CCTV Articles

So many options when choosing a DVR for Surveillance Video!

So, you’ve had enough of hoodlums and thugs stealing your Garden Gnomes and knocking over your mailbox. And those employees! OYVAY! They keep putting Metamucil in the coffee. Before you choose a security recording device for your home or business, you should educate yourself on the different types of recorders as well as the most important differences. Let’s take a look at the options available and under what circumstances they are best suited.


You basically have two options for wiring up a security system . . . CAT5/CAT6 network cable or RG59 coaxial with a power supply (AKA Siamese cable). If you already have the network cable installed you can pretty much quit reading this now and take a look at our NVRs because most people will agree that IP will give you the best images with the highest resolution! If you don’t have network cable installed, you’ve got enough other options to choose from so let’s take a look at them.

  1. Analog – The traditional Analog CCTV surveillance system transmits data over Coaxial Cable and back to the DVR where it is digitized and stored on a Hard Drive using a FIFO (First in First out) method. Make sure you have sufficient hard drive space so that you won’t have to worry about recording over older footage. You can still view live streaming video or you can access recorded footage, locate specific incidents, zoom in on particular images and save those to an external device to present to the authorities if you ever need to. Analog is being phased out by manufacturers and is already getting harder to find, so if you still have analog cameras and insist on keeping those, you might want to consider getting a Hybrid DVR that handles multiple technologies including Analog, CVI and even IP. Remember, while 960H is a huge improvement over previous D1 resolution, it doesn’t even hold a candle to 1080p megapixel security footage!

  2. HD-CVI – Developed and created by Dahua, HD-CVI is one of the newer technologies and stands for High Definition Composite Video Interface. It allows users to transmit video, audio and control over the same coaxial cable that was previously only capable of transmitting video. With an unprecedented transmission distance of up to 1,600 feet, HD-CVI technology gives you tremendous versatility when it comes to camera placement and distance from the recorder. Because of the ability to utilize the coax cable for control, you can use the OSD (on-screen display) to adjust a variety of settings for security cameras including exposure, white balance, back light compensation, day & night selection, motion triggers, blocking, etc. Remember, HD-CVI cameras ONLY work with HD-CVI capable DVRs and vice versa! Check out our DVR-CVI8M-1080-DH-V2 that can accommodate 8 HD-CVI cameras OR you can mix any combination of Analog, CVI or 2 IP cameras for under $399.00!  

  3. HD-TVI – This was created jointly by Hikvision and Techpoint and because it was released a little later than HD-CVI, it isn’t as popular but there are some benefits. Hikvision has opted for somewhat of an “open source” in relation to component manufacturing. This has opened the market to over 100 different manufacturers who have/are developed HD-TVI solutions and has created more competition. HD-TVI recorders are compatible with any HD-TVI camera on any channel! Overall, under optimal conditions where you have all of the same settings, are using the same type and quality of cable, and have the placement of the cameras the same distance from the DVRs, you shouldn’t notice a difference in image quality. Based on some independent tests, HD-TVI offers the longest transmission without signal degradation across both RG59 and CAT5 (with balun) cabling. We will be carrying the HD-TVI technology shortly under our PRIME designation.
  4. >Hybrid/Tribrid – A combination of different technologies that work together in one unit. We offer a variety of Hybrid/Tribrid combinations that help you integrate your older analog cameras with newer HD-CVI and IP cameras. This works out great if you feel like you’re constantly trying to keep up with technology and have older cameras sitting around that still work. Hook them up and purchase a couple new HD-CVI or IP cameras. Some of our Hybrid/Tribrids offer full use of 16 IP cameras AND even give you the ability to double that number with an additional 16 analog cameras! Others like our very reasonably priced TRIDVR-ELE16ME are capable of handling analog, CVI and up to 2 IP cameras.


There are numerous options, and many people who are familiar with the different systems have their preferences already. This is nothing more than an informational article to help you compare these different technologies and decide what will work best for you in your specific situation. My personal take on this is that the Tribrid DVRs are the best value for your money since they allow you to be flexible and give you the opportunity to sample the different cameras, try different functions, and decide what technology works best for you.

If you happen to own a Medical Marijuana Dispensary or need to meet the state law requirements for a retail establishment, we are I-502 and Amendment 64 experts and we can help ensure that you will pass your inspection! If you’ve already created a site plan (it doesn’t matter if it’s a professional CAD drawing or a sketch on a napkin), you can simply email a copy/scan to us and we will help get you the best setup and best placement of the cameras so you can pass your inspection. You can be rest-assured when you are setting up your Marijuana venture because we back up our products for your I-502 and Amendment 46 Inspection with a Certificate of Guarantee stating that the system we helped you choose has met or exceeded all of the specifications that are needed to have you pass your inspection.


You can call our sales staff at 866-573-8878 Monday-Friday between 8:00 AM and 8:00 PM EST and they will help you determine what will work best for you based on location, building size, existing lighting, etc. all while keeping you within your price range.

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