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Network Video Recorders

A network video recorder (NVR) is a software program that records video in a digital format to a disk drive, USB flash drive, SD memory card or other mass storage device. An NVR contains no dedicated video capture hardware. However, the software is typically run on a dedicated device, usually with an embedded operating system.  

An NVR is typically deployed in an IP video surveillance system.  A DVR uses analog security cameras.  The advantage of using an NVR is that you can use IP cameras. With a 1 megapixel IP camera, you get a resolution of about 1280x720 pixels; far above the typical analog camera. Their resolution can go up to 8 megapixels, which is about 3264x2448 pixels. In situations where you need to identify an individual, specific objects, or other details, NVRs have a huge advantage over DVRs.

Another advantage is that most IP cameras are POE, or power over ethernet, compatible. This means that the camera can get its power from the cat5 network cable.

Network video recorders are distinct from digital video recorders (DVR) as their input is from a network rather than a direct connection to a video capture card or tuner. Video on a DVR is encoded and processed at the DVR, while video on an NVR is encoded and processed at the camera, then streamed to the NVR for storage or remote viewing.

NVR home security systems are generally wireless, tend to be easy to set up, can be accessed through a web browser, and allow the user to be notified by email if an alarm is triggered.