CCTV Basics: DVR-Digital Video Recorder

Many people are unsure of what precisely a DVR is. To start, let’s make sure we are talking about a security-based DVR (digital video recorder), and not a home DVR used to record cable TV or movies. A DVR used for TV has one or more inputs and a TV tuner to be able to record programs/videos from different channels or other sources. 

A DVR used for security is operated and used differently. This type of DVR is used for monitoring and archiving security camera footage from one or more security cameras, and has a separate input for each camera that it handles. Each one of these inputs is a distinct channel and can be programmed to monitor and record either full time or when an event is triggered, such as motion is detected in the video picture. Other recording triggers such as doors opening or alarm activation are also available, and each camera or channel can operate on a different schedule, different resolution, or even on different time schedules.

Once a user programs the DVR to the parameters that they wish, the system is fully autonomous and self-regulating. The DVR can also alert or contact one or more people when a preprogrammed event or monitored area intrusion has occurred. This can be accomplished by phone, email, or even an audible alert on a remote PC. 

A DVR records to a hard drive and has a digital recording. The digital format allows for multiple resolutions, quick navigation directly to an area of interest, as well as to a particular time or event. It also allows for various other data to be recorded simultaneously, such as audio, text-based motion or event log, and various forms of meta-data (cash register transactions, access control data, GPS coordinates, speed, etc.).

A security-based DVR (digital video recorder) has many smart and useful functions and is truly a piece of equipment worth investing in for your property. For more information, contact one of our Design Engineers toll-free 866-301-2288 or stop by our website at