At the core, both NVR and DVRs are responsible for video recording. DVR stands for Digital Video Recorder, whereas NVR stands for Network Video Recorder. The difference between NVR and DVR is how they process video data. DVR systems process the video data at the recorder, whereas NVR systems encode and process the video data at the camera, then stream it to the NVR recorder which is used for storage and remote viewing. As DVRs and NVRs handle the video data differently, they require different types of cameras. Most NVRs are used with IP cameras whereas DVRs are used with analog cameras. It’s important to note that a DVR based system is a wired security system, whereas NVR systems can be a wired or wireless system.
Both systems record video data and are reliable. Although in the past the video quality of DVR systems lagged behind comparable NVR systems, today this gap is significantly lessened. The difference between DVR and NVR systems come down to the cost, how the data is transmitted, and type of cameras. NVR systems tend to have better picture quality, as well as easier installation, increased flexibility, and native support for audio on every camera that has a microphone. However, NVR systems also tend to be quite a bit more expensive than comparable DVR systems, which is an important consideration for the budget conscious consumer. For people looking for a relatively straightforward security system, a DVR system will most likely be sufficient, especially if your property is already wired for a coaxial cable from an existing security system. If you need a top of the line, very flexible solution, an NVR based system will be best. At the end of the day, the deciding factor will be based on the specific security needs of your property.