Are All Security Cameras Compatible with All DVRs?

Are All Security Cameras Compatible with All DVRs?

The answer is No. All security cameras can not be compatible with all DVRs. DVRs only support analog cameras and that too in a wired security system.

We use generally two types of cameras in a wired system;  analog cameras and IP cameras. DVRs work only with analog cameras. And you get a limited number of choice.

Going further into the article, you will know more about this.

So please continue reading…

The very purpose of a home surveillance system is to protect you, your family and assets from external threats and dangers. 

Comprehensive Security

For this, a security system should extend comprehensive support integrating features like video coverage and security alarms.

Intrusion detection and access control are the two primary functions of a system. So, you will be pre-warned to foil any possible threat of intrusion.

The general belief about a security system is that it often prevents burglars from targeting your home.

Even in the event of a crime, you have video evidence created by the system to help nab the culprit.

So the system’s recording ability is crucial when it comes to evidence collection, investigation and analysis.

This highlights the significance of video recorders such as DVR (digital video recorder) and NVR (network video recorder).

What’s the Difference Between DVR and NVR?

Before explaining their differences, let’s have a look at today’s home surveillance system. 

In a system with multiple cameras, we use many components that perform different functions in unison with one another. 

They are cameras, lenses, housing and mounts, video monitors, switchers and multiplexers, video recorders etc. 

Among these components, video recorders such as DVRs and NVRs play crucial roles in home security system.


What Does DVR Mean?

A DVR is a sophisticated software-based network applianceIt receives and converts analog signals transmitted by the camera to digital images and store them on a disk drive.

The device is also capable of receiving digital signals too before compressing and saving them on the storage space.

In traditional analog CCTV systems, a VCR records the video on a video cassette tape. Such systems are out of use today. Now the role of the VCR is taken over by DVRs.

Similarly, NVRs perform the same role in an IP network. 

Based on the levels of capability, DVRs are classified as Simplex, Duplex and Triplex


Simplex DVR systemDuplex DVR systemTriplex DVR system
No recording while searching and viewing recorded images. Recording possible while searchingViewing recorded and live videos is possible while recording.


The functions/capabilities of the DVR can be summarised as follows:

• Video analytics
• Image protection/authentication
• Ports to accommodate additional recording 
• Internal hard drive for video storage
• Ability to easily search for and locate events
• Ability to record and search for camera inputs simultaneously
• Removable hard drive for archiving purposes
• Ability to transfer data to expandable storage systems to free up recording space


What Does NVR Mean?

NVR or Network Video Recorder is a device that can record and store video footage directly from the network.

It can record videos in a digital format to a disk drive or a mass storage device such as USB Flash drive or SD memory card.

Both NVR and DVR are meant for video recording. The most important difference between the two is that in NVRs, video is recorded at the camera. And, then it is streamed to the NVR for storage or remote viewing.

Whereas, in the case of DVRs, video is encoded and processed at the DVR.

Most NVR systems work with  IP cameras, that can actually capture and process video and audio data themselves. They are designed to work with wire-free cameras as well.

The DVR surveillance system combines well with analog cameras and wired systems only. Compared to this, the NVR system work with both wired and wire-free setups.

Which is Better DVR or NVR

We can not rush in to say which one is better. Both have their merits and drawbacks. But going by the popularity, the NVR system has a clear edge over DVR. Users find NVRs more attractive for the following reasons. 

  1. Superior Video quality
  2. Use of POE cables and reduced use of cables
  3. Ease of setup and use
  4. Better choices  
  5. Popularity, easy access to support
  6. Scalability
  7. Technological development
  8. More reputed brands and reliability
  9. Work with wired and wire-free system
  10. More compact with smart home environment


The DVR security system uses analog cameras and therefore enjoys some economic benefits. Because these cameras are cheap compared to the IP cameras.

While it allows scalability at a lower investment, the overall result may not be as good as in the case of an NVR surveillance system.

DVR work with a wired system using coaxial cable, and thus provide only limited choices and flexibility.

For instance, coaxial cable has limitations affecting the video quality beyond a distance of 300ft or so.


Hybrid DVR

Hybrid DVR is an upgraded version of DVRs containing both analog and digital elements or both NVRs and DVRs features.

As a result, hybrid DVRs can treat video inputs from analog cameras as well as IP cameras. As in the case of NVRs, hybrid DVRs are capable of IP connectivity, remote access, playback etc., on the network. You can view live video also



Currently, NVR surveillance system enjoys wider acceptability and popularity than the DVYR surveillance system. However, the gap is narrowing due to the rapid technological application and the progress in hybrid DVRs supporting more and more brands of cameras.

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