General Overview:

The key to building a Smart Client PC to view your cameras using Xprotect is understanding that decoding the live streams is very processor intensive. 

Since 2016, Xprotect Smart Client has enabled the use of hardware acceleration using Intel's Quick Sync Video feature. So we highly recommend using an intel processor with this feature. This usually means using an i series processor like an i7. In 2017 Intel appears to be releasing Xeon processors with this feature as well but please confirm this before using one. 

To see if your processor has Quick Sync Video, refer to Intel's site:

  • go to
  • click "Find roduct by feature"
  • click the drop down filter, select intel quicksync video -> Yes
  • now you should see of a list of processors with this feature. 

If you are using the same PC/Server as your recording server and to view the cameras, then this applies to the recording server as well. The viewing server requires the hardware acceleration, not the recording server. Viewing the live streams also consumes much more resources than the recording server by itself. Keep this in mind when considering a Husky server as it's primarily built to record, not view all cameras. 

Video Cards:

Video cards do help process the on-screen video for multiple screens. The preferred brand is NVIDIA. 

How Many cameras can I display?

This is a hard question to answer. There are a lot of factors that determine this such as: 

  • Number of streams
  • resolution of streams
  • quality settings of streams
  • compression: H.264, H.264+, H.265 etc. 
  • Frames Per Second (FPS)
  • amount of motion within the scene of the stream itself. 

The basic idea is, the higher the resolution, compression, bit-rate, etc the less live views you can have on screen before the CPU is maxed out. Keep this in mind if you want to live view a lot of cameras and you're considering high-resolution cameras. The Smart Client does have a few ways to reduce the live view stream CPU consumption so you can view more streams at once at the cost of refresh rate and quality of the picture. This is very useful at times. 

If your process has the Intel Quick Sync Video feature, this will nearly double or triple the number of streams you can view at one time as well. 

As an example, refer to this chart below to get an idea of the number of live cameras feeds that can play.

NOTE: This is only an example, we do not guarantee these numbers. your configuration and situation may be different which will shift these numbers one way or the other a substantial amount.

Processor     # of Streams
Intel Celeron w/ Quick Sync 6-12
Intel i5 w/ Quick Sync
Intel i7 w/ Quick Sync
Intel i7 w/o Quick Sync

Number of Streams at 1080p resolution
(intentionally leaving out all other variables like FPS)

Buy a ready made PC:

Iif you don't want to worry about designing your own PC to display or record, you can buy pre-made systems specifically designed for Milestone. 

One brand that is priced competitively is Seneca Data ( 

To see a list of products for this click here:

To download Milestone's Xprotect Hardware Acceleration document, click here and download the proper PDF: