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When you want the most flexibility in your home or business surveillance, NVR security systems are the best choices. These successors of traditional DVR technology utilize your home or business network as a means of transmitting a video signal, providing you with a better image quality and more options overall.
DVR vs. NVR
Before you can choose between DVR and NVR security camera systems, it is important to understand the primary differences between the two. DVR (Digital Video Recorder) technology uses point-to-point cables to transmit an analog signal from the camera to the DVR. The DVR unit itself then converts that analog signal into a digital one, stores it on a hard drive, and makes it accessible to you, the viewer, on the DVR itself or via the internet through a cloud-based system. This only works one way; the cameras send signals to the DVR, but the DVR cannot send information or signals back to the cameras. On the other hand, NVR (Network Video Recorder) technology is multi-directional. An NVR unit can send information and instructions to the IP camera and the IP camera can send information back to the NVR unit.
Reasons to Choose NVR Security Camera Systems
Even after understanding the primary difference between DVR and NVR technology, you might wonder which is best for your situation. Business owners choose NVR technology over DVR for several different reasons:
Access from Anywhere
Unlike a DVR with a signal that degrades over distance, that is not the case with an NVR. You can place the NVR as far away from the cameras as you would like, and as long as your Ethernet cable is long enough, the system works like a charm.
Better Quality Imagery
Remember that in a DVR setup, the cameras record analog video, and then send that video via a cable to the DVR for digital conversion. The further that an analog signal travels along a cable, the weaker it becomes. This leads to noise and interference, which affects the quality of the video. In NVR security camera systems, the camera records the video in a digital format. No matter how far that digital signal travels, it maintains its image quality. Thus, you can expect a better quality image with an NVR system.
NVR technology, like a DVR, gives you the ability to access live or recorded footage from anywhere via Android and iOS applications for tablets and smartphones.
Power over Ethernet (PoE)
Finally, while traditional security systems require you to connect each camera to the electrical system and the DVR via two separate connections, NVR security camera systems are much different. Here, you have access to what is known as PoE, or Power over Ethernet, a technology that allows the same Ethernet cable to send not only information and electrical power to devices on a network – including IP cameras. This means that there is only one cable to connect per camera and the NVR unit provides the power for each camera connected to it.
In a standard DVR system, the cameras record all the time and send streams of information to the DVR unit. Although a DVR is handy in that you can easily go back in time to find specific times and dates, you might find that this "constant recording" clogs your hard drive with unnecessary information. While a DVR cannot control the cameras connected to it in any way and can only provide you with access to the footage, an NVR is much, much different.
With an NVR, which communicates back and forth with the cameras on the network, you can set up scheduled recording times. For instance, if you want to record what happens in your home while you are at work, you can simply schedule the NVR to record from 9am to 5pm, Monday through Friday. Along those same lines, if you want to monitor your night shift warehouse crew, simply schedule the NVR to record from 11pm to 7am. Remember that you can provide scheduling for individual cameras, as well. Maybe you want four cameras to record during one timeframe and the other four to record on a different schedule. NVR provides you with this flexibility. Of course, you always have the option to record video around the clock in more traditional surveillance scenarios, too.
Choose the Kit that Works for You
When you buy NVR security camera systems, you get an entire kit that gives you everything you need to get started. You can choose from a variety of camera types, and each individual NVR unit supports as many as eight cameras. For example, you can choose from indoor and outdoor bullet cameras, dome cameras, and more. You might also choose a kit that combines both if you want to monitor both inside and outside your home or business. These kits give you the freedom to view and record from up to eight cameras at the same time, and it offers you up to 4TB of storage – enough for weeks' worth of footage. These systems support activated recording, too, which means that you can set the cameras so they only record under certain conditions. Finally, these kits come with real-time email alerts to changes within the surveillance area and USB backup for keeping past footage safe. You even get a 32GB flash drive in the kit to get you started.
Easy-to-Use Operating System
Sometimes, the most difficult part of learning your new surveillance system involves figuring out the operating system. Fortunately, these NVR security camera systems are incredibly easy to use. There is nothing to configure to get started. Simply place the cameras, connect them to the NVR, and power everything on. The NVR will automatically send power to the cameras and configure the proper video settings. You can access footage from all of your cameras via the unit's built-in operating system, which is easy to use and navigate. What's more, you can download applications to your smartphone or tablet and watch footage or change settings remotely, too.
NVR Security Camera Systems FAQ
Because NVR technology is not as recognizable as DVR technology is, many people have questions. Here are some of the most common questions regarding the purchase, use, and setup of NVR security systems.
How much better is the video quality?
The video quality associated with NVR is much better than that associated with DVR. Because traditional non-IP cameras record in analog and send that analog footage along a cable, some of the quality is lost along the way. This is not the case with NVR, which connects to IP cameras. IP cameras record in full HD (often better than full HD) and send the digital signal via an Ethernet cable. There is no degradation, and the picture comes through brilliantly.
Is NVR technology more expensive?
Because NVR technology is still quite new when compared to other forms of surveillance equipment, it is more expensive than a traditional DVR setup. However, while DVR technology may need replacement in just a few years' time thanks to changes in technology, an NVR system is future-proof with PoE capabilities and the ability to stream in resolutions far beyond what most of today's monitors and televisions offer.
Will NVR use all of my network bandwidth?
This depends on the amount of bandwidth available to you. Whereas the traditional security cameras send analog signals to a DVR via a coaxial cable, IP cameras use your home or business's bandwidth to transmit digital video over the network. What's more, video uses a lot of bandwidth. You can compress the video or even change the resolution to decrease the amount of bandwidth the system needs. On average, one 3MP camera uses about 7 to 8Mbps of bandwidth, so you should make sure that you have the bandwidth available to support the number of cameras you need.
When is NVR the better choice?
Although home and small business owners can certainly benefit from NVR security camera systems, particularly in areas where crime is a concern and high-resolution footage can make a difference, the most common use for NVR systems is in office settings and other large installation sites where the IT infrastructure already provides a high bandwidth network. For instance, a warehouse that stretches over 500 yards in length might find that NVR is the best choice since there is no degradation of signal over the length of the Ethernet cable. Bear in mind that hybrid systems are also available, and these combine the ability to record standard analog footage from traditional cameras and high-quality footage from IP cameras with the same recording device.
If you want the best in home, business, or office surveillance and a high-quality picture is important to you, then nothing out there can top the digital performance of NVR security camera systems. They come in complete kits with everything you need to get started, which means that your security and peace of mind is just an installation away.