So, you have some cameras picked out, and you feel like you are on your way towards completing the ultimate CCTV self-install ever known to man. You feel as if you have just re-created Fort Knox and a squirrel can’t even penetrate your fence without the cavalry arriving with reinforcements.
Unfortunately for you, cameras are only 1 piece of the cake. You have other considerations that need to be squared away before you really have the ultimate CCTV system put in place. You can’t deter criminals just by having a camera or two looking pretty on the property.
How are you storing and viewing footage? Are you currently using a cloud-based or IP camera system? If you’re not, your likely using a DVR system which is entirely different.
Having a good DVR system that can support your CCTV cameras and the entire system is what really ties the bow on the whole purchase. It’s what takes your system from okay, to outstanding.
The good news? Well, the good news is that I had some time today so I wanted to give you what I believe to be not only the best DVR options you can include with your CCTV system but also considerations you need to keep in mind when choosing the correct DVR system.
Yep, a 2-1 for blog post day. Your welcome. Without further ado, let’s dive into how to keep your home protected, and for video footage streaming, storing and ready to capture any criminal or thief that just walked onto your property.
Considerations First. Recommendations Later. DVR Considerations to Keep in Mind
I know, boring right. Nobody wants to know what to look for, we just want to click the number 1 option recommended, check out and have it on our doorstep ready for install tomorrow. Unfortunately, that’s a silly move when it comes to purchasing equipment for a CCTV system.
I have made more mistakes with my own system that I wish I could reverse but I can’t. What I can do, however, is save you from making the exact same mistakes that I have made and inform you what you should be looking for in a quality CCTV DVR System. Here are 5 considerations to keep in mind.
Doing show should save you some time and frustration.
A Few Basics for All the Newbies in The Room.
I’ll keep this short and sweet, but in case any of you were not aware and had been debating between DVR’s, NVR’s, cloud-based storage or other methods, it’s important to know what this even means before beginning.
First and foremost, what does DVR even stand for? Well, DVR is short for Digital Video Recorder. This just means that the signal from the security cameras is recorded and stored on a hard drive. This is often referred to as an MPX signal.
Well, wait. Now, what the hell is an MPX signal? Figured you may ask that.
An MPX signal is short for Mega Pixels over coax cable. Confused Yet? Think of a standard camera you use to take selfies with all your girlfriends on the beach.
This uses quality and image capturing in the form of megapixels. Well, with your CCTV home security system, your home security cameras are going to send this (megapixel) image or video to your DVR (Think of TiVo, Comcast, and DirectTV) to store the footage that you can later playback.
Make more sense now?
Good, let’s move on. On the back end of your DVR box (again, think DirecTV or Comcast) you will have channels/outputs (will discuss shortly) that use coax sealed connectors to transmit the signal (from the cameras).
And that’s how the magic happens. That’s where all the information goes to and from.
For those of you reading who have never used an electronic in the modern-day age that even requires a cable, this may still be confusing, but hopefully, the rest of this post can help clear the air and give you some additional comfort space and understanding.
Up next, we need to discuss how many channels (cameras) you need and how big of a fort you are trying to protect.
The number of Channels and Outputs for Your CCTV System!
Let’s assume you live in a small property with one entry point and don’t need much protection or have much ground to cover. You clearly probably only need 1 camera in this situation or maybe 2. Well to support those cameras using DVR’s you need to have a minimum of 2 channels.
Now let’s say you live in a neighborhood that experiences a lot of criminal activity and have a 4000 square foot home you are trying to protect. You may want additional cameras. Sometimes 8 cameras, sometimes 16 cameras or more.
Whatever floats your boat and helps you sleep better at night.
The main takeaway is that you need a system that can support the number of cameras you are using. Most DVR systems will allow for the following options for channels/outputs or the number of cameras.
- 4 channels
- 8 channels
- 16 channels
These are the most common options you will see with CCTV DVR systems. So again, the number of cameras you want to use = the number of channels your box needs!
HD Quality or Non-HD Quality, How Clear Do You Want It?
This is straightforward. Have you ever subscribed to a tv cable provider such as Comcast back in the day and had access to HD channels when the technology was relatively new?
However, you were the guy who refused to upgrade equipment because you were scared your bill may jump $3.12 per month?
Now, when you recorded those shows that originally broadcasted in HD, but they look like a black and white film from 1972 on your DVR? Well first, off that’s your fault for not upgrading, and that’s how these DVR systems work as well.
There is no point in having HD cameras with a non-HD DVR box. You will capture the video in HD, but it will never be viewable in HD. When picking your CCTV system and DVR box, match the specifications and perks together.
Otherwise, you are just wasting money. HD quality will be as it sounds. High definition, crisp clear and supported by higher end CCTV cameras.
720P or non-HD quality will still protect your home but don’t expect it to look as good or capture the same crispness level as the HD cameras and DVR’s are capable of.
Storage Capacity, How Long Do You Want It?
Another significant consideration to keep in mind. How many cameras are you using and how much storage do you need? Are you running these cameras for professional or personal use? Do you need storage to last more than 30 days before the DVR overwrites the old data?
If you do, you need to investigate storage capabilities likely greater than 4TB if you are running multiple cameras. If you don’t really mind losing the footage or having it overwritten by new footage, you can consider something around 1-2TB possibly even less.
The more storage you need, the more costly the DVR will be and vice versa.
Additional Accessories Needed, How Much Do You Want to Spend?
This is perhaps the least important consideration on this list but still worth covering. Does the DVR require any additional purchases? Are any expensive extra cables need or HDMI cables needed to function the way you need it to?
Finding a system that’s bundled and ready for use that fits your budget right out of the gates is always the most recommended approach you can take.
Brand Consideration, Who Do You Trust?
When isn’t brand important when it comes to purchasing electronics? The answer is that it’s always important. You always need to be choosing someone who is credible in the industry. We aren’t buying a 5-dollar cell phone case here.
We are purchasing a system that’s designed to keep people with guns out of your home.
You want a reliable system that isn’t likely to have issues or become faulty after purchase. Considering the brand and working with DVR systems that are boasted by great reviews is the next big consideration I’d keep in mind and to make sure you follow during this purchasing process.
Okay, well that wraps up considerations for the systems themselves and what to look for. It gives you an idea of some of the terminology and considerations to keep in mind during the purchase which should make the recommendations I’m about to throw your way that much easier to understand.
Let’s dive into 5 CCTV DVR options you should consider for your home and professional security needs. Here we go.
5 Fantastic DVR Choices for Your CCTV System DVR, Can’t Go Wrong with These
#1- West Shine 16 Channel 1080P
The West shine 16 channel is a 1080 N HD DVR that supports email alerts and motion detection. It’s also a DVR that displays real-time color imaging and is compatible with IP or analog cameras. Its video resolution is 1920 by 1080P and uses an easy operation interface (VGA. HDMI Video Output).
With the West Shine, you also can shave a few dollars by downgrading to the 8-channel option. Both the 16 channel and 8 channel DVR are going to come in under 100.00 dollars but having more opportunities for individuals with different needs is never negative in my book.
The package is simple and comes with the DVR box itself and the power supply. The simplicity of this model is also positive in our book for the mere fact that other components of your CCTV camera system should be easily interchangeable.
You can use the DVR box and keep all your options open when it comes to the additional products you wish to purchase to take your CCTV system to the next level.
#2- ANNKE 8 Channel 1080P HD 1 TB
This is one of the higher end DVR options on the list. This DVR box uses advanced compression and can record up to 600 hours under normal conditions with a 4TB hard drive.
It also boasts customizable motion detection and allows you to mark out certain areas to eliminate false motion sensor alerts.
This system also comes backed with a 2-year warranty and 60-day money back guarantee. Usually, within 60 days of use, you should have a good indicator if it’s going to be the DVR to fit your needs or not so having this attached to the purchase makes me personally feel much more comfortable.
It’s also full HD capable and only offers the option to use an 8-channel system. No 4 channel or 16 channel DVR boxes are available currently from ANNKE. It supports infrared and night vision technology as well.
The only downfall we could find with this option is that it’s currently the only DVR recommendation on our list that comes in over the 200.00 price tag.
Sometimes with home security and CCTV systems, you get exactly what you pay for. That’s why it made the cut regardless.
#3- ABOWONE- 16 Channel DVR
The ABOWONE is one of the 16 channel capable DVR’s we wanted to include on this list in case anyone here had significant security needs or the ability to use up to 16 cameras at a time. It also comes with HD capabilities and can connect with Analog or IP cameras.
This also comes with a 6TB hard-drive which is one of the more extensive options on our list.
Factor this when a price tag under 100.00 dollars and we thought it was too much value for too little money not to include on this list.
#4- TIGER SECU HD 1080P HD 8 Channel 1 TB
The Tigersecu is one of the top picks for the mere fact that it can be used a DVR or NVR. It can work with 5 different kinds of security cameras including TVI, AHD, CVI, Analog and IP cameras.
It’s also an 8-channel system supporting small or large applications and comes standard with a 1TB hard drive should easily suffice for any home security functions.
Factor all of this in with strong reviews and a low price point and I believed there was no reason not to include them in the top 5 DVR systems you can select for your home CCTV system.
#5- ZOSI 8- Channel HD 1080N
The only downfall this DVR system currently has is the quality. Like we stated before in this post, if you don’t waste the money on HD quality cameras, you are still in good shape.
This DVR is another 8-channel device supporting 8 cameras and has customizable recording modes you can select to save hard drive space.
This DVR system also supports the ability to use advanced motion detection alerts and is compatible with your main 5 camera types. It’s also one of the cheapest DVR’s you can purchase making it a top pick for the first-time home CCTV security purchase.
Only One Man’s Voice on the Best DVR Systems. Other Great Options May Exist
As always, when making these recommendations, I fully understand that other great options may exist that could be equal or better than the ones we have listed here today. That’s why I always encourage comments on my post and keep them updated regularly.
When I make these recommendations to the readers, I’m merely pointing out budget-friendly options that I know cross many of the essential items that you need to look for off the list. If you need some guidance on what features to look for with your actual cameras, you can see my post here.
It will give you a break down on cameras as well, so you have the best DVR and camera solutions at your fingertips to begin piecing together to complete your full-blown CCTV system.
Final Word, Cameras are +50% of A Great System. Don’t Mess Up the Other Half
The important thing once again to keep in mind is that the cameras themselves are only 50% of the puzzle. Especially when you are aren’t using cloud-based storage or another method of storing your footage.
The DVR is equally as important and still a great option to store all your footage. Saving footage on a DVR will probably always remain an option. It’s secure and keeps footage at your fingertips for playback.
Especially for the consumers opting to use these systems for professional use.
Find a system that’s reputable and backed by strong reviews and that obviously fits your budget, and you will be well on your way towards constructing and self-installing a system that indeed provides the ultimate protection for your home, family, and business.
Don’t always allow money to be your number 1 driving factor with CCTV home security equipment. Often, going cheap now can cost you more money in the long run.
What’s your experience with finding and purchasing the best CCTV DVR systems? Who do you recommend and why? Any features we have left out on this post? Leave a comment below, and we will consider adding your feedback to this post!