Throwback Thursday: Security Industry Gets Schooled on DVRs

Back in 2003, DVRs were a fairly new innovation. Here’s how SSI helped “seasoned veterans as well as first-time buyers navigate through the new, bold world of digital recorders and remote video access.”

Throwback Thursday: Security Industry Gets Schooled on DVRs

Check out this snapshot of SSI's website from March 2003.

It’s always fun to think about technology that is ubiquitous today, such as smartphones and laptops, and reminisce about what life was like before before them.

Video surveillance has evolved from wired cameras and VCR tapes to IP Cameras and digital video recorders (DVRs) and the Cloud. While few people probably thought it was a possibility 15-20 years ago, can you imagine not being able to check your security camera feed wherever you are?

The moment my porch camera detects motion and sends me a notification (which I receive on my smartwatch), I instantly pull out my phone to review the recorded footage.

While we may now take this type of technology for granted, it was a big deal in 2003, hence SSI‘s cover story for the month: “DVRs Are Driving CCTV to New Heights.”

Here’s an excerpt from the story:

In order to understand why there is so much interest in digital recording and an ever-growing population of manufacturing competitors, we should first review the advantages DVRs offer compared to analog VCRs.

The most obvious difference is that VCRs use standard two-hour magnetic VHS tape, while digital information can be stored on digital audiotape (DAT), digital versatile disc (DVD), hard disk drive (HDD), or any combination of these mediums.

Digital recorders have the ability to search for recorded information based on time/date/second as well as camera input, allowing for much faster retrieval times. Instead of wading through countless frames of video information, digital machines can obtain the desired images in fractions of a second.

Another one of the many advantages of digital recording is image quality. Digital recorders – due to the use of digital storage devices – can save images that have very little background picture noise and higher stability, and are generally of higher quality. With digital recording, the image quality does not deteriorate during long-term storage or frequent accessing of the recorded image.

On the service side, gone are the days of high machine maintenance, and head and tape replacement. DVRs still require some maintenance such as cleaning fan entry points and, on DAT machines, heads. But in the long run, very little time and money is required to keep digital recording devices operational.

Pretty amazing right? When was the last time you used a VCR? Let us know in the comments! You can view a snapshot of the rest of SSI‘s website from March 2003 here.

If you enjoyed this article and want to receive more valuable industry content like this, click here to sign up for our FREE digital newsletters!

About the Author


Steven A. Karantzoulidis is the Web Editor for Security Sales & Integration. He graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a degree in Communication and has a background in Film, A/V and Social Media.

Security Is Our Business, Too

For professionals who recommend, buy and install all types of electronic security equipment, a free subscription to Security Sales & Integration is like having a consultant on call. You’ll find an ideal balance of technology and business coverage, with installation tips and techniques for products and updates on how to add sales to your bottom line.

A free subscription to the #1 resource for the residential and commercial security industry will prove to be invaluable. Subscribe today!

Subscribe Today!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get Our Newsletters