• NVR vs DVR Knowing the Difference
thumbnail image

NVR vs DVR Knowing the Difference

What is  NVR VS DVR ?

NVR vs DVR compares two types of digital video recorder systems. NVR systems encode and process video data at the camera, then transfer it to the recorder for storage. DVR systems process data at the recorder and with an analog camera to convert the footage to digital format. NVR systems are most compatible with IP cameras, but DVR systems are with CCTV cameras.

The NVR vs DVR debate comes down to your specific security needs. If you have an existing analog CCTV system, a DVR is the best option for upgrading your system to digital. However, if you’re starting from scratch or looking to upgrade to HD security cameras, an NVR system is the way to go. When choosing between NVR vs DVR systems, you must consider your long-term security needs. NVR systems are scalable and can accommodate a growing number of cameras, while DVR systems have limited expandability.

Digital Video Recorder (DVR)

Although the DVR system is older due to its analog functions and wired format, advancements in high-definition imaging in recent years have made its image quality more comparable to that of an NVR system. Yet, DVR-based video surveillance systems are still priced lower than NVR systems. Although this may be an enticing advantage to some, it’s important to examine the features that may be tradeoffs for that lower price point.

One contributing factor to a lower price point is the type of cameras that DVRs are compatible with. Analog cameras stream an analog signal to the recorder, which then processes the images into a digital format. So while you may be spending less on a security system relying on a DVR, you are giving up some flexibility with your camera type since DVRs only work with analog cameras. Yet, there is far less complexity involved in the setup of DVR-based analog systems.
Another feature of DVR systems that differs from NVR systems is the type of cable(s) used to power the cameras. An analog camera connects to the DVR using a coaxial cable, which has some significant limitations in how the security system operates. The coaxial cable does not provide a power source to the camera, and it only serves as the video streaming cable. Because of this, you need a second power, and the DVR must be near a power outlet. A coaxial cable is also wide and quite rigid, making installation more challenging than an NVR system with only one Ethernet cable to connect and power cameras.

Audio and video quality are also compromised with DVR systems. Coaxial cables do not support audio, and image quality starts to degrade after roughly 90m of cable. This can limit security presence around the property.
Finally, the last feature of a DVR system that differs from an NVR system is the recorder’s functionality. A DVR uses a piece of hardware called an AD encoder which processes the raw data streaming in through the camera into digital video recordings.

Network Video Recorder (NVR)

A Network Video Recorder is a much more flexible yet complex system than a DVR. An NVR system is more advanced and is able to work with top-of-the-line technology to deliver a security system with robust features, which makes it more expensive than a DVR system.
As stated above, an NVR doesn’t actually record the video data as a DVR does. With an NVR system, data goes to the camera rather than the recorder and sent to the NVR box for storage and remote viewing. NVRs work with IP cameras, which are far more advanced than their analog counterparts. IP cameras are also able to record audio, providing an altogether more robust security experience than that of an analog system.
Unlike a DVR system and its coaxial cable connectivity, NVRs use standard Ethernet cables for data and powering the cameras. Where analog cameras and DVRs need a coaxial cable and a power cord for a functioning security camera system, NVRs only need one Power over Ethernet connection to get the job done. This simplification of setup is a big advantage of NVR systems, as the installation process requires far fewer cables and wiring
Due to their wireless functionality, IP cameras don’t necessarily have to be physically connected directly to the NVR, making the entire system much more flexible than a DVR system.

Pros and Cons of NVR vs DVR

DVR (Digital Video Recorder)
  • Compatible with analog systems or CCTV systems
  • Use coaxial cables to send video footage
  • Need AD Encoder to process raw data
  • Less expensive than NVR
  • Less complex setup than NVR
  • Coaxial cables don’t have power; use a second power source.
  • Audio limitations, as coaxial cables, don’t support audio transmission

NVR (Network Video Recorder)

  • Compatible with IP cameras, which are wireless or connected to a network cable
  • Digital system used for storing and viewing footage – data sent to the camera before sent to the recorder
  • Cameras connected to NVR use an ethernet cable, no need for another power cable
  • Advanced hardware on IP cameras allows image and audio recording, and potential intelligent video analytics
  • Power over Ethernet, or PoE technology allows for only one cable for power, video, and audio transmission
  • Higher storage capacity with footage uploaded to cloud-based servers
  • Video and audio recording capabilities
  • Remote accessibility
  • Updating NVRs is costly
  • Opening the PoE switch for remote accessibility opens the system up to security risks

NVR VS DVR Summarized

The main differences between DVRs and NVRs are the cost associated and what type of cameras each system is compatible with. DVR systems tend to be more affordable, but with less flexibility in installation and quality of imaging and audio, this straightforward system may be best suited for small homes and businesses that do not need rigorous security protocols. For those looking for a more robust security system with powerful features, an NVR system may be the better choice, even though the price point will be higher.
Which system is right for you depends on the answers to questions such as these:
  • Is there a security camera system already installed?
  • Can a new security camera system build upon it?
  • How many areas need surveillance?
  • Does your security need audio?
  • How much manpower to install the security camera system?
  • Is there a way to limit the cables and hardware required for camera installation?
When deciding between an NVR vs DVR system, the determining factor will focus on the security needs of your property.
What about no NVR or DVR?
If you choose to go with Monarch system, there is no need for an NVR or a DVR because all the data is on the camera and in the cloud. This is a hybrid cloud-based environment. This storage process simplifies installation, frees up physical storage space,  and cuts down on costs in a big way.
These are our set of cameras. Includes the dome camers and fisheye cameras.
Get a free trial of the Monarch system that doesn’t require an NVR or DVR:   Here

Updated: Dec 12

Share this Post

Related Posts

Best Cloud Based Access Control

359 views | 0 comments

Cloud Based Infrastructure for Manufacturing

785 views | 0 comments

Contact Us