What to Look for in a DVR Security System
If the cameras are the stars of a CCTV system, the DVR is the director and producer. Digital video recorders (DVRs) serve the function of acting as a receiver of the video taken by installed cameras. DVRs will then record the footage to be viewed later, upload it to the cloud (if it is networkable), and/or provide live feeds.
DVRs vary in functions beyond recording and allowing owners to view live video however; and there's where the questions start. To help you decide what you need for your particular business, here is a rough questions guide to help you.
Network vs. no network
Networked DVRs give the user the opportunity to upload to the cloud or outside storage such as a computer hard drive. For those who already have a network installed in their facility, there's really no reason not to install a networkable DVR. For those who have yet to establish an in-house network solution, the question is a little more about whether one intends to do so anyway.
Installing a network just for a DVR is not really economical at all. If there is not a suitable network available, looking for a DVR that makes back-ups (on DVD or hard drive) automatically, is a good idea. This is a less expensive alternative to installing switches, routers and the necessary infrastructure to support them.
Options to look for
DVRs can come with a myriad of options to consider. A few of the newer options should be looked at carefully as they are relatively inexpensive upgrades that can save the purchaser massive amounts of time and money in the long haul, for just a few dollars extra today.
Here are a few options to consider:
- Remote viewing of live footage through a smart phone app is absolutely a time saver. In addition to saving time, there's an added piece of mind.
- Resolution setting is a big option to consider. While high resolution picture is great, it can take up a lot of storage space on a hard drive, DVD, or the cloud. Having the ability to set your resolutions is one way to save on digital storage space. A DVR that will record in multiple resolutions (one type per camera individually) is a boom and can save in the cost of blank DVD, cloud storage space, or hard drive space.
- Rack mounted DVRs tend to last longer because they are protected from drinks and being knocked off into the floor. This might sound pedestrian, but sometimes it is the simple things that will kill your budget, or DVR. Additionally, rack mounted DVR are less prone to overheating than those installed in a desktop or even mounted on the wall.
- Multiple channels are a consideration. Your DVR will require one channel per digital camera, so buying a 4 channel DVR and expecting it to record more than four cameras at once will not work for you. It is better to buy a DVR with more channels than you will need so you might upgrade later. Also, spare channels are not a bad idea in case there is an issue with a channel being used.
- DVR speed is another thing to think over. Some DVRs can be set to only record a frame every second or two while others can record full video. Both types will typically display live video in 20 frames per second +. Having a DVR where the recording speed can be set is more expensive than one or the other types, but is worth looking into.
Choosing the right DVR for your facility is every bit as important as the types of cameras you install. Ultimately, it is the DVR that will be used to reference back to whatever event you wish to review. Whereas camera upgrades and new monitors can be relatively inexpensive, replacing and upgrading your DVR can be a laborious and expensive affair; purchasing the right one the first time could make all the difference in the world down the line.Ready to Compare Video Surveillance Systems Price Quotes?