Hikvision is a Chinese-based security company and a leading name in the security industry. In fact, Hikvision is the largest security company in the world. Rapid growth in popularity worldwide made expansion necessary, and thus, Hikvision USA was founded in 2007. As a subsidiary company to Hikvision, Hikvision USA is based out of California and offers the same quality products with English firmware. Both are solid alternatives to standard Hikvision products, but let’s take a close look and examine the differences between the two. Here are the difference between Hikvision OEM and Hikvision USA. Other article to consult: How to tell if my Hikvision camera is US, Chinese, or International version.

Hikvision OEM

What are OEM Hikvision products? First, OEM stands for “Original Equipment Manufacturer.” These are technically the exact same products sold by Hikvision; they are just sold discounted, in unmarked packaging and in bulk to independent retailers. These distributors do so openly, marketing products as OEM Hikvision; some however, do so discreetly as they typically rebrand the products under their own name (for example LTS, is rebranded Hikvision OEM). The concern with buying Hikvision OEM is that your technical support and warranty is entirely dependent on the seller.

With so many companies selling OEM Hikvision products, it can be challenging to determine whether the locating you are purchasing it from will be a dependable company. A good way to determine whether the seller you’re considering is on the Hikvision OEM Directory. Most of the Hikvision OEM cameras you see on eBay and Amazon are hacked China region cameras with English firmware. This limits the user because you can’t update the cameras in the future with new firmware. If you attempt to, they will revert back to Chinese because in the new firmware Hikvision identifies the region in the serial number of the hardware.

Why does Hikvision OEM their products?

Allows for better cash flow for manufacturers because it only ties up money for a limited time period (usually around 30 days). Companies that sell their CCTV products under their own brand name tend to offer terms to their dealers. That way, manufacturers do not have to provide a huge amount of monetary terms to new dealers, they would only need to deal with one instead of many.
Enables them to reach a broader customer base at a faster rate. Most companies doing CCTV OEM have their own loyal customers that don’t want to buy from somewhere new. They want to have the same quality support they have received from current supplier. For a manufacturer to be able to tap into the same customer base without doing OEM would be difficult.

For a manufacturer to be able to provide technical support to large number dealers, it is required to have 1 tech support personal for every 20 dealers. The number of technicians a manufacturer this size would need would be enormous. Growth would fail if manufacturers had a single minded way of thinking, “we can do it all.” Plus, the overhead cost savings from not managing a huge technical workforce is well worth it.

Having a local presence in many cities at the same time, within a short period of time with local support, can only happen with OEM partners. Having companies available to distribute a brand name stocked in all cities across the U.S. is close to impossible without OEM partners.

Hikvision USA

Hikvision USA was founded in 2007 as a subsidiary company to the parent Hikvision in China. They produce the same high-quality products with English firmware for American customers. One pro of purchasing through an authorized Hikvision USA distributor is that you’ll have the benefit of Hikvision technical support and a 3 year warranty. Hikvision USA products are also UL listed. This is required for commercial installations like banks, where insurance carriers require all your security system to be UL listed gear. One drawback is that Hikvision USA only sells through their dealer/installer network at full retail price, so there is a slight increase in cost compared to buying OEM but with an increase in confidence in your purchase.

Pros and Cons

• Hikvision OEM
‣ Cheaper cost for technically the same product
‣ Local presence and support from reputable distributors
‣ Risky Purchasing/Updating
‣ Support dependent on seller not company.

• Hikvision USA
‣ Technical Support and Warranty
‣ UL Listed for commercial installation
‣ English Firmware
‣ More Expensive

To conclude, both Hikvision USA and Hikvision OEM are great options when it comes to your CCTV equipment. Make sure to do your research and order from reputable companies and understand the restrictions of each option.