When considering a security camera system, you will ultimately decide between choosing an NVR or DVR. Both work similarly, with the same purpose, and function as a part of the central hub for your overall security apparatus, but fundamentally do their specific role differently. That particular role is to process, record, and save video footage from cameras in order for direct or later viewing.

Which is Better NVR or DVR?

Which is Better NVR or DVR?

When considering a security camera system, you will ultimately decide between choosing an NVR or DVR. Both work similarly, with the same purpose, and function as a part of the central hub for your overall security apparatus, but fundamentally do their specific role differently. That particular role is to process, record, and save video footage from cameras in order for direct or later viewing. Concluding which is better, however, is dependent upon factors like:

  • Can you be flexible or do you have something specific in mind?
  • Do you want a fully wired system or a wireless system?
  • How good of quality are you looking for?
  • What is the design of the cameras?
  • Is cost an issue?

Upon reaching out to A1 Security Cameras to get your system installed, you will find these questions and more asked by our professionals. In our eyes, however, the direct answer to which device is better tends to be the NVR. Of course, that is not applicable for every customer, but it holds true for most security systems in the modern day. The simple reason is that an NVR security system is far more capable of higher performance through qualities like those shown below.

What NVR means?

Being an acronym for network video recorder, an NVR does not necessarily require hard wiring to serve its purpose as a hub for video data storage and viewing. Additionally, that also applies to the products the recording system is connected to, like IP cameras or internet protocol cameras. This system is made better through how it processes video data. Instead of managing the video data as well as storing it, the NVR makes the process more efficient by having the processing handled through the cameras before the data is transferred for storage. This system is also made highly adaptable through such qualities like:

  • The NVR being part of a power over ethernet camera system
  • Multiple methods for enhancing the quality of video data like direct wiring or a long range wifi extender
  • Superior capacity with recorded audio in video data
  • Exceedingly simple installation

Each of these factors makes video recording with an NVR security system far more streamlined than in older systems. That is especially true when making your security cameras POE or power over ethernet. This is done through the use of modern ethernet cables that are industry standard like Cat5e or Cat6. Doing so, particularly when hardwiring the cameras, maintains high-resolution video data from the NVR. Better yet, just like other contemporary technological systems, the NVR will store far more data compared to prior security systems. This can all be established at the point of installation when deciding between making your system wired or wireless. The benefits of wired vs wireless security camera systems have been covered before on the A1 Security Cameras Blog for your consideration!

What is a security DVR?

A security DVR, or security digital video recorder, is the direct evolution of the VCR or videocassette recorder. It is a part of the central point of a wired security camera system, with each of the closed-circuit cameras feeding video data to the DVR for it then to be processed and stored for viewing. Unlike newer and current options, a security system with a DVR is closed-circuit or wired for constant surveillance except when loss of power occurs. The entire system itself is connected using coaxial cable, making it entirely hardwired, allowing for a continuous video quality not necessarily seen in wireless systems. That is an essential fact regardless of what type of cameras and recording systems are used in the security apparatus. Such systems have been a common aspect of private and public security in places like:

  • Cities such as London, New York, Mumbai, and Taiyuan
  • Private residences
  • Subway systems
  • Retail stores
  • Banks

While a DVR system offers fantastic benefits, at the same time, it also has drawbacks compared to modern equipment like NVR. An issue for some is the general need for analog cameras when choosing the older recorder. While IP cameras can be used with a DVR, added equipment like a POE switch and AD encoders may be required. When it comes to NVR versus DVR, there are numerous differences defined generally through advancements in technology.

What is the difference between NVR and DVR?

When comparing the two recording systems, the most significant difference comes from the DVR generally not being capable of wireless functionality. However, A1 Security Cameras has covered a common fault with wireless cameras and will stick to comparing both systems as if they were wired for the sake of clarity. With that mentioned, home and business owners will find that the most considerable differences between the two systems come in several internal and external factors after the initial installation. Such factors for why that is include:

  • Video quality through ethernet cables instead of coaxial cables
  • Compatibility to license plate and facial recognition
  • Less wiring due to Power over Ethernet
  • Performance of connected cameras
  • Audio recording support
  • Enhanced resolution
  • Cost

As the DVR was the advanced system of the day upon being released in 1999, so now is the NVR comparatively. Therefore, it is impossible to compare and contrast the two recorders without discussing the instruments that are used around their framework after being installed. This can be seen when comparing the cameras alone.

Analog and internet protocol cameras may seem similar in appearance but are much different in function. The former worked with both VCR and DVR, sending video data directly to a system that would process it before storing or imprinting it on anything from a cassette tape to a disc. The latter cameras handle the data in-house, processing it before transmitting it to the central hub for storage and viewing. Due to IP cameras using digital, there is far more excellent compatibility with present-day advancements like facial recognition and license plate detection. That is partly due to the newer IP cameras being able to reliably zoom in on points of interest, whereas analog loses quality upon zooming in and becomes grainy. However, it should be mentioned that analog still has better capability in low-light environments. All of this matters when considering the recorders simply because a home or business owner receives far more detailed footage from IP cameras, especially when considering factors like audio, recognition technology, and video quality, even when zooming in. With that said, the other point very much worth discussing comes in the form of what wiring connects the devices to the recorder.

As mentioned, whereas a DVR and analog security camera system will generally use coaxial cable or twisted-pair cables, NVR and IP cameras can work with the same while also being just as capable if not more with ethernet cables. In addition, the use of industry-standard Cat5e and Cat6 cables provides IP cameras with a significant boost in recorded footage quality. Furthermore, IP networks can have recorded data transmitted over greater distances thanks to it being digital, whereas recorded footage from analog will degrade over greater distances or conversion.

However, with cameras and wiring mentioned, one of the other most significant differences between the two security camera systems is cost. While the NVR system with IP cameras is modern and provides multiple perks, it is also newer with a more expensive price tag. Comparatively, a DVR system with analog cameras is less costly. This price tag is also dependent on the installation and amount of physical labor with the wiring needed to get the system in place.

As shown above, the more significant differences between the two recording systems are generational. To recap, such differences include:

  • Analog cameras versus IP cameras
  • Coaxial and twisted pair cables versus coaxial, twisted pair, and ethernet cables
  • Deterioration of data over distance versus constant clarity
  • Digital video recorders being cheaper than network video recorders

For home and business owners, these differences can be crucial, especially when on a budget. Conversely, whereas a DVR is less expensive than an NVR at the time of writing, upkeep and constant solutions through innovation will be more supportive of the network video recorder as time goes on.

Can any DVR work with security cameras?

As mentioned, digital video recorders may require extra equipment like decoders and encoders to work with newer IP cameras or those that have more advanced features if it is at all possible. In fact, many analog cameras must specifically be compatible with the system they are integrating with, which makes up a significant part of the surveillance system. Additionally, as will be discussed later, mixing and matching brands regardless of camera pairings or camera to recording device might make the security system challenging to manage if not entirely inoperable. When choosing a new DVR, compatibility, in general, should be a considerable point of focus when a security apparatus is already in place in any home or business.

Whether you are in the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas or across the world, A1 Security Cameras can help you with choosing an upgrade or addition to your security system. We provide detailed information for each of our products and can find you exactly what you need when you fill out our multi-purpose request form. In addition, our staff is absolutely ready to help you keep your house or place of business secure.

Does DVR require Internet?

No, in fact, the majority of digital video recorders will record through CCTV cameras without any sort of internet connection as long as the system has a constant source of power. The purpose of an internet connection when concerning a DVR security camera system is for remote viewing from devices previously connected to the owner’s system or specific account. With the addition of extra equipment, a digital video recorder can be made wirelessly capable, but the inclusion of an internet connection for that may be required.

Furthermore, a DVR can be connected directly to a router to provide remote viewing capabilities. This, along with numerous programs and added devices that focus on sending alerts allows for enhanced security even when no one is on location. Unlike mass-produced surveillance systems, the problems of which have been covered by the A1 Security Cameras Blog, a security camera system with a DVR lasts many years longer while being extensively more secure.

Do you need NVR for IP cameras?

While a network video recorder is ideal for internet protocol cameras, it is not necessarily an absolute requirement. However, that specific recording system is designed for the respective line of cameras. In contrast, the likelihood of incompatibility between IP cameras and digital video recorders is more significant, especially when delving into specific models. Therefore, unless a home or establishment owner already has a security apparatus in place with a DVR, A1 Security Cameras professionals will suggest purchasing or having an NVR installed when it comes to IP cameras.

The specific reason why it is far better for a security system to have a network video recorder with IP cameras rather than a mix of other systems is because of compatibility alone. Better yet, it is recommended that the cameras and recording devices be the same brand. The reasoning behind this is simple, cameras that match a recording device in brand generally are compatible by design with only a few exceptions. This allows for better quality in recorded footage while superior performance across the board.

Will NVR work without Internet?

Yes, similar to a digital video recorder, a network video recorder will work when the local internet goes out under the condition that the cameras are wired to the network directly. If there are wireless cameras on the network connected to the NVR, or any other recording device for that matter, those cameras will be incapable of sending over recorded data. Cameras using power over ethernet connections to the network video recorder will still allow recording because it is hardwired.

Better yet, as mentioned before, an NVR also better supports audio recording and more recent innovations like tracking enhancements like face or license plate, among others. Unless specific additions to your security apparatus rely on the internet, like remote viewing, each product connected to the network video recorder will operate with or without an internet connection.

Can I mix and match security cameras?

When it comes to different security cameras like pan tilt zoom or bullet, you can mix and match regardless of whether you have a more effective security system. However, as mentioned above, when it comes to analog and internet protocol cameras, be aware that extra equipment may be required for functionality. Such compatibility, especially in the case of modern cameras, is because most cameras have an industry-standard ethernet and DC port that allow for such a direct setup.

However, it should be noted that when mixing brands of cameras and different brands of recording devices in one system, there will more than likely be a problem with functionality. This is because brands like MOBOTIX, Oculur, ProVision ISR, and other brands we offer in our catalog have different operating systems within each individual product. Therefore, while it may be possible to have one brand of security cameras and one brand of recording equipment, it is recommended that those considering a security system stay with one brand or get products that are proven to be compatible with specified devices.

Which is better DVR or NVR security system?

The A1 Security Cameras position is that a network video recorder is better than a digital video recorder. While a DVR is less expensive than an NVR, the latter still has numerous advantages that are more complicated if not impossible to implement into a security camera system using digital video recorders. Moreover, the recorded footage gathered by the network video recorder from IP cameras features superior resolution while also supporting audio and more. However, the best way to know what system is best for your home or business is to reach out to A1 Security Cameras today. Our professionals have an astute understanding of network video recorders and digital video recorders while also providing information on what’s compatible with each. Better yet, our professionals can make installations and provide enhanced services in the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas. So give us a call about our products or services today!

Oct 24th 2021 Wayne Hahne

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