DVR evolution

It’s time to face the facts. Despite the notion that some may be looking forward to the death of digital video recorders (DVRs), especially with online on-demand programming becoming the next best thing after Tivo, DVRs aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Rapidly evolving technology of the DVR, making them smaller and easier to use, is a plus for those that are becoming more in-tune with these technologically evolving devices. Today almost anyone can record their favorite sitcom on the DVR. For the security scene, the evolution of DVRs is already the here and now. From the simple recording devices they used to be, now the latest DVRs feature such capabilities as motion detection; H.264 compression technology and encoding algorithms; onboard RAID-4 technology; working within a hybrid environment versus as a standalone and much more. It’s clear that manufacturers of these devices see the future as they continue to evolve this product to become part of the integration movement security is already seeing. Read on to hear more about what DVR industry experts have to say and see what technologies they are bringing to the market.

“The market will begin to see DVRs capable of metadata recording and search, allowing text data from disparate devices such as ATMs, POS terminals or license plate cameras to be recorded along with associated video.”
- Christopher Johnston, product marketing manager, Bosch Security Systems Inc. Fairport, N.Y.

The new DVRWM Series wall-mounted DVR from Speco Technologies is similarly installed just like a burglar alarm panel but inside is the heart of a powerful Pentaplex/H.264 networkable DVR. Video can be remotely viewed and the DVR is available in 4, 8 or 16 channel versions.

Advanced Technology Video’s (ATV) FA-XR8/FA-XR16 is an 8- or 16-channel DVR featuring 240 ips with storage up to 3TB plus SCSI port for external storage. In addition to ATV’s Remote Access Software (RASPlus), remote viewing of cameras is now accomplished through WebGuard, a utility that allows access from any PC with Internet Explorer 6 or later. The next-generation FA-XR will utilize a proprietary H.264 hardware codec. It will compress the video images efficiently without compromising image quality while recording all channels in real-time.

The WJ-HD716 Real-Time H.264 DVR and WJ-HD616 H.264 DVR from Panasonic System Solutions Co. delivers field recording at up to 480/400 ips and offer 16 analog video inputs, SD5Link with intelligent-Video Motion Detection (i-VMD) alarm, HDMI and BNC live/playback and monitor outputs with 2x HDMI interfaces supporting dual 1080i HD displays.

Mitsubishi Digital Electronics upgraded its video compression for the DX-TL8U and DX-TL16U to run on both H.264 and MPEG-4 selectable formats. The resolution, quality and recording speeds are all programmable on the DVR and feature PTZ controls and system health monitoring while maintaining three common intermediate format resolution levels.

“As DVR products gain functionality, it is becoming more important to be sure that stored video on distributed DVRs can be easily shared and centrally stored for long-term retrieval and disaster recovery. Architects should look for DVR solutions that easily integrate with central shared storage from open-systems companies.”
- Lee Caswell, founder, Pivot3, Palo Alto, Calif.

“New features added to the DVR include the use of H.264 (high profile) encoding, which provides very efficient compression compared to MPEG-4 while maintaining image quality. The DVR’s option to expand up to 31 Terabytes of hard disk storage capacity enables users to store longer periods of real-time video.”- John Centofanti, regional sales manager, Panasonic System Networks Company, Secaucus, N.Y.

Vicon Industries’ Kollector Strike and Kollector Force DVRs offer network connectivity, supporting local and remote IP and megapixel cameras as part of an open platform ViconNet video management system. They support 480 fps across 16 channels of video and are H.264 ready. Both models are offered with internal storage configurations of up to 4TB. External storage of up to 36TB is available.

“The features and performance of Vicon’s new generation of Kollector DVRs are a response to the market trend that requires DVRs to work within a hybrid environment and not just as standalone units connected to analog cameras.”- Margie Gurwin, director of Marketing, Vicon, Hauppauge, N.Y.

Bosch Security Systems’ Divar XF Hybrid is an embedded DVR that supports eight or 16 analog cameras and up to eight H.264 IP video streams. The DVR includes new control center software 2.5 and firmware 2.5 which enable customers to automate event handling and connect and control all Divar XF and Divar-2 DVRs in a system.

Nuvico’s Apex AP-D1600 16 channel DVR provides users with a minimum of 30 ips, in full screen, in real time and features MPEG-4 compression. Additional features include a 4-main, 1 VGA monitor output and Quadruplex functions with mouse GUI.

“One of the fastest growing technologies to impact the DVR market is the H.264 encoding algorithm. By 2010, we plan on introducing an entire line of mid-range and enterprise-level H.264 DVRs replacing the MPEG-4 compression method.” - Luke Lee, sales director for North America, Nuvico, Englewood, N.J.


The Surveillix generation DVRs from Toshiba Surveillance & IP Network Video are designed to support up to 32 channels of IP video, including megapixel IP network cameras. These five “G4” recorders incorporate Intel Core 2 Duo or Core 2 Quad processors, up to 3GB of RAM and maximum video storage capacity of 8TB.

Infinova’s V3009 4L is an economy 4-channel digital DVR that supports CIF resolution. The V3009 family employs H.264 compression technology, supporting 4, 8 or 16 video input channels and 4, 8 or 16 video output channels with looping. It also features H.264 compression technology with the capacity to support up to four serial ATA (SATA) hard disks.

“Being able to stand alone or be networked, the V3009 DVR is a catalyst for migrating from analog systems to hybrid and digital systems, especially for those applications that need high resolution video.”- Mark Wilson, vice president of Marketing, Infinova, Monmouth Jct., N.J.

The SVR9000S “S-Box” series DVRs from Bolide allows real-time recording, playback and features the H.264 video codec. Additional features include iPhone integration and USB backup and it supports iPhone, Symbian OS and the Windows Based Smart Phone.

Honeywell’s Rapid Eye Active Alert DVR contains embedded video analytics designed for surveillance activities. The unit can capture 480 ips, utilizing a Linux-based operating system for performance with stable and secure operation. The product also features search tools which search each camera view to locate video and enable users to define individualized events and alarm settings.