Recording is essential to the effectiveness of any video security system. Without recording, you need to have an employee watching a monitor at all times – hardly a cost-effective solution. And even if you spot suspicious activity, without a recording, you have nothing to use in court.
DVRs offer so many advantages over VCRs that they have rapidly taken over as the CCTV recording solution of choice:
- Ease of locating events- Instead of fast-forwarding through hours of tape, DVRs can instantly retrieve images from any specific time or date, or automatically skip to the point on a recording when something changed.
- Storage quality- Like all tapes, video cassettes start deteriorating almost immediately once you record on them – and the problem gets worse every time you reuse them. DVR recordings have no degradation at all since they are stored onto a hard drive.
- Multitasking- While analog VCRs can either record or play, most DVRs can do both at the same time, letting you review images while still recording.
- Smart monitoring- The DVR can be set to take one picture per second or less – just enough to create a running record. However when it detects motion, it can automatically bump the recording speed up to full (30 frames per second), getting every detail of the unauthorized activity.
For businesses that do not want to constantly change tapes, DVRs are definitely the way to go. While security VCRs usually offer a time-lapse mode that lets them record for long periods of time, the resulting images are not a good record of events – they record only one snapshot every eight seconds. To get higher quality, you need to change tapes every day or more often. DVRs, on the other hand, can record for weeks or even months.