The city of Washington, D.C. incentives residents to install security camera systems on their properties, “This program is intended to help deter crime and assist law enforcement with investigations.” There’s no longer any lingering debate among top law enforcement about whether or not home security cameras are effective. One option among dependable and cost-efficient security camera systems is a DVR system, but there are special concerns about the overall value of this system type, compared to others.


Instead of conventional analog recording, DVR systems digitally record and store the video footage. (DVR stands for Digital Video Recorder). The digital medium enables higher quality of video images, and the recordings require less maintenance. Here is some information on how DVR security camera systems work, and their benefits and limitations.

A Digital Closed Circuit System

A DVR security system is one or more closed circuit surveillance cameras connected to a DVR recording device, or to a computer capable of digital recording. (Even existing analog closed circuit television (CCTV) can be converted to digital DVR systems by simply replacing the VCR with a DVR.) You may prefer to have a CCTV security professional install your DVR security system.

The security camera(s) will record digitally formatted video files onto the hard drive of your computer or DVR. Your main limitation will be how much space you have on your hard drive. The higher quality of recordings you make, the more frames per second that the system will create—which means the larger the digital storage files will be. Your DVR will stop recording when storage space runs out, unless the it is programmed to write over older data when its storage capacity is full.

Most security cameras can time- and date-stamp the footage, making searching stored footage on your computer more efficient.

DVR Security System Pros and Cons

DVR security camera systems offer some attractive benefits. However, they also come with a number of significant shortcomings in certain areas of function that do not affect their usefulness to some users but cause other buyers to rule them out as options. Here are some of the key positives and negatives of DVR surveillance camera systems.


  •  These security camera systems are affordable.
  • Camera footage is secure, if the DVR is physically secure.
  • They can produce high-quality video.
  • More sophisticated camera models can be fit with audio kits.
  • Advanced models can be fit with motion sensors that prompt recording only when motion is detected. This saves a tremendous amount of footage storage space, and it eliminates the need to have a person perpetually monitoring the video feed.


  • The systems cannot be connected to a network, so video feed cannot be checked from other anywhere other than the location of the DVR or the computer connected to it. By contrast, IP cameras, allow you to view a live stream of the security camera footage via the internet on your smartphone, tablet, etc., from any remote location.
  • DVR systems require large amounts of storage, even if they have sensors and record only when motion is detected. With multiple cameras, the storage needed can be extreme.
  • A DVR system is closed circuit, so the equipment is local. That means that the DVR and/or footage can be tampered with or stolen. Again comparing the IP camera alternative, IP options include the ability to upload footage to the cloud immediately after it’s recorded, where storage is abundant without adding to physical storage needs, and risk of theft of the footage is eliminated, in case the DVR equipment is stolen.



In the end, your choice of security camera system should be driven by how you want to use the system. If you want to store recordings made during the day to review later—and you don’t need to view security footage in real time online—a DVR camera surveillance system can be more affordable and relevant to your needs.

But, if you need a system that is accessible via the internet, and you don’t want to incur the cost of enormous amounts of storage on hard disks, then consider an IP camera system. These are typically more expensive upfront, but can deliver quality footage as well as a much more expansive array of remote access and storage options.

Protect America

The need for optimal quality home security is growing. Today’s consumers of residential security systems want to all of the protection they can get from the most trusted providers! Protect America has been making homes safer throughout the United States for nearly  30 years.

We provide 24/7 professional security monitoring for homes. Our advanced technologies, highly effective professional team, and deep dedication to exceptional customer services are why Protect America has been awarded Consumers Digest Best Buy winner nine times.

For More Information

If you are thinking about obtaining a monitored security system for your home, contact Protect America home security systems at 1-855-995-6398 for a free quote.