You’re serious about home security, and you’ve just about had it with all the complicated, fiddly system on the market. You need a simple, plug-and-play system that will work around the clock, come rain or shine and records everything that happens on your property. Added to that, you have some old analog cameras that are perfect for your needs, but not compatible with the latest, high-tech stuff on the market.
And you have plenty of highly rated security camera systems to choose from. My reviews cover a broad range of products from just a bare bones system that only has the DVR with no cameras or storage to a system that includes 8 cameras and 2 TB of storage.
Does that sound about right? Then you need a DVR (digital video recorder). These nifty devices record video footage from analog cameras in a closed-circuit security system. Here, you can have peace of mind in knowing that your property is safe and monitored around the clock, without breaking the bank.
Without further ado, here are my top 3.
Top features of 8 channel DVRs
So, what should you look out for in a DVR? We’ve rounded up the top 6 features here:
You might want to record footage on your property around the clock, even though this takes up a lot of space. Or, maybe, you really don’t care about all the hours that nothing happens. Here, you can choose to record only snippets where motion is detected. Check the settings on the DVR unit and choose accordingly.
DVR always supports analog cameras, but this tends to be older technology cameras. If you have a mixed bag of cameras that you’ve collected over the years, check that your 8 channel DVR is compatible with various types of cameras. Other types of cameras include ONVIF IP cameras, TVI, AHD, and CVI. This offers you the flexibility of expanding your network with whichever camera suits you best. For example, your indoor cameras might be different from the ones used outside. Inside, you don’t need weather resistance, while it’s an essential feature for outside cameras.
A DVR unit looks like a box with lots of ports for gadgets to plug into. You need one that is remote controllable. In other words, you connect a computer screen to your unit to control it, and, if you want, this must connect to the internet. Here, you can live stream and playback footage on your phone, from anywhere in the world. This is nifty, especially if you’re not at home (or in the office) a whole lot.
This one depends on your specific needs. If your security cameras must cover a large area, you might want to weigh up the pros and cons of wireless and wired networks. Some DVR units only allow wired networks, while others can plug into a wifi router, enabling wireless networks. The one you prefer would depend on your situation and the layout of your property. If there are a whole lot of concrete or brick walls between the cameras and the DVR, wifi might not be the best option, since concrete weakens the signal
Video footage takes up a lot of space. Seriously. The latest data compression technology shrinks video footage to about a quarter of its original size, saving tons of space. Here, you can record way more footage on the same storage device, saving you money in storage costs. You also don’t have to swop out your storage all that often, so this saves you time and the hassle of remembering to swap it out in the first place.
Some DVRs have a loop recording setting, where the latest footage is recorded over the oldest file on the storage medium (usually a hard drive). If you’re not interested in saving all your footage for long-term storage, this is the option for you. Here, you can copy the footage that you want on to permanent storage before new footage is recorded over it. Footage that you don’t want anymore gets erased as new footage is recorded over it. Now, you don’t have to remember to swop out your storage disc, ever.
Pros and Cons
No system is perfect. The above description sounds really cool, but you’re wondering, what’s the catch, right? Here are some pros and cons to get you started.
Easy to install. DVR systems are usually plug-and-play and require minimum setup to work correctly.
· You don’t need new cameras. The mixed bag of analog cameras you already have on hand will likely be compatible with your new DVR unit.
· No internet required. DVR systems work just fine without an external network connection. You only need one if you want remote access to your cameras.
· No Cloud costs. Since all footage is recorded on a hard drive attached to the DVR unit, your data doesn’t go on the cloud, ever. This is also a more secure way to store your footage, if you’re worried about hackers.
- Limited number of cameras. DVR units have a set number of cameras they can connect to – eight, in this case.
· Not compatible with all cameras. DVR units generally support analog cameras, while some units are compatible with some other types as well.
· Sound is extra. Standard DVR systems don’t record audio. Some systems have a port for added sound devices, though.
Zosi was founded in 2006 in Zhongshan, China, and has quickly risen to be a leader in the smart home market. Along with the four impressive DVR systems they already have on the market, they sell a wide variety of security cameras, video doorbells, and NVR systems. Zosi is a one-stop-shop for all your security and surveillance needs.
Established in 2014, Annke entered the US and UK markets and caused quite a stir. They offer a myriad of products, such as PoE camera systems, DVRs, IP cameras, and all-in-one security systems. Lately, they are one of the market leaders in home and business security.
Heimvision was founded after its founder, Vincent, suffered significant loss from a home burglary in 2016. Based in Maryland, USA, this home security market leader brings cutting edge technology into your home, ensuring that you always know what’s going in. They offer a wide range of products, including DVR and NVR systems, baby monitors, a myriad of security cameras, and three smart home products.
What is the difference between a DVR and an NVR
NVR (network video recorder) and DVR (digital video recorder) units both record video footage, usually recorded by surveillance cameras. The difference lies in how they process data: a DVR unit works with analog cameras. In contrast, an NVR unit gets its data from IP cameras. Here, the type of footage recorded differs, and thus the way it gets converted to something you can store and reuse differs quite a bit.
How many channels does a DVR have?
The number of channels on a DVR unit refers to the number of cameras you can connect to it. This varies and depends on the product that you purchased. Generally, you can choose between 1, 4, 8, 16, and 32 channels. The price tag would vary, and the one you end up picking, would depend on your needs and preferences. Generally, people opt for 8-channel models when it comes to home security.
What is FPS?
FPS, or frames per second, is the rate at which your video feed is refreshed. Video footage, as recorded by a camera, is actually a collection of snapshots (frames), taken in rapid succession. The more frames you fit into a second, the smoother your video footage will appear. A high frame rate (high value for FPS) offers better video quality than a low frame rate.
What is compression rate?
Frames in video footage are recorded as pixels, or little dots. Each pixel is stored as a data point, having a specific color value. When video footage is compressed, neighboring pixels that are similar in color are grouped together as a single block. In this way, they take up less storage space than the full image. Some compression algorithms can maintain all the original information, restoring the compressed file to its original definition. Others lose some data in the process.
Compression rate refers to the ratio between the original file and the compressed version of that file. A higher compression rate results in a smaller compressed version of the data.
How do you back up a DVR?
Recorded footage can be backed up in a few different ways. The most common is to transfer footage from the hard drive installed in your system, to a second drive. This process is much the same as copying files from your computer to a USB flash drive – go to the source file, cut, and paste to the desired backup destination.
Alternatively, you can create backups on a secondary recorder. This is a bit more fiddly, so it’s a good idea to check out your DVR unit’s manual before attempting this, just to be on the safe side.
Most systems have an option to automate the backup process – the details depend on the unit you chose. Again, check out your unit’s instruction manual for guidance.
Reviews 5 Best 8 Channel DVRs
 Annke Security Surveillance System
The Annke Security Surveillance System is a one-stop-shop for your home security needs. This 8-channel DVR comes with eight high-quality, weatherproof security cameras and a 1TB hard drive included. Now, that’s service.
You can live-stream or playback footage from your home security system straight to your phone or other connected device using the Annke Vision App. This app also sends email and push notifications to your phone when motion is detected. Don’t worry about false alarms, though – with this advanced system, you can set detection zones to eliminate areas that you don’t care about. You know, like those palm fronds moving in the breeze. Who wants a notification for that?
1080 Lite technology ensures that recorded footage takes up minimal space on your hard drive. Now, you can record far more before you need to worry about swopping out or cleaning up your storage.
The cameras included in your purchase are pretty neat: a weatherproof rating of IP66 means you can install them just about anywhere, inside and out, under the worst weather conditions imaginable. Night vision is clear up to a whopping 100 feet. The cool 82.2° viewing angle is adequate to see most things.
Annke stands by their product with a 2-year warranty and 90-day money-back guarantee. They also offer lifetime technical support via email or their support center.
So, what’s in the box, you ask? Well, a lot, it turns out. A DVR unit, eight impressive security cameras, a 1TB surveillance-grade hard drive, three power supplies, two 1-to-4 splitter cables to connect the cameras to the DVR, a USB mouse, eight 60ft BNC cables, one wall sticker, a user manual and CD and eight screws to wall-mount your cameras. Insane!
 Zosi Security Camera System
This 8-channel DVR comes with four weatherproof security cameras included. This means that you can expand your home security system later on by adding up to four more bullet or dome cameras. The cool part is that this DVR supports a variety of camera types – analog, HD-TVI, CVI, and AHD, giving you more options for the future.
Footage from your cameras is recorded on the 1TB security-grade hard drive included in your purchase. Here, files are compressed to maximize your storage capacity. If you want to keep all the recorded footage, you can back everything up onto an external hard drive via USB connection. Alternatively, you can set up continuous recording. Here, the latest footage gets recorded over the oldest footage on the drive.
Remote access is a breeze with the free Zosi Smart app. Now, you can live-stream and playback recorded footage on your smartphone from anywhere in the world. The app also sends push notifications whenever movement is detected, allowing you to check things out immediately. If you’re worried about false alarms, set the motion detection areas. Now, you won’t get notified every time Felix uses the doggy door, but you will still know if an uninvited guest tries to get in through the window.
The cameras included in your purchase are pretty neat: weatherproof, 1080P resolution, infrared night vision up to 65ft. With your purchase, you also get all the things needed to set up your system, including cables, mounting screws, and other connections.
The Zosi Security Camera System is the budget-friendly, easy-to-use home security system offering you peace of mind.
 TigerSecu Super HD 1080P
You have a mixture of analog and digital cameras watching over your business. What a mission to sync and record all of this! Enter TigerSecu Super HD 1080P. This hybrid NVR/DVR can record both analog and ONVIF compliant IP cameras simultaneously. Wow!
The TigerSecu Super HD 1080P works well with TVI, AHD, CVI, analog, and ONVIF IP cameras. However, it is not compatible with HD-SDI, Arlo, and Reolink IP cameras. Sorry, guys!
Footage is recorded on a hard disk, which is sold separately. For optimum performance, get a security-rated, 16TB drive. TigerSecu’s smart space-saving protocol will ensure that you get maximum footage into minimum space. Footage is only recorded when motion is detected – this footage is compressed using H.265+ high-efficiency video compression to save even more space.
Need audio with your footage? No problem! Connect your (separately bought) audio pick-up devices to up to four channels. You also get to set up three display monitors with your system through HDMI/VGA/CVBS ports.
Setup is quick and easy – this is basically a plug-and-play system. You don’t need the IT guy to fiddle for hours to get this one right.
Your purchase includes the 8 channel DVR, a power supply (12V3A), remote control, USB mouse, user manual, quick guide, and a security sticker. Unfortunately, you have to get your cameras separately.
To sweeten the deal even further, TigerSecu backs their products with a two-year warranty and lifetime technical support.
For hybrid analog and digital surveillance of your home and business, choose TigerSecu Super HD1080P DVR.
 OhWoai 8 Channel Wireless Security Camera system
The OhWoai 8 Channel Wireless Security Camera System is impressive. Using the latest compression technology for recorded footage and incorporating cameras with an impressive IP67 weatherproof rating, this system does it all.
OhWoai’s latest compression technology compresses footage to half the size it would take with other compression protocols. This means that you can record 15×24 hours of footage on the 1TB hard drive included in your purchase! That’s really impressive.
The 8 cameras included in your purchase are wireless and have an IP67 weatherproof rating. That’s next level, making it waterproof, sunproof, blizzard proof… Heck, it can withstand temperatures between -15°C and 60°C, so you can really install it anywhere. These cameras incorporate Smart HDR, allowing for clear footage in both bright and low light conditions. Infrared night vision means you never miss a thing. If you prefer not to use wifi, you can use wired connections for your cameras as well. This tends to be safer and sometimes allows for further reach than with wifi. You can install these cameras on the wall or on the ceiling – they are fully adjustable, so swivel them around to suit your needs.
If you want to expand your system later on, you can easily add more cameras to your DVR. Setup is easy, so this system really is a plug-and-play solution.
Online viewing is simple with the EeseCloud app – up to three users can access your cameras simultaneously. Motion detection alerts are sent via email. Don’t worry about false alarms – you can customize the motion detection zones on each camera. Now, you only get notified about movement in areas that matter.
OhWoai is serious about their product, offering a one year warranty and a 30-day free refund.
 OOSSXX Wireless Security Camera system
The OOSSXX Wireless Security Camera System is a true plug-and-play solution for your home or business.
The 8-channel NVR automatically pairs with the eight wireless, weatherproof security cameras included in your purchase. Video footage is recorded onto the 2TB hard drive included in your purchase. If you want, you can replace this hard drive with a larger one – the system supports up to 6TB. You probably won’t need to, though, since the latest compression technology is used for file storage. Here, the footage takes up about half the space that it would have taken with the old H.264 technology. Note that this system isn’t battery-operated. The NVR unit and each camera needs a dedicated power supply.
Your OOSSXX system doesn’t need the internet to work correctly. You will need a stable internet connection if you want to access your system remotely, though. For this, download the free EeseCloud app to live-stream and playback footage.
The cameras included in this system have an IP66 weatherproof rating, infrared night vision, 1080P resolution, and motion detection. When the motion detectors are triggered, you will receive an email notification. If you’re worried about false alarms, you can customize the motion detection zones for each camera. Now, you will know when someone moves on the porch, but won’t get notified when the neighbors walk by your garden gate.
OOSSXX covers its products with a 1-year warranty that includes free parts replacement. They also offer lifetime technical support via email. That’s pretty cool. If you choose to add accessories to your purchase, you also get a 15% discount.