In order to save video images on a continuous basis, the analogue signal from the camera must be converted to digital (if the camera is analogue) and in any case the video footage must be compressed for storage on a computer hard disc.

A digital video recorder can do all this in one operation, as it has all the necessary features. A typical device is shown here:

Digital Video Recorder with integrated display panel.

Rear view.

These are the typical features available with such a device;

Video In 4CH
* Video Out (VCR OUT, MON OUT)
* Full Function Remote Control
* Real Time QUAD Display 120 Frames/sec
* Recording 30 Frames/sec
* Programmable Playback Speed (1~16 times)
* High Resolution Recording System (720 x 480) - Compare to digital photos at 1600 x 1200!
* Audio Recording
* Event Recording (Alarm Sensor and Video Motion Detection)
* Competitive price
* Easy to Operate-Access
* Stand Alone Type (Non-PC Base)
* Full/Quad/PIP Display Mode Selectable
* Programming the MENU in OSD (On Screen Display)
* Built-in Time / Date / Title Generator
* Motion Detection
* Alarm Place Event Save and Relay Out
* Video Loss Event Save and Relay Out
* Quick Search : Time/Event
* Time Lapse VCR Recording Interface
* Hard Disk Drive Overwrite ON/OFF Function
* Built-in Pan/Tilt Control (Option)
* MJPEG Compression


Note the last entry in the list - MJPEG compression. Digital video recorders are a useful tool if one is able to employ a security guard to watch the monitor, as it is posible to view multiple camera locations at the same time, and one can recieve a reasonably clear view of any camera scene. They are therefore ideal for live monitoring purposes and that is why they are often marketed in conjunction with "observation" cameras.

However, the quality of the video recordings from these devices is not to be recommended because video technology is not able to capture clear CCTV images on a continuous basis. We have therefore decided not to promote these items even though they are much more profitable to sell than the system we promote, which is based on digital photography using Picture Perfect™ technology.

If a customer is looking for an observation system, we would of course be pleased to quote for the supply of such equipment!