Like all other components part of the high-tech security landscape, digital video recorders (DVRs) are continually undergoing a technological metamorphosis, as breakthrough advancements supplant outmoded features. Industry professionals point to a number of new developments that have impacted DVRs in the last few years.

According to Gary Perlin, vice president of video products for Amityville, N.Y.-based Speco Technologies, H.264 compression is among the most important new features to impact DVRs. This advancement almost doubles the amount of information that can be stored on a hard drive and sent over the Internet efficiently, he says. Another innovation that has moved the industry forward is hybrid DVRs, which allow users to record and play back older analog and newer networked camera input, Perlin remarks.
Wayne Hurd, executive vice president of sales and marketing at Markham, Ontario’s Digimerge, points to smaller form factor – meaning the DVR consumes less space – as a big technological breakthrough. “Smaller form factor allows DVRs to be mounted on the backs of LCD monitors or in structured wiring cans for covert applications,” Hurd says.
Other DVR advancements Hurd finds worth noting include DVI direct digital output, for clear images; powerful CMS software for managing unlimited DVRs and cameras in the field; and 3G phone support, Blackberry, iPhone and other mobile options permitting end users to check in on their cameras when across the city or globe.
Agreeing with a number of the above observations is Chris Johnston, product marketing manager for Fairport, N.Y.-based Bosch Security. The quickest way for a customer to save money is through compression technology, he says. That refers to reduced bit rates, bandwidth requirements and storage costs. IT staffs are concerned about how much bandwidth will be required, as bandwidth is a precious commodity.
“A better DVR can provide either better quality images, or can permit their stored period to be extended for up to 90 or 180 days,” he says. “Maybe they don’t change the quality of the video, but now they can store it longer or store three or four times as much video for the same amount of money – or even less.”
Compression rates are five to eight times greater than they were seven years ago. H.264 he estimates as 30 to 40 percent more efficient than MPEG-4, the previous generation, and now there are even advances in H.264’s abilities. “The time between innovations for those compression technologies is getting shorter as well,” Johnston says.
SDM examines some of today’s DVR choices.

Speco Technologies DVRWM Series

This is a wall-mounted DVR installed by a security professional, like a burglar alarm panel. But inside is the heart of Speco Technologies TL Series Pentaplex H.264, networkable DVR. Video is viewed remotely; the DVR cannot be handled by end-users. Offered in 4-, 8-, or 16-channel versions, it is the solution to DVR vandalism and theft.

Top features include wall-mounted DVR in locked box for covert installations; free DDNS server for use with dynamic IP addresses; and easy record, copy and setup.
Product differentiators include: First, the device doesn’t look like a DVR, so it’s not likely to be destroyed or stolen. Second, controls are locked away out of reach of employees intent on inside jobs. Third, it’s a professionally installed product.

Samsung I GVI Security SHR-8000 Dual-Codec Series DVRs

These DVRs are designed to achieve real-time full D1 resolution at 4801PS high-quality recording for any demanding security application. Combined with Net-1, the free and user-friendly client software, this DVR series is an attractive, lower-cost alternative to PC-based DVRs. Among the outstanding features are a built-in DVD-RW option; 500GB SATA HDD standard with the maximum 6X 1TB HDD capacity; up to 16-channel audio; Web based-monitoring and search; simultaneous BNC output; VGA/BNBC output and HDMI.

IC Realtime Security Mobile DVR Viewing Application

It is possible to view IC Realtime’s DVRs, NVRs, and IP-based cameras on more than 500 mobile phone applications using a user-friendly application that utilizes the company’s own enhanced H.264E video compression. This combination of narrow bandwidth compression and cutting edge software development will provide fluid video streams of multiple cameras, seamless PTZ control and video playback over any data network. Users download the application direct from Itunes, Blackberry App World and similar application sources direct to their mobile phone of choice. It is IC Realtime’s next stride in offering a full digital video monitoring solution from virtually anywhere.

ClearPix Technology

ClearPix Technology specializes in the manufacturing of IP megapixel cameras, servers and software. ClearPix servers are made with the highest quality components, the company states, allowing up to 28TB of storage in one recorder and expandable up to 64 cameras. The ClearPix software is easy to use and navigate, very versatile and user friendly.

ClearPix CPX-SRV hardware uses Intel Core 2 Quad processors and mother boards with 4GB Ram, dual network cards, and dual video cards. The CPX-SRV has front loadable, hot swappable hard drives, making for easy expansion and servicing of the server. Hybrid units are available to help your customers migrate from analog to IP megapixel solutions; each unit comes with eight free IP licenses.

Honeywell Fusion IV DVR Series

Expanding beyond the capabilities of analog DVRs, Fusion IV is a full-featured hybrid digital recording system representing a bridge between DVRs and NVRs.

The system is designed to record, search and transmit up to 32 channels of analog or IP video sources, and up to 16 channels of audio. System benefits include substantially expanded support for digital video sources, including IP cameras, network encoders and megapixel cameras. Up to 16 channels of hybrid network camera support comes standard. An optional NVR upgrade can add 16 additional digital video sources for a total of 32 channels maximum. Depending on whether the need is for remote transmission, local playback or clip compatibility, users can choose from MJPEG, MPEG-4 or advanced H.264 compression.

Porta Systems Touch 1600 DVR

This is a 17-inch, all-in-one, touch-screen DVR designed to provide security professionals with a hybrid analog/IP DVR solution that is user-friendly, flexible and feature packed. The system supports 16 video and four audio input channels. Network connectivity (Internet access to analog cameras), on-screen touch pan-tilt-zoom control, unlimited custom user profiles, dual event logging, alerting systems, camera motion detection, object movement detection, mosaic/privacy zones, access control configuration, text insertion and people-counting are just some of the Touch 1600 Touch-Screen DVR features.

Clinton Electronics Corporation Cricket

Clinton Electronics Corp. recently launched a new DVR called the Cricket, so named because it never sleeps. The company believes it symbolizes the future of analog DVRs.

With its built-in H.264 compression and high-resolution VGA monitor output, this small and lightweight four-channel DVR provides users excellent image quality and compression, the manufacturer states. The included mouse and/or remote control help make operation simple. Remote viewing on the Cricket DVR is simple, and requires no software, because it uses Internet Explorer or static or dynamic IP. Its greatest differentiation point is its price. The Cricket retails to approved Clinton Electronics’ dealers for less than $350, and comes standard with an included 500GB Seagate Surveillance Class HDD and 2 GB USB flash drive.

Innotech Security Gen III DVR

Innotech Security recently unveiled the Gen III, its most innovative DVR to date. The unit incorporates all features most installers come to expect in a quality DVR, the company states. Among them are playback on all channels, local and remote; e-mail notification with image attachment; and the ability to view the images on 3G mobile phones. What really differentiates this unit is that it can be ordered in standard BNC configuration to use with any camera, or with SmartControl. SmartControl is Innotech Security’s patent-pending technology that lets users plug any of its CAT5 cameras directly into the RJ-45 connection in the back of the Gen III DVR. This allows the transmission of power, video and on-screen display camera control on one easy-to-connect CAT5 cable.

Mace PowerTouch

DVR. Mace PowerTouch MSP-PTDVRLCD1 System is a touch-screen-operated DVR, which permits users to command the DVR without using a mouse or DVR buttons.

The security system offers a real-time 16-channel DVR with 480 images per second (ips) at 1CIF (120 ips at D1), and up to 4TB of HDD storage, combined with a high-quality 22-inch touch-screen LCD monitor. Power-Touch DVR can be placed in a local, remote or secure location and operated directly through the monitor. The system offers a resolution of 1680 x 1050 pixels, under the 16:10 aspect ratio, PIP and side-by-side scale mode, as well as a fast refresh rate and response time to avoid image-lagging effects. The system can control recording resolution/quality/frame rate by each camera, enabling operators to custom set image quality.


Nuvico’s APEX was recently approved by the Nevada Gaming Commission, whose Standard 11, Digital Video Recording Standards states all DVR equipment and systems used by licensees in their surveillance systems must be capable of recording and thereafter being viewed, at a minimum of 30 images per second (30 fps), full screen, in real time; have a visual resolution of sufficient clarity to meet all published surveillance standards; and maintain for a period of not less than seven days all images obtained from the video cameras; offer both audible and visual notification of surveillance or DVR media storage system failure; and have a media storage system (RAID or mirrored storage) configured so that failure of any single component won’t result in loss of data.

Pelco DX4100 DVR

The new Pelco DX4100 Series 4-channel DVRs allow end users to do more, because they incorporate many key benefits usually found only in far more expensive recorders. First, they combine powerful video storage management with highly efficient H.264 compression. The DVR Series also fits most any entry-level video security need due to its provision of multi-event recording, common user interface and network connectivity for up to 100 DX4100 units. Users can record at a low frame rate, then increase speed upon an alarm, allowing them to capture crucial video. All recorded video is compressed and stored with efficient H.264 onboard compression, a level of flexibility allowing for enhanced storage retention and critical cost savings.

Hikvision Series 5 Hybrid DVR

Compared with previous generations, the Series 5 Hybrid DVR is more powerful and delivers better performance, while catering to new demands. Not a revised design, it’s based on a completely new structure. It offers a new ARM 9 RISC processor, with higher capability that gives greater flexibility.

A single chip inde-pendently permits eight to 10 channels of 656 video input, capable of multi-channel video input encoding and intelligent video analysis.
The Series 5 Hybrid also boasts more powerful networking that supports Internet protocols, PNP and remote IP address configuration. The product also offers 2-kilo mega Ethernet ports that are capable of high-speed video transmission and download.

Samsung Techwin SVR-1680C DVR

Introduced in late August, the SVR-1680C provides capability to remotely control and program cameras via up-the-coax (UTC) signaling, eliminating the need for separate RS-485 control cables.

The SVR-1680C delivers real-time (30 fps) recording and playback capability on all 16 channels at full 4CIF resolution. It also comes with Samsung Techwin’s powerful central management software (CMS), giving users full remote control of functionality and administration of multiple DVRs, and includes a built-in Web server, so users can remotely connect with a PC running only a Web browser. If migration to IP is a goal, the same remote CMS can be used to manage and view DVRs, the new Samsung NVR, and IP cameras – all from the same control and viewing platform.

AverMedia EH Series DVRs

AverMedia Information Inc., USA announced in September the launch of its new Hybrid EH DVR Series. This is the most versatile and powerful embedded Linux DVR on the market, the company states, featuring the world’s first graphical user interface (GUI) in a Linux DVR, customizable frame rates and resolution, and true hybrid support.

Key benefits, says AverMedia, are first, a great value that performs like more costly competitors at a fraction of the price; second, true hybrid status, so every channel can be analog or IP with no per-IP-camera licensing costs; and third, the GUI minimizes training time while maximizing user effectiveness, providing true user experiences encompassing all aspects of the user’s interaction, so that when conditions warrant, threats can be identified, analyzed and addressed immediately.

Bolide SVR9000S “S-Box” Series

This is Bolide’s latest addition to its line of affordable, high-quality H.264 DVRs. The “S-Box” Series facilitates real-time recording and playback, while delivering image quality no other stand-alone DVR on the market can match, the manufacturer states. Recorded video’s clarity is superb, and is made possible by means of the H.264 video codec. Despite its unsurpassed video quality, the “S-Box” consumes exceptionally little space on a hard drive, and also supports Internet Explorer for network preview and easy USB backup function. Other popular features include e-mail notification, DDNS, alarm input, alarm relay output, audio recording and more. Bolide’s latest cell phone software lets users access and monitor their DVR anywhere and at any time. It also supports iPhone, Symbian OS, and Windows-based Smart Phone.


No need to use IP cameras when you can achieve the same megapixel quality without replacing the coax, states SG Digital. Just replace the existing cameras and DVR with SG Digital’s cameras and DVR. HD CCTV transmits uncompressed 1280 x 720 image resolution over standard coax (RG 6 or RG 11) using serial digital interface (SDI transmission). Better known as HD-SDI, it has been used for years in the broadcast industry, according to SG Digital. HD CCTV achieves 30 fps per camera for both live viewing as well as playback. Unlike IP, which packetizes images into files in the camera before sending them to the DVR, HD CCTV transmits HD images over coaxial cabling without encoding.

SG Digital offers a four-camera HD DVR or a 20-channel hybrid HD DVR (with 16 analog and four HD channels). The system offers seven days of four cameras at 30 fps each at 1280 x 720 resolution.

Bosch Divar XF Hybrid DVR

This embedded DVR enables easy migration to IP, supporting eight or 16 analog cameras and up to eight H.264 IP video streams.

It delivers high-quality images for both live viewing and recorded video, with up to full 4CIF resolution on all channels. Because it features advanced H.264 compression technology, it minimizes system bandwidth and storage requirements, thereby reducing storage costs by up to 30 percent when compared with systems using traditional MPEG-4 encoding.

RAID-4 technology allows for storing video on up to four internal hard disk drives, assuring maximum protection of recorded video and delivering uninterrupted system reliability even in the event of a drive failure. Drives are accessible from the front of the unit, making service easier for technicians.

Panasonic WJ-HD716/WJ-HD616 H.264 DVRs

These new DVRs feature Panasonic’s innovative LSI platform, giving high-quality images and high-compression recording at the same time. WJ-HD716 provides field recording at 480/400 images per second (240/200 ips frame recording), while WJ-HD616 offers field recording at 240/200 ips (120/100 ips frame recording). Both units offer 16 analog video inputs, including 16 (WJ-HD716) /8 (WJ-HD616) Panasonic coax camera control inputs, along with four audio inputs.

Top product differentiators include the use of H.264 or high-profile compression to record analog video for best picture quality-to-file size ratio. Dual HDMI video output offers true 1080i high-definition playback and monitoring. The Super Dynamic 5 Link capability allows for sharing of metadata information between camera and recorder, for advanced motion detection processing and alarm handling.

EverFocus Paragon DVR Series

The Paragon Series from EverFocus is a 16-channel, full-size DVR with 480 FPS, a graphical user interface and a built-in DVD burner. Pentaplex operation offers simultaneous live, recording, playback, archive and remote viewing. Express setup allows for quick and easy recording and network configuration, while express archive, playback and search functions save you time. Four internal hard drives, an eSATA port for additional extra storage, a two USB interface for archive and mouse control and watermark capabilities are just a few of the features this DVR offers.

Digimerge VB300 Blade Series

The Blade is a multi-channel digital surveillance recorder compactly designed to measure 8.5 by 11 by 1.25 inches – ideal to meet the growing need for video surveillance and recording in both homes and small businesses.

Designed with convenience and scalability in mind, it’s an uncompromising surveillance recorder supporting 4, 8 or 16 channels of video input. A “Flex IR” controller permits it to be installed out of sight and out of mind. The Blade features H.264 data compression for up to 50 percent better performance than MPEG4, allowing more efficient data transmission and recording. VESA mounts included for LCD or wall-mount applications.

Pegasus PHDVR Series

This is one of the market’s most affordable DVRs, a lightweight and small unit offering up to 30 fps for each camera, according to the manufacturer.

Introduced on September 1, the PHDVR Series answers the need for user-friendly DVRs by offering dynamic domain name system (DDNS) support. Making this DVR very flexible is Pentaplex, allowing live monitoring, re-cording, playback, back-up and network access simultaneously. The PHDVR Series’ greatest differentiation from others is its highly cost-effective price, starting at $537. The user has a mouse-driven graphical user interface, simple-to-use menu composition and easily searched data. The Pegasus Promise three-year warranty is included. Pegasus Products’ technical support manager, Rick Ahart, reports the user-friendly GUI makes setup straightforward and operations and search features easier.

Dedicated Micros SD Advanced Hybrid DVR

To appeal to the mid-range CCTV marketplace, Dedicated Micros presents its new SD Advanced Hybrid DVR.

It comes in 16-, 12- or 8-channel models, and includes capabilities such as IP video source recording, front panel local control, transcoding and VGA main monitor support. The SD Advanced Hybrid DVR Series also features embedded help videos accessible from both the local and remote viewer. The new SD Advanced is able to seamlessly record and display IP video streams from IP cameras, encoders and other NetVu-connected video servers. Another key feature of the SD Advanced is potential for up to 16 SD Advanced units to be controlled from a single keyboard interface.

Integrated Video Supply Barracuda DVR

This DVR features 24-hours-at-a-glance feature to allow users to easily determine when and where motion occurred. Another critical feature is Smart Frame Rate Allocation, which maintains real-time viewing while automatically allocating recording frame-rate to cameras most needing it.

 Custom software puts logo and contact information right on the screen. All Barracuda DVRs offer minimum 1.0 Terabyte. Built-in POS integration.


NUUO’s DVR is a PC-based analog recording system that supports up to 64 channels of analog camera in CIF real-time quality or 32 channels in D1 real-time quality. The H.264 hardware compression cards can increase CPU efficiency. Both NTSC and PAL standards are compatible with any NUUO DVR, which can be upgraded into a NDVR hybrid system by adding IP camera licenses. It is a simple one-step process for any DVR owners who are ready to leap into the IP world with megapixel capabilities.

Vicon Industries Kollector Network DVRs

The new generation of Vicon’s Kollector DVRs, the Kollector Strike and Kollector Force, offer faster and more powerful video processing in a smaller chassis than previous Kollector models, and do so at a significantly lower price. In addition, both models offer network connectivity, supporting local and remote IP and megapixel cameras as part of an open platform ViconNet video management system. They support 480 frames-per-second across 16 channels of video and are H.264-ready.

GE Security TruVision DVR 10

The TruVision™ DVR 10 (TVR10) digital video recorder provides users with a cost-effective surveillance solution. With 4-channel capability and H.264 video compression, this DVR efficiently records and transmits high quality video for reliable and effective security. The TVR10 is equipped with a user-friendly interface and more than a month of hard disk recording. High picture quality with recording resolutions of QCIF, CIF, 2CIF, DCIF and 4CIF; DDNS for remote access; and the ability to record up to 120 fps NTSC (100 fps PAL) at CIF are just a few of the DVR’s features.