What is DVR?
The term stands for Digital Video Recorder or device responsible for recording images. It is a recorder which, depending on the models, can have different characteristics and peculiarities that distinguish it. For the DVR to work, it must be part of a specific video surveillance system which is normally installed by a technician specialized in alarm systems or more simply by an electrician. The system is specifically made up of cameras connected to the recorder, which transmits the data over the network via the router and, again through a router, the same data can therefore be received by the final device, which can be a PC or a mobile device, like a smartphone or tablet. Even to less experienced eyes, the notable difference compared to the old video surveillance systems, which recorded on tape, is therefore evident. Technology has made significant progress in this sector and this is in favor of those who want to focus on the safety of their home by relying on the best innovations that exist in this field. The DVR, beyond its simple and basic image recorder function, can also have additional features that only make it even more interesting for those who want to protect their home from thieves and want to do it efficiently.
A first feature that all DVRs should have but which is normally only present in the best models, the most expensive ones to be clear, is the motion function (motion detection). What is it about? Let's imagine that the cameras remain on for several hours. Well, normally the DVR should record everything that happens in that period of time, but it is clear that not only would it take up a lot of space on the hard disk, but it would also be very inconvenient to then go and search for the frame of interest among all those hours of uninterrupted recording. For this reason, some models are equipped with the motion function, which allows you to set the settings in such a way that the recorder saves on internal or external memory only those frames in which some movement is detected in front of the camera. If none of this happens, the video still continues to be transmitted over the network via router, but the hard disk memory does not find itself occupied by useless recordings of hours and hours in which in reality nothing of this kind occurred. anomalous. In some DVR models there is also a timer that allows you to set recording only at pre-established times. Finally, a final setting is that of manually setting the recording. Another very important feature that a good DVR should have is undoubtedly monitoring with relative warning to the user when there are problems of any kind that are encountered by the camera. Normally the notification takes place via text message or call directly to the mobile number that has been previously entered into the system, or you can choose to be notified via e-mail, if you have a mobile device that is always connected to the internet. However, the email alert is a function that only the most sophisticated and latest generation DVRs have, while older models are limited to making the call or sending a simple notification text message. Obviously it is also possible to enter more than one number, so as to minimize the risk that the alert may not be displayed, perhaps because the mobile phone is unreachable or simply because the recipient does not have the phone under control at that moment.
Use on smartphone
The convenience of this video surveillance system based on cameras connected to DVRs lies in the fact that what is filmed can also be viewed simultaneously online. What you need to do is download the application on your smartphone or tablet that allows you to view the different cameras at the same time, all after having entered the necessary data and having simply registered your account. Access can be done indifferently from iPad, iPhone and Android and the software that allows you to manage the display is different. There is therefore a wide possibility of choice and all these applications can be downloaded from their respective official websites. The download takes a few minutes, after which you can immediately proceed with the configuration which, unless you are sure you know how to deal with this type of program, is always better to entrust to expert hands, to avoid the risk of disconfiguring some important setting of your phone's internet connection.
There are various models of surveillance video recorders on the market and prices, as we have said, also vary greatly in relation to the specific characteristics. Recorders are not normally sold alone, but you can purchase the kit complete with cameras and possibly a monitor for viewing what is recorded on the screen. Prices range from 40 to more than 200 euros depending on the characteristics and composition of the kit. Naturally, if this is not the first installation and you simply find yourself needing to replace the DVR, because it no longer works or because you are looking for a more modern one with more functions, nothing prevents you from purchasing the recorder alone. To purchase you can go to a specialized shop or you can search online. If you have a trusted technician, perhaps the same person who installed the entire system, you can also ask him to make the purchase on your behalf. An expert person certainly has more information to make the choice of product.
Among the best brands of DVR currently available on the market we find, for example, that of Annke, whose base price, which except for special offers is around 80 euros, rises if you want it complete with hard disk. Overall, you end up spending around 150 euros for a DVR and a hard disk with a capacity of 1 TB. These DVRs are normally equipped with a USB port and the recording takes place in HD, so that the images are always at the maximum level of clarity. The Annke DVR, as we said, is one of the best and is of the latest generation, in fact it is not only equipped with the motion function, but is also able to warn via e-mail in the event of an intrusion. Another brand that can be considered among the best is Aran, which makes multi-channel DVRs, which record in HD, such as the AR-V1004 model, which also has to be combined with a hard disk which must be purchased separately, unless you decide to record on a USB stick.
How to choose
The capacity of the hard disk is very important and for this reason it is a good idea to choose one that is good enough and capable of storing even very long videos. In fact, if even a smaller hard disk is fine for daily use, large memory becomes indispensable when you leave home for several days, perhaps for a holiday, and you can therefore accumulate several hours of consecutive recording without anyone taking care of it. to delete to free up space. If the need arises to archive the recording on DVD, it is possible to connect an external burner to the USB port of the DVR and proceed with saving the video. Furthermore, when purchasing a DVR, it is always a good idea to check the recording resolution, making sure it is sufficiently high. This feature is in fact necessary so that the videos that are stored are clear. 704 x 576 can be considered an excellent resolution for a DVR, if combined with a frame rate of 100s. Thanks to the HDMI output port, the recorder is connected to the monitor on which it is possible to view what is filmed by the cameras. Sometimes the monitor is sold together with the DVR, in other cases it must be purchased separately. Another important element that the DVR must be equipped with so that it can be connected to the network is the Ethernet port, through which the device is connected to the router, so that the images can end up in the local network or remote.
How to access the DVR from an iPhone, iPad or Android
If you intend to be able to check the recordings on your mobile device, it is a good idea to carefully read the features of the DVR and make sure that it is compatible with iPhone, Windows mobile, Symbian, Blackberry and Android. For each operating system there will be different installation and connection procedures and for these details it will be necessary to follow the specific instructions given in the booklet, or rely on the installer, who will arrange the correct setting of the system so that remote monitoring can be carried out via smartphone. Obviously the latter will have to be constantly connected to the network and therefore it will be advisable to sign up for a subscription that provides an unlimited connection for high-speed browsing that allows you to view the videos without problems.
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