DVR vs. NVR Leave a comment

When looking for a security camera system to buy, you can choose between a DVR and NVR recorder. They perform the same functions, but they are different in how and the different types of cameras you use. When deciding which recorder to get, you need to understand the difference between them.


DVRs and NVRs are video recording systems. DVR stands for a digital video recorder, while NVR stands for the network video recorder. They differ in how they process video data. A DVR processes videos at the recorder. Meanwhile, an NVR encodes and processes data at the camera. The NVR is typically used for remote viewing and storage. DVRs and NVRs take care of the video data differently, so they use different cameras. It is critical to remember that DVRs are wired, and NVRs can be wireless.

DVR Security Systems

The savings, in DVR systems, typically come from the type of cameras you buy. You can use many different cameras in your home security system, but there is not as much flexibility when it comes to DVR systems. In a DVR system, you can use analog cameras to stream an analog signal to the recorder. The recorder processes the images. The advantage of this is it is not as complex as an NVR system.

The camera connects to the DVR recorder with coaxial BNC cables. The cable does not provide power to the camera. There are two cables within one for this. One cable is for power, and one is for video. The cables separate at the end to do the different functions. You will need your DVR near a power outlet because of this. Coaxial cables can make the installation tricky. It is hard to run the cables because they are rigid. Although, if you have existing coaxial connections from older systems, you can use the same cables to connect your new system.

DVR Security Systems Continued

Standard coax cables do not support audio, so an added RCA connection is needed. A DVR has a limited amount of input ports for audio, so only a couple of cameras can record audio. After about 300ft, the image quality on the coaxial cable will begin to degrade. In addition, the lower quality cable will cause signal loss at shorter distances.

A DVR recorder uses a hardware chipset called an AD encoder. This makes it responsible for processing the data streaming from the cameras in video recordings. You need to connect every camera directly into the recorder. Each camera’s connection will also need a splitter that supplies some power to enable cameras to function. They have less flexible mounting solutions because of this. It can be difficult to get your camera into a tight spot because of the coaxial cable. You need a power outlet for each camera.

NVR Security System

NVRs process video data at the camera and not at the recorder. NVRs use IP cameras; these are standalone capturing cameras. IP cameras are capable of processing the video data that gets transmitted to the recorder. These cameras are capable of sending and recording audio with the data that gets transmitted to the recorder. IP cameras have powerful hardware that makes it possible for features such as facial recognition.

NVRs and similar to DVRs because they connect to the camera via a recorder. NVRs use regular ethernet cables such as cat6 and cat5e to transmit data. Ethernet cables get power to the cameras by using PoE (power over ethernet). This means that the camera only needs one cable for audio, video, and power.

Ethernet cables are easier to terminate and route because they are smaller and thinner, which allows for less drilling. These cables are cheaper than coaxial cables and more readily available. This makes replacement or extension of the cables more affordable and easier. Also, every camera on the system can transmit audio because ethernet cables can send audio data inherently. The recorders and cameras don’t need cables going between them as long as they’re on the same network. The recorder in an NVR system cannot process video data. The cameras do this before they transmit it. NVRs are used for viewing and storing the footage. NVRs also receive a pure digital sound from the cameras.


Both systems have reliable video data that they record. DVR systems can lag sometimes compared to NVR systems, but the gap is lessening. How the data is transmitted, cost and type of cameras are the main differences. NVRs can have better picture quality, more flexibility, easier installation, and native audio support on ever camera. Although they are more expensive. If you want a straightforward security system, DVRs are best. If you need something high quality and flexible, NVRs are best.

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