Standalone VS PC-Based DVR Packages July 10 2014, 0 Comments

Standalone DVRs are very affordable, and can't be hacked because they don't use a conventional operating system to operate. They're also small and compact. Standalone DVRs typically have fewer options than their PC-Based counterparts, however, and usually max out at 16 Channels. Some even have room for an additional hard drive and/or a DVD burner.

PC-Based DVRs operate using the Windows OS. They're more susceptible to internet threats because of this. But they offer a great deal more flexibility than Standalone DVRs. They can interface with a combination of both Analog and IP cameras, and have multiple slots available for additional hard drive space. PC-Based DVRs also have advanced POS capabilities for monitoring activity at cash registers. They can also be expanded with additional DVR Cards, usually maxing out at 64 Channels.

Standalone Pros:

  • Inexpensive relative to PC-Based
  • TV output for Standard Definition Monitors
  • Small footprint
  • Immune to hacking and viruses
  • Embedded software making upgrades unnecessary

Standalone Cons:

  • Except for hard drive and optical drive, can't be upgraded in most cases
  • If any one part malfunctions, the entire unit will need to be replaced
  • Less available space for storage. Most max out at about 4TB
  • Can't integrate with other security systems

PC-Based Pros:

  • Easily upgraded (Video Card, DVR Cards, RAM, Hard Drive, Optical Drive, Processor)
  • Upgradeable operating system and DVR Software
  • POS and Cash Register integration
  • Hybrid, works with analog, IP, and HD-SDI cameras (HD-SDI requires HD-SDI DVR Cards)
  • Greater storage capacity

PC-Based Cons:

  • Susceptible to hacking and viruses
  • More expensive than standalone units
  • Requires updates to keep system running smoothly
  • Large footprint
  • Susceptible to software corruption

For most, the number of cameras needed, and budget, will help determine which system should be purchased. Home based security applications are a lot more likely to use standalone DVRs, because of the low cost, and small number of cameras required. Businesses usually utilize the flexibility of PC-Based systems because of broader security threats. A business may use the POS capabilites for the cash register, IP cameras for the parking lot, and HD-SDI cameras for inventory and retail. When you need to secure multiple areas with cameras supporting a combination of analog and HD resolution cameras, a PC-Based DVR is the only option. Lastly, businesses usually need access to footage for an extended period of time, which requires more hard drive space. PC-Based DVRs are more suitable for this.