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Using a computer instead of a DVR


People often ask us if they can save money and use their computer for CCTV rather than buying a separate DVR.

There are a number of reasons why we don't recommend this.

A DVR runs for 24 hours a day constantly sending information to the hard drive. A computer is only designed to run intermittently with relatively long rest periods. To run a CCTV system your computer would need to run 24 hours per day 365 days per year.

If the extra work load causes your computer to fail you will stand to lose work and information stored on it, not just the CCTV footage. We fit specific AV grade hard drives into our DVRs, not computer drives.

Video data takes up a large amount processing power and storage space. You could experience performance issues caused by the extra processing strain.

Often the first thing to be stolen in a theft is computer equipment. A stand alone DVR can be sited in a secure location.

The software and capture card required to use a computer for CCTV costs money. It's not hard to spend the price of a stand alone DVR on them, so you might not be saving money for a potentially inferior solution. If you choose to fit IP cameras and use your network storage device or NAS it wil massively increase work load on what is probably there to back up all your computer files and data. CCTV will not only swamp the storage capacity but could also cause premature failure with the loss of all your files.