DVR Security System Features
A DVR (Digital Video Recorder) is an integral component in any DVR Security System. The other important components of the system are, of course, the Cameras and the wiring. The DVR has many features that, when configured properly, allow it to be a valuable resource in any DVR Security System.
The time setting is a basic setting, but an extremely important one. It is critical that the DVR keep an accurate time. The correct time on a recording will ensure that the users have an accurate account of when events happened. This could be critical in legal proceedings or when trying to establish a time line of events. It is best if there is minimal user interaction when it comes to establishing the correct time on a DVR. The settings should allow for setup of Daylight Savings Time. If the user has to make adjustments for daylight savings twice a year rather than the DVR doing it automatically, it won’t get done and he DVR time will be off. Another important feature is the syncing of time to a standard over the internet (i.e an NTP Time Server). This ensures that the DVR time is always correct.
Te recording quality feature ultimately determines the quality of the video being recorded/viewed, but also how much data can be stored on the hard drive before it gets written over with newer data (when circular recording is chosen), or until the hard drive is full. It must first be noted that only specialized DVRs and cameras record video in high quality (i.e. HD). Most standard DVRs record in lower quality. Some examples of recording quality are:
1) 720×480, 30 pps
2) 720×240, 60 pps
3) 360×240, 120 pps
It is important to check the technical specifications of the DVR to ensure that the required capabilities needed are possible with the DVR purchased.
Recording scheduling determines how often data is written to the hard drive, which in turn affects how much time passes before a hard drive fills up. Ultimately, a user needs to determine how long the system can go before the hard drive fills up, and either begins writing over older data, or requires maintenance. It may be a day, 3 days, a week or more. The other factor that determines how quickly a hard drive fills up is the recording quality and the size of the hard drive. There are two scheduling options a user can choose from when deciding how much data to record. They are:
1) Continuous Recording - In continuous recording mode, the DVR records all channels 24×7. Nothing escapes the eyes of the camera, it records everything. This mode also fills up the hard drive the fastest.
2) Event Recording - Event recording will only record when a predefined event takes place. You also have a choice to capture video for several seconds before the event takes place (pre-event recording), and how long to record video after the event occurs (post-event recording). Events can be based on one of the following:
a) Motion Based – If motion is detected within the cameras defined field of view, the DVR will capture and record the data.
b) Event Based – Many DVRs have trigger inputs that when triggered from an external device (a motion or door sensor), will tell the DVR to begin recording.
Event recording typically records much less video than continuous recording. It obviously depends on how often the events or motion takes place.
It is important for a DVR to be able to allow a user to view live video while continuing to record video while also allowing video to be viewed or controlled remotely. Other basic but important features are having the ability to play, pause, stop, digitally zoom and search for video by time-of-day or event.
Being able to export video to an external storage device is extremely important. Ultimately being able to archive data from the DVR is a critical function. Archived data can be used in investigations, it can be used for training, or stored for later retrieval. It is important to be able to select what date(s)/time(s) to export, which cameras and what format of video to export. This will ensure that recorded data will be around at a later date and is permanently available.
Setting up a DVR on a network will ensure that the DVR is available for viewing on the network as well as off-site viewing. It also allows the DVR to communicate via email or SMS service. DDNS (Dynamic Domain Name System) is another important feature that allows a user to access the DVR from a remote location when their doesn’t possess a static IP address.