Difference between DVR and NVR

Key difference: Both, DVR and NVR video recorders record the video in the digital format. The only difference is that, NVR as compared to DVR records the videos directly from the network.

DVR stands for Digital Video Recorder, sometimes also referred to as, Personal Video Recorder (PVR). It is a consumer electronic device, which is used for recording the videos in live mode. Technically, it’s the application software which records the video in digital format to a disk device. In the DVR, the signal is already encoded in a digitally MPEG stream format. DVRs can usually record and play H.264, MPEG-4 Part 2, MPEG-2 .mpg, MPEG-2 .TS, VOB and ISO image videos, with MP3 and AC3 audio tracks. It can display JPEG and PNG images, as well as play the music files such as, the MP3 and Ogg. The video can be recorded into the USB flash drive, SD memory card, and SSD or other local or networked mass storage device. The DVR facilitates the television set-top boxes (STB) with various multiple features, some of which are: the disk recording, portable media players (PMP) with recording, and the camcorders that record into the secure digital memory cards. It also provides software for personal computers, which features the video capturing facility. It provides the desirable features like the consistent image quality and transferring of data to a computer, CD, or DVD, which proves it more advantageous in comparison with the other devices. Its convenient search function allows users to quickly locate the show, or specific scene, that they want to watch.

NVR stands for Network Video Recorder. It is a software that typically runs on a dedicated device, which has an embedded operating system. It records the video in a digital format onto the disk drive, USB flash drive, SD memory card or other mass storage device. The main feature of an NVR is that it is typically deployed in an IP video surveillance system. As they lack a dedicated and designed special hardware device for recording, they record the video directly from the network. The video in NVR is encoded and processed at the camera, which is further streamed to the NVR for storage and remote viewing. There are NVR home security systems, which are both wired and wireless in connections, it is in accordance to any system. They are easy to set up, as they record the videos directly from the web-browsers and inform the user via notifications and alarms. An NVR based on open platform system can support up to 50 cameras. The user-friendly concept GUI (Graphic User Interface) is more highlighted in the NVR. They work on the principles of motion sensing technology. They are especially used in conjunction with a CCTV camera for the transmission and monitoring of images.

Comparison between DVR and NVR:




Short description

DVR is a type of common consumer electronics.

NVR is an application programming which records the video directly from the internet.

Stands for

Digital Video Recorder

Network Video Recorder

Videos are recorded from

The video does not come from the network here, and the encoding is done by the DVR itself. And not by the cameras.

The video input comes from the network, and the encoding is already done at the cameras


DVR performance is basically fixed.

NVR can be replaced and upgraded in a matter of minutes.

Performance augmentation

Performance augmentation requires premium cost components sold by the manufacturer and due to which it can not be easily augmented and has physical limits.

Performance can be significantly augmented over short periods of time, which allows the new technology offering implementations.


Here the maximum resolution is limited by analog camera technology and capture card design.

Here the maximum resolution is effectively unlimited and the camera technology continues to increase the recording of the video.


The DVR can just receive the recording, further it cannot do any changes in it.

The NVR can also receive and decode the images without modification.

Components requirements

DVRs require manufacturer approved components and accessories

NVRs which are of the old technology can now be used with viable PCs and can be sold or used for other services.


Here the technology only allows the remote video access.

Here the technology allows secure, direct access to the video feeds.


DVR failures require the DVR manufacturer to service the unit or replacement.

NVR failures can be repaired or replaced by the user, or from the PC manufacturer.

Accessing quality

The feature accessible to the user are limited.

Here there are more features available to the user.


There is no risk here, as it does not include network accessibility.

There is a risk here, as network accessing in involved.

Image Courtesy: nbicorp.in, blog.dvrunlimited.com

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