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Here is a brief breakdown of what goes into a DVR system:

Processor / CPU : The CPU is the foundation for all computer systems, so at LAHITECH DVR, we make the selection of CPU one of our top priorities. We select a CPU based not only on performance and price, but also on reliability and future usage. We build all our DVR systems to handle the basic processing requirements (mainly video capture and storage) but we also ensure that the CPU has more than enough power to handle possible future upgrades. For example, Celeron CPUs are sufficient for some DVR Lite systems (four or fewer cameras, one OS/video data storage drive, modem connection), while a high-end Pentium III or Athlon CPU may be necessary to power a sixteen camera system with multiple video data storage drives and network serving capabilities.

RAM : Like CPUs, the amount of RAM in a DVR system is based upon performance and equipment requirements. All DVR systems have a minimum of 128 Megabytes (MB) of RAM, but we have designed large multi-camera, multi-hard drive systems that required 256 MB or more.

Mainboard : At LAHITECH DVR, we review various styles of mainboards for compatibility, features, and stability, and select only those that meet our demanding standards. Basic attributes include AGP 2x or better, Ultra ATA/66/100/133 Hard Drive support, and a minimum of 4 PCI slots. We currently build most of our systems with mainboards from SOYO, ASUS, AOPEN, and TYAN.

Case : We review cases that provide superior air flow, room for additional fans, and a stable CSA approved power supply. We also select cases based upon system requirements (bigger systems usually require bigger cases), and, for some clients, appearance.

Floppy Drive : An old reliable standard, this venerable piece of equipment still has useful features, despite what some computer companies think...

CD-RW Drive : Another standard piece of equipment, which will soon be supplanted by DVD-RW drives with CD-ROM compatibility. We currently include CD-RW drives for most systems, although we can reduce this requirement to a basic CD-ROM if a client has an alternative backup capability.

System Hard Drive : As the DVR system is designed to store data on secondary drives, the operating system and programs drive requires stability and reliability, not huge amounts of storage space in other words, quality, not quantity. Whether a system is based on IDE or SCSI, we feel that Hard Drives from Western Digital. Maxtor, or Seagate provide the best solutions.

Video Data Storage Hard Drives : We apply the same standards as those of the operating system Hard Drive to the video storage drives, except for the aspect that bigger is truly better. Under most circumstances, a drive of 20 to 40 Gigabytes (GB) is usually sufficient to provide five to ten days worth of video data storage, depending on frame rates and image quality. Smaller DVR systems (four cameras or less) are equipped with a single 60+ GB Hard Drives, while larger systems can have from two to six Hard Drives, ranging from 60 to 100+ GB each.

Video Card : An essential component of any computer system. As the current DVR software uses certain compression routines to optimize images, the video cards selected for the DVR system must meet rigorous hardware and driver standards to ensure optimum video fidelity and stability. Most video cards selected for DVR systems have a minimum of 16 MB of RAM, and undergo a battery of tests to ensure complete compatibility. Currently, most DVRs are shipped with video cards from ATI.

Modem / Network Card : The presence of one or both of these items is dependant on the remote connection medium selected by the client (modem based or LAN/WAN/Internet based). All DVR approved modems transmit data at a rated speed of 56k, while all ethernet cards have 10/100 Base-T capability.

Mouse : A fairly standard item, connected via PS/2 interface. DVR systems do not make use of the wheel feature found on many modern mice, therefore mice having this feature are not utilized.

Keyboard : Again, a standard item connected via a PS/2 connection. Internet keyboards and those that support hotkeys are not approved for DVR usage, although most will work fine if no extra drivers are installed.

Monitor : Most standard 15" monitors are sufficient for four to six camera DVR uasge. However, with larger, multi-camera systems, a larger monitor can be of great benefit - for systems with twelve or more cameras, the inclusion of a 19" or 21" monitor is not an unusual option. Flat Screen LCD Monitors are becoming very popular as prices continue to plunge and all our DVR systems work well with these models. We select monitors from different companies based upon price, reliability, resolution, refresh rates, and warranties.

Color Printer : While most color printers are sufficient for the printing of quick snap shots from the DVR system, and we select printers that feature high resolutions and the ability to print on photo-quality paper, in order to ensure the best possible image from the DVR system.

DVR Capture Board : At the heart of every Eagle Eye system is a proprietary digital video capture card. Developed in Korea, this 32-bit PCI card process the complex video signals and regulates the flow of image data back into the system. Designed for upgradeability, add-on connectors can range the total number of video inputs from four to sixteen, giving the comsumer maximum longevity and flexibility.

DVR Software : The Graphical User Interface (GUI) of the LAHITECH DVR system is the layer of software that exists between the surface world of the human user and the underworld of the complex computer hardware. The current edition of the GUI, the fourth one so far, was designed primarily with usability in mind. Unlike some software packages, the appearence was also created to be pleasing to the eye, featuring rich red highlights contrasted by gray base colours, with black gradients and shadows for accents. Composed of three main sections - control, setup and search - the GUI succeeds in making the complex workings and numerous options of the DVR system as user friendly as possible.

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