Choosing a DVR (Digital Video Recorder) that fits your surveillance recording needs can be quite the challenge at times; especially with the wide variety of options and features available on all kinds of different DVR setups. For example some people may prefer a dedicated Linux based DVR where as others may want a PC based DVR that uses a windows operating system. Then there are multitudes of other choices ranging from standard dedicated channel DVR’s to units that offer the possibility of upgrade-ability to higher camera inputs. In this article we will tackle a few of these problems and attempt to help you get a better idea of the varying choices in the DVR world.
First and foremost people generally tend to approach the purchasing of a DVR with a particular budget in mind. This can be a good idea when deciding to purchase a DVR particularly when on a strict budget; however always keep in mind that the lower the cost of a DVR as with any piece of technology you will be sacrificing the number of features and options available to you. This doesn’t mean however you need to purchase the most expensive DVR out there with every bell and whistle imaginable. No you simply need to be mindful of your surveillance systems needs and what features and specifications will best suit your needs.
Hard drives are an interesting factor when deciding upon the DVR you want to buy. Hard drive size directly relates to the amount of surveillance footage you can store and archive for later viewing. Now when considering the size of hard drive that will work best for you; you need to consider a few factors. Firstly how much traffic will be going by your cameras that needs to be recorded? Will you be constantly recording or are you going to have it set to record only for motion detection? What resolution are you recording at (this is very important as higher resolution video takes up more space)? If you leave your facility and plan on having your cameras record while you are gone how much time will pass before you review the footage? These various questions are very good things to have in mind and have an idea as to the answers before you make a purchase.
Now comes the question of how many cameras are you going to want to run through this DVR? Are you setting up a small home or business system that won’t require anymore than 4 dedicated camera channels; or are you laying the groundwork for a large scale facility setup with 32 or 64 cameras possible someday? This question is very important as it can determine whether you buy a dedicated DVR system without upgrade-ability or if you buy a system that can have more camera cards installed later on down the road for when you add additional security cameras to the system.
We’ve listed a few of the major questions that you need to consider when purchasing a DVR; however a couple other key things to keep in mind are questions like: Do you want to be able to view your DVR from a remote location over the internet? If yes than you will need to purchase a DVR with network-ability. Will you be using your DVR in a standard location that doesn’t move; or does it need to be secured and mounted in a location such as a moving vehicle? This question can lead to whether or not your need a mobile DVR with shock absorbers or a standalone DVR. Finally a good question to consider is what type of video backup do you want? This can range from USB ports to allow for footage to be transferred to a thumb drive; or maybe you want a DVD burner to backup your footage to DVD; heck you may even want both.
Ultimately when purchasing a DVR for your surveillance system make sure you take a serious look at the features you need and what is going to best suit your surveillance system. By taking the time to think of some of these various questions and considerations posted here you will save yourself quite the headache down the road and will be better equipped with the knowledge you need to make an informed decision. Furthermore it is always a good idea to take these questions and consult with a professional CCTV surveillance installer and DVR seller such as CU1.com so they can help you make the right choice for your system.
A great place to begin looking at DVR’s and getting an idea of what you need is in our Recording Equipment section.