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Shared Resources

Shared resources refer to the condition that occurs when one component is asked to perform multiple tasks simultaneously. Each task a particular component performs drains a portion of that part’s total resource and this is why we mentioned that quite often multiple processors or other components are used so that resources are not drained when trying to operate the DVR system at its maximum capacity. In some instances, regardless of how many components are used, the underlying technology is just not powerful enough to drive that many components on a single board or the technologies are not compatible and do not function properly. As an analogy, you can buy the latest Intel processor but only the newer motherboards are capable of handling its architecture. If you try to run the processor it may not function or only function at the maximum capacity of the older architecture. All the pieces have to be compatible.

Beware; manufacturers will quote a specification for their equipment at its “maximum” performance level, under ideal conditions.

The quoted specification usually assumes the components are doing nothing else at the same time, but rather a single, simple function and not sharing resources. Manufacturers will merely show you functions or features as a single task and not demonstrate the same across multiple channels, knowing that the quality or stability is not otherwise possible. Welcome to sleight of hand 101.

DVR’s, encoders, decoders and servers are more often than not called upon to multitask. The problem is that not all hardware architectures and components are up to the task. The logical question would be why doesn’t everyone just use the best and most powerful components? The answer comes back to what we stated above; the underlying architecture might be quite outdated and not compatible with the latest components. Some components don’t work well with others even though each might be the best in their respective category.

What you may ask is the result of shared resources on the DVR? The answer is the same whether it’s shared resources or bottlenecking, the most common problems are “dropped frames,” choppy, robotic and poor quality recorded images. Which in some cases leads to significant instability and eventual failure as the system is running at 100% of capacity and still not keeping up.