Video Storage Calculator, DVR / NVR Hard Drive Calculator

Use this video storage calculator to estimate the amount of hard drive space your security camera DVR / NVR needs. The hard drive calculation is based on how many days of recording you require, the number of cameras in your system, camera resolution, video format and frame rate. A more detailed explanation of the calculator fields and FAQ can be found here.

Although this hard drive calculator was primarily developed for Viewtron hybrid security camera DVRs and IP camera NVRs, it can be used to estimate the amount of video storage capacity needed for any H.264 or H.265 surveillance DVR (digital video recorder) or NVR (network video recorder).

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Number of Cameras:
Days of Recording:
Recording Resolution:
Recording Frame Rate:
Motion Activity Level:
Video Encoding:
Continuous Recording:
Motion Detection Recording:

Calculator Fields

  • Number of Cameras: How many security cameras will be recording on your system?
  • Days of Recording: How many days of recording do you require?
  • Recording Resolution: What is the video resolution that your DVR / NVR will record at?
  • Recording Frame Rate: What is the video frame rate that your DVR / NVR will record at?
  • Motion Activity Level: If you plan on using motion detection recording, please estimate how much motion activity you expect to have.
  • Video Format / Encoding: Which video encoding does your DVR / NVR use? H.264, H.265, H.265+, H.265s.
  • Continuous Recording: This is an estimation of how much video storage capacity / hard drive space that you will need for continuous 24 / 7 recording.
  • Motion Detection Recording: This is an estimation of how much video storage capacity / hard drive space that you will need for motion detection recording.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • How accurate is this video storage calculator? CCTV Camera Pros developed this calculator based on the video compression built into Viewtron DVR and NVRs. They use H.265 video compression. Please note that all video hard drive calculators are an estimate. This is because the actual complexity of the video that is recorded is a factor. For example, recording in an operating environment that has a lot of movement requires more hard drive space than an area that is very still and does not change. NOt just for motion detection recording, but also continuous recording.
  • Does hard drive size and storage space mean the same thing? Yes. Hard drive size, HDD size, video storage, data storage, storage space, storage capacity, and storage required all mean the same thing within the context of calculating requirements for security DVR and NVRs.
  • What type of hard drive does CCTV Camera Pros recommend? We only use surveillance rated storage devices. Video surveillance requires constant data writing to the hard drive. Standard hard drives are not recommended for this. We currently use Seagate Skyhawk hard drives.
  • Is H.265 a better video format than H.264? H.265 uses a better compression ratio than H.264, therefore requires less storage capacity. It does this without sacrificing video quality. H.265 is a much newer video format than H.264. Generally, there is twice as much storage required for H.264 compression vs H.265 compression. You can watch a H.264 vs H.265 video comparison here.
  • What is H.265+? H.265+ is a video compression / codec that is based on the standard H.265 / High efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) format. H.265+ video quality matches that of H.265 but reduces the amount of disk space and transmission bandwidth that is required. This is achieved by recognizing when the background is stable / static and moving objects only appear occasionally in the view. You can watch our H.265 vs H.265+ video comparison here.
  • Why doesn’t the calculator take video quality into consideration? We have found that most people use the highest video quality setting. That is what is assumed by the calculator.
  • Does this hard drive calculator work for analog CCTV DVRs? Yes. That is why we included CIF, D1, and 960H resolutions in the recording resolution setting.
  • Is this also a bandwidth / data rate calculator? No. CCTV Camera Pros will develop a bandwidth calculator / data rate calc in the future though.

H.264 vs H.265

H.264 vs H.265

Watch the above video to see a comparison of H.264 vs H.265 video quality. The videos were captured using this 4mp dome IP camera. It was connected to a Viewtron IP camera NVR.


H.265 vs H.265+

H.265 vs H.265+ IP Camera Comparison

Watch the above video to see comparison of H.265 vs H.265+ video codecs. The videos were captured using this dome AI security camera. The camera was hard wired to a PoE port on this 16ch IP camera NVR.


Viewtron Security DVRs & NVRs


hybrid security camera DVR
Click on these links to learn more about Viewtron security camera DVRs & IP camera NVRs with PoE.


iOS Compatible Security DVR
iPhone App
Android Compatible Security DVR
Android App
Mac Compatible Security DVR
Mac Software
Mac Compatible Security DVR
Windows Software

4K Security Camera DVR Video Demo

4K Security Camera DVR

Watch the above video to see a demo of a home security camera system that uses a Viewtron DVR and Viewtron BNC security cameras.


Related Products & Pages

  • Viewtron IP Camera NVRs – Viewtron NVRs are available in 8ch, 16ch, and 32ch models. They have built-in PoE ports and AI software for use with Viewtron AI cameras. Viewtron NVRs are ONVIF compliant so they also work with 3rd party manufacturer cameras.
  • Viewtron Hybrid BNC DVRs – Viewtron BNC camera DVRs are work with analog CCTV (CVBS), AHD, HD-TVI, and HD-CVI format security cameras. They support video resolution up to 4K / 8mp. Viewtron DVRs are also compatible with IP cameras, however, there are no built-in PoE ports and no AI software.
  • AI Security Camera Systems – Some Viewtron IP cameras have built-in AI software, as does our Viewtron NVRs. These AI camera systems support human and vehicle object detection, as well as facial recognition. AI object detection is much more reliable that video motion detection.
  • LPR Camera Systems – License plate capture / automatic number plate recognition is extremely popular for home owners associations, gates communities, and commercial locations that want to monitor a vehicle entrance.
  • Auto-Tracking PTZ camera – The Viewtron IP-PTZ-425 is our best selling PTZ IP camera. This camera is amazing. We have a bunch of auto-tracking PTZ video demos available here.

Questions & Comments

If you have any questions of comments related to our online hard drive storage calculator, please email mike@cctvcamerapros.net.