Digital Video Recorder

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What Does Digital Video Recorder Mean?

A digital video recorder (DVR) is a consumer electronics
device designed for recording video in a digital format within a mass storage
device such as USB flash drive, hard disk drive or any other storage device. Compared
to other video recording alternatives, a digital video recorder has many advantages
such as being tapeless, faster data
retrieval and higher image quality. It is mostly used in home entertainment and
in surveillance/security systems.


Digital video recorders are also known as personal video recorders (PVR).

Techopedia Explains Digital Video Recorder

A digital video recorder comes with its own internal hard drive and users can start recording without the need to insert any sort of storage media. When it comes to analog camera recording, digital video recording supports features such as remote access motion detection, real-time playback, recording and backup. When it comes to home entertainment, the television signal goes directly into the digital video recorder, and is then converted into a digital format with the help of an MPEG-2 encoder. From there it is transmitted to two different targets, one to the hard drive for storage and the other to the television screen for viewing. Newer versions of digital video recorders are capable of recording different videos from different channels simultaneously.

Digital video recorders have many distinct advantages over other methods of video recording. Compared to other similar devices, digital video recorder systems are easy to set up and use. They also require less storage space and can provide higher image quality. Digital video recorders are also capable of faster data retrieval and immune to noise.

However, compared to video management software or network video recorders, a digital video recorder would not be able to support multi-cameras on a single system compared to others and also would not be able to process as many frames per second. They do not have the advantage of edge device processing capabilities that the newer systems such as video management software and network video recorder have.


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Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor
Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.