Buyer’s Guide 2018 – Network Video Recorders (NVR)

A Digital Video Recorder (DVR) has always been an essential component of a good CCTV security solution. With the advent of network cameras (IP Cameras) however, the humble DVR has given way to the Network Video Recorder (NVR). Whether you are upgrading from a DVR or dipping your toes into home CCTV, we will guide you all the way.

2018 NVR Comparison -

DVR vs. NVR – What’s the difference?

How do you distinguish between a DVR and an NVR? A DVR is usually specified by the lines of resolution and the number of cameras that can be connected to it. This is because it is not a network based device and has analog video inputs for each camera it records. An NVR is a network device specified by the bandwidth it can handle and thus the number of video channels it can record. NVRs can do so much more than a DVR that it can be difficult to identify and research the model that best meets your needs. The problem with all the other home security related websites is that they offer no quick and easy way to find an NVR that meets your needs.

This is why we decided to build the ultimate comparison table for NVRs. The table below lets you compare the features of the most popular NVRs from manufacturers such as Hikvision, Dahua, Samsung etc. You can filter using the feature dropdown boxes, search for a specific feature such as 4K, or sort these NVRs by any column. So you can quickly narrow the list to NVRs that have the features you are looking for. We have also explained the comparison criteria in detail just below the table.

We think the most important features that you should look for in an NVR are in the comparison table. Let us know if we can improve this tool in any way. We will soon be adding NVR models from other manufacturers also.

NVR vs. NVR kit

Based on my DIY Smart Home framework, you can go EasyDIY and get a single kit that includes an NVR (read my recommendations), IP cameras and everything else you need to set it up. But if you want to go ProDIY and choose an NVR and the cameras yourself, the table below should be helpful.

NVR Comparison table/matrix

Start by filtering the table by using the dropdown boxes or the search box. Simply click on the required column header to sort by that criteria. To reset the table, just reload this page by clicking your browser’s refresh button or pressing F5 on your keyboard.

I have included NVRs from Hikvision, Dahua, Amcrest, Reolink and LaView below.

CategoryBrandModelPriceChannelsCamera MP (Max supported)4K HDMIHDDs (Max)Max TB/HDDAudio ports (In/Out)Alarm ports (In/Out)USB 3.0
POE 4KLaViewLV-KNX968P86W4-T288Yes2121/11/11
POE 4KLaViewLV-KNX968P84W4-T2
Non-POEAmcrestNV1104Check Amazon41No141/1No0
POEAmcrestNV1104ECheck Amazon22No141/1No0
Non-POEAmcrestNV4108Check Amazon85No141/1No0
POEAmcrestNV4108ECheck Amazon85No141/1No0
POEAmcrestNV4432ECheck Amazon325No2121/1No0
POEAmcrestAMNV40M8-4B-BCheck Amazon84No141/1No0
POEAmcrestAMNV30M8-4B-BCheck Amazon83No141/1No0
POEHikvisionDS-7604NI-E1/4PCheck Amazon46No141/1No1
POEHikvisionDS-7604NI-E1/4P/ACheck Amazon46No141/14/11
POEHikvisionDS-7608NI-E2/8PCheck Amazon86No241/1No1
POEHikvisionDS-7608NI-E2/8P/ACheck Amazon86No241/14/11
POEHikvisionDS-7616NI-E2/8PCheck Amazon166No261/1No1
POEHikvisionDS-7616NI-E2/8P/ACheck Amazon166No261/14/11
POEHikvisionDS-7616NI-E2/16PCheck Amazon166No261/1No1
POEHikvisionDS-7616NI-E2/16P/ACheck Amazon166No261/14/11
Non-POEHikvisionDS-7604NI-E1Check Amazon46No141/14/11
Non-POEHikvisionDS-7608NI-E2Check Amazon86No241/14/11
Non-POEHikvisionDS-7616NI-E2Check Amazon166No241/14/11
POE 4KHikvisionDS-7608NI-I2/8P-812Yes261/14/11
POE 4KHikvisionDS-7616NI-I2/16P-1612Yes261/14/11
Non-POE 4KHikvisionDS-7608NI-I2-812Yes261/14/11
Non-POE 4KHikvisionDS-7616NI-I2
POEHikvisionDS-7604NI-SE/PCheck Amazon45No241/14/10
POEHikvisionDS-7608NI-SE/PCheck Amazon85No241/14/10
POEHikvisionDS-7616NI-SE/PCheck Amazon165No241/14/10
Non-POE 4KDahuaDH-NVR4208-4K-812Yes261/1Yes1
Non-POE 4KDahuaDH-NVR4216-4K-1612Yes261/1Yes1
Non-POE 4KDahuaDH-NVR4232-4K-3212Yes261/1Yes1
POE 4KDahuaDH-NVR4208-8P-4K-812Yes261/1Yes1
POE 4KDahuaDH-NVR4216-8P-4K-1612Yes261/1Yes1
POE 4KDahuaDH-NVR4232-8P-4K-3212Yes261/1Yes1

A quick note: This article may contain affiliate links. If you click on one of these links and then purchase something, we may receive a fee. This does not cost you anything extra. Also note that Hikvision and Dahua do not consider certain platforms including Amazon as an authorized seller platform. So if you need warranty support please purchase from authorized resellers of Hikvision and Dahua products in your country.

NVRs – Explanation of technical terms:

Category: We have grouped the NVRs into categories so that you can easily drilldown to the exact type of NVR you are after.

Model: This is the exact model number of the NVR as described by the manufacturer.

Price: To provide you with up-to-date prices, we have linked the NVRs to Amazon. Please note that this is an affiliate link which will provide us a commission if you decide to buy from Amazon.

Number of channels: This is the maximum number of separate channels the NVR supports.

Camera Megapixels: This is the maximum number of megapixels of the camera that the NVR supports.

4K HDMI: Some of the newer NVR models have 4K support so that you can enjoy your NVR output in 4K resolution if your TV supports it.

POE ports: Some NVRs have Power-over-Ethernet (POE) network ports.

Hikvision NVR Model Naming Convention

Hikvision has 6 different series of NVRs aimed at different sectors of the market and different types of users – the 9600, 8600, 7600, 9500, 7700, and the 7100 series. The 7600 series is the most affordable one and also the one that is most interesting to DIY home security enthusiasts like us.

The full Hikvision NVR naming convention is:
‘DS-XXXX-NI’ – ‘(I OR E)X’ / ‘X’P where X denotes the numbers 0-9.

Let’s break this down with an example, shall we? Let’s take the DS-7608NI-E2/8P:

  • A fixed prefix:
    • ‘DS-’, then
  • 4 digits:
    • The first 2 digits are the first 2 digits of the series number, eg. 76 for the 7600 series.
    • The next 2 digits indicate the number of channels supported by the NVR, eg. 08 for 8 channels.
  • A fixed suffix:
    • ‘-NI-’, where the N stands for NVR and I for International markets
  • The next alphabet of I or E is just an auxilliary letter.
  • The next digit indicates the number of SATA interfaces supported:
    • This shows you how many hard drives can be installed in the NVR. In our example, the 2 in E2 shows that 2 hard drives are supported.
  • If the NVR is PoE enabled, then we have another suffix, starting with a slash ‘/’
  • The next digit indicates:
    • The number of PoE ports. In or example, the 8 in 8P shows that this model has 8 PoE ports.
  • The next alphabet of P, H or N indicate the presence or absence of certain features:
    • P indicates PoE support.
    • H indicates Extended HDMI.
    • N indicates that PoE is not supported, i.e. just a switch interface is present.

Dahua NVR Model Naming Convention

The full Dahua NVR naming convention is:
‘DH-NVR’ – ‘XXYYH’ – ‘P or W or R’ where X denotes numbers 0-9 and YY is the no. of camera channels.

  • DH – The first two alphabets are always DH for Dahua
  • NVR – The next three will say NVR for NVRs.
  • X – The next digit describes the type of chipset solution used in the system:
    • 1=His3520D
    • 2=His3520A
    • 3=ST7108
    • 4=His3535/ST312
    • 5=Ti8167
    • 6=X86 i3/i5
    • 7=ST416
  • X – The next digit is the maximum number of hard drives that can be installed.
    • 1=1HDD
    • 2=2HDD
    • 4=4HDD
    • 8=8HDD
    • 0=16HDD
  • YY – The number of channels supported
    • 04=4ch
    • 08=8ch
    • 16=16ch
    • 32=32ch
    • 64=64ch
    • 00=128ch
  • H if present always means the case is of the type Mini 1U
  • The last alphabet defines the function:
    • P=PoE
    • W=WiFi
    • R=RAID

Let’s break this down with an example, shall we? Let’s take the DH-NVR1108H-P:

  • DH = Dahua
  • NVR = Network Video Recorder
  • 1 = This NVR is based on the His3520D chipset solution
  • 1 = It supports 1 hard disk drive (HDD)
  • 08 = It supports 8 camera channels
  • H = It has a Mini 1U type case
  • P = This NVR has POE support
Daniel Ross

Daniel Ross

I am Daniel and VueVille is where I document my DIY smart home journey. I focus on 100% local-processing and local-storage because that’s the only way to secure my family’s safety and privacy. Oh and I don’t like monthly subscriptions!

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