|NVRs of the past may have been expensive & complicated to use, but today NVRs have user-friendly functionality|
How much do you know – or think you know – about network video recorder (NVR) appliances? Manufacturers in the sector say there is a lot of misinformation in the market about these workhorse system components. We asked several manufacturers to help us set the record straight.
A common misconception among end users is that NVRs lack features and reliability, and are proprietary in nature, says Ahmed Elsayed, sales engineer, Hikvision USA. In actuality, NVRs offer a broad set of features, such as video content analysis, smart search, POS integration, and redundancy. Poor reliability is also a misconception, he adds. Hikvision NVRs have a 99.6 percent reliability rate, for example.
Additionally, Hikvision NVRs operate on an embedded Linux platform, providing a full range of features and a great deal of flexibility, Elsayed says.
Offering intelligence and functionality
Contrary to widely held beliefs, NVRs are not static hardware that can only record streams of video, says Charles McCready, senior product specialist and technical resource for Panasonic System Communications Company’s partners and customers. Today, NVRs are intelligent network devices that incorporate advanced features and functionality, such as video analytics, motion detection and other advanced system processing that bring new uses and functionality to the end user and new potential streams of recurring monthly revenue to the installer. They can adapt readily to the camera’s video streams and the user’s bandwidth constraints and specific recording parameters – offering different and varied compression algorithms. Flexible recording capabilities and embedded analytics provide the end user the ability to fine-tune and customise the installation specifically to their needs and the nuances of the facility, McCready notes.
Compatible with larger, server-based solutions
There is also a misconception that you have to choose between an NVR solution and a more comprehensive server-based solution. This is not true, says Lars Nordenlund Friis, vice president of incubation and ventures, Milestone Systems. You can easily incorporate a Milestone Husky NVR, for example, in a much larger deployment and save costs at local sites on the edge. Milestone Husky NVRs were designed to simplify the work for the reseller and integrator and to help bring down the total cost of ownership for end users. Even end users with existing installations can use Milestone Husky NVRs to meet business growth needs in expanded locations, says Friis.
NVRs are intelligent network devices that incorporate advanced features and functionality, such as video analytics, motion detection and other advanced system processing that bring new uses and functionality to the end user
Manageable prices and easy setup
Some people still think NVRs are complicated to set up and use, says Dahua, another NVR manufacturer. It was true at one time, but today, more user-friendly functions such as plug-and-play and intuitive user interfaces make it easy to configure systems within sections – Dahua calls it “zero configuration.” There is also a misconception that IP solutions are expensive; the truth is, some home-use or other entry-level IP solutions (i.e., Dahua’s NVR+IPC) are even less expensive than other solutions.
What is a network video recorder (NVR)?
Genetec contends the biggest misconception related to NVRs is in the definition itself. While it is technically true that IP security appliances are usually called network video recorders, many of those are proprietary to a specific vendor, with limited or constrained applications, and limited choice in edge device options, says Muhanad Jamjum, product manager of appliances at Genetec.
The term unified or hybrid appliance is often misleading as it is subject to multiple interpretations, Jamjum adds. System integrators and end users are advised to look into what the term entails specifically in relation to the degree of interoperability and integration of video and access control along with other third party systems.
Customers should also be cautioned against free support and upgrades, says Jamjum. In an industry where price plays a big role, it is understandable that customers can easily be lured by the initial savings that free support claims have to offer. Without access to a highly responsive and quality support infrastructure (which is always negotiated as an additional operating expense) customers risk encountering unforeseen commissioning and maintenance costs, with little to no recourse, he says.