DVR Buying Guide Get Started Here: Top 7 Tips for Beginners

When you start to pay attention to the field of security and surveillance, you must have heard of DVR (digital video record) in security camera system, even as a beginner.

DVR is a computer system for image computing storage processing. It has the functions of long-term recording, remote monitoring and control of images/voices and dynamic frames. The DVR combines video recorder, screen splitter and pan/tilt lens control, alarm control and network transmission five functions in one. In this way, it can replace a large number of devices in the analog monitoring system with only one device so that have gained a lot of popularity in security and surveillance industry.

However, select a desired DVR is not a simple thing for a lot of beginners.

Read on to learn what are the basic functions of  DVR and how to choose a DVR you need.

First of all, you should choose digital video records (DVR) with easy-to-use system. A good operating interface shall be professional and aesthetic with visible and simple operation.

Now, let’s go into the functions of DVR.

According to the main functions, it is divided into monitoring, recording, alarm, control function, network function, identification, work schedule function and simultaneous work function etc.


The monitoring function is one of the most important features of DVR. The basic requirement of monitoring function is nothing more than watching the whole scene clearly. If necessary, there should be sound included.

The monitoring effect is determined mainly by the definition, the real-time degree of image and the display form.

Generally, when the image exceeds 17fps (frames per second), it will show a relatively real-time image to the naked eye. If you need to reach more precise and clear image in some special scenes such as shop counter, it need images of 25fps or higher.

To observe and test this feature, you can do some quick action of the hand, for example, fast counting and clapping, etc. Plus, view the time interval of two frames of images by frame-by-frame playback of video, the number of frames / second=1 / time interval of two frames, 25fps corresponds to two frames of images’ time interval is 0.04 seconds.

Take a look at ZOSI 8 Channel 1080P DVR, featuring encode and decode capability at 30fps which ensure smooth and clear real time image during live viewing.

8 Channel 1080P HD 4-in-1 Compatible DVR for CCTV Security Camera System

The display format generally has 1, 4, 7, 9, 10, 16 image segmentation forms, and the screen can also be switched to full screen.

Brightness, contrast, color, saturation and other parameters of each channel should be continuously adjustable. Otherwise, it is not easy to view due to uneven light in multi-screen.

Image Ajustion

Live Viewing Image Adjustion in ZOSI DVR System

This is also an advantage of digital video recorder over ordinary screen splitter. When displayed in full screen, it can accurately reflect the image quality and recording speed.


A Clear and real-time image on the monitor doesn’t necessarily as good on recording. Generally speaking, the image quality of the recording is even more important than the effect on the monitor.

The method of observation and test of clarity and real-time degree is similar. The hard disk space used for recording per unit time and the hard disk space of a single screen are also the essential parameters reflecting the recording effect. This norm has a great impact on the recording time and the data transmission rate.

When it comes to image quality and storage space, video compression technology is the key influence. Advanced video encoding technology can realize better image quality and smaller storage space for recordings. Industry-leading compression technology H.265+ is self-developed by ZOSI which further improve compression ratio based on H.265 standard and save 80% storage space compared with H.264, thus effectively save storage space and obtain better recording effect.

Further Reading: Click here to learn more about H265+ compression technology.

Alarm Function

Motion detection alert is a unique function of digital surveillance system. You can easily set up the motion zone you need to obtain motion alerts from and customize the sensitivity to avoid the unnecessary false alert. Automatically arming and disarming according to the schedule time, the preset motion detection recording function are features that the conventional alarm system does not have.

ZOSI DVR featuring motion detection recording can trigger recording whenever motion is detected in the marked out detection zone, allowing you to take an immediate action if there’s any  unfavorable motion events happen.

16CH 1080P 4-in-1 DVR Free Motion Detection Alert

ZOSI DVR’s Motion detection recording and motion alert function:

  • Customized motion detection enables you to set up the specific zones you need to obtain motion alerts from.
  • Meanwhile, you may customize the sensitivity to detect real danger instead of some passing cars, helping you free form the annoying false alerts.
  • Once the motion detection is triggered, instant alerts will be sent to your smart phone or tablets immediately.

Control Function

Mainly refers to the control of the camera pan-tilt and the lens, which is generally done through a dedicated decoder. You should mainly check whether the operation is flexible and reliable.

Network Function

Through the simple identification of the network the host can perform various monitoring and recording control operations, mainly to observe the connection speed and the monitoring video effect and whether it affects the operation of other software.

Authorization Code

In order to reduce the failure rate and illegal access to the system, passwords and passwords must be set for programs such as pausing recording, disarming the system, and entering programming etc. so that forbid the illegally operation from the unauthorized people.

Working Schedule

DVR can program the working time in a certain time period of a certain camera. This is also the unique function of DVR. It can pre-arrange the holidays and the change of schedules into the program, so surveillance can be ensured even when no one is on guard.