Security Camera Recording Devices

Security camera recording devices often take second place to cameras when it comes to choosing a surveillance system, but in actuality these devices play an integral role in the surveillance process and can differ considerably in quality, capabilities, reliability and cost. Here we take a closer look at all types of recording devices and what you should be taking into account before investing in one.

What are Security Camera Recording Devices?

Standalone security cameras typically only come with a way to view the video feed they create, the obvious downside to this is that you would have to watch the live footage for the camera to be worthwhile. This is where recording equipment comes in; DVRs and NVRs offer a specific recording method to suit your existing or expected needs.

DVR Systems

DVR (Digital Video Recorder) systems are used to record footage from analog CCTV cameras. Yes, this can sound confusing, because digital video recorders are supposed to be used with analog cameras, not digital cameras! A DVR system contains capture cards, which convert the analog video feeds into digital format for viewing and recording. Most systems will compress the video using standard video codecs. This compression reduces the amount of storage space required to record the same length of video.

NVR Systems

NVR (Network Video Recorder) systems are used to connect IP cameras (Internet Protocol cameras = digital cameras). IP cameras capture and transmit a digital image that is sent via standard networking protocols to the NVR. These systems are only limited in scale by the performance of the network and the NVR itself. An NVR should be built with sufficient processing power, memory, and storage to accompany the number of cameras being installed.

Important Recording Considerations

As well as matching your security cameras to the right recording device, there are also a few other important considerations to take into account before settling on a device.

Storage Size – the most common problem when it comes to video surveillance is choosing the appropriate amount of data storage space you will require. You must have enough space where all surveillance footage can be kept in the event that it needs to be reviewed. It is important to recognise that recording device storage is not simply a number to lure customers in, but a vital tool that ensures reliable and efficient access to footage that can benefit your property or business. ‘The bigger, the better’ is a good general storage rule.

Storage Duration – if you’re working with a limited budget then it is possible to opt for smaller device storage, but this requires you to be efficient when it comes to how long you store footage for. Businesses typically store footage anywhere between 30-90 days; run videos too short and you may miss valuable footage, keep footage too long and you can incur large costs in buying and maintaining physical storage and online storage.

Here are the other common factors that determine how much video you can record onto a hard drive:

  • Compression.
  • Number of cameras.
  • Video quality.
  • Audio.
  • Recording mode (sensor, continuous, scheduled).