Surveillance DVR FAQ's So you are looking to invest into a surveillance DVR? There are many questions that arise when one is trying to understand what they need. People of all backgrounds have very different reasons why they need a surveillance DVR. It is so hard to list all the different CCTV applications we have consulted. In fact, we have listed the most important questions you should consider before buying a surveillance DVR. Surveillance DVR Frequently Asked Questions What is a DVR? A Surveillance DVR is a digital video recorder. Primarily in the CCTV industry and security world, it is a machine used to capture live video data and it stores it on a hard drive for later viewing. A Surveillance DVR also controls the way one can manipulate their security cameras. There are two types of DVRs. There are standalone DVRs and PC based DVRs. Both do are used differently to achieve a numerous amount of goals. Typically a standalone Surveillance DVR is for small applications and PC based Surveillance DVRs are for more complex and more user oriented. How much do security DVRs cost? A price on a surveillance digital video recorder varies depending on the security application and what you are trying to accomplish. There are many factors that will cause the price of DVR to rise or fall. Obviously the more complex a CCTV setup is the more parts and features you will need to reach your goal. For example, if you need a DVR that just multiplexes your video and backs up to a usb-stick then you are looking at a $99-$199. We sell discount surveillance DVRs that fit well with simple and small applications. Many residential and small businesses buy our cheaper and smaller DVRs. We also sell refurbished DVRs, where you can find great deals on quality DVR models. We give our refurbished DVRs some TLC and they are rebuilt to last. If your application calls for more hands on user approach or you need more than 16 security cameras, then a PC based surveillance DVR solution is the best solution. Our PC based DVRs start at around $1299. All the technology built to make a PC surveillance DVRs are hi-quality and they all offer real time recording. These are just some small examples to give you a better perspective on how to approach pricing out your surveillance DVR. If you have additional questions call our 800 number and talk to a technician today! I have a home what kind of surveillance DVR do I need? We have plenty of residential home-owners come to us for a advice on what style of DVR they need for their home. Often most people are not sure if they need a PC based surveillance DVR or a standalone surveillance DVR. We always consult our clients to think more about what they are trying to do or what they want to accomplish before comparing certain equipment. When you do this it really helps you figure out what you need. For most home owners standalone DVRs are the best choice for many reasons. First, standalone DVRs are stable and easy to maintain. Solutions like standalone DVRs allow homeowners to have peace-of-mind, it is a set it and forget it solution. Typically most home-owners go with a 4 channel standalone DVR. Homes usually only need up to four security cameras and are mounted at the front, back and sides of the home. This is all you really need to get a surveillance system started. If you need a cheaper solution to getting a DVR check out our refurbished DVRs, we have some discount prices that you cannot pass up, check with us to see what we have in stock. What is a PC based surveillance DVR? In the world of surveillance, there are two types of platforms that DVRs can be built on. Most people look towards a PC because it is user-friendly, they have great surveillance DVR software, and they room to expand. We take the base of a PC and adapt it to handle DVR cards, that capture video and store it's internal hard drives. A PC's platform is great for allowing many security cameras to be added to a closed circuit system. Another supporting reason why PC based surveillance DVRs are good options to build on, is due to the shier size of the surveillance DVR cases we use to build a PC with. Because there is so much room in side these rack mount solutions we can engineer the right setup to allow for as many as four DVR cards. You can not get this kind of efficiency from a standalone surveillance DVR. Standalone surveillance DVRs are made for smaller CCTV applications that never plan on expanding. What is a Standalone DVR? A standalone DVR, is an embedded, non-expandable DVR solution. It runs independent of a Windows based platform and runs on Linux shell. Most standalone DVRs are also known as embedded DVR. An embedded DVR works in a specific focus or task. This means that you are looking at devices that run on an embedded Linux real-time-operating system. Real-time operating systems, work off flashing memory instead of hard drive setups. In the CCTV world, you use standalone DVRs for simple applications. Many home-owners and small businesses uses these standalone DVRs as a quick solution to a problem or situation that is developing. You can find many standalone DVRs starting at $199 for a 4 channel setup. Also you can get standalone DVRs up to 16 channels. In some cases, there are solutions up 32 channels, but it is very rare to see those solutions are that many channels. So if you have a specific task and you want to integrate an easy and reliable DVR to handle your real-time video, recording, playback, and multiplexing of your security camera, then you should focus on a standalone security DVR. What kind of surveillance DVR do I need for my business? Initially when planning out a CCTV setup the main focus should be deciding between a PC based surveillance DVR or an embedded surveillance DVR. This will solely depend on what you are trying to do! Both options have unique approaches to help you protect or survey certain aspects of your business. In fact, neither can really out do each other. The application you have will determine which will work best. PC based DVRs, seem like the best choice, but often are not the strongest choice. Depending on what kind of small business you operate will answer what system you need. If you own a small retail store, fast-food restaurant, fine-dining restaurant, doctor's office and many other quick/convenience shopping you will benefit best from a standalone DVR. Standalone DVRs are designed to function at a specific focus. There is no manipulation like the options you get with a Windows graphical user interface. The options on a standalone DVR are to adjust operating values or rates. You can still adjust recording frames per second, play back video, schedule recording setups, and many other operation functions. Most likely you will have a remote to operate the DVR and the front of the surveillance DVR will have buttons to activate certain options. If you are in a hi-commercial business, industrial plant, grocery store, warehouse operation, distribution center, seaport, or any other hi-volume application, you will need to look into a PC bases DVR. In this applications, you have many variables that need to be adjusted to get the maximum amount of video to help management streamline their operation in many areas. A PC surveillance DVR gives users a better software platform to interface with their security cameras. Another good reason to look at a PC based surveillance DVR is the ability for them to expand. Most of these hi-traffic business organizations have plans for grow more security cameras to their setup. With a PC surveillance DVR, you can go from 8 security cameras up to 64 if needed. Having the ability to expand your CCTV system is a priceless option and is the main reason why they are preferred over standalone DVRs. However, that solely depends on what you are trying to achieve.