A User's Guide to Digital Video Surveillance

What is a Security DVR

Unlike a VCR, the DVR has many advanced features and can also be operated and viewed remotely via local network (or even an Internet connection, which most regulators prohibit.) A Digital Video Recorder differs from a VCR in several important ways, some more obvious then others.

Instead of recording video and audio data to a tape, the DVR records to a computer’s hard drive or removable media such as a CD or DVD.

Computer hard drives:

• Are more reliable (no tape jamming, degaussing or signal loss)
• Can store far more recorded material (weeks, months, years)
• Offer better video quality (tape wear causes signal loss)
• Are automated (no need to worry someone forgot to push the record   button   or change tapes)
• Protect data effectively
• Are automated (no need to worry someone forgot to push the record  button   or change tapes)

Cassette tapes:

• Are bulky
• Are vulnerable to loss of data
• Have to be replaced frequently to maintain good quality
• Can easily be tampered with and data manipulated


There really isn’t much more of a choice any more, as the primary manufacturers of VCR’s have ceased production as of the end of 2005. Even videocassettes are becoming harder to locate.

Video and audio stored on a DVR can be:

• Accessed quickly and efficiently
• Viewed or retrieved locally or remotely
• Viewed simultaneously by multiple users
• Tied to alarm systems
• Authenticated for court admissibility


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