IP camera and NVR operations - explanation please

6 Oct 2014
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United Kingdom
Hey all

Please forgive the noob questions. I’ve started reading up on setting up my own CCTV system but can’t seem to find a straight answer on this:
1. For IP cameras, do you basically set the camera up with a folder to save to (whether that is a PC, NAS or NVR)? I know some have other functionalities, like saving to cloud, but I wanted to find out if they all operate in the same way or if they are device dependent. For example, do I have to buy the same companies NVR and IP cameras or can I mix and match?
2. What is a NVR? I understand it as basically a networked hard drive with a basic system to view the contained media (with possibly network ports to connect directly to the cameras if you so choose). Does it do more? I assume that it is the IP cameras where you setup any of the record on motion stuff, etc., so the NVR would basically just be a mini-pc to view what has been recorded.

To give some context, I’m looking at putting up 3 external POE IP cameras. I originally wanted to save directly to my cloud storage (google drive & dropbox) but I see all of them use their own cloud or some way that I will have to pay monthly. So, instead, I will record to a hidden NVR (or NAS if more suitable). The location where the media will be stored will be hidden in a wall panel, so there won’t be any way of connecting monitor/mouse to it. Is a NVR what I want? Cause if it’s just a shared drive as I asked above, I might as well rather buy a NAS, save money and use for other storage.

Thanks for any help.
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each system is slightly different but you can store video data in many different ways, what you have to be aware of is where you are storing it and what quality you are storing and whether your system can cope with the bandwidth used, if storing on a harddrive you need to make sure it can handle being in constant use ie a surveillance hard drive, event based recording cuts down the storage but you can risk missing important data.

NVR is a network video recorder, in its basic form it has network ports and often these are POE and is on its own network, has a hard drive for recording and can be used to change certain parameters of the cameras but not necessarily all of the cameras features.

The network out if you like connects to your router so its a direct link to the outside rather than having each camera sat on your network.

for example a customer recently had 3 x 4MP HIK ip cameras set up on there NVR, great quality pictures, but there ISP cant handle the bandwidth upload for the quality of the image they want. so the playback has to be done locally and not remotely and the live feed view is dumbed down on stream 2 so they can view live video without any major hassle.

The Hik vision cameras on there own are capable of storing the data to a defined place, what you have to know is whether your system can handle the storage and data playback.

I personally would keep the camera network separate from the home network, until it comes to the router connection for outside access.

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