Network Video Recorder (NVR) boards allow you to record videos from IP cameras to a SATA drive, and display them in a mosaic for monitoring & security. One of such boards is XiongMai NBD7024T-P powered by a Hisilicon Hi3535 dual core Cortex A9 processor, and featuring Gigabit Ethernet, SATA, and USB 3.0 interfaces, on top of HDMI and VGA video output and stereo audio output. With such features, this type of board could likely be re-purposed for other applications, such as a NAS setup too,and they are fairly inexpensive going for $45 including shipping on Aliexpress.
NBD7024T-P NVR board specifications:
- SoC – Hisilicon Hi3535 dual core Cortex A9 processor @ 1.0 GHz
- System Memory – 4Gbit (512MB) RAM
- Storage – 2x SATA ports up to 8TB each, maybe some SPI flash for firmware
- Video Output – 1x HDMI, 1x VGA
- Audio Output – 2x RCA jacks for stereo audio
- Video Input (IP) – 8x @ 5M, 16x @ 4M, 32x (24fps), 16x, 8x @ 1080p, 32x @ 960p, 16x @ 720p up to 192 Mbps bandwidth
- Video & Audio Compression – H.264, G.711A
- Display & Playback “Quality” – 1280×1080 max display resolution, playback: 5M/4M 1080p/960p/720p
- Video Preview – 1/4/8/16/24/32
- Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet port + 4ch WiFi ???
- USB – 1x USB 2.0 port, 1x USB 3.0 port
- Misc – RTC battery, some expansion headers
- Power supply – 12V/4A
- Power Consumption – <10W (without HDD)
- Dimensions – 164mm x 80mm
- Weight – ~130g
- Temperature Range – 0°C-+55°C
- Humidity – 10%-90% RH
You can use the built-in interface shown above, a Windows based CMS app, XMeye mobile app to manage the video streams, or any ONVIF compliant apps. The board is said to run some kind of embedded Linux distributions. The seller of the board on Taobao, also “sells” the SDK for various Hisilicon processors for 5 RMB. But since the name of the SDK is shown a search for Hi3535_V100R001C01SPC020 led me to that direct link on baidu where it looks like you can download it for free, until you find out the archive is password protected… The SDK is said to be based on Linux 3.14, and you’d have to use this, since I could not see any activity about Hi3535 in LKML.
The manufacturer of the board is Hangzhou XiongMai Technology, and you can find a product brief here. If you find $45 is too high for your use case, some cheaper 4-channel NVR boards based on HiSilicon Hi3520D ARM Cortex A9 processor @ 660 MHz can be found for about $17 shipped with Fast Ethernet, one SATA 2.0 interface, and HDMI & VGA output.
HiSilicon Hi3535 processor sells for about $8 in quantities, so in case software support is acceptable, and HiSilicon helps with the release of the SDK, it might be possible to make low cost boards for headless applications. It still remains to be seen how SATA, Ethernet, and USB 3.0 interfaces perform on the processor.
Thanks to Jon for the tip.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.