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Are you looking to acquire a security camera system? Are you finding it difficult to choose either an NVR or DVR? Have you been trying to understand the differences between the NVR and DVR? Cheers! We have all the answers ready for you. Why not read along as we breakdown the notable differences that exist between the two forms of system, so you will be able to make an informed decision in your choice of security system when the time is right.


Security is everybody's business. Individuals and businesses are now taking it upon themselves to secure their lives and properties. With the advent of various surveillance systems and different security cameras, the security of lives and safety of property has gotten even much more comfortable in this digital century. In the world of security cameras, NVR and DVR are used for video recording, and they appear to be similar. NVR stands for Network Video Recorder while DVR refers to Digital Video Recorder.


As much as we may try to discharge the evolution of the DVR, it remains the core of a quality security system. Irrespective of their similarities and functions, these systems are built differently. Many people have asked, "which is best between NVR and DVR?" Well, both recorders are excellent. They both have their pros and cons. More so, it depends on your expectations and needs. You have to consider the cost, video quality, and the installation when choosing your most suitable security system. 


NVR vs DVR – Camera Type


Before we get down to any comparison, let’s take look at how a video recorder system works: the sensor (camera) picks up analog video signal. And analog signal will immediately be transmitted into digital signals and kept in a digital storage medium – whether it’d be a local hard drive or cloud drive, to be ready for playback in the future.


The most fundamental difference between an NVR system and its DVR counterpart is where the data is transmitted: a DVR system transmits signal in the recorder while an NVR system transmits signal in the cameras. As a result, DVR system are used with analog cameras while NVR systems are used with IP cameras. An Internet Protocol or IP camera is a standalone image capturing device that sends and receives images via the internet. In contrast, an analog camera does not require any local recording device. The Network Video Recorder is often connected to a digital network which means that they can be used anytime irrespective of location.


The IP camera can easily be backed up independently in various locations, but it is liable to be hacked. The IP camera is more versatile than the conventional analog camera. IP cameras can not only record, but they can also send videos and audios.


NVR – Pros


Although the analog camera has been observed to have a lower quality image compared to the NVR digital system, we cannot refute however that video quality of an NVR security system is better than the DVR security system. If you need a security system that must give you a closer view of activities and details, the NVR system would be a better choice. The improvement in the analog camera has drastically reduced the differences in resolution between the NVR and DVR security systems.


Although the DVR security system costs are cheaper than the NVR security system, the Ethernet cable of the NVR security system is cheaper, more affordable, and available than the DVR coaxial cable. Unlike the DVR security system, the NVR system can also be controlled remotely.


HeimVision HM243 NVR System;

HeimVision HM241 NVR System.


DVR – Pros  

Some users believe that the lower price of a DVR is an attractive advantage which may be due to the analog camera. A potential user who is conscious of his budget may prefer a DVR system to an NVR system. As a digital freak, you may likely want to choose an NVR over a DVR. However, considering the simple or reduced complexity of the camera, one may be tempted to choose a DVR over an NVR. A DVR security system does not require tech support or the services of an expert to operate. One of the limitations of the camera system in a DVR is that there is less liability in the type of cameras that can be used in it. It can only and strictly be used with an analog camera.

A DVR system processes video data while an NVR does not process video data. The NVR system is only used for storing and showing the amount of film or tape


HeimVision HM245 DVR System


NVR vs DVR – Flexibility

In a more sophisticated world, security cameras may not have to be plugged directly to the recorder. This is one unique feature that has made the NVR system a more flexible system.  NVR can either be wired or wireless while DVRs are mostly wired.


NVR vs DVR – Cable Type


The NVR makes use of an Ethernet cable which is slimmer, smaller, and more comfortable to run and install. A DVR makes use of a BNC coaxial cable. They are larger, harder to thread, and take longer to install. One of the limitations of DVR is that the BNC coaxial cable does not provide electric power supply to the camera. Each camera in a DVR uses more power; hence, it requires a power source. An NVR does not require any power splitter or wall socket; instead it uses a Power over Ethernet.


The Power over Ethernet (PoE) is basically a device that allows network cables to discharge electrical power.


For instance, a digital security camera usually requires two forms of connections to be made after installation:

  1. A network connection, which allows communication between the display equipment and video recording
  2. A power connection, which discharges the electrical power required by the camera to operate.


Meanwhile, as long as the camera is POE-enabled, only the network connection should be made, because the required electrical power will be received from this cable as well.

HeimVision HM541 PoE System


For potential users who desire a simple, easy-to-use system, an NVR system may be a great idea. Installing the NVR system is easier and simpler because it does not require any multiple cables and because the wire of the cable is thinner than the DVR coaxial cable. Unlike the NVR security system, which has a flexible mounting option, another limitation of the DVR is the size of the BNC coaxial cables, which makes installation more difficult, especially in closed conditions.


DVR – Cons


Still, on the nature of cables used by these systems, some users have claimed that a coaxial cable does not support audio. However, contrary to this claim, one can easily see that the DVR security system is a compartment that has a finite number of audio input ports. This implies that a limited number of cameras can record audio. In contrast, the NVR security system can transmit audio readily because of the presence of the Ethernet cable present with it.

Also, it has been observed that, with a longer distance, there is often an associated signal loss and a low image quality. That is, as the distance at which the cable is run increases, there is a corresponding decrease in image quality and signal. This can even worsen if a lower quality cable is used. For an NVR system, the distance does not have any effect on the image quality, which makes it very usable over a long distance.


NVR vs DVR – Summary        


NVR may be an updated version of a security system, yet DVRs are proven and dependable. The DVR system was and is still very much in use today. NVR is a product of technological innovations. Who knows what the tech experts are cooking up for tomorrow? Whichever choice you make, ensure that it matches your needs. Every other factor is secondary. Making an emotional decision in issues that deals with the security of your life, properties, and business can be very suicidal. Don't take chances.

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Comments (3)

  • Mitzi

    I had bad experience with NVR someone hacked and compromised. It is already destroyed. My opinion is DVR is the best, but I learned DVR CCTV still can be hack? I will research this more

  • Tyler Scofield

    yea looks like it. DVR doesn’t work with ip cams

  • Harlan wahlert

    Have older system. New cameras not work is it one DVR other ip feature?

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