What is the difference between CCTV and DVR?

When it comes to security cameras, there are a lot of acronyms floating around. Two of the most common are CCTV and DVR. But what do they stand for? And what’s the difference between them?

CCTV stands for closed-circuit television. A CCTV system consists of a camera or multiple cameras, a monitor, and a recording device. The camera captures footage, which is then transmitted to the monitor. The recording device saves the footage so that it can be viewed later.

DVR stands for digital video recorder. A DVR system also consists of a camera or multiple cameras, a monitor, and a recording device. However, the recording device in a DVR system is digital, whereas the recording device in a CCTV system is analog. This means that footage from a DVR system is easier to store and retrieve than footage from a CCTV system.

So, what’s the difference between CCTV and DVR? CCTV systems are analog and DVR systems are digital. That’s really all there is to it!

Frequently Asked Question

  1. What is the difference between CCTV and DVR?

  2. Analog Cameras: DVR systems typically use analog security cameras (otherwise known as CCTV cameras). The reason why DVR security systems are typically priced lower compared to NVR systems is due to the camera. Analog cameras transmit analog signals to the recorder, which then processes the video data. [1]

  3. Can you just buy a DVR?

  4. While most people opt to get their DVRs with their cable or satellite provider’s equipment, there is an option to buy a stand-alone unit. These stand-alone boxes are a great option if your TV provider doesn’t offer DVR service, and may cost less over time depending on equipment leasing/service fees. [2]


CCTV is an abbreviation for “closed-circuit television” while DVR stands for “digital video recorder”. Both are devices used to record images or videos, but they have some key differences. CCTV cameras are typically used for surveillance purposes, whereas DVRs are used for recording and playback of digital videos. DVRs usually have more features than CCTV cameras, such as the ability to record in HD quality and to connect to the internet.

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Sources –

  1. https://info.verkada.com/compare/dvr-vs-nvr/
  2. https://www.reviews.org/tv-service/do-you-need-a-dvr/

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