Ensure that your surveillance cameras are paired with the right recording devices.

DVRs, NVRs and Security Cameras: Are They All Compatible?

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Security cameras are not what they used to be. Now equipped with stunning HD video quality, remote viewing and impressive smart capabilities, cameras are a highly effective tool that millions of businesses leverage to deter crime and harden their electronic defenses.

That said, security cameras have far less to offer if functioning in isolation to say the very least. In order to fully leverage security capabilities, they must be paired with the right equipment. This fact raises a common question: When it comes to security cameras, DVRs and NVRs, is everything compatible?

The short answer: No, they are not. As you might imagine, integrating video surveillance is not quite that simple, and you may want to consider upgrading as a result.

Differences in The Technology
Determining whether you need a DVR or NVR to serve as your central video recorder ultimately depends on the type of security cameras you use. Historically,  digital video recorders paired exclusively with analog cameras , however, as technology has evolved there are now hybrid DVRs (or HVRs) which can accommodate IP as well.  Likewise, the newer NVRs also integrate with both analog and IP cameras.

The primary difference between analog and IP technology is image quality. Most notably, with an IP camera, images are recorded in 1080p HD, which has a much higher resolution. As a result, what you see on playback is much clearer and easier to decipher, including details like license plates, faces and lettering. This should come as no surprise as 1080p is by definition full HD, or what equates to a pixel resolution count of 1920 vertical lines times 1080 horizontal lines.

“The primary difference between DVRs and NVRs is image quality.”

The resolution is indeed a marked contrast with what you get from an analog camera. While undoubtedly effective, analog cameras have a resolution level of only D1. Camera limitations translate to the data being processed at the recorder at a rate of 720 vertical lines and 480 horizontal lines. Subsequently, the playback image quality isn’t as vibrant or as sharp.

In terms of system limitations, DVRs’ biggest challenge is portability, or lack thereof. Generally speaking, DVRs are hardwired, meaning they rely on a coaxial cable to transmit video footage from the camera to the recorder. Just one cable running from point A to point B might not be too much of a nuisance, but these DVR systems typically require multiple cables and wires, making the installation and repair processes more complicated.

What Security Cameras are Compatible with your  System?
Deciding on the type of camera you use for your bank depends on the quality of image you want to see, and there are lots of brands and models to select from, making the process rather complex. Here are just a handful that are most applicable for financial institutions:

  • Logitech
  • Viviotek
  • Axis Communications
  • Samsung
  • Verint
  • March Networks
  • Honeywell

You may wonder whether you can mix and match your current cameras and DVR or NVR systems. Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this. It all depends on what you have. The best way to find out for sure is by working with a reputable integrator or supplier who can advise you.

When You’re Ready For IP
Ready to make the leap based on capabilities but concerned about a complicated transition? Given an IP camera has more capabilities and is more advanced, some might think it is challenging to install. In reality, however, it’s pretty straightforward, especially if you partner with qualified providers. Since NVRs are network-based, they connect  internally which then in turn communicate with the IP cameras that have been programmed accordingly.  This is made possible by power over ethernet, or PoE. PoE is more streamlined because the electricity that is required both to power and transport recorded data uses the same ethernet cable. In short, the ethernet cable is a data transportation and power source. Fewer cables, fewer complications and your installation partner should be your guide.

From central station monitoring support to surveillance camera technology expertise, BranchServ can help you enhance your security capabilities both inside and outside your FI. Contact us today to learn more.