What is the Difference Between NVR and DVR Systems?


The usage of video surveillance systems has become an important requisite at the commercial and residential level. They play a vital role in several critical as well as domestic applications to deter and prevent crime and keep a given area secure. Many businesses even now refuse to implement a video surveillance system in and around the location. However, it is essential in recent times to ensure overall safety and security of employees, the privacy of data, the safety of possessions, and many more aspects. A video surveillance system is a keystone for running a safe and secure business. With a variety of security systems out there, it is crucial to choose the right system for your business, with the right type of camera and related equipment. Network video recorder (NVR) and digital video recorder (DVR) are the two types of video surveillance systems commonly in use today. Both the systems have gained acceptance owing to their beneficial features, but this largely depends on your application requirements. Regardless of the type of system you choose, it is quite difficult to deny the growing interest in these devices. This post discusses the NVR and DVR systems in detail.

Difference Between NVR and DVR Systems

NVR versus DVR System – What is the Difference?

Basically, both NVR and DVR systems are responsible for video recording. However, they differ in how they record the footage. The DVR system processes data at the recorder, while the NVR system encrypts and processes data at the camera before sending it to the recorder for storage and remote viewing. Both systems handle data differently. Thus, they need different types of cameras. Most of the DVRs are used with analog cameras, while NVRs are used with IP cameras. Most importantly, a DVR based surveillance system is a wired security system and NVR system can be a wired or wireless system.  

NVR Systems – Basics, Components, and Benefits

NVR is a network-attached computer system that includes a software program for recording video in a digital format to storage devices such as a disk drive, USB flash drive, SD memory card, and many more. Popularly known as POE security camera systems, it is more flexible than DVR systems. The following components are required to set up an NVR system.
  • IP Cameras:

    NVR system uses IP cameras, which act as standalone image capturing devices. These cameras are capable of processing video data before sending it to the recorder. IP cameras are robust, and capable of recording and transmitting audio in addition to the image. Advanced hardware on these cameras improves intelligent video analytics such as license plate and facial recognition.
  • Ethernet Cables:

    The NVR system makes use of standard Ethernet cables such as Cat5e and Cat6 to connect the camera to the recorder. They are easier to set up owing to their thin size and shape and cost-effectiveness and easy availability compared to coaxial cables.
  • Recorder:

    The NVR recorder is only responsible for storing and viewing the footage. The system doesn’t process video data.

Benefits of NVR Systems

Here are some important advantages of the NVR system:
  • Better image quality
  • More system flexibility
  • Easy to install

DVR Systems – Basics, Components, and Benefits

The DVR system is designed for recording video in a digital format. These security systems are priced lower than NVR systems, and this is one of the advantages of DVR systems, especially for small or domestic applications which do not encompass long-distance data transfer or remote viewing.
  • Analog Cameras:

    As discussed before, the DVR system uses analog cameras. The camera is responsible for streaming an analog single to the recorder, which then processes the video data. Unlike NVRs, most DVR cameras are less expensive.
  • Coaxial Cables:

    The coaxial cables connect the analog camera to the DVR system. The use of coaxial cable may not seem significant due to their limitations; however, ultimately data is transferred over this cable type. Coaxial cable does not support power supplying devices on the same line. Thus, another cable is needed to carry electrical signals, while the other cable carries data signals for video transmission. These cables are stiffer and wider than Ethernet cables, making installation a challenge. Also, audio is a limitation as the standard coaxial cable may not support audio transmission.
  • AD Encoder:

    DVR recorders heavily rely on AD encoders, which is responsible for processing the raw data streaming from the camera into viewable footage. Thus, every camera in this security system needs to be connected to both the recorder and a separate power source.

Benefits of DVR Systems

There are a few noticeable benefits of a DVR system, making them increasingly attractive. 
  • Minimal bandwidth usage
  • Signal stability
  • Low cost
In essence, both NVR and DVR systems record video footages onto a hard drive. What differentiates them is their design and implementation, how they are set up, how they process raw data, and more. Regardless of what you choose, it is important to employ an industry-leading supplier who has a team of networking experts. VERSITRON offers NVR switches that ensure the highest performance for the most demanding applications.

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