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I Need A Digital Video Recorder: What Should I Be Looking For?

It is easy to get swept away with the thought that all digital video recording equipment for your surveillance system is created equal.  The truth is, there are so many on the market that it can be an incredibly confusing purchase.

Good news! Doing a little research first can save you a lot of headaches down the road. So, give yourself a pat on the back for kickstarting your research and let’s get talking digital video recorders, shall we?


The Most Important Question: What do you want a digital video recorder to do for you?

No, we aren’t saying that you have authority over the DVR to give it orders. Instead, we need you to determine what has sent you on this quest, to begin with. Are looking to monitor inside your business? Outside? Both? Are you wanting up close, highly detailed coverage? Or, general surveillance video footage? Are you seeking a system that simply allows you to record video? Or, are you wanting to be able to watch it in real-time, too?

A surveillance system is a wonderful addition to any business – or home. But, without having a recording of the footage, you are missing out on an important aspect of the coverage. So, take the time to determine your needs. But, whatever you do, don’t leave your surveillance system without a means of recording.


First, What A DVR Can’t Do

Nothing can be perfect all the time. And, while a DVR has a lot of benefits, there are a couple of things that it cannot do. Perhaps that biggest downfall to using a surveillance camera system with a Digital Video Recorder is that it records and stores video on a hard drive – in one location. It cannot connect to a network. And, it cannot allow you access from anywhere else other than where this hard drive is located. For many people, this probably is not a big deal at all. But for those hoping to head off on vacation and still be able to check in and monitor the office while away, you will be sorely disappointed.

Another downfall to the DVR is that all the video footage is saved to a hard drive. With time, this can add up.



You should know that these two terms are not interchangeable. In fact, they refer to two different types of video recording. Depending on what you are looking for, you may find that one may meet your needs better than the other. Let’s break them down.

A Digital Video Recorder (or DVR) is typically used with an analog surveillance camera monitoring system. Each camera is connected either to the DVR or to another camera that is connected to the DVR via coaxial cables. They provide a very decent quality video recording, often referred to as standard resolution. However, the further away the cameras are from the DVR, the greater the risk of disrupting the video quality. This can leave you with a less-than-ideal situation if you are trying to cover a very large space.

DVRs evolved from VCRs. They have been around for a long time and have a great track record in securely monitoring and recording from your cameras. But, from them, comes the Network Video Recorder (NVR).

NVRs were created to do the same thing DVRs were: record the footage from one or more surveillance cameras throughout a location. However, unlike the DVRs that use analog cameras, NVRs connect IP cameras. As a result, they use a software program that can be installed on any computer and can connect in remotely to the IP cameras. There is no hardwiring that takes place.

There are a few perks that come with NVRs. For example, the video quality records high-quality, high-definition footage. And, it does so without taking up massive amounts of storage space. In addition, you can view these cameras from anywhere, in real-time or recorded.

Both of these video recording systems can provide you with wonderful service. Choosing which one is best for you is going to depend on the type of cameras you are using – or intend to use – and how you wish to view the recordings.


What Is A Standalone DVR System?

Are your needs fairly simple? Are you looking for a way to get your cameras recording without any fancy software, intricate connections, and so forth? If so, then a simple standalone DVR system may be exactly what you are looking for.

Besides being cost effective for your business, you also get high-quality video recordings with remote viewing. In other words, this is a straightforward solution for your recording needs.


The Smart Search and Notification System

Is there something you are wanting to keep an eye on? Are there particular transactions or vacant areas that need an extra bit of attention?

We all have different reasons for deciding to move into video recording with our security system. But, thanks to technology, new video recording systems have a way of keeping you up-to-date on the things that you need to know about.

There is a high chance that you are going to love the fact that today’s DVR system can send you notifications for things such as certain types of transactions or movement in areas where there shouldn’t be. What’s more, is that if something comes up that you need to review, you can use the handy smart search function. No longer do you have to exhaust your eyes going through hours and hours of recorded footage looking for something in particular.

If you are in the market for a digital video recorder, you likely have an idea of what it is you are looking for – or at least hopes for what it can do for you. There are many options available and they can be matched up with your current surveillance cameras and even integrated with your POS system. So, whether it is simple monitoring or the whole kit and caboodle, there is a DVR out there for you.

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