NVR Vs DVR – The Difference?

You will need to decide between a DVR and NVR recorder when shopping for a security system. They both perform the same function, but they have different cameras and methods. It is important to understand the differences between DVRs and NVRs when evaluating security systems. Our security experts will explain the differences and give you the pros and cons so that you can make informed decisions.

You have two options when shopping for a video surveillance system:

  1. NVR (Network Video Recorder System)
  2. DVR (Digital Video Recorder System)

Both of the systems described above serve the same purpose: they record video footage. The only difference is in the way they record footage.

Get professional advice Our professional advice? Choose an NVR system.NVR systems use newer technology, which allows for better image/video quality.

Below, we will explain the differences between DVR and NVR systems. Finally, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of each system.

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NVR vs. DVR – The Basics

Both DVRs and NVRs are responsible at the core for video recording. Digital Video Recorder stands for Digital Video Recorder and Network Video Recorder stands for Network Video Recorder. NVR and DVR are different in how they process video data. DVR systems process video data at a recorder, while NVR systems encode and process video data at the camera. The video data is then streamed to the NVR recorder for storage and remote viewing. Different types of cameras are required because DVRs and NVRs deal with video data differently. Most NVRs can be used with IP cameras, while DVRs can use analog cameras. Important to know that DVR-based systems are wired security systems, while NVR systems can be wired or wireless.

NVR vs DVR: How they Work

NVR stands to Network Video Recorder. NVR systems store and record video footage directly from the network on which it is installed. These systems use advanced camera called IP cameras. An IP camera can capture and process audio and video data. They can either use an ethernet cable or wirelessly through an existing WiFi network.

DVR stands to digital Video RecorderThese systems are the “oldest” option. DVR systems can be used with any NVR system. analog cameras, which cannot process video footage. Instead, analog cameras stream raw video footage via coaxial cables to recorders. The recorder then processes the video footage.

After the video has been processed, both DVRs and NVR systems will work the same. Once you have connected to your smartphone or another viewing device, it is easy to view and access the video footage.

We now know how DVR and NVR systems work. Let’s examine the pros and cons of each system.

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DVR Security System – Pros & Cons

The resolution gap between the two systems has been reduced by advances in analog high definition over the past five years. DVR-based security systems are generally less expensive than NVR systems. DVR systems have a lower price point which is a great advantage. But what are the tradeoffs? We need to look at each component of a DVR system in order to answer this question.

Camera Type – Analog DVR systems use analog security cameras. These cameras are also known as CCTV cameras. The camera is responsible for most of the cost savings that can be achieved by using DVR systems. You can combine and match cameras to your home security system. However, DVR systems are limited in terms of the types of cameras that you can use.

DVR systems use analog cameras to stream analog signals to the recorder. The recorder then processes the images. This system has the advantage of being simpler than an NVR system.

Cable – Coaxial BNC cable
A coaxial BNC cable connects the camera to the DVR recorder. While coaxial cable may not seem like a significant option, there are some drawbacks.

  • The coaxial cable does not provide power to the camera so there are two cables within the one cover – a power cable and a video cable. Each end is separated to perform the different functions. You will need to place your DVR recorder close to a power source.
  • Installation can be more difficult due to the size and rigidity coaxial cables. Coaxial cables are wider than Ethernet cables with NVR systems, which can make it difficult to run cables in tight spaces. This problem is compounded by the fact that coaxial cables are more rigid.
  • You can connect to your new system using the same coaxial cable if you have an existing security system.
  • Standard coax cables do not support audio. An alternative is to use an RCA connection. However, even with these connections, a DVR only has a few audio input ports. This means that only a handful of cameras can record sound.
  • After 300ft/90m the image quality of coaxial cables will start to decline. This can affect your ability to extend your security presence outside. Signal loss will occur at shorter distances with lower quality cables.

Recorder
DVR recorders are based on an AD encoder (hardware chipset) that processes raw video data from the camera and converts it into usable video recordings. The recorder is also an important part of DVR systems. In a DVR system, each camera must be connected directly to the recorder. An NVR system, on the other hand, only requires that every camera connect to the same network. The DVR system doesn’t supply power to the cameras. A splitter is required for each camera connection to provide power so that cameras can function.

Flexibility of the System
DVR security systems have fewer options for mounting cameras and are less flexible than NVR counterparts. NVR-based systems can combine wired and wireless security camera systems, but DVR systems are limited to wired cameras. DVR systems have fewer flexible mounting options, as routing coaxial cable in tight spaces can prove more challenging. Each camera must also be connected to a power source.

Image & Audio Quality
DVR systems transmit analog video directly from the camera via coax cable to the recorder. Images are then processed at the recorder’s level. An analog signal will result in a lower quality image than NVR systems. The coaxial cables don’t transmit audio signals natively, and DVR recorders typically have a small number of audio input ports.

NVR Security System – Pros & Con

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

Camera Type – IP Camera
NVR systems use video data from the camera to process it, so the cameras are more reliable than DVRs. NVR systems are used IP cameras These are standalone image-capturing devices. Each IP camera has a chipet that can process the video data and transmit it to a recorder. IP cameras can record and send audio and video, unlike analog cameras. IP cameras have more power than analog cameras, which allows for better smart functionality and video analytics such as facial recognition.

Cable – Ethernet
NVR systems are similar to DVR systems in that they connect the camera and the recorder. The way they connect the camera and the recorder is different. NVR systems transmit data using standard Ethernet cables such as cat5e or cat6. Because of the many advantages that ethernet cables offer over coaxial cables, professional installers prefer them.

  • An Ethernet cable powers the camera via Power over Ethernet (PoE). This means that your camera only needs one cable to capture video, audio and power it.
  • Ethernet cable is easier to route and terminate due to its thinner connector, which allows for less drilling.
  • Ethernet is much cheaper than coaxial cables and more easily available. This makes system expansion and replacement more affordable. Modern homes and businesses have Ethernet wiring, which makes installation easier.
  • Ethernet cables have the added benefit of allowing each camera to transmit audio, since Ethernet can natively send audio data.
  • Cables don’t have to be connected between each camera and the recorder. They must be connected to the same wireless network. Multiple cables don’t make installation easier or more complicated.
  • Network switches can be used to extend the total distance of Ethernet cables, even though they are shorter at 328ft (or 100m), without affecting image quality.

Recorder
An NVR system‘s recorder doesn’t process video data, unlike a DVR. This step is done at the camera, before it can be transmitted. NVR recorders can only be used to store and view the footage.

System Flexibility
NVR systems are more flexible than traditional security cameras because they don’t have to be connected directly to the recorder. Instead, IP cameras can only be connected to the same network. You could have IP cameras from all over the globe on the same network. This can be used to view the entire system.

Image & Audio Quality
The NVR recorders get a digital signal only from the cameras. This makes video quality better than that of a DVR with the same resolution. All cameras equipped with microphones can record audio to the NVR because Ethernet cables carry audio.

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NVR Surveillance System: Pros & cons

ProsCons
Previously DVR Can record video and audio; DVR only records videoCost, typically NVR systems are more expensive
Better image qualitySoftware can be harder to use
More system flexibility
Better coverage, 1 camera has multiple lenses
Can be wired or wireless; DVR cannot be wireless
Only needs 1 cable for video, audio and power
Can be used to identify faces, license plates, etc. due to higher image quality

DVR Surveillance System: Pros & Cons

ProsCons
Less expensive than NVR systemsLower frame rates and lower image quality than NVR systems
Simplicity, easier to set up and operate than NVR systemsRequires extra cables and wires, more complex installation process
Image quality is improving (for systems using HD over Coaxial technology)Separate power source required
Less coverage, it takes multiple analog cameras to cover the same area as 1 IP camera
Only good for observing, can’t record audio

In Summary – DVR and NVR Systems

Both systems record video data and can be trusted. DVR systems used to have a lower quality video than NVR systems. However, this gap has been significantly reduced in recent years. The differences between DVR and NVR systems are due to their cost, data transmission, and the type of cameras. NVR systems have better picture quality and are easier to install. They also offer native audio support on all cameras with microphones. NVR systems are more expensive than DVR systems comparable, which can be a problem for budget-conscious consumers. A DVR system is a good choice for those looking for an easy security system. This is especially true if the property already has coaxial cables from an existing security system. An NVR-based system is best if you require a flexible, top-of the line solution. The deciding factor will ultimately be determined by the security requirements of your property.

Have questions on NVR vs DVR camera systems? Ask our TRIMATRIK security professionals

We have helped thousands of Bangladeshi business and homeowners to create customized video surveillance systems. Our experts will evaluate your security requirements and help you choose the right cameras and recorders to protect your home or business.


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Conclusion

In conclusion, the main difference between NVR and DVR systems is how video data is processed. DVR systems process data at the recorder, while NVRs process data at the camera. The quality of the video data is better in NVR systems because they use newer technology.

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