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What You Need to Know About Digital Video Recorders

Digital Video Recorders (DVRs) are used for security monitoring, automobile dashboard cameras, and recording television programs. Their recordings are saved on digital media and can be instantly accessed or sent over the internet. They come with numerous features to meet your own customized recording needs.

What are some of the features of DVRs?

Many features come standard with DVRs while others are options that you may want for your own special applications. These features include:

  • Channels: Gives you the ability to simultaneously record video on multiple cameras, each with corresponding channels. This is useful for a security monitoring station, where you have multiple cameras watching different areas throughout a facility. This product category is for 32 channel DVRs.
  • MP: Stands for megapixels of video resolution. The higher the resolution, the more detail is captured in your recordings. HD (High Definition) 1080p cameras offer 2.1 MP resolution.
  • HDMI: High Definition Multiple Interface is for transmitting data from your recorder to a monitor, such as your TV. When you want to watch TV programs with the highest quality resolution, HDMI output is necessary.
  • Video Streaming: How your DVR receives data from the internet. If you're receiving streaming video with a different standard, you'll need a DVR that offers it. H.264 is the most common standard.
How does an IP camera work with a DVR?

Many security monitoring systems utilize IP cameras in conjunction with DVRs. IP stands for "Internet Protocol," and the most common type of IP camera is of course, a webcam, but there are many other types as well that offer HD resolution. To save your IP camera video, you'll need to connect the camera to a DVR that is compatible.

DVRs typically have the ability to record multiple IP cameras, one to a channel. However, not all channels on a given DVR unit may be compatible with IP cameras. You may find that your 32 Channel DVR has only 16 channels that are compatible with IP cameras, so be sure that a DVR offers the right number of IP channels for your intended application, or consider purchasing additional DVRs as needed. You'll need to connect your IP camera cable to one of your DVR's IP compatible inputs in order to record video.

What is HDCVI for?

HDCVI stands for High Definition Composite Video Interface, and is an HD surveillance video camera standard similar to IP. If you have HD surveillance cameras that use the HDCVI standard, you'll need a DVR with HDCVI input capability. As with the IP standard, you'll need to connect the HDCVI camera cable to an HDCVI compatible channel input to your DVR in order to record. A 32 channel DVR can offer up to 32 channels of HDCVI inputs, but be sure to verify you get the number of HDCVI channels you need.

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