DVR vs. NVR, What Solution Should I Implement?

An NVR is often the heart of any network based security system, each IP camera sends a stream of video/audio to the NVR which then records onto a hard drive. The NVR will then allow a user to view live video, search recorded video and view the cameras from devices such as phones, tablets and computers.
Commonly referred to as PoE, this technology allows IP cameras to transmit/receive data as well as be powered by a PoE enabled devices such as an NVR or switch. This technology is extremely useful as it simplifies cabling requirements.
A DVR is very similar to an NVR except that it is used with analogue and analogue HD (AHD) technologies. Where network based CCTV technologies would connect the NVR to cameras through network cable, a DVR would connect to an analogue camera through coaxial cabling.
The biggest difference between the NVR and DVR is that they use different types of cameras, since they adopt different ways to process videos. A DVR uses analog CCTV cameras that are connected via a coax cable, while an NVR uses IP cameras (standalone network devices) that transmit information via a network cable.

IP Cameras VS Analog Cameras

One of the most common questions we get asked is, what is the difference between IP and Analog? Both these cameras include positive and negative aspects, it just depends on their purpose and your budget.

What is an IP Camera?

An Internet Protocol camera, commonly known as an IP camera, is a type of digital video camera generally employed for surveillance. Unlike analogue closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras, IP cameras can send and receive data via a computer network and the Internet. IP cameras connect to NVR�s and can even be powered by the NVR itself through PoE technologies.

IP CCTV Solution Example

Benefits of IP Cameras

  • Multiple sensors: IP cameras have the ability to contain three or four cameras in one, which can cover an area that may normally take multiple cameras to cover.
  • Costs have gone down: Like any piece of technology, IP cameras have become cheaper in price. You may also need fewer IP cameras to do the same job as Analog cameras.
  • Ease of installation: Analog camera takes two wires to install, an IP camera only takes one for both data and power that connects to a network switch. This means you don�t need power at the camera site. You can also focus and zoom in remotely.
  • Resolution: Camera resolution continues to increase, with IP cameras having superior image quality in comparison to analogue. IP Cameras can be customised to different resolutions and aspect ratios.
  • Intelligence and analytics: IP cameras are essentially small computers that compress and store video, plus they can be programmed to provide all sorts of analytics. They can detect motion, count people, track certain colours, sense when something disappears, and set off alarms.
  • Security: Video is encrypted and authenticated so transmission is secure.
  • Less equipment: Whereas with an analog camera you need to have an encoder or decoder, there�s no need for that with IP.

Disadvantages of IP Cameras

  • Cost of initial set-up: It may cost more to initially set up your IP camera system if you�re making the switch from analog; however, once you have it set up, it�s much easier to tailor and scale your system as needed.
  • Storage: IP cameras are higher in resolution, so they will generate larger files than analog. You will need to increase your current storage to store these files.
An analogue camera connects to a DVR through coaxial cabling. These types of cameras can still reach high-resolution levels depending on the technology used. HDTVI can reach 5MP and will shortly reach 4K resolutions. Whereas a network camera can be installed without an NVR and act as standalone security solution. An analogue camera must be connected to a DVR to be accessed remotely or to record footage.
Analogue CCTV Solution Example

Benefits of Analog Cameras

  • Cost:The most obvious reason to stick with your analog system is the price tag. Analog cameras tend to be significantly cheaper, especially as your camera count increases.
  • Simplicity:Analog cameras are fairly easy to run, sending recordings to a digital video recorder (DVR), which then converts the analog to digital and stores it. DVRs are also simple to set up and run.

Disadvantages of Analog Cameras

  • Frame rate and image quality: The frame rate of analog cameras is lower than that of IP, so they are not ideal for areas that have a lot of motion or that need to be seen in high detail. Images are not as sharp and may appear grainy or blurry. You also can�t digitally zoom in like you can with IP cameras.
  • Less coverage: It may take more analog cameras to cover the same amount of area as it would take one IP camera.
  • More cables: You need a power cable and a DVR cable, whereas IP cameras require only one cable.
  • No encryption: A lack of encryption means a hacker could potentially access your information or replace your signal with an outside one.

Upgrading Existing Infrastructure

Older systems from 10+ years ago will more than likely be analogue systems, and have resolutions below around 0.5 megapixel. In these cases, it is common to replace the analogue camera/DVR with the latest analogue technologies which offer high resolutions.. Because both the new and old analogue technologies use coaxial cabling the retrofit can be quick and straight forward.

I Have a Security System but I do not Know What Type

The easiest way is to look at the back of the DVR/NVR. If you see lots of coaxial cabling then it is most likely analogue. If you see lots of network cable then it is most likely an NVR.

If you are still unsure you are more than welcome to contact us on 07 3255 6600.

Cabling Types

What is the difference between Analogue, Analogue HDTVI and IP CCTV Technologies

Each technology provides a different level of resolution, performance and cabling requirements.


IP stands for Internet Protocol, and basically refers to a digital video camera that can send and receive data via a computer network, as opposed to sending a video feed directly to a Digital Video Recorder (DVR). There are many positives to this technology:

  • Picture Quality: Research and Development investment in IP is increasing every day, in 2018 it is now affordable to purchase 4K resolution cameras for the residential market.
  • Video Analytics: This basically means you can set your security solution to flag �events� that occur in the cameras' field of vision. This could be anything from motion detection to missing objects to tampering with the camera itself. Instead of poring over hours of footage, your network can tell you exactly when these events occurred and point you right to them.
  • Simpler Cable Installation and Scalability: In a traditional analogue DVR set-up, each camera needs to be connected directly to the DVR. IP cameras can circumvent this through the use of switches, which allow cameras in close proximity to each other to be connected to a single switch, which then connect the NVR or network. This is especially important to the commercial market as the buildings can be large and the cable runs can be long.
  • Power over Ethernet (PoE) Compatible: Either the NVR or switch which is PoE compatible will allow the bundling of power and data together, this removes the necessity of a separate power source.

High Definition Transport Video Interface (HDTVI): Was designed to fill a market gap, there are a lot of analogue systems using coax cabling still in operation. HDTVI is able to utilise this cabling and significantly reduce cabling costs. Resolutions have been increasing every year and in 2018 reached 5MP.


  • Plug and Play: Configuration is easy to setup and operate
  • Cost: Cheaper than IP technologies
  • Analogue Upgrade: Replacing an old analogue system with HDTVI is cost efficient as the cabling can be reused.
Can I put a HDTVI camera onto an old analogue DVR?

There are some cameras which have an analogue output however they would be at a low resolution. If you require the high-resolution image then you will need to purchase a HDTVI DVR.

Can I Put an Old Low-Resolution Camera Onto A HDTVI DVR?

Most common HDTVI DVRs can record from both analogue and analogue HDTVI cameras.

If you are thinking of making the switch from analog to IP cameras there are a few things to consider. The initial cost is certainly substantial, but it is important to note that a single IP camera replace three or four comparable analog cameras due to the increased coverage area. Additionally, switches allow the connection of more cameras per NVR than you would be able to connect to a DVR. It is also important to remember: separate power sources aren't necessary for IP cameras if you use a POE switch.

If you are looking into setting up a new surveillance and security system and would like some advice, please give us a call to discuss your options or fill out our contact us form.

There are 5 main body types each with their advantages and disadvantages. These include; Dome, Turret, Full Body, Bullet and PTZ


The dome camera is one most commonly used for indoor security and surveillance. The shape of the camera makes it difficult for onlookers to tell which way the camera is facing from a distance, which is a strong piece of design, deterring criminals by creating an air of uncertainty.

Benefits Include:

  • Options for vandal resistance
  • Options different IR ranges
  • Options for use in indoor and outdoor applications
Hikvision Dome Camera Hikvision Dome
Axis Dome Camera Axis Dome
Mobotix Dome Camera Mobotix Dome


Unlike a dome camera there is often no glass or plastic cover covering the lens or IR illuminators. Although this may reduce vandal resistance it does however increase night vision capabilities dues to a reduced level of IR reflection.

Benefits Include:

  • Excellent IR illumination
  • Excellent weather resistance
  • Options for use in indoor and outdoor applications
Hikvision Turret Camera
Hikvision Turret Camera


A bullet camera is generally used in outdoor or in warehouse applications. Bullets will traditionally be used where they are out of reach and require higher levels of IR illumination (Some cameras reach 120m at night!)

Benefits Include

  • Excellent IR illumination
Hikvision Bullet Camera
Hikvision Bullet Camera

Full Body

Rarely used in today�s environment however there are still some scenarios where these would be used. Full Body cameras allow a variety of lenses depending on the customer�s requirements. Fully body cameras can also be combined with an external IR illuminator that can reach incredible distances.

Benefits Include:

  • Choice of Lenses and Quality
  • Can be fitted with external IR illuminators
Hikvision Full Body Camera


Pan Tilt Zoom cameras commonly known as PTZ cameras have full movement and zoom capabilities. Common in city safe and high security environments, PTZs can be controlled via a joystick, phone, or computer. PTZ cameras can be configured to follow a predefined path and with the use of video analytics can track objects or movement in a large area.

Benefits Include:

  • Movement Tracking
  • High IR Illumination capabilities
Hikvision Dome Camera

Looking to install or upgrade your current security system?

DigitalSi guarantess all jobs are professionally installed by our licensed technicians, ensuring we meet Australia's Cabling Standards. We have a solid background in the supply, installation Á support of security solutions accross a diverse platform.

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