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PC-Based Vs. Non-PC-Based

One of the most frequently asked questions about DVR’s is: Which is better a PC-Based or Non PC-Based DVR solution?

There isn’t much that a non-PC based DVR solution cannot do today, which a PC-Based DVR can.  The difference has more to do with the “footprint”.  PC interfaces tend to be more user-friendly and less “mechanical.”

PC-Based DVR’s tend to be more flexible and easier to manage. PC-Based solutions also tend to allow for upgrades of compression technology, which can be vital to the end user. Remember, in the IT world, you blink and they are onto the next technology.

Non-PC-based solutions tend to use “ASIC” (Application Specific Integrated Circuits) technology, which does not allow for upgrading of a technology platform, similar to your microwave oven. ASIC, is a chip that is custom designed for a specific application rather than a general-purpose, such as a microprocessor.  ASIC, unlike an FPGA, has fixed functionality and is not reprogrammable.

In the PC environment, the latest technology utilizes DSP’s (digital signal processors). A DSP is a specialized digital microprocessor used to efficiently and rapidly perform calculations on digitized signals that were originally analog in form, such as audio and video. The big advantage of DSP lies in the programmability of the processor, allowing parameters to be easily changed.