How to Choose the Right Security DVR

June 22nd, 2021

Since the development of technology, DVRs have been widely used in CCTV systems in Chico, CA. There are many brands of DVRs with high end unit or low quality unit in the security market in Chico, CA. The initial decision to make is what amount of money you are willing to spend and whether you need a high end unit or entry level unit to achieve your goals. Here are some of the key factors to keep into account.

Number of Channels

DVR provide input for 16, 8 and 4 cameras. With a basic 4 channel setup, you can cover a large area by selecting a wider angled camera. However, you should not limit yourself to only installing four cameras. By going for an 8-channel DVR, you provide yourself with a room for future expansion. This can be quite beneficial especially if you find you have many black spots in your 4-camera setup. Having more channels available can be advantageous, but also keep in mind that have too many channels can also be a problem. If you are setting a security system in a small office, you may not require even a four camera DVR, and thus getting a 16 or 8 channel DVR can be a waste of money.


Resolution refers to the size of the image being displayed or recorded. The most common resolution in the security cameras industry is CIF (360 x 240). Currently, the highest standalone resolution for a security is D1 (720 x 480). There are numerous resolutions in between. Resolution is essential since the higher the resolution, the clearer the image being recorded. A 4CIF image is four times clearer than a CIF image. Most of the lower end DVRS record a CIF resolution while high end DVRs record 4CIF and D1 resolutions.

Video Output

Higher end units come with a VGA output as well as a BNC output. Some highest end units also come with a HDMI output. Lower end units usually provide video output that requires the use f a BNC to VGA converter to view the DVR on a standard VGA monitor.

Audio Recording

Some security DVRs can accommodate synced-audio recording. Higher end units usually allow up to 16 channels of synced audio recording, while the lower end units only record one to four channels of audio.

Storage Capacity

The storage capacity of a DVR is an important factor to take into account. Lower end DVRs usually allow for one to two hard drives. Highest end unit provide a storage capacity of up to six or eight internal hard drives. The most advanced DVRs provide for redundant storage (RAID) configuration and FTP uploads. FTP uploads are quite essential for enabling the DVR to back up video to an off premises FTP server when an issue occurs. This might allow the business owner to retrieve video of an intruder who even stole the DVR during theft.

Frame Rate

Frame rate refers to the number of frames a DVR can record at given resolution each second. Real time is usually 30 frames per second. Therefore, to record real time video on 16 channels, you need a unit that records up to 480 frames per second (FPS).

These are just some of the key factors to take into account when choosing a security DVR. With a good understanding of these factors, you will certainly find the right security DVR for your needs.

What Our Customers Say

"I had the Alibi system installed several years ago. It has functioned flawlessly. The image quality is exellent both night and day and in all weather conditions. I particularly like the replay (which can be set at various speeds) and zoom functions of the system. Tech support from Crimefreeliving has been excellent. I have received quick responses to questions, and timely home visits — as when I changed IP carriers and my Alibi system needed to be reset. I have recommended Crimefreeliving to several friends."


"As a small business owner here in Chico we definitely saw the need for video surveillance. After expressing our needs and concerns Tim did an excellent job getting us set up with the set up with the appropriate equipment. He really took the time to address our concerns in a very friendly, professional and knowledgeable manner. I highly recommend Tim for all of your business and residential video surveillance needs."

Ron H., Owner/Auto Doctor

"I have to say I love having my security cameras at my home. Tim Truby did a wonderful job of installing the five cameras. He is very neat and cleaned everything up after the installation. He explained to me how to operate the monitor, my phone and IPad. However, I have had to call Tim because I'm not tech savvy and forget what he has told me. He usually just helps me over the phone and then all is well. I'm 80 years old and enjoy the comfort of knowing I have these security cameras."


"Tim Truby designed and installed a 32 camera system for us here at the Butte County Mosquito and Vector Control District. We had received several other quotes from security system vendors, but Tim’s quote was the least expensive. Tim also installed the system quickly and has always been available when we needed him. We are very happy with our security camera system and we can highly recommend Tim Truby for all of your surveillance system needs."

D. Weseman, Butte County Mosquito and Vector Control District

Crime Free Living updated our old video system with a new 16 Channel HD Alibi Video Security System. The old system had been added onto by different installers which resulted in a cabling mess. There were cables that worked and cables that went nowhere. It was a mess. Tim sorted it all out and installed cameras that are very clear. He also installed a monitor for our cashiers to watch hidden areas, a monitor to watch the entry door, and a monitor that allows employees to watch the outside parking and gas pump area. All work was done on time and very professional! Will always recommend Tim and Crime Free Living.

S. AM PM Chico Arco Station

"I had Tim install an Alibi Video Security System at my residence and a couple business locations. The remote view option is invaluable to absentee owners or anyone who travels a lot. The clarity and quality of the cameras have allowed for viewing employee theft. The evidence provided from the HD video cameras was fantastic! Tim was professional and provided extra value from his law enforcement background."

J. Folsom Arco Station

"Tim, I want to thank you again for doing such a fantastic job on installing a wireless IP security camera system at our dream home. The extra time that you took to hide wires, and install a clean, professional system is much appreciated. I still can’t believe the clarity, quality, and ease of use of this new system. I wished that I would have met you before our original inferior system was installed by another company. Now, whether I am at home, or monitoring the system from around the world, I know that my home and family are safe and sound."

John M.

"In April of 2017, my husband and I made a phone call to Crime Free Living that turned out to be a smart and wise decision. Amazingly, in just a few hours, Tim installed four Dome Security Cameras, weatherproof enclosures, and hooked up into our home a 23" Full HD Widescreen Security Monitor. Even more than his professional expertise was the time spent with us in making sure that this system was working correctly and properly installed on our phones so that anywhere in our travels we can monitor our new home in Magalia."

Tieka and Don S.

"I have been using Crime Free Living for the last couple years ar work and at home and I really recommend this product. Tim is a very good service provider. If he can't figure it out, he's got good tech support with the system that he offers."

Gary D.

"I have known Tim for over 10 years. To date, Time with Crime Free Living has installed two separate surveillance systems for my company. With each system, Tim has listened to my needs and custom dsigned surveillance systems for my specific needs and within my budget. The equipment used is always state of the art, the workmanship is top notch, and Tim is the example of trustworthy. I would recommend him for any job."

Steve D., Down Range Indoor Training Center

images Certifications & Training

With 16 years of experience in law enforcement, Tim Truby, CEO, is fully certified in video surveillance and training.

  • Certified Advanced Crime Prevention Specialist
  • Academy Instructor Certification
  • California POST Certification in Specialized Surveillance Equipment
  • California POST Certification in Basic Crime Prevention
    • Advanced Crime Prevention through Environmental Design
    • Certified Alibi Security Dealer
    • Enhanced Risk and Threat Assessment (FEMA)
    • Incident Command System (100 & 200)
    • Certified Cognitech Video Forensic Investigator
    • Neighborhood Watch Toolkit Trainer
    • Computer Crimes/Investigations
    • Domestic Crisis for Crisis Negotiators