After reviewing a few Dahua cameras the next logical step is to review their NVR. This model, the NVR3204 I tested is the 4 channel model available for as little as under $300. They also make 8 (NVR3208) and 16 (NVR3216) channel versions priced $329 and $349 respectively. This is bargain compared to other NVR’s or the alternative of setting up a PC with NVR software.
It was fairly easy to set up, the menus are responsive and the interface is intuitive. More like an iPhone app than Windows PC. Has HDMI output so it can be used with a large screen TV or on a computer monitor using the VGA connector.
The NVR works very well with Dahua cameras. Had 4 cameras plugged in, 2 of them 1080P cameras, 2 were 1.3MP cameras, all actively recording and the menus were very responsive. For testing purposes I used a 1.5TB Seagate 5,900 RPM drive that I purchased locally for $69, mostly because these slower spinning drives are quieter allowing the NVR to be quite enough to use in a bedroom. Attached to a HDMI port on your TV, you can get a view of your cameras as quickly as you can switch to the HDMI input on your TV.
Pardon the image quality, but I had to take pictures of the TV screen to show as there’s no way I found to take screen snapshots from the NVR. This is the live view, what you see after you have the cameras set up. In this case, I have 4 cameras setup, the NVR was a 4 channel model, hence a view of the 4 cameras in a grid. 2 cameras were setup as 1080P in a 16:9 aspect ratio, the other two where setup in 1.3MP mode which has a 4:3 aspect ratio, but it displayed both in the same manner but did so a pleasing way with the images not looking stretched or distorted.
You navigate with the included mouse, the front panel or remote control. Clicking on a camera with the mouse, or using the remote or front panel of the NVR and pressing the button for the specific channel number will display that camera in full screen. To go back to seeing 4, press “mult” on the remote or right-click the mouse and select “View 4”. Right clicking with the mouse is how you get into the interface and looks like this in the middle of the screen.
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