A network video recorder (NVR) of CCTV is an IP-based video surveillance management system. It integrates transmission wiring, network transmission and front-end management into a single system, offering system status and parameter monitoring and querying. Compared to DVRs of CCTV, NVRs of CCTV greatly simplify troubleshooting by optimizing the distribution and transmission of video signals.
Similar to DVRs of CCTV, current NVRs of CCTV are categorized by the number of channels they support. Mainstream standalone NVRs support 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64 or 128 channels. NVRs that are built on server architectures support even more channels—256 or even thousands of channels. When considering an NVR of CCTV, Secutech recommends the following six tips:
1. Support for multiple high-capacity HDDs
The number of channels that an NVR of CCTV can support if highly dependent on the amount of storage it can handle. Therefore, it is critical that the NVR being considered supports a suitable number of HDDs. The types of HDDs supported is also important; buyers should look for NVRs of CCTV that use reliable, high-speed interfaces like SATA, SATA-II or e-SATA.
2. Appropriate HDD brands and models
The top HDD manufacturers now have HDDs that are designed specifically for surveillance, enterprise and consumer applications. The differences between classes are: optimizations in reliability, performance and energy consumption. HDDs used for video surveillance need to be reliable, support high transfer rates, and are capable of operating 24x7x365. The duration of the manufacturer's warranty is also something to consider.
3. Stable operating CCTV system
There are two main types of NVRs: embedded and PC-based. Embedded NVRs of CCTV use SoC platforms with an embedded version of Linux. PC-based NVRs of CCTV are servers or industrial PCs that generally run Linux or Microsoft Windows. While the former offers high reliability and stability, the number of supported channels is limited by physical connections and processing power. PC-based NVRs have more processing power, are relatively easier to develop, support a multitude of video compression formats, and generally support a greater number of video channels. Users that need fewer channels can consider embedded NVRs, while users that need a large number of channels will have to go with PC-based ones.
Regardless of application, buys should primarily consider NVRs of CCTV that support cameras made by other manufacturers. This benefits distributors, installers and end-users by alleviating compatibility headaches. In addition, NVR manufacturers that are oblivious to industry standards like ONVIF probably are not worth considering anyway.
5. Effective Back-End Management Clients
The back-end management client is a user's primary interface with which to interact with the NVR of CCTV. It is therefore critical that users choose an NVR that includes a management client that provides all the needed features and an acceptable user interface. NVRs support remote management through a web interface (accessed with a browser) or via software installed on a PC. Basic features include video monitoring, recording and playback. If the NVR supports alarms, the management interface will also need to integrate management and operation of multiple NVRs and alarms. In addition, the management client should also support off-site backups of multiple NVRs.
6. Other Software Features
Features that are not necessarily essential, but are nice to have, includes: plug-and-play, intelligent tagging and searching, remote monitoring, alarm integration, and automatic off-site backup. In addition, the user interface should be simple, intuitive, reliable and stable.