play button.

Deep Video Analytics

Deep Motion Detection monitors specific areas and ignores small movements such as swaying trees and rain

Synology’s Deep Video Analytics (DVA) app provides people counting, enhanced intrusion detection, no-idle zones and deep motion detection features. People counting only supports ceiling mounted cameras and we tested with a 2-megapixel dome camera mounted above the lab door.

Using a mouse, you scale and position a detection zone in the preview window, define a head size and set entry and exit directions. It needed some tweaking to get the detection working accurately but after a few practise runs, we had it logging traffic in and out of the lab and could view graphical reports showing daily, monthly and yearly footfall.

People counting can be linked up with motion detection tasks so it can issue alerts and trigger other action rules. Crowd control is another great feature as the app counts the number of entry and exit events and alerts you if the discrepancy between the two numbers exceeds a specific limit.

No-idle zones issue alerts if objects remain in a predefined zone for too long or leave it when they shouldn’t. To set it up, you create a no-idle zone task, assign it to a camera, draw a zone in the preview pane and enter a dwell time in seconds.

Deep motion detection tasks monitor areas and filter out movements such as rain or swaying trees while DVA intrusion detection allows you to draw a perimeter line anywhere in the camera view so anything that crosses it will trigger an event. The appliance can run up to four DVA tasks simultaneously and configuration is simplified as Synology provides detailed manuals for each type.

Conclusion

SMBs looking for a sophisticated in-house video surveillance solution that’s easy to deploy will find the DVA3219 a great choice. Synology’s Surveillance Station 8.2 app delivers an unbeatable range of IP camera monitoring and recording features while the integral DVA apps add extra levels of versatility. The DVA3219 isn’t restricted to surveillance duties either as it runs the standard DSM 6.2 software so it supports all NAS and IP SAN services and every app on Synology’s books.

8.4 Total Score

SMBs looking for a sophisticated in-house video surveillance solution that’s easy to deploy will find the DVA3219 a great choice. Synology’s Surveillance Station 8.2 app delivers an unbeatable range of IP camera monitoring and recording features while the integral DVA apps add extra levels of versatility. The DVA3219 isn’t restricted to surveillance duties either as it runs the standard DSM 6.2 software so it supports all NAS and IP SAN services and every app on Synology’s books.

Performance
8
Features
9
Build quality
8.5
Usability
9
Value
7.5
PROS
  • Easy to deploy
  • Eight camera licenses included
  • Huge IP camera support
  • Fantastic surveillance features
  • Doubles up as a NAS server
CONS
  • A little pricey
  • Graphics card ports aren’t accessible
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