Security Resources

What’s Inside a $65 DVR?

65usdAs mentioned in a previous post about importing cameras from China, there are some amazingly low-cost recording devices available today. How well do they perform and what can you expect if you decide to order one? In this post, I will share some background and information about one model I brought in to satisfy my own curiosity.

In need of a replacement for my aging GE StoreSafe DVR, I scoured several online resellers in search of a unit that had – at a minimum – D1 recording with H.264 compression, network viewing via a mobile app, and at least four analog inputs. Since the DVR would only be used for a simple home viewing system, my process and criteria were quite a bit different than those used for evaluating commercial products. After identifying several candidates, I settled on this one from AliExpress, due to the large number of positive reviews and the price:features ratio (based on published specs).

The price was an unbelievable $65USD, which included shipping! I placed my order on November 5th, and the unit arrived on December 14th – about average for orders like these.

You can view the most current information online, but here are the specs at the time I ordered:
DVR_Specs

And here are pictures of what I received:

DVR_pkgDVR_box1

DVR_FPanelDVR_RPanel

DVR_Accessories

DVR_internal1

The heatsink appears to be installed at an odd angle in relation to the chip. I don’t see any reason for it – so I’m calling this a manufacturing defect for now. Other than that, the board layout is nice and clean, with no signs of reworking that I can detect.

DVR_PCB

The DVR is supplied without a hard drive. I added a spare 320GB SATA drive I had sitting around, but the unit is spec’d to support up to 2TB. Here is a picture of the system with the drive installed:

DVR_withHDD

So far, so good…

Next came the configuration and software installation. More on that in another post…