"Old" Analog DVRs More Reliable Than "New" Digital NVRs - Myth Or Truth ?

I still keep hearing from the "old school" guys that the latest NVRs (which are DIGITAL computers basically) are unreliable and unstable compared to legacy ANALOG DVRs which can run for years and years (according to them at least) ... without touching or resetting them.

Is this a simple myth or there is some truth in it ? ... What I know is that the current trends in electronics are: lower power consumption and all that is related to greener/ecologically-friendly technologies. What I am not sure if there's also some "digital-equipments-and-PCs-are-more-prone-and sensible to voltage fluctuations-thing" as well; i.e.: an old analog can remain working in a range of 90~140V versus a lower 100~130V electric supply to a digital power supply + motherboard running unstably when it gets out of this voltage range.

Any ideas ??


Note for example that: sofware bundled with a well-known brand of UPSes allows oneself to set the battery to intervene when voltage spikes above "X" value (136~142V) and when the voltage drops below another "X" value (96~88V), a range which obviously covers the 110~120 Volts values needed to power on and keep humming a DIGITAL power supply which feeds any modern NVR.

I wonder if it is simply a logical thing (i.e. Windows -vs- Linux causing the instability) or it is a physical matter (i.e. electronics components range of quality or sensitivity to voltage fluctuations)

Ideas ?

Part of it may just be price. 10 years ago, there were not many super low-cost options. Most DVRs were built like workstations or servers, and cost accordingly - $5,000+. Now, you have $50 recorders which may not be built with the same quality of components.

Also, the other concern I see is: how does one knows if the internal electronic components last or not under daily work. My guess is that an integrator won't know until it gets deployed on-site and therefore subject daily and month after months to the electrical installation/voltage supply environment that is present there at the customer's buiding.

I also dont buy into the fact that old analog DVRs actually lasted longer, or had fewer problems; they just sat in a mop closet somewhere and were never checked on or used. I've been to dozens of sites that the DVR was in the closet "running", but it hadnt been recording in years, or the picture was so unusable they just stopped checking for video 6 years ago. But it was still "running".

Also John's point is probably very true. You get what you pay for. We have "NVR" units that have been in the field recording since they were running Genetec OEM'd DVTel 3.x software ~10-12 years ago(?). They were originally deployed with and were running Server 2003 until a couple months ago when 2003 was out of support. I'm sure a lot of people on here have a ton of systems that were deployed on 2003 server OS.

I agree with the consensus here—you get what you pay for and as the old analog stuff has been replaced by digital stuff it has also seen the influx of cheaper built product.

I also think it’s not an apples to apples comparison when comparing analog stuff to digital just because, even when looking at the same feature set, the complexity of the software means a potential surface area for bugs that’s astronomically large compared to the potential failure states for analog equipment.

Anybody think the difference he may be refering to is between Windows PC based DVR/NVRs and the old custom platform 'menu & curser' machines? I had an old Panasonic DVR that went through 2 HDD's in the eight years it was installed and was still perfectly functional when we removed it - I doubt we touched it more than the 2 service calls to replace the drive. Client loved it by the way.

I believe that is what he is referring to. There is no doubt that they could be more reliable. There is less user intervention required on those old embedded DVRs versus servers running a VMS. There are no virii, windows updates, and they are custom built for the purposes they fulfill. I would assume the same benefits apply to most non-Windows based NVRs, such as the $250 units from Hikvision or Dahua. There is a large decrease in features when using these embedded appliances over Windows though.