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Updated: Mar 9, 2022

Overview of Pros, Cons, and Differences

With a variety of security systems out there, it is crucial to choose the right system for your home, business and property, with the right type of camera and related equipment. Network Video Recorder (NVR) and Digital Video Recorder(DVR) are the two types of video surveillance systems commonly in use today. Both the systems have gained acceptance owing to their beneficial features, but this largely depends on your application requirements. Regardless of the type of system you choose, it is quite difficult to deny the growing interest in these devices. This post discusses the NVR and DVR systems in detail.

Understanding the difference between DVR and NVR is essential when evaluating security systems. In this article, our security experts break down the differences and detail the pros and cons of each so that you can make an informed decision.

The Basics difference between NVR and DVR

NVR vs DVR System – What is the Difference?

Basically, both NVR and DVR systems are responsible for video recording. However, they differ in how they record the footage. The DVR system processes data at the recorder, while the NVR system encrypts and processes data at the camera before sending it to the recorder for storage and remote viewing. Both systems handle data differently. Thus, they need different types of cameras. Most of the DVRs are used with analog cameras, while NVRs are used with IP cameras. Most importantly, a DVR based surveillance system is a wired security system and NVR system can be a wired or wireless system.

NVR Security System – Basics, Components, and Benefits

NVR security camera systems incorporate the newest technology to provide an enhanced, feature-rich security system. Also known as POE security camera systems, NVR based systems are more flexible and complex than DVR systems.

  • IP Cameras:

NVR system uses IP cameras, which act as standalone image capturing devices. These cameras are capable of processing video data before sending it to the recorder. IP cameras are robust, and capable of recording and transmitting audio in addition to the image. Advanced hardware on these cameras improves intelligent video analytics such as license plate and facial recognition. Learn more

  • Ethernet Cables:

The NVR system makes use of standard Ethernet cables such as Cat5e and Cat6 to connect the camera to the recorder. They are easier to set up owing to their thin size and shape and cost-effectiveness and easy availability compared to coaxial cables.

  • Recorder:

Unlike a DVR system, the recorder in an NVR system doesn’t process video data. That step is completed at the camera before it is transmitted. NVR recorders are only used for storing and viewing the footage.

  • System Flexibility:

NVR systems are inherently more flexible because security cameras don’t necessarily have to be physically connected directly to the recorder. Instead, IP cameras only have to be on the same network. As such, you could feasibly have cameras all over the world on the same network that connect to your NVR can then be viewed as a comprehensive system.

  • Image & Audio Quality

As NVR recorders receive a pure digital signal from the cameras, video quality is better than compared to a DVR at the same resolution. In addition, as Ethernet cables carry audio, all cameras with microphones could record audio to the NVR.

Benefits of NVR Systems

Here are some important advantages of the NVR system:

  1. Better image quality

  2. More system flexibility

  3. Easy to install

DVR Security System – Basics, Components, and Benefits

The DVR system is designed for recording video in a digital format. These security systems are priced lower than NVR systems, and this is one of the advantages of DVR systems, especially for small or domestic applications which do not encompass long-distance data transfer. Advances in analog high definition within the last five years have reduced the gap in resolution between the two systems.

  • Analog Cameras:

As discussed before, the DVR system uses analog cameras. The camera is responsible for streaming an analog single to the recorder, which then processes the video data. Unlike NVRs, most DVR cameras are less expensive. Learn more

  • Coaxial Cables:

The coaxial cables connect the analog camera to the DVR system. The use of coaxial cable may not seem significant due to their limitations; however, ultimately data is transferred over this cable type. Coaxial cable does not support power supplying devices on the same line. Thus, another cable is needed to carry electrical signals, while the other cable carries data signals for video transmission. These cables are stiffer and wider than Ethernet cables, making installation a challenge. Also, audio is a limitation as the standard coaxial cable may not support audio transmission.

  • Recorder:

DVR recorders heavily rely on AD encoders, which is responsible for processing the raw data streaming from the camera into viewable footage. Thus, every camera in this security system needs to be connected to both the recorder and a separate power source.

  • System Flexibility:

DVR security systems are less flexible than their NVR counterparts in terms of camera type and mounting options. Whereas NVR based systems can integrate both wired and wireless security cameras, DVR systems can only use wired security cameras. DVR systems also have less flexible mounting solutions, because routing coaxial cable can be more difficult in tight situations and a power outlet is required for each camera.

  • Image & Audio Quality:

in DVR systems the cameras transmit analog video via the coax cable directly to the recorder and images are processed at the recorder level. The analog signal results in a lower quality image compared to NVR systems. Coaxial cables also don’t natively transmit an audio signal, and DVR recorders usually have a limited number of audio input ports.

Benefits of DVR Systems

There are a few noticeable benefits of a DVR system, making them increasingly attractive.

  1. Minimal bandwidth usage

  2. Signal stability

  3. Low cost

In Summary – DVR vs. NVR System

In essence, both NVR and DVR systems record video footages onto a hard drive. What differentiates them is their design and implementation, how they are set up, how they process raw data, and more. Regardless of what you choose, it is important to employ an industry-leading supplier/installer who has a team of networking experts. LOTALINKS offers both NVR and DVR that ensure the highest performance for the most demanding applications.


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