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NVR vs DVR, What Are Their Differences?

October 12, 2021

NVR surveillance system and DVR surveillance system are two mainstream options in the market. Both DVR and NVR recorders can realize video recording but in different ways with different types of cameras. In this article, we will break down the differences between NVR vs DVR and detail the pros and cons of each, so that you can make an informed decision before evaluating video surveillance systems.

What Is Network Video Recorder (NVR)?

The NVR is paired with IP cameras which records videos from the network directly using Cat5 or Cat6 Ethernet cables with RJ45 plugs. There are two different kinds of network video recorders. The first type is Non-PoE NVR that requires you connect your IP cameras to your router or switch. The second type is PoE NVR which is built in PoE ports. This will allow you to connect your IP cameras directly to the back of your NVR.

If you want to know more about NVR, please read this article to find the answers: What Is NVR? Do I Need NVR for IP Camera?

What Is Digital Video Recorder (DVR)?

The DVR is intended to work with standard analog cameras, which can’t process video footage. Instead, the analog cameras stream raw video footage to recorders via coaxial cables. From there, the recorder processes the video footage.

What Is Digital Video Recorder (DVR)?

The DVR is intended to work with standard analog cameras, which can’t process video footage. Instead, the analog cameras stream raw video footage to recorders via coaxial cables. From there, the recorder processes the video footage.

NVR VS DVR

NVR vs DVR, What Are the Differences?

Above we have introduced what NVR and DVR are. Next we are going to discuss the differences between NVR vs DVR from the perspective of their different specifications.

NVR DVR
Process Way Process the video data at the camera Process the video data at the recorder
Camera Types IP camera Analog camera
Cables Usage Ethernet cables or wireless Coaxial cables
Ports RJ45 ports for IP cameras Coaxial ports for analog cameras
Resolution High FPS and high resolution up to 4K Low FPS and low resolution
Audio Video footage with audio natively Mostly work without audio
Storage Cloud-based servers supported Local hard disk storage only
Price More expensive Cheaper

NVR vs DVR, Which Is Better?

NVR Surveillance System: Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
  • Basic function to record both videos and audio

  • Better image quality

  • Flexible in placement

  • Better coverage

  • No complex port forwarding or configuration

  • Can be wired or wireless

  • Only needs 1 cable for video, audio and power

  • Can be used to identify faces, license plates, etc

  • Higher Costs: The overall expense for an NVR video surveillance system is much higher

  • More Energy: It'll take more time for beginners to learn the relevant software

DVR CCTV System: Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
  • Cheaper than NVR systems

  • Easier to set up and operate than NVR systems

  • Lower frame rates and lower image quality

  • More complex installation process requires both power and video cables

  • Less coverage — it takes multiple analog cameras to cover the same area as 1 IP camera

  • Separate power source required

  • Can be wired only

  • Only good for observing, can’t record audio

And all these are attributed to four advantages of NVR systems:

  • Higher-quality Videos: NVRs are paired with IP Cameras with resolutions ranging from 2MP to 12MP, which records higher quality videos than others.

  • Easy to Wire: NVR security system provides much easier cables usage even for a beginner. The Non-PoE NVR connects cameras through the network wirelessly, so there is no need to run wires. The PoE NVR only uses one single Ethernet cable for power, video and audio.

  • Easy to Use: NVR system can be set up with literally ZERO configuration. Just download the network video recorder software and assess the camera to client.

  • Flexible in Placement: NVR can be placed virtually anywhere as long as the network is available.

NVR vs DVR, Pick NVR Camera System for Your Business

For people looking for a relatively straightforward security system, a DVR system will most likely be sufficient, especially if your property is already wired for a coaxial cable from an existing security system. If you need a top-of-the-line, very flexible solution, an NVR based system will be best. Network video recorders have become the popular choice when investing in a video surveillance system. Therefore, no matter what situation you are in and what kind of security system you have, network video recorders will be your first choice.

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