DVR’S have reached maturity as a video surveillance solution as Pelco’s DX4500 and DX4600 units clearly show. These solutions are affordably priced yet incorporate all the features and capabilities important to installers and end users. Overall the performance numbers are pretty well what you’d expect. There are 4 units in this new range and they serve to cover an application spread extending from small retail and commercial sites all the way through to larger medium sized industrial or manufacturing applications. We’ll start by looking at the differences between the systems then go on the shared features. The baby of this bunch is the DX4508, which has 8 video inputs, 8 alarm inputs and 2 audio inputs, 120ips global frame rate and a storage capacity of 1.5TB. Bigger brother the DX4516 has 16 video inputs and gets a 240ips global frame rate. Both these units have a CD-RW/DVD RW disk drive as an option. If you need more, there’s plenty more. The DX4608 offers 8 video inputs, 240ips, 3TB storage capacity, 4 audio input and 8 alarm inputs. This unit also offers a pixel search function. At the top end is the DX4616, with 480 ips global, 16 video inputs, pixel search, 3TB storage and 16 alarm inputs. Both the 4600 units get a CD-RW optical disk standard, with the CD/DVD RW drive being an option. OK – we’ve got the differences out the way so let’s focus on the elements of DX range that are shared and where the depth of the feature set becomes obvious. For a start, managing the core functionality of these DVRs is made easier thanks to HDD storage manager software. Important too, all the units in this range are ready to go out of the box so there’s no convoluted process of set-up required. All employ MPEG-4 compression technology. A remote client application can be loaded onto workstations and allows the monitoring of multiple locations as well as local installations. The client gives users all the functionality they need in a simple and well though-out interface. Along with the GUI you can also manage any of the units with a hand-held remote control. A lot of people don’t appreciate remote controls but they can be seriously useful. IR remote is a traditional feature that really has merit if you’re sitting at a desk in a security control room and want to drive a DVR in a rack 10 feet away while watching images on an overhead monitor. Sure, you can get up and walk around if you’ve got all the time in the world or use a workstation if you’re networked but if you want quick action with a simple system a remote’s a great tool for a standalone DVR running a couple of composite monitors. There are a bunch of simultaneous operations including record, view live, review playback, export video, remote access and PTZ control. That PTZ control is a neat feature across the whole range and it applies to remote and local PTZ cameras, including third party PTZ protocols. As you’d expect there’s independent channel resolution settings for image quality and frame rate and a particularly clever feature is Quick Review, which gives instant playback of the last 2 minutes of recorded video. Recording options are comprehensive. You can pick from continuous, motion detection, alarm and scheduled recording. If the system is being managed hands-off, as smaller systems often are, alarm notifications by email, emergency agent and on-site audio are valuable. Supporting the flexible recording options are capable search options based on time/date, bookmark and event. With the DX4600 DVRs these base options get ramped up to include pixel search which is a powerful feature you don’t typically see in affordable DVRs. you get VGA or composite main monitor, as well as a composite spot monitor. Pelco’s DX4500 and 4600 DVRs are not designed to shake the earth – the company’s high end Endura solution is doing that already – instead these solutions clearly indicate that Pelco hasn’t forgotten its broader base of smaller customers, who want economy along with the quality and capability they know Pelco provides.