Buying a cheap DVR?….then prepare to buy twice

What DVR to buy?

What do customers want and expect from a CCTV solution when they are originally sold the the concept?

Clear crisp images.

Well most customers will expect crisp, clear live images to watch during the day and to be fair pretty much all camera systems are capable of producing this. A pre-installation demonstration can illustrate this well and most customers are happy to buy on what they have seen.

The pitfalls.

However what most end users fail to realize is that the live images are just a small part of the overall solution. So many times after an incident has occurred that they find out too late that they have purchased a system that is quite frankly totally unacceptable.


How can this be? Well often they discover to their cost that the DVR has let them down , no matter how good the pictures look “live” it is the play back and the information that can be gained at this crucial point that makes the difference between a good CCTV system and what can only be described as quite simply a white elephant..

What goes wrong?

Several things can go wrong when the customer comes to review an incident. One of the most common we have come across is that the hard-drive has failed. Cheap DVRs have no internal monitoring of the hard-drive health and no visible or audible indication that it is failing or worse, has failed. The consequences are obvious pictures to review.

Other problems.

Other problems are that the DVR images are are a pale replica of what the customer has been used to watching live. This is because the picture quality that has been laid down onto the disc has been reduced to save hard-drive space. Either the pictures are jerky or pixelated and any attempt to zoom in on the incident is met with a mass of pixelated squares. Worse still the installer may have made the picture quality too good, so we have great images but find that we have recorded over the incident we are looking for. It may turn out you will have only one or two days recording.

Unhappy customers.

All this leads to customer dissatisfaction and in many cases the customer will find he spent a lot of money and achieved nothing. Correct advice is essential to ensure that the correct DVR is purchased in the first place . This may of course cost quite a bit more money at the time of the original purchase , however it seems  pointless to buy a DVR that is effectively useless!

Buy cheap, buy twice!

So think hard when deciding what you want to achieve from your CCTV system , Some applications may only need the very limited recordings that cheaper DVR’s will give you , but if you need a CCTV solution that you can rely on to give you the highest quality and lengthy service, its worth shopping around for the DVR that will actually give you EVERYTHING that you want.

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