The write-up explains the functional differences between Digital Video Recorders (DVRs) and Network Video Recorders (NVRs).
What is a DVR?
A DVR, or a Digital Video Recorder, is a recording device that records video in a digital format and stores it in hard drives instead of video tapes. It requires video signals to be digitized and compressed in order to store as many days’ worth of video feed as possible. Security systems using DVRs play a major role in alarm verification and security assessment. Although modern DVR’s now feature CAT 5 network ports so that the device can be provided with an IP address and thereby become accessible over an Ethernet network, many limitations still apply- Reliability, Scalability, and Connectivity. It provides a low-cost but efficient method for storing compressed video files. They are mainly used to record analog or coax-based cameras.
What is a NVR?
A NVR, or a Network Video Recorder is an electronic recording that uses digital or analog cameras converted to IP cameras using a network server. The digital data is then delivered to a network in compliance with the TCP/IP transport protocol and recorded by a NVR. It is a self-contained system that contains the computer, software, storage and a multiport Power over Ethernet (PoE) switch in one unit. NVRs are plug-and-lay devices similar to DVRs, except they are used with IP cameras instead of analog cameras. A DVR digitally compression analog video feeds and stores them on a hard-drive, the term ‘digital’ referring to the compression and storage technology, not the transmitted video images. The DVR therefore has to be located near the analog feeds.
Installation for DVR vs. NVR
The cameras in a CCTV system need to be in one location and because the wires always run from the cameras to the DVR which would require multiple holes to be drilled on walls to run the wires to the DVR, the installation tends out to be a little difficult and time consuming. The cabling is easy and NVRs basically connect to the cameras wirelessly, so you don’t have to worry about running wires to the NVR. In addition, they are incredibly flexible and the PoE provides both power and network to the cameras via a single cable which makes the installation simple and effortless.
NVRs vs. DVRs – Scalability
Scalability is also much easier with an NVR, you can have as many NVRs across a system as you like – adding another is just a matter of plugging it in and configuring it. NVRs also give more future-proofing to a system. As an NVR is responsible for recording an IP stream, you can replace higher resolution cameras to the system and the NVR should be able to just record them.
NVRs vs. DVRs – Connectivity
NVRs deliver much more connectivity, particularly over multi-site installations. This is again down to the fact that the NVR is purely responsible for recording IP streams and does no compression. That results in increased performance over a DVR, meaning you can connect multiple viewing clients to an NVR, you can play back more cameras from an NVR – especially over limited network bandwidth.
NVRs vs. DVRs – Resilience
NVR “Mirroring” techniques can be used to duplicate the recording of video streams on additional NVRs located at different parts of the network, which provides a high level of protection against network failure; if one part goes down the other is there as a backup. For further resilience, NVRs can be programmed for Automatic Failover. NVRs can be programmed as a “secondary NVRs”, constantly checking the health status of “primary NVRs” in the system. Should one primary NVR fail, a secondary NVR will automatically take over recording, with no intervention from the user.
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