Over the past decade PC-based & Stand Alone DVR systems have replaced the analog equipment that was used with CCTV (Closed Circuit Television) surveillance cameras like multiplexers, quads, time-lapse VCRs & video-cassette tapes.
These two security DVRs have revolutionized how we are able to view what is happening in & around our homes, as we can now see what our CCTV cameras are capturing in real time from anywhere around the world.
Having the ability to view this captured video using our smartphones or any internet connected computer along with more affordable prices, is what made PC-based & stand alone DVR systems very popular with residential consumers.
Many people these days who are considering a CCTV surveillance system for their homes are asking, “Which is better a stand alone or a PC-based DVR system”?
While there are many similarities with these digital recorders, they also have some very notable differences between them. It is due to the nature of these differences that it would not be appropriate to say which one is better, as it is not like comparing apples to apples type thing.
With some major differences between them & the fact that computer DVR systems are generally sold at a higher price, the question people need to ask is “Which DVR is the most suitable for my budget & security needs”?
With the exception of some really low costing PC-based & stand alone DVRs, most of these systems have a history of being extremely reliable.
If you are new to security DVRs the following information will provide you with a complete understanding of how stand alone systems work & discusses what features & functions they have.
It also outlines what some of the pros & cons the stand alone system has in comparison with a computer DVR system. This information should help you in making an informed decision in choosing the type of DVR that will be the most suitable for your budget & security needs.While there are some important facts & information about PC-based DVRs below, you will acquire a more comprehensive understanding of this system on my computer DVR web page.
A stand-alone DVR is housed in a small case similar to a VCR & has many of the same physical components as you would find inside a personal computer. Although these components are much more condensed, as they are manufactured on a signal circuit board.
This DVR is also run on Linux, Unix or some other proprietary operating system. The operating system & its surveillance or application software is also embedded in an IC (integrated Circuit) chip as firmware or read only memory.
This prevents the software & system files from being altered, which makes the stand alone DVR much more stable & reliable to operate than a PC-based DVR.
It also makes it a lot less susceptible to receiving viruses that could corrupt the software & operating system.
A computer DVR is comprised of a “video capture card” inserted into the motherboard of a PC. The video cards application software also needs to be installed on the computer which uses a windows operating system.
In determining which DVR will work best for you, it is important to consider who in your home will be operating the system & do they have any experience working with personal computers.
The stand alone system is a much easier & stable DVR to operate for anyone who has little to no experience working with PCs. With a stand alone DVR they would not have to deal with problems that are inherent to Microsoft windows like various software & hardware compatibility issues.
The main function for both security DVRs is to convert the analogue signal from the CCTV cameras into a digital signal.
This allows for the captured video to be view & accessed online & like all digital images they can also be saved to a DVR or a computer hard drive.
Both security DVRs can be easily setup to record motion only.
This is a very beneficial feature, as it will allow you to quickly find & review what has occurred without having to look through long recordings where nothing is happening. You would also not have to worry about missing something when fast forwarding through it.
Recording motion only will also help you reduce the amount of disk space your surveillance video will need to consume on your hard drive.
It is commonly & widely referred to or stated that security cameras detect motion. While this can be an easier way to explain this function, it really does not work that way.
Motion is actually detected by the surveillance software on a PC-based or stand alone DVR or if building your own computer DVR, it would be included with the purchase of a video capture card.
When there is no motion the camera(s) sends a still image to the security DVR & once motion occurs the software will automatically detect pixels changing in the image. Once this happens the hard drive will immediately start recording the captured video.
The surveillance software in security DVRs can also inform you if motion is captured by a specific camera(s) that you select. The motion alert you receive can be in the form of a telephone call, text message or an email.
Which of these forms of communication you can be notified with, will depend on the version of surveillance software that is included with the security DVR you choose.
Some of the application software in PC-based & stand alone DVRs provide one or two ways of receiving an alert, while others will allow you to choose from all three.
Whichever security DVR system you choose, you will want to ensure it records & displays the surveillance video the cameras capture at an adequate number of FPS (Frames per Second).
The number of FPS that is commonly referred to as real time is 30 FPS. American & Canadian television is displayed & viewed at 30 FPS.
The lowest number of FPS that some people use for video surveillance is 3.5 FPS. Viewing video at this rate will allow you to see choppy movements of someone moving through an area or walking down a corridor or across a room.
A rating of 7.5 FPS is considered acceptable for seeing the hand movements of someone who is adding or removing money from a cash register.
To view a video recording where one’s movements are less choppy & appear more normal you will require a rating of 12 FPS to 15 FPS.
While it is undoubtedly much better to see what the cameras are capturing at 30 FPS, many people like to choose a lower FPS rate so they can decrease the amount of disk space the recorded video will need to consume.
A PC-based or stand alone DVR that records at a lower FPS rate also allows the surveillance video to remain on the hard drive for a longer period of time.
For Example: I have a computer DVR that records motion only for 8 dome cameras outside my home at 30 FPS. Using a 500 GB hard drive it will hold 10 full days of surveillance video on average before it starts to replace the oldest video that was recorded approximately ten days earlier.
If my DVR was recording at 15 FPS this would double the amount video that I could record & therefor doubling the number of days to 20 before my security video will start to be replaced.
If having my surveillance video for 10 days was not satisfactory for my specific needs, I could also double those number of days to 20 by doubling the size of the hard drive that the captured video is being recorded to.
Increasing the size of a DVRs internal hard drive or adding external hard drives to the system is a very easy thing to accomplish with any computer DVR. Many stand alone DVRs do not allow you to increase the size of the hard drive the captured video is being recorded to.
If you are looking at acquiring a stand alone system & you feel increasing the size of the hard drive is something you may want to do in the future, you will want to see if the model you are considering provides this option.
The product description for a security DVR may not list the number of FPS it will record & display the surveillance video for each camera, as it may show rates like 120, 240 or 480 FPS.
If the description of an 8 channel DVR shows a 120 FPS rate, this will tell you that the surveillance video for an 8 camera system will be 15 FPS (8 cameras divided into 120 FPS = 15 FPS).
Stand alone systems are undoubtedly the most affordable option when it comes to acquiring a security DVR. A stand alone DVR should certainly be considered if you only require a video surveillance system that basically has the features & functions that are outlined above.
If you require additional features & functions, more advanced communication options along with a system that has the flexibility of being upgraded & expanded in the future, you may want to consider a computer DVR.
Stand alone systems only function as they are programed to & are not capable of being upgraded or expanded in the future.
If this acceptable & you do decide to acquire a stand alone system, it is very important to choose a system that supports more cameras that what you will currently need.
For Example: If you currently require 4 CCTV cameras in your surveillance system, you may want to choose an 8 channel DVR so you are able to add up to 4 additional cameras in the future if needed.
If you acquire a stand alone DVR that only supports the 4 channels you need, the only option you will have in the future to add an additional camera(s) is to purchase another DVR.
To make an informed decision in choosing the most suitable & appropriate security DVR for you & your family, you may want to acquire a more complete understanding of the PC-based system by visiting my computer DVR web page.I sincerely hope the information on this stand alone DVR page was in some way helpful & beneficial for you. You may want to consider bookmarking this site as new & updated content is uploaded weekly.
Top Quality Home Security Information That Will Help You Provide Your Home & Family With An Adequate Level Of Security At The Lowest Possible Cost!
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Understanding Video Surveillance Cameras Used With The Stand Alone Or Computer Based DVR!
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Is A Computer DVR More Suitable For Your Video Surveillance Needs Than A Stand Alone DVR?
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