Recorder for surveillance cameras

Recorder for surveillance cameras

If you are thinking about a home or business security system, then it’s time to figure out the features of video monitoring. There are a lot of technical methods for protecting facilities and territories, including with the help of a recorder for surveillance cameras. From this article, you will learn about the types, advantages and principles of recorders.

What is a surveillance camera recorder?

A video surveillance recorder is an independent element of a video surveillance system, namely a device that records, plays back and saves video materials. It is believed that these recorders are the next generation after special video recorders that used to record everything on cassettes.

Consequently, video recorders have a wide range of options. And the amount of information that is stored inside the recorder is formed by the amount of hard drive memory. In this case, recordings can be made in two modes:

  • circular, when fresh surveillance materials are written over the old ones, with a certain frequency. It is also possible to create an archive that will be stored until manual deletion;
  • constant when a certain volume of the video archive is saved.

Today, video surveillance with recorders can be used as part of modern cloud video monitoring of home and/or business. You can read about what a cloud video surveillance system is in the article “Cloud video surveillance system: 6 tips from an expert“.

Main types

The types of recorders for video monitoring can be classified as follows:

  1. By the format of signal transmission and processing:
  • analog, which are distinguished by their relatively low cost, no signal loss or delay, no hacker or virus attacks, as well as ease of use. However, analog equipment requires mandatory cabling and is characterized by complex scalability, upgrades, and poor image quality. Legacy models include standards such as CIF, VGA, D1, 960H. The latest generation of analog equipment is HD-TVI, HD-CVI and AHD;
  • digital, including IP-recorders and HD-SDI. They are distinguished by high image quality, and the system using them is easily upgraded depending on the user’s needs. IP cameras reduce video to the required volume, and therefore the recorder is relieved of the need for additional signal processing. IP recorders receive data via internet connection or local network.
  1. According to the financial capabilities of the consumer and image quality:
  • budget, which can provide a shooting speed of 3-5 frames per second, and quality of 640*272 pixels (horizontal and vertical) in real time, 320*272 pixels in recording mode. There are no network options in budget recorders;
  • average, which can provide a shooting speed of up to 25 frames per second, and quality of 720*288 pixels in real time at minimum speeds and in broadcast mode over the network;
  • professional, which provide a shooting speed of up to 25 frames per second, and quality of 720*576 pixels in all modes + excellent sound quality.
  1. By the platform configuration format:
  • autonomous, which consist of a single piece with a chip containing software. All components are located inside the recorder. They are simple, reliable and easy to use;
  • based on a PC, when a video capture card (also known as a video recorder) is located in a personal computer.

Benefits of recorders

Despite the fact that recorders for video cameras are not the latest and most relevant equipment and inferior in functionality to cloud video surveillance, they have a number of advantages:

  1. Relatively simple and easy mechanism for viewing video archives, including remote viewing via local network or Internet connection.
  2. Possibility of storing a large volume of footage. This is due to new methods of compressing digital video images.
  3. Digital video recorders provide high quality picture and sound.
  4. Greater functionality compared to the previous generation of video recording equipment, including backups, recording in several modes, etc.
  5. Long service life of the equipment.
  6. Simplified way of transmitting information to police and law enforcement agencies in comparison to old video recorders.
  7. Ability to copy information to a remote server (cloud) or to portable drives.

Parameters for choosing a recorder

When choosing a recorder for video monitoring, you need to focus on the following points:

  • total number of cameras used in the video surveillance system;
  • camera formats planned for installation. These can be CVBS, HDTVI, HDCVI, AHD, IP;
  • matter of installing PTZ cameras;
  • recording speed of surveillance materials;
  • use of motion sensors, sirens and other alarm signals;
  • need for sound;
  • recording principle (continuous or event mode);
  • storage time of recordings;
  • volume of recordings;
  • other parameters of video surveillance.

Modern recorders are distinguished by the following characteristics:

  • resolution (recording quality);
  • number of input channels;
  • recording size before rewriting;
  • speed;
  • presence/absence of access to external media;
  • presence/absence of access to audio channels;
  • access to the Internet and IP video cameras;

Alternative methods of video surveillance

The use of a recorder as a separate device similar in appearance to a conventional DVD player can now be completely replaced by another video surveillance system. We are talking about the latest technology: using a mobile application based on 2 smartphones. Details on the website

How to set up phones as cameras and monitors is described in the articles:

Thus, in 2020, there is no need to purchase special equipment to protect your home and business. However, cloud services are easy to upgrade and integrate with any equipment, including recorders.


Recorders for video surveillance are the second generation of equipment that went into mass use after old tape recorders. Of course, this system has a right to exist and is actively sold by video device suppliers. However, it is no longer possible to call the surveillance system using recorders the latest and most relevant. Cloud video surveillance has pushed analog equipment out of the market and eliminated the need to buy recorders.


Александр Вебер

Alexander Weber

Specialist in video surveillance, video analytics, cloud storage systems. Consultant on the integration of video surveillance systems and tools in various business sectors. Over 10 years of industry experience.

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