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Using the VMAX IP Plus Storage Calculator

VMAX® IP Plus Storage Calculator


Affected Roles:  Administrator

Complexity:  Low

Last Edit:  August 20, 2020


Recording Storage

When using the VMAX® IP Plus to capture and record camera video, the video recordings are archived and stored within the NVR’s hard drive.  Unless otherwise specified, the VMAX® IP Plus will overwrite old stored footage once the hard drive reaches capacity.  This is so that your VMAX® IP Plus can continue to archive video footage, rather than being forced to stop recording altogether.

There are different factors that determine how long video archives are stored on the hard drive before being overwritten.  The estimated storage time for a hard drive is affected by the overall recording settings of the NVR, the number of cameras involved, and the total storage capacity of the hard drive.

This article will outline how to use the DW IP Storage Calculator to determine the estimated storage time of your VMAX® IP Plus.

Note:  We do not recommend replacing your hard drive as the immediate response for increasing storage time.  Digital Watchdog will not be liable for the loss of data or consequential damages resulting from replacing a hard drive.

Note:  If you are experiencing recording issues with your VMAX® IP Plus and do not believe that it is due to the system recording settings, check out Troubleshooting Recording Errors For A VMAX IP Plus.

Supported/Affected Devices:

  • VMAX® IP Plus Series

Storage Management

Adjusting Recording Settings

Depending on the overall storage capacity of the hard drive and recording parameters, storage time will vary.  Recording quality settings, such as the resolution, bitrate, and compression, can be adjusted in the IP Camera Setup menu of the VMAX® IP Plus.

To find the IP Camera Setup menu:

  1. As an Administrator at the VMAX® IP Plus, right-click with the mouse and select Menu to open the Setup Menu.

  1. From the Setup Menu, select Record, then select Camera Management.

Next, click on the Advanced toggle button, then click the Setup button of the desired camera channel.

  1. Click the Get Stream button, then click the Setup button next to Rec. Stream.

The IP Camera Stream Setup window will display.

Repeat this process for any additional cameras to reduce the consumption of the NVR’s storage.

Storage Factors

The following factors affect the NVR storage time:

  • Resolution – when the recording resolution setting of a camera channel is set to a higher value camera picture will display with better clarity, but file sizes will be larger and will consume more storage space on the hard drive. 
  • Bitrate – when the bitrate setting of a camera channel is set to a higher value image and audio quality will be better, but file sizes will be larger and will consume more storage space on the hard drive.
  • Compression – by default, the H.264 I-Reference setting is disabled so that the NVR records all transmitted frames from the camera.  H.264 I-Reference is also related to the Frames Per Second (FPS) and GOP (Group of Picture) settings.
    • Setting a value of x2 will cause the NVR to record one (1) out of two (2) frames.
    • Setting a value of x4 will cause the NVR to record one (1) out of four (4) frames.
  • Quantity of Cameras – each connected camera contributes to the consumption of storage space.  The more cameras that are added, the more storage space will be used.  Each connected camera’s channel settings can be individually configured for recording resolution, bitrate,
  • Recording Type – the type of recording setting (Motion, Continuous, Continuous+Motion, etc.) determines when the NVR will record the video stream from a camera.  This can make a significant difference in the storage time of video archives.  This setting can be adjusted in Setup Menu > Record > Record Schedule.
  • HDD Storage Capacity – the more storage space that the hard drive of a VMAX® IP Plus has, the greater the overall storage capacity for the NVR.  By special request, the VMAX® IP Plus can be sold with storage drives ranging from 1TB to 10TB (total supported storage is dependent on NVR sub model).

Using the DW IP Storage Calculator

The DW IP Storage Calculator is a free tool that may be used to determine the prospective storage requirements and data rates for the VMAX® IP Plus.  This tool may be useful if you are considering installing a surveillance setup or if you are considering adding cameras to an existing setup.

To use the DW Spectrum IP Storage Calculator:

  1. Open a web browser and visit the DW Tools and Calculators web page.
  1. Select VMAX® IP Plus™ Calculator.

  1. From the Cameras tab, click the Add New button to create a new camera row.

Note:  Only one camera model may be selected for each camera row.  If you will be adding more than one camera model to the VMAX® IP Plus, create additional camera rows as needed.

  1. Create a Cam Name for the row and set the Quantity (Qty) of cameras for the camera group.

For Platform, select VMAX IP Plus.

Next, select the Model of the camera group.  The remaining recording settings will automatically be set to the maximum quality to provide estimated Data Rate and Required Storage requirements.

Once satisfied with the settings, click the Next button.

  1. From the Server Filters tab recommended models of the VMAX® IP Plus will be listed under Compatible Servers, according to the settings specified in the Cameras tab.

  1. Proceeding through the Server Information and Preview & Save tabs will allow you to select NVR options that meet the requirements of the setup outlined in the Cameras tab.
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  • 20-Aug-2020