What Is NVR In A CCTV System? DVR Vs. NVR

NVR in a CCTV system

CCTV is an incredibly useful tool when it comes to security for any business. Whether your premises are a warehouse, gym, aged care home, or retail store, knowing you’re protected by CCTV gives you peace of mind that you wouldn’t otherwise have.

When you’re searching for a CCTV system for your business, you’ll find that there are a lot of initialisms and technical jargon mentioned that may fly over your head. Some of those initialisms you’ll see often are NVR and DVR, however, it’s not always clear what these are and why they may be important.

This article explains what NVR and DVR are in relation to CCTV systems and outlines the pros and cons of each. For personalised advice, contact our team at Guardtech today.

What Is NVR?

NVR stands for Network Video Recorder. This is a system that records and stores video footage on a disk, hard drive, or in a cloud. When paired with IP (Internet Protocol) cameras, NVRs create a video surveillance system.

NVR can be a singular camera or even hundreds or thousands of cameras across the world. They usually operate 24 hours a day and are customisable so you can choose the type or types of alerts you’ll receive.

NVR System Components

1. Camera

NVR systems use IP cameras, which are generally robust and can record and transmit audio as well as images.

IP cameras usually come in two styles: Bullet cameras and dome cameras. IP cameras that use an Ethernet connection are known as Power over Ethernet (PoE) cameras. Ethernet cables both power the camera and transfer data to the NVR itself.

2. NVR

The NVR itself is not a camera, but a device to receive and store video footage. Depending on the NVR you choose, it may store this data on a hard drive or in cloud storage. NVRs contain numerous Ethernet ports that allow you to connect to several cameras at once.

3. Network Connection

You can connect an NVR through wired or wireless connections. For wired connections, you will need an Ethernet cable to connect the camera to the NVR.

What Is DVR?

DVR stands for Digital Video Recorder. This is a device that converts analogue footage to digital. A DVR differs from NVR in that it processes video data at the recorder, whereas NVRs encode and process video at the camera before streaming the data to the recorder.

DVR System Components

1. Camera

DVRs use analogue security cameras, better known as CCTV. The cameras stream a signal to the recorder that processes the images. As they are analogue, they offer less flexibility than NVR’s IP cameras.

2. Coaxial BNC Cable

A coaxial BNC cable connects the camera to the DVR. This doesn’t provide power, however, so it is an additional cable to handle. This means that your DVR will need to be placed near a power outlet. Additionally, standard coax cables don’t support audio, while BNC cables do.

3. AD Encoder

The recorder used in DVRs is a hardware chipset called an AD encoder. This processes the data that streams from the camera and turns it into video recordings. The recorder also doesn’t provide power, and each camera will need a splitter to allow it to function.



  • More flexibility with camera choice
  • Footage can be stored or viewed remotely, online, or offline
  • Higher quality cameras and footage


  • Typically less expensive
  • Requires use of coaxial cable
  • Limited placement options
  • Limited storage space

NVR Vs. DVR: Pick Your Player

The choice between NVR and DVR is up to you and depends on many factors such as the size of your business, your budget, and your individual requirements. Electing to have CCTV at your premises can enhance your profitability and reputation, and ultimately save you time, money, and stress. At Guardtech we offer you the ability to protect your business through CCTV no matter your industry or budget. To get started protecting your Melbourne business with CCTV, contact our professional and reliable team today.



Adam Szylvester

Certified Protection Professional (CPP) Adam Szylvester has been the Chief Executive Officer at Guardtech since July 2021, bringing 35+ years of industry experience to his role. Prior to joining the team at Guardtech, he held significant positions at ANZ Banking Group, notably as Global Head of Security. Adam holds a Certified Protection Professional (CPP) credential from ASIS International, further solidifying his authority in the security industry.

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