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A digital video recorder (DVR) and digital video server (DVS) are appliances used in video surveillance. These appliances take the analog video signals from multiple analog surveillance cameras and digitize them. A processing engine encodes the video streams in digital formats such as H.264, motion JPEG, MPEG-4 or proprietary codecs to allow for data storage or transmission.
While the DVR is designed to store and view this video stream locally, the DVS sends the encoded video to the larger security network using the TCP/IP protocol. Higher performance systems also have video content analysis (VCA) capabilities allowing for the automatic detection of motion, crossing of virtual fences, etc.
DVRs and DVSs are used to upgrade existing security systems, which are based on analog surveillance cameras. Replacing tape-based VCRs, the DVR/DVS automates the storage of surveillance data and enables remote access to surveillance installations via TCP/IP networks. DVRs/DVSs typically have 4-, 8- or 16-input channels. With further integration, the channel count will increase to 32, 64 and beyond.
With the advent of IP cameras, systems that accept both analog and digital formats are advantageous as the installed analog camera market base still dominates. For this reason, Hybrid DVRs are available today. These appliances are versatile video recording devices that also must have the capability to perform storage and VCA functions.