A network video server is a computer that runs special Video Management Software known as VMS and is used to record video from IP cameras. A windows computer is usually the platform for the VMS, and video is recorded onto the computer’s hard drives in a special video format.
Sometimes people are confused by this term because a number of years back a device that attached an analogue camera to the networks was also called a video or camera server. This is now known as a Video Encoder.
A Network Video Recorder, or NVR, is a complete IP camera recording device. It includes a computer and special Video Management Software. VMS is required for recording video, but it also allows multiple viewers to monitor real time and recorded video.
The DVR or Digital Video Recorder is a device that records video from analogue cameras to one or more hard drives. The term DVR is also used by the consumer TV market.
The DVR used in the security market has a fixed number of BNC connections to attach cameras. DVRs are available with 4, 8, 16, 32, and 64 channels, or connections. This means that you have a maximum number of cameras that can be supported by one unit. Once you exceed the number of connections available on that particular DVR, you will need to add another DVR to your system.
There are some DVRs that can connect to the network and be viewed using a Windows computer.