Most people think of a Network Video Recorder (NVR) as a sophisticated piece of digital hardware. But technically, an NVR is a software program that enables a user to monitor and manipulate multiple networked cameras simultaneously. Practically speaking, it also consists of a digital mass storage device, much like a digital video recorder (DVR). In most instances, this will consist of a hard drive featuring massive storage capabilities, with an embedded operating system.
Differences Between DVR and NVR
An NVR is distinct from a DVR in that its inputs—from any number of surveillance cameras—is obtained from a network, rather than from individual feeds. This means that each individual camera in the network is assigned a specific IP (internet protocol) address, which the NVR recognizes and accepts. These addresses are unique, so your NVR knows exactly which camera is supplying feed from a given IP address. Unlike a DVR, which needs to be onsite, an NVR is capable of recording and managing feeds from cameras, no matter where in the world they may be located. The video feeds reaching an NVR are transmitted over the internet, so there’s no physical distance limitation. This would allow a business owner to monitor and manage feeds from multiple locations, for instance. It also makes it possible to store imagery at an offsite location, for an additional layer of security.
Software is What Makes an NVR
In practice, an NVR is the heart of a sophisticated surveillance system featuring multiple feeds from wireless cameras strategically mounted around your property or properties. Many allow you to view in real time, store, retrieve, search, etc., and feature crystal-clear, high-resolution imagery. Frame rates up to 30 frames per second ensure that your video feed is smooth and natural looking. Choppy and grainy black and white video is very much a thing of the past. These types of high-end systems are usually most appropriate for large places of business, where security is paramount and many sensitive areas—indoors or out—require constant coverage. Some NVRs also allow audio recording and other features.