VRs and DVRs are critical components of any surveillance system as they are the devices that record the footage captured by one or several security cameras. Though they serve the same function, NVRs and DVRs are very different in nature, and which you choose to utilize will make a difference in your installation costs, installation time and even the quality of video you could expect. Whether you are in the process of building a new security system or want to update an existing one, it is important to understand the key differences between the two types of recording devices so that you can choose the one that best satisfies your security needs. This post will outline the differences between the two devices, the features of each and the advantages and disadvantages of both.
A DVR System
A DVR—or digital video recorder—works with both digital and analog cameras and is connected via a wire from camera to recorder. Because the device is wired, it doesn’t require internet to work, which is why it is great for dated analog systems. On a DVR system, the camera doesn’t do any of the work—the DVR does. It converts footage transmitted by the camera into a compressed, digital format and stores it on an external hard drive such as a memory stick or computer. Because analog systems already have coaxial cable in place, updating an older system with a DVR is relatively simple, as all you have to do is connect the cable to the recording device. Some systems utilize both DVRs and newer network cameras; these systems are referred to as “hybrid systems.”
An NVR System
A network video recorder (NVR) is one that doesn’t require any wiring (though it can use wiring if necessary). The IP (internet protocol) cameras are connected to a router, and it is through that wireless router that the cameras communicate with the NVR. IP cameras work like much of today’s technology does. For instance, you can send photos from phone to phone, videos from computer to computer and a host of other types of media from one device to another so long as you have an internet connection. That is what an IP system does. In a network system, the IP camera does most of the work, including compressing footage into a digital format and sending it straight to a computer or other external storage device. This is a much more efficient and cost-effective system than a DVR system, as it requires less wires and allows you to place your cameras in locations that would otherwise have been hard to reach.
The Pros and Cons of Each
Reliability: Though NVRs are more convenient, DVRs offer a much more reliable connection as they transmit signal via a wire and not via an internet connection. At any given time, an NVR may suffer from signal loss, resulting in a down system or low-quality footage. An NVR system may suffer when other wireless devices are in use as well, as several different devices fight for signal.
Recording Quality: When NVR systems are functioning properly they provide for much higher quality footage than a DVR system. Because of the nature of the NVR, you can enjoy the high-resolution videos and crystal clear images that older cameras and analog systems simply cannot capture.
Installation: Because NVR systems are wireless, installing them is relatively simple. Unlike a DVR system, which requires a point to point connection to every camera, the only wire configuring necessary with an NVR system is that which connects the actual device to the wireless router. Because DVRs require extensive wiring, they are much more complex to install than an NVR system.
Flexibility: Because the NVR inputs video from a network and not via a cable, it allows for much more flexibility and scalability than a DVR system. Cameras can be placed anywhere within an internet connection, high up in trees or along fence lines and in hidden locations. This type of flexibility is not really possible with cameras connected by multiple wires.
Compatibility: Not all IP cameras are compatible with NVRs, which can be a major bummer for people who buy their cameras first and invest in an NVR later. To prevent incompatibility, homeowners and business owners should invest in a complete NVR system that comes with all the surveillance equipment necessary.
Cost: The biggest difference between NVR and DVR systems is cost. DVRs are much cheaper than NVRs, so if budget is your primary concern, then a DVR system is the way to go. That said, an NVR can save you a significant amount of money in the long run if you want to upgrade your cameras or build up your system.
Risks of Choosing the Wrong System
As with all things, there are risks to choosing the wrong type of system. Those risks include the following:
Wasted Time: Any surveillance system takes some amount of time to choose, configure and install, so choosing the wrong system can prove to be a big waste of time. Additionally, most systems offer several different features and programming options for optimizing their system, and having those features incorrectly programmed can lead to false alarms, cameras that don’t work and lapses in recording. If you don’t need a complex system, you may be better off opting for a system with few features and little room for error.
Lack of Scalability: Most surveillance systems today allow you to expand them as your needs grow. If you anticipate needing additional surveillance in the future, opt for a system that allows for scalability. If you choose a wired system that is difficult to add to, you may have to install a completely new system in the future.
Low Video Quality: A video surveillance system is only as good as the quality of the video. This is especially true if you intend to use your footage for identifying perpetrators after a crime is committed and not for stopping criminals in the act. The wrong system may prove to be ineffective if the video quality is low.
At Mammoth Security, we’re in the business of helping homeowners and business owners alike invest in security camera systems that work for their needs and budget. If you aren’t sure what equipment will work best for you, talk to our professional camera installers for help making the right investment today. You can choose to connect with our main office or with our security cameras installers in Fairfield CT.