What is the difference between NVR and DVR

What is the difference between NVR and DVR?

Video surveillance systems are no longer a luxury; they have become a necessity if you want to survive safely in the modern commercial and domestic environment. In domestic applications, it has become essential to deter and prevent crime and provide evidence in cases where the crime has already occurred. Even though countless businesses suffer losses due to corruption, many business owners still decline the use of security cameras. But, the fact remains, to run a safe business where your employees and possessions are not prone to theft or vandalism, you need a robust security camera system.

So as the situation is, there are two types of security camera systems you can get today. They are the NVR or the network video recorder system and the DVR or the digital video recorder. Both systems are available today because they have quality features to offer based on the situation you have to use them in. To know which system is best for your property, you need to know the differences, similarities, and different components of both systems.

Basics of NVR and DVR Systems

If we talk about fundamentals, both the systems are capable of recording and streaming live surveillance videos. The difference in the systems arises when you get into how the recording of the video takes place. For DVR systems, the camera sends the video stream to the data recorder, where all the storage and processing occur. While in NVR systems, the processing and decoding occur right at the camera. Later the processed data is sent to a recorder that stores the video and makes it available for remote viewing.

This difference also dictates the use of different types of cameras for both systems. Most NVRs use an IP-style camera, while for DVR systems, you need an analog camera. More sophisticated NVR systems also work on a wireless network as opposed to a wired one.

Operation of a DVR System

DVR systems make use of analog cameras, also known as CCTV cameras. Because of the cameras setup, the DVR systems are priced lower than the NVR systems. Compared to the cameras used with an NVR system, the DVR analog cameras are much simpler in the work they have to do.

DVR systems work with coaxial cables that can go up to 500m but have their limitations. Also, the coaxial cables do not supply power to the camera, so you have to run two wires or control the camera through another source. If you have to install in a difficult space, coaxial cables are harder to deal with as they are stiffer and wider than Ethernet cables used in IP cameras. Furthermore, coaxial cables can only transmit video feed. So with DVR systems, you will have to compromise on audio.

The two main drawbacks are separate power sources for each camera attached to the DVR system. You would need an added RCA connection to have audio on the feed. Despite getting a separate RCA system, DVR surveillance systems only allow a limited number of audio input ports. So you would have to choose the cameras that would have audio carefully.

Operation of an NVR System

For the operation of an NVR system, the requirement is to have IP cameras. Compared to the analog cameras in the DVR system, the IP cameras offer a much more robust set of features. They can process the raw video data before it is transferred to a recorder. These systems are more powerful and can also record audio with a video feed. The advanced features of IP cameras also allow for machine learning and AI features such as license plate detection and facial recognition.

NVR systems run using an Ethernet cable connection if they are not wireless. Ethernet cables cannot run for only 100m. But despite that, the number of advantages they have over coaxial cables is worth the compromise. Some NVR camera systems come with a Power over Ethernet (PoE) system. But be careful; not all NVR systems are PoE capable; some need separate power for the cameras. Ethernet cables are also much easier to set up as they cost less than coaxial cables and are thinner. 

The recorder of the NVR system is only used to store the footage and to view it remotely. Ethernet cables support natively transmitting audio so that you can use a camera with a built-in microphone too. Furthermore, the NVR systems can utilize cloud-based storage compared to the on-premise storage of a DVR system. They can store a much higher capacity of footage.

Which of the Two is Better?

The two systems are essentially the same if you look at them from a distance. If you do not opt for cloud storage on an NCR system, you would have to store it on a hard drive, just like a DVR system does. But you need to balance your budget and know which design suits you best.

First, you need to consider if you have a system already installed. The cost of changing the wiring can be a lot. Secondly, it matters a lot if you need better remote access over long distances and is comfortable with programming. You need to know that you will have to use port forwarding for wired remote access, which can put your systems at risk of intrusion.

The total cost of NVR and DVR systems can be very high because of the many components to be maintained and bought. But with NVR systems, you might even have some additional cost of software and licensing. Also, adding and relocating cameras can be quite a hassle on both systems because of a limited number of ports.

Both these systems are considered traditional ones. But with the features and modernity of the NVR system, it is the better one of the two if you are ready to bear the costs. If audio surveillance and cloud storage matter to you, then an NVR system might suit you. But suppose you are looking for affordable surveillance over long distances without the threat of being compromised. In that case, a DVR system will be better for you. 


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