Best Practices for NVR Storage and Bandwidth Calculation

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Today’s ever-expanding video surveillance capabilities mean that electronic security methods can be more effective than ever at deterring, detecting, and identifying criminals. NVR (Network Video Recorder) systems are at the forefront of this technology, employing digital or hybrid IP (Internet Protocol) cameras situated at virtually any location. These high-resolution cameras capture footage around the clock both inside and outside of a variety of commercial settings, including financial institutions, warehouses and manufacturing centers, hospitals, retail settings, government buildings, and more. Those advancements also result in a need for greater wireless network bandwidth and cloud-based NVR storage.

The installation and maintenance of NVR systems falls within Wittenbach’s foundational pillar of electronic security. Below, we will discuss how to choose the surveillance system that best fits your business requirements. From there, we’ll explain how to account for bandwidth and NVR storage space, explaining along the way why it is important for both your IT and purchasing teams to understand this process.

NVR Bandwidth and Storage: Best Practices

Best practices to calculate NVR storage and bandwidth needs

The process of selecting the right NVR electronic surveillance system for your business prompts several considerations: the desired number of cameras and channels; the cost of all equipment, installation, and maintenance; ensuring the proper encryption to insulate the equipment from cyber-attacks; and calculating the amount of Internet bandwidth and storage space required to accommodate the ongoing video footage. 

Calculating the wireless bandwidth and cloud storage requirements to successfully process video surveillance footage and store it for the appropriate amount of time, respectively, is a technical process in which your IT team will need to do most of the math and legwork. However, it is important for your procurement and/or IT leadership to also comprehend these concepts from a high level. The granular mechanics matter less, but those making purchasing decisions of electronic security products, Internet services, and data storage must fully understand the requirements to correctly choose and implement a video surveillance system.

Calculating bandwidth: Mistral provides the means to determine the wireless Internet bandwidth needs of your NVR system, saying, “Calculating the approximate bandwidth of a video stream is a matter of multiplying the resolution of the captured image with the number of frames for the moving image. There are additional factors such as audio bandwidth and protocol (communication and compression) overheads; but these do not add significantly to the bandwidth. Therefore, the applicable formulae are:

  • Frame Size = Resolution * Color Depth (Chrominance/Luminance information)
  • Bit Rate = Frame Size * Frame Rate (fps)”

NVR Bandwidth and Storage: Best Practices

The resolution and compression of the video surveillance data also impacts how much bandwidth is needed to process it, and how much cloud server space is required to store it. “Resolution” measures pixel density, determining the level of detail and sharpness of the footage. NVR footage has a higher resolution than its DVR (Digital Video Recorder) predecessor, thus its greater definition requires more storage space. Per Haivision, “Video compression is the process of reducing the total number of bits needed to represent a given image or video sequence. Video compression is most commonly performed by a program with a specific algorithm or formula for determining the best way to shrink the size of the data.”

Calculating NVR storage: Provider Reolink explains the formula to calculate the appropriate amount of storage required for surveillance video footage:

Storage Space (GB) = Bitrate (Kbps) * 1000/8 * 3600 * 24 * Cameras * Days/1000 000 000

  • *1000/8 = to convert kbps to Bytes
  • *3600 = to convert from seconds to hour
  • *24 = to convert from hour to day
  • Cameras = total number of cameras
  • Days = total number of days you want to record

For example, “If you have 2 cameras whose maximum bitrate is 1024 Kbps and want to record for 7 days nonstop, according to this CCTV camera storage calculation formula: Required storage space = 1024 * 1000/8 * 3600 * 24 * 2 * 7/1000 000 000 = 154.8288 GB,” Reolink explains. As discussed earlier, the resolution and compression can impact the final calculation as well.

NVR Bandwidth and Storage: Best Practices

Featured NVR products for optimal performance and storage

  • The Verint EdgeVR 300 NVR system is the premier model from Wittenbach’s partner Verint. Headquartered in Melville, NY, Verint has over 40 worldwide offices, with their innovations and support model meeting clients’ unique needs and locations. Designed to accommodate numerous IP cameras and even function across geographies, the EdgeVR system is scalable with your business. Per the Verint website, “Verint EdgeVR delivers high-resolution images for both recording and live video viewing. Built with an innovative and powerful H.264 video compression engine, Verint EdgeVR provides superior video quality at significantly lower bit rates, reducing storage and bandwidth requirements.”
  • Verint’s vast array of IP cameras means that there is a model to fit your NVR system, as well as your building. IP cameras only require one wire for installation and run on wireless internet instead of Ethernet like their analog predecessors. This means that camera placement options are flexible on the interior and exterior of your facility, offering a degree of protection that can even reach areas where human eyes cannot. Many IP camera models also include a virtual pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) functionality, offering a broader view of the space without physically repointing the camera. Verint’s IP cameras are also compatible with their FaceDetect™ software, adding a layer of facial recognition capability to the already high-resolution technology.

In Summary

Even with the right formula and leading-edge technology, an initial glance at the math behind NVR storage and Internet bandwidth may leave your team with questions on how to accommodate those needs. Contact Wittenbach today to learn more; we can equip you with the knowledge and resources to capture and store NVR surveillance footage, even as your business continues to grow.