After researching and analyzing video surveillance systems, we recommend Alibi as the best hybrid video surveillance system. A hybrid surveillance system is the perfect solution for upgrading your existing system and staying within your budget. Hybrid systems allow you to connect your existing analog camera system with more modern IP cameras. Another benefit of hybrid systems is that you can gradually upgrade it as your needs change.
We chose Alibi from dozens of video surveillance systems we considered. To read our full methodology and for a comprehensive list of video surveillance systems, visit our best picks page.
Robust Hybrid Surveillance System
Alibi offers reasonably priced products that integrate your existing analog, closed-circuit television cameras with the high-tech IP cameras that now dominate the market. You can purchase one of the company's plug-and-play video surveillance systems, which features up to 16 BNC connections compatible with any HD-TVI, HD-CVI, AHD, and CVBS cameras, and two additional IP channels for Alibi cameras. The system also includes HDMI and VGA video outputs as well as a CVBS auxiliary monitor output.
Alibi's Hybrid+ video recorder comes with access to mobile app and cloud-based services like Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive to store your data. In addition, Alibi connects you to the company’s central management software, which allows you to manage your entire system from one place. Features include the ability to monitor up to 64 live cameras, customizable displays, device grouping, and alarms and notifications.
The system is also equipped to find, configure and connect to compatible IP cameras within range.
The Hybrid+ recorder can record 720p HD video in real time, or 1080p HD video at 12 frames per second. The IP functionality that Alibi's system adds to a previously analog-only system includes the ability to search and log events, receive email and mobile alert notifications, and detect motion within an IP camera's field of view. It also allows you to control how the system records (motion detection, continuous or scheduled recording) per camera, tag footage for efficient searching, and you receive real-time alarms when a motion detector is triggered, if video is tampered with or if video is lost.
Editor's Note: Trying to find the video surveillance system that's right for you? Fill in the questionnaire below, and you will be contacted by our partner vendors to help you find the right system for your business.
Quality IP Cameras
While you can use any of Alibi's analog and HD-TVI cameras with the Alibi hybrid video recorder, the IP channels require Alibi-made cameras. Alibi sells a variety of models that fit within any budget. It offers both network and cloud-based IP cameras, including dome cameras, bullet cameras and pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) options.
One of Alibi's dome cameras, priced at $166.58, films in 4-megapixel resolution at 20 frames per second, detects up to 30 feet in night vision, and compresses video in H.264, which maintains a high-quality image and allows for more fluid remote viewing. The camera is weatherproof and vandal-resistant. With a camera like this, you also get the added benefits of IP functionality, which means you can set it to detect motion after-hours or send you mobile notifications when something triggers the alerts. This type of camera can also be powered by a power over Ethernet (PoE) connection.
Alibi is only available through authorized security dealers, so you will need to contact a local retailer for exact pricing.
Great Mobile Application
Alibi boasts a mobile application, Alibi Witness 2.0, that is easy to use and extremely helpful. It has positive reviews for both iOS and Android, with a 4.75 out of 5 rating on the App Store and a 3.5 out of 5 on Google Play.
Free access to the app is included with your purchase of a hybrid video recorder and cameras.
What differentiates Alibi Witness from other apps is that it offers nearly the same level of functionality as the computer-based software used to manage your system onsite.
Through your smartphone or tablet, you can access multiple systems, view the feeds from cameras at different locations, watch live or archived videos, control your PTZ cameras and download footage to your mobile device.
You can reach Alibi customer support by phone. There is also a contact form on the company's website.
Every Alibi customer is provided with a single designated point of contact who can assist them with setup or help troubleshoot issues a customer has with the system. We found Alibi's service to be friendly and helpful.
While they are not accredited by the Better Business Bureau, they have an A+ rating.
Before you commit to a hybrid video recorder system, there are some drawbacks to be aware of. The ideal candidate for a hybrid system is one that already has a good analog system but is looking to improve the quality of their cameras. If you are overhauling and replacing your system, or if you eventually plan to switch to a complete IP system, you should not consider a hybrid system. While purchasing a completely IP-based system will have a higher upfront cost than a hybrid system, it will benefit you in the long run to not have to purchase two systems.
The second drawback of this system is that Alibi's hybrid recorder only offers up to two IP channels. While two IP cameras offer more functionality than an analog system, you're stuck without a scalable option when choosing the hybrid video recorder. That's fine for businesses that don't need extensive features for their security systems, but if you plan on expanding the size, scale, and capabilities of your video surveillance system, this solution might not be for you.
Ready to choose a video surveillance system? Here's a breakdown of our complete coverage:
- The Best Video Surveillance Systems for Businesses for 2020
- Choosing a Video Surveillance System: A Buyer's Guide
- Best Overall Video Surveillance System
- Best Budget Video Surveillance System
Editor's note: Trying to find the video surveillance system that's right for you? Fill in the questionnaire below, and you will be contacted by our partner vendors to help you find the right system for your business.