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Security DVR and NVR Record Time Calculator

Use this calculator to calculate the required hard drive space you will need to achieve your desired record time. Most customers prefer to have at least 15 days of recording archived before the DVR/NVR starts recording over the oldest footage. Just input the specs of your system, desired record period, and the calculator will determine the size of hard drive your system needs. Keep in mind that you can substantially cut down on your hard drive requirements by enabling motion recording.

Stuck on the Encoder Question?

video compressionOur 2018 line (and a few other company's 2018 lines) records with a new more efficient file H.265 compression, so that you can record video about 40% longer on the same size hard drive. H.265 replaces H.264. H.26X is block-oriented motion-compensation-based video compression. In plain english, H.26X, rather than updating the whole frame at every refresh, splits the screen into horizontal and vertical grids and only updates the grids with changes. H.265 increases the flexibility of these grid containers so that surveillance video files take up less space on a hard drive than H.264. (The new line is backwards compatible with H.264.)

If you don't know what encoder version you have, select H.264 as that is more common.

H.264 / H.265 Recorder
Hard Drive Record Time Calculator

Total days of stored surveillance footage?
Total number of recorded security cameras?
Recording Resolution?
Recording Frame Rate?
Recording Mode?
Version of your Encoder?
Suggested storage space:

Use Motion Detection Recording To Save Hard Drive Space

All SCW DVRs and NVRs are capable of recording only after a motion event has been detected. A pre-record buffer can be set that will begin recording a set amount of time prior to the motion event. With these features you can manage your HDD space much more effectively and never miss an incident.

Minimum Hard Drive Size Requirements

As surveillance technology advances, camera sensors and record resolutions continues to increase. With higher resolutions comes the requirement of greater Hard Drive space to accommodate the increase in pixel data. With a Full D1 (30 fps) resolution recorder we would suggest a bare minimum of 1 Terabytes to achieve 14 days of recording for a 4 camera analog system. The size of your HDD would increase based on an increase of the number of cameras and/or an increase of the recording resolution. For example, a 4 channel 1080P HD system would require a minimum of 4 Terabytes to achieve 14 days of recording.