Digital video recorders (DVR) are integral to modern security camera systems, allowing for the recording of security footage from your CCTV security cameras, for playback when required.
These days most DVR's allow for multi-channel recording in order to be able to support up to 16 individual security cameras, ensuring that there are no blind spots in your CCTV monitoring.
As well as having numerous cameras streaming high-definition footage, the best DVR for CCTV setups will also offer large – and dependable – hard drives that can hold all of the recordings your cameras capture.
The best DVR security camera solutions will also offer additional features, such as apps that you can download to monitor camera footage in real-time from any location, and support cloud storage.
So, if you want to make sure your home or office is protected, we’ve listed our picks of the best DVR security systems for CCTV. Be aware that some include cameras in the box, whereas others require them to be purchased separately along with hard drives.
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Best digital video recorders for CCTV - at a glance
- Sansco S4D4C1T All-in-One Smart CCTV camera system
- ZOSI 8CH Security Camera System HD-TVI Full 1080p Video DVR Recorder
- ANNKE 8 Channel Security Camera System 1080p
- Samsung Wisenet SDH-B84040BF 8
- OHWOAI Home Security Camera System
- Westshine 16 Channel 1080N DVR 5-in-1 Hybrid
This Sansco model is an attractive deal. While the DVR unit itself is not particularly robust (its front-facing buttons are audibly ‘clicky’), it records good quality video in Full HD with enough storage to give you around 2-3 weeks of playback footage.
There’s also the option to tweak the frames per second recorded if you want to extend that. Connectivity-wise there’s HDMI and VGA for hooking it up to a monitor, and you can also download Sansco’s XMEye app (available on iOS and Android) to quickly flick between cameras and hit record.
Another wireless camera setup, this Zosi 8-channel system records in Full HD and comes with four weatherproof cameras that can be affixed outside to walls. And if you want to add more cameras – both bullet and dome varieties – you can add another four to the setup in total.
This model also comes with a smart app that lets you see through the eyes of your cameras and quickly record at any time. On the downside, when motion detection is activated, its cameras are occasionally overly sensitive and send alerts even if minimal movement outside has been detected.
If you already have a hard drive for your DVR lying around, you can pair it with this affordable unit which does not come with one pre-installed. That’s not a requirement either – it can be used purely for monitoring (and not recording) in real-time view with no hard disk installed.
If you do choose to record footage, the Annke model uses H.264+ tech to compress recorded video which allows it to record for up to 50 days in 1080p. Through an accompanying Annke Vision app, you can watch live streams and view playbacks instantly on a smartphone on the go.
If you’re looking for a robust DVR system that feels premium and records in 2K quality, this model from Samsung Wisenet will fit the bill. It ships with four white and sleek bullet-style cameras designed for indoor and outdoor use. They’re equipped with night vision tech that uses infrared LEDs and smart IR to provide up to130ft (or 40m) night vision range. Like others on our list, the DVR system works with a mobile app that lets you view what the cameras are seeing in real-time, though we found in our testing that the app occasionally forgot cameras which then needed to be re-added.
If you’re not keen on the idea of snaking cables around the house, this model reduces the clutter. As an NVR (networked video recorder), its four wall-mountable cameras are wireless and can be positioned anywhere so long as they are in range of your router’s WiFi signal (and they must be plugged in a power socket. Like the DVRs on our list, this uses motion detection; however, we prefer that it sends motion alerts when detected directly to the app, versus emailing them to the user.
Easy to setup, this DVR system from Westshine is an elegantly designed unit that supports up to 16 channels (or cameras) being used at the same time, which comes in handy for monitoring larger premises or estates. There’s no hard disk or camera included, so you’ll need to purchase those separately. It records up to 1,920 x 1,080 resolution output with clear colours and as crisp image as you’ll get at Full HD. As with other DVRs it supports a cloud service that lets you remotely log in using a smartphone or tablet to view and record camera footage in real-time.