Choosing CCTV Video Recorders

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The video recorder is where the video from your camera gets processed for storing & viewing.

Types of video recorders

DVR (Digital Video Recorder)

  • DVRs work well with traditional analog cameras.
  • The DVR processes analog videos into digital formats for recording and viewing.

NVR (Network Video Recorder)

  • NVRs are best for using with modern IP (Internet Protocol) cameras.
  • NVRs obtain video via digital signals from the cameras via a shared network.

Comparing DVR and NVR

Comparison DVR NVR
Cameras Analog or coaxial cable based cameras IP camera
Image Quality Usually Lower - Available in 720p, 2MP (1080p) Usually Higher - Available in 2MP, 4MP, 5MP and 12MP (4K)
Wiring • Needs power cable as well as audio/video cable (Coaxial or Siamese cable)
• Each camera needs to be wired to the DVR
• Signal range limited to about 1000 ft.
• Wireless or via Ethernet Cable
• Same wire for audio, video and power
• Signal over network, not limited by wiring
Installation Relatively complex Relatively easy
Cost Lower for DVR, high for wiring Higher for NVR, low for wiring
Channels Usually comes with 8, 16 or 36 channels • Usually comes with 4, 8 or 16 channels
• Number of cameras supported may be more than channels, depending on network bandwidth and video specifications
Scalability Number of cameras is limited to available ports • Easy to add more cameras
• More than one camera can be added to a single port using a POE (Power over Ethernet) switch

Go for a recorder with more ports than you currently require, in case you plan to scale. This would make it easier and cost-effective to add more cameras in the future. In this case, do make sure your recorder can be linked to more storage devices.