Hybrid DVRs & Hybrid Camera Systems

Hybrid DVRs & Their Advantages

The term 'Hybrid DVR' simply means that you can record both analog cameras and IP (aka network or megapixel) cameras to the same DVR. A 'Hybrid Security Camera System' is a system that incorporates both analog and IP cameras (by using a hybrid DVR).

Hybrid Security Camera System Design

Hybrid Security Camera System Design

For a detailed discussion of analog versus IP surveillance technologies, please refer to that FAQ. The short story is this: Analog cameras plug into a DVR using coax cable and can be run up to 1000 feet without any boosters or amplifiers. IP cameras plug into an NVR or hybrid DVR via Ethernet cable and cable runs are limited to 328 feet before needing another switch. The advantages of analog security camera systems are cost and lower hard drive and network bandwidth requirements. The advantages of IP camera systems are much higher resolutions and better wireless functionality.

Hybrid security camera systems give you the best of both of these worlds. You can save money by using analog cameras in your less vulnerable areas of your application. And, you can use high resolution IP cameras in your most important areas such as entrances and cash registers. The key component of a hybrid camera system that makes this all possible is the hybrid DVR - a DVR which will manage and record both analog and IP security cameras.

Example Hybrid Camera System Design: Car Sales Lot

Let's use a car sales lot for example. The DVR and analog cameras are all hard wired via coax in the main building but you want to put a camera out in the parking lot. To do this with analog we would have to trench the line through the parking lot and out to the camera location. With IP it is much easier.

We can mount the IP camera and wireless bridge to the light pole and shoot the video back up to 1.5 miles line of site. What's even better with IP is that we can send multiple cameras over that same wireless connection just by adding a network switch as the following diagram below depicts.

Example Hybrid Security Camera System Design - Car Sales Lot

On Hybrid DVRs like the DVR Series PC-based machines you basically get free inputs too. For example, if you purchase a DVR800 DVR which is our 8 camera DVR, it can actually hold 16 cameras. You have 8 BNC inputs for analog cameras and you can also connect up to 8 IP cameras. With a processor upgrade you can extend this up to 16 IP cameras. Therefore an 8 port DVR functions as a 24 port DVR!

When adding IP megapixel cameras to a system you always have to consider hard drive and bandwidth capacity. Analog cameras record at a relatively low resolution (CIF 352x240), while megapixel cameras will be much higher (as much as 5mp 2560x1920). The DVR Series PC-based machines have you covered here too. The DVR Server case alone can hold up to 15TB of storage and if you need more we offer theDTERASERVER15. This 15 bay hard drive storage solution will hold another 45 terabytes (assuming 3TB hard drives).


A Hybrid DVR like the DVR Series PC-based machine is a great solution for a job site that is growing or might expand down the road. A hybrid DVR supports multiple analog and IP cameras providing the advantages of both of these surveillance technologies. Feel free to call us if you would like help designing a hybrid or any other type of security camera system. We are always happy to help.

Last Modified: June 27, 2015

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