The stunning technological advances of the last few decades have brought with them a host of benefits to mankind. While many applications serve purposes like entertainment and convenience, some technologies—life DVR surveillance systems—serve a more staid purpose. Because the very nature of a surveillance system is to protect (possessions, loved ones, and peace of mind), it is highly recommended that you carefully weigh each aspect of the system before committing to any system in particular. Fundamentally a DVR surveillance system is comprised of cameras and a digital video recorder (or DVR).
Surveillance Camera Features
As with cameras for any use, there are a wide range of digital video cameras available for use with surveillance systems. The specific circumstances of your system will determine the best camera for you. Night vision-enabled cameras are useful not only for recording at night, but also in generally low-light conditions or locations. Covert or hidden cameras can be especially important if your system requires secrecy or discreetness. In situations where the presence of a camera is either neutral or advantageous, standard surveillance cameras are appropriate. If your system would benefit from easily installed, easily moved, and less conspicuous cameras, consider wireless models. Typically, though, wired cameras are the better option for permanent installations.
Once you have determined the type of camera suitable to your particular situation, you need to determine the quantity of cameras you need. Surveillance systems are normally available in 4-, 8-, 9-, and 16-channel versions, with the number of channels directly corresponding to the number of cameras in the system. Choose the level of system carefully; while a 16-channel system sounds impressive, if you actually need nine or less cameras, you are simply be throwing away some of that personal wealth you are trying to protect.
Digital Video Recorder Features
Once you have determined the type and camera for your system, you are ready to choose the specifics for your digital video recorder (DVR). As with the cameras, you have a lot of options. The first and most important consideration is the capacity of your DVR. While many size options exist, a recommended standard size is 500 gigabytes (GB), though DVRs with a 1 terabyte capacity are increasingly common. The basic rule for DVR capacity is that you can never have too much: the bigger the better.
Another significant feature of DVRs is their type. Some DVRs are standalone; they require no other hardware to both record and play back video. Other types interface with a computer (not typically provided with the system) to provide playback. Still others make use of a television to display video. With the mass migration of all things video toward a computer-based setup, a DVR surveillance system that already integrates with your home computer is recommended. An added bonus for some computer-interface systems is that you can access the images from your DVR—both live and recorded—via any device capable of accessing the Internet.
In addition to the hardware specifics delineated above, another significant factor to consider is the technical support offered with any surveillance system you may be considering. Ideally, all technical support should be easily accessible 24 hours per day, seven days per week, and should last the lifetime of your system.
Making the Choice
A lot of work goes into choosing the best DVR surveillance system, but when your system works well with your life to protect everything in your life, the time and energy you invested will be repaid in full. Carefully consider the information above to find the best DVR surveillance system for you.