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Surveillance and CCTV Systems

Security Digital Video Recorder (DVR) vs Network Recorder (NVR)

There is a widespread confusion between security Digital Video Recorder (DVR) and Network Video Recorder (NVR) hugely due to the fact that both are software applications for recording video images from video security systems.

While many people will swear by their breakfast that both NVR and DVR are same, our main goal is to dispel this confusion by providing simplified explanations that anybody, even our grandmothers can read and understand.

Configurations Of DVR Systems & IP-Enabled NVR Systems

DVR Security SystemSimple Question: What is the difference between security digital video recorder (DVR) and an IP-enabled network video recorder (NVR).

Simple question…. right?

One starts with the word digital while the other starts with the word network. Excellent!

But that’s not the only difference…. Point is, answer to this question is not quite obvious.

Perhaps, we can re-phrase and ask this question in another way by saying: What is the main difference between CCTV security systems and IP Surveillance System?

We can start by understanding that DVR is the key element in CCTV security systems, while NVR is the key enabler of IP Surveillance system.
The fundamental security equipment in the wiring and configuration of these two systems are quite different.

CCTV Security Systems

IP-Based NVR SystemCCTV digital security camera systems basically include the following equipment: Analog cameras, coaxial cable, camera monitor, a matrix (if needed) and more importantly, PC-based or standalone surveillance video recording software commonly called digital video recorder (DVR).

IP Surveillance Systems

IP-based video surveillance security systems on the other hand consist of IP-enabled video camera, Cat 5 / Cat 6 ethernet cable, switch or router as well as PC-based video management and recording software commonly called Network Video Recorder.

It is important to mention that hybrid IP-DVR system for single site installation that can be remotely monitored from any location are widely marketed today. These types of DVR systems function like NVR systems except that they cannot be used for multiple locations.

As shown in this diagram above, the main engine of a CCTV system is digital video recorder for the security camera while the main driver of IP video surveillance system however is the network video camera recording software.

Hybrid Systems: Combining Both DVR & NVR Solutions

Hybrid IP-DVR SystemHybrid IP DVR security systems requires another interface to convert analog to digital. This interface is built into your security system package.

While both software applications are popularly used for recording videos in digital formats to storage media, the difference, however, between DVR and NVR is best understood by explaining what NVR can do but DVR cannot.


Security Digital Video Recorder In Simple Words

Simply put, security digital video recorder (DVR) is a digital video surveillance system with control management software that is primarily used in a single site recording.
When the attached security camera captures an image, it transmits it over the coaxial cable. The DVR video recording software then captures the video images sent over the coaxial cable, digitalizes it into a format computer can store and understand, and then compress the video into smaller size to economize storage space.

What You Should Know About IP Network Video Recorder

Now, let’s switch gear a little bit and discuss something a little more advanced but very versatile.

If you have multiple business offices, homes or physical assets which you want to instantly monitor, then, you cannot use digital video recorder (DVR) security system (with lots of limitations even if possible), your best choice will be a multi-purpose network video recorder.

When To Use IP-Based NVR Security Systems

The IP-based network surveillance camera monitoring software in NVR system will allow you to stay in one location, (say, on an Island in Thailand) but effortlessly connect to any of your IP security cameras located in any of your numerous stores or offices located in New York!
You can preview every activity in your numerous offices as it happens, you can pan, tilt, zoom, control, tune or configure any of the network cameras, and above all, you can record all these events and video recording on one single location.

That’s not all; you can use the system in your home or office and then use your PDA or smart phone with web browser to monitor everything while on the road.

Sweet right? I Know…

So if we look at this in another light, we can say instead of having local DVR security solution in each of your locations, IP-based NVR video surveillance provide a cost-effective, highly convenient and expandable option to secure or remotely monitor your valuable assets in any part of the country.

One More Difference Between DVR & NVR To Remember

Something more I need to tell you about these video surveillance recorders. In DVR-based security camera system, the job of the indoor and outdoor security cameras are to simply capture images of intruders, thieves or burglars and send it to the computer… nothing more!

However, in NVR-based IP surveillance system, the main job of the attached IP network security camera is to capture those video images, convert them into a format computers can understand, compress the videos into smaller size and then send them over the network/Internet.

Now, think about it, unlike the DVR which requires high-capacity coaxial or fiber optics cable, NVR is more flexible. Once the remote IP video surveillance camera prepares the small-sized video images, it can be transmitted over the wired internet cable, WiFi or even WiMAX broadband.

Considering the growth of WiMAX wireless broadband, we can confidently say the future of home and business security solution is IP surveillance system. Nothing less!