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Network video recorders come in different forms. A desktop computer or laptop can be converted into an NVR using software. For someone who wants to install their own security camera system, this is the easiest and cheapest way. Some cameras come bundled with free professional recording software. This lets users convert any computer which meets the minimum software requirements into a power surveillance monitoring tool with features similar to what large companies use. For businesses and advanced users, this is not recommended. An NVR is a DVR for IP cameras.
NVRs come in all sizes. For small businesses, a desktop style network video recorder provides users the ability to control their IP cameras from a central location. NVRs can be used as a notification tool by communicating with smart cameras and sending alerts via email and sms. Some NVRs can be configured to make phone calls using the SIP protocol. For more demanding applications like schools a different type of recorder is needed. Typically located in a network closet, a rack mountable NVR comes with the necessary processing power and storage space for a large number of network cameras.
Rackmount DVRs have front loading hot swap drives for easy backup and redundancy. Most advanced network recorders can be configured to duplicate data over a number of disks called an array (RAID). When one disk fails, another can step in and pick up where the other left off. This means if a hard drive is damaged or fails the video will not be lost when in RAID configuration. When redundancy isn’t enough, a rack mount DVR with multiple hard drive bays can be used for long term storage of video surveillance. The most advanced network video recorders take the complexity out of installing IP cameras.
A typical IP security camera must be configured manually to begin recording HD video. Smart NVRs turn it into one step. When a smart NVR is connected to a network with compatible IP cameras, it can scan, detect, and add them to the recorder. Not only does it automatically begin recording full time, it even assigns each camera a unique IP address and assigns it a channel. When power loss occurs, the recorder rescans at power up and reassigns the cameras to their original location. This significantly reduces install time letting users adjust their budget to get the most out of their system. As an installer, this reduces the overhead and maintenance when turning in a project.
Some recorders have HDMI output for use with HD monitors. Megapixel video can be viewed locally on the recorder for HD playback. Most NVRs have web servers which let users have full control over the recorder from a remote location. NVRs can even be configured to record cameras at different locations. The limitation here is the upload speeds at each location. NVRs can be tied together using CMS (central monitoring software) to let businesses view their stores from headquarters. With 4G internet, smart phones are supported for on the go monitoring. Apps for IPhone, Android, Blackberry, and Windows phones are available. Call our security system experts to discuss compatibility.