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When it comes to setting up a home, business, or office surveillance system, the type of recording medium you select is just as important as the cameras that do the recording. There are many types of security DVRs out there, and each offers its own unique set of benefits. Below, you will find everything you need to know about security DVRs.
How a Security DVR Works
If you have a DVR from your cable or satellite provider, then you already understand the basics of how security DVR systems work. Your television provider transmits a signal into your DVR, and your DVR connects to your television to display that signal on the screen. In a surveillance system, the security cameras provide the video images instead of your television provider. Each camera connects to the DVR via a coaxial cable for footage transmission, and the DVR itself connects to a television or computer monitor to display a live or prerecorded image. Just like the DVR for your television, security DVRs feature hard drives for storage, and you can use the software in a security DVR to go back to any stored point in history. You can even connect a USB device, such as a flash drive, to save footage for archiving.
Security DVR Buying Guide
If you are in the market for security DVRs, it is important that you get a unit that not only fits your unique application, but also gives you all of the features you want. Here are some questions to ask yourself when you set out to buy a DVR for your security system.
How many channels does it have?
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when it comes to buying security DVRs involves overlooking the number of channels available to you. The number of channels available on a DVR unit relates directly to the number of camera inputs it allows. For example, if you have eight cameras installed in your office building but you purchase a four-channel DVR, then you will have four security cameras with no recording medium. For the best results, you should always purchase a DVR unit that has more channels than you need. Thus, if you discover at some point that you need some additional security in one or more areas, all you have to do is set up the cameras and plug them in. There is no need to purchase brand new DVR equipment.
Does it come with the right accessories?
When you buy security DVRs, it is important to make sure that they come with all of the accessories you need to finish the installation. For instance, does it come with a remote control or keyboard and mouse for operation? Does it come with the power supply, or must you purchase it separately? Does it come with the coaxial cables for connecting your security cameras? All of these things are important considerations.
How much storage does it offer?
The amount of storage space you need depends primarily on the number of cameras you want to connect to the system and the number of days' worth of footage you want to store at a time. For instance, assume that you will connect four video cameras to your DVR, and each one of your cameras is set to record 30 frames per second. Your DVR will record footage 24 hours a day, seven days a week. With these settings, you would need just under a terabyte of storage space to hold 30 days' worth of footage. Many of today's security DVRs support up to 12TB, giving you ample space. What's more, you should also make sure that the unit comes with USB ports for archiving older footage to external hard drives or flash drives if you need to do so.
Does it offer remote viewing from another computer, a smartphone, or a tablet?
Finally, one of the most important aspects of home and business security today is the ability to watch live or recorded footage from another location. This comes in handy if you want to keep an eye on the employees in your retail store while you are on vacation, or if you want to monitor your babysitter with your children while you are at work. Although many security DVRs advertise this option, some of the applications are limited. Make sure that your system supports both Android and iOS apps to be on the safe side, and make sure that you can access your security system remotely – and securely – from any other internet-connected computer.
Security DVRs offer plenty of features to keep your home or business safe. Whether you want to protect your property, your merchandise, or your family, make sure that the security DVR you purchase suits your needs.