Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Security DVR?

DVR stands for Digital Video Recorder. A Security DVR is capable of taking the video from digital or analog cameras and recording it into a digital format on a hard drive. It can record high quality video, maintenance free, for weeks or even months. An ideal replacement for time lapse VCRs.


What is a Security NVR?

NVRs are like DVRs, except they record in HD. You can record only record IP Cameras with a NVR.

Whereas in a traditional DVR, the video files are encoded (changed from video feeds to files) in the DVR; with NVRs, the video is encoded and processed in the IP Camera and then sent to the NVR to be saved, viewed, and stored. NVRs do not have video capture cards but usually have sophisticated (or multiple) Ethernet or wireless ports.


Often NVRs are mistakenly called DVRs, but they are different.


NVRs work with IP (Network) Cameras; rather than BNC analog (standard definition) security cameras.


What is a video capture card?

A video capture card or DVR card is a graphic card inside the Security DVR system which captures the signal from the cameras and stores the video on the hard drive.


How many hours of video can the Security DVR/NVR store?

The length of archive depends on number of cameras, frames per second (FPS) and amount of available hard disk space. Our preconfigured systems usually provide several weeks of archive on motion detect mode.


How does motion detection work? Through the camera or software?

Motion detection works through the software in the DVR system by recording video when pixels in the image change. Most Security DVRs/NVR’s offer a sensitivity scale so the user can set the sensitivity of the motion detection.


Can I view live and recorded video locally?



Can I view live and recorded video remotely?

Yes, all of our Security DVR/NVR systems are Internet enabled. You can view live and recorded video from anywhere through the Internet.


What kind of broadband do I need? How much bandwidth?

Basic DSL or cable will suffice in most cases.


Can several users view one site at once?

Most Internet-enabled Security DVR/NVR systems allow multiple users to view the same site simultaneously. However, as more people look at the same cameras/DVR/NVR at the same time, the bandwidth will be shared between them.


Can I record audio?

Yes, if the Security DVR system comes with an audio option you can record audio. Most analog cameras do not come with built in audio, so you will probably need a separate audio kit.


Can I listen to live and recorded audio remotely?

Yes, some of our Security DVR systems have that option. With an optional audio module, you can listen to live and recorded audio from anywhere through the Internet.


How many cameras do I need?

This will depend on the size and layout of the area you wish to survey. On average, we recommend one camera per 500 Sq. Ft.


What camera lens size is the best for my application?

ACS Security Cameras carries a large selection of security camera lenses, but the lens you will need depends on where you plan to use it.


What is an Auto-Iris Lens?

An auto iris lens provides consistent video signal in areas where light levels vary. This is very important when dealing with outdoor cameras.


What is Lux?

Illumination is measured in units called Lux. Cameras are measured in lux, the lower the lux the better the camera can see in darkness. Infrared technology usually has 0lux since it uses IR to produce the artificial light for the cameras ccd.


Can I zoom in with a camera?

Yes, but you need a special camera called a Pan-Tilt-Zoom or PTZ camera. Browse our selection of PTZ cameras and find the one that is right for you.


What kind of cable should I use?

Siamese cable, which is an RG59 coaxial cable and a pair of 18 gauge wire for in the same jacket to make installation easy. CAT5e along with video baluns can also be acceptable for runs longer than 500 feet.


What happens if there is power outage?

Most Security DVRs will come back on as soon as power is restored. However, we suggest an uninterruptable power supply (UPS) which provides a short period of backup power and also serves as a surge protection device.


Can the Security DVR report an alarm?

Yes, some Security DVRs have that option.