One of the greatest features of the modern day DVR is the ability to only record motion events. Before the day of motion recording, VCR’s would record video 24/7 which required you to fast forward or rewind through hours of video to find events you were searching for. In addition, because the recording occurred 24 hours a day, you would need much more storage. The modern DVR allows for much more efficient recording. By recording motion events only, you are able to reduce the time searching for events by only viewing motion events and you are able to conserve storage space.
Typically, motion recording can be configured using several options. These options would include sensitivity levels, an on screen, selectable motion grid and pre/post recording buffer. When setting the DVR to motion only recording, I recommend first setting the pro/post recording buffer. Basically, even when recording motion only, your DVR is still recording all the time. If you set the DVR to a 15 second pre/post buffer, then the DVR will record 15 seconds of video, and if there is no motion, it will begin to record over the 15 seconds of video. This all occurs in a buffer. When motion is detected, the DVR will then include the 15 seconds of video before the motion with the recording of the motion event, and then continue to record for 15 seconds after the motion event has ended.
The next option to configure is the motion grid. Many DVR’s will allow you to exclude certain portions of the screen from triggering motion detection. For example, moving trees, flagpoles, automobile traffic in the street are events that you probably do not want to trigger motion recording on your DVR. When you select the motion detection grid, you can usually select the portions of the camera view that you do not want included in motion detection. This will restrict your motion detection recordings to only the areas you are concerned with.
The last option is the sensitivity level. This should be adjusted for each camera based on the amount of motion it should take to trigger recording. For example, you probably would not care if a bird flew into the camera view, but you would want to know if a person walked onto your driveway. The sensitivity level will ensure that only the motion you want will trigger the DVR to begin recording.
By configuring all the motion settings properly, you will maximize the amount of storage you will get out of your hard drive, and you will streamline searching through recorded video for the events that occurred.