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A set of NVR installed with a Seagate HDD

How long can 500GB/1TB/2TB/3TB hard drive record?

During video surveillance planning stage, we often face a question – how many HDDs should I use for my video surveillance system. Estimating or calculating the required video storage can be quite simple by using the formula, or it can be complicated when considering many factors including resolution, frame rate, video compression, and bitrate settings. We herein provide you a freeware which can calculate the video storage requirement of the camera based on many these variable parameters. Using this calculator you can roughly estimate how long can a HDD record in your computer/DVR/NVR.

Download the the free calculator software

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Running this simple software, you can instantly estimate the total video storage for your desired storage (number of days) per network camera. Additionally, you can use the formula as below:

Bitrate (Kbit/s) ÷ 8*3600*hours each camera will record per day÷1024÷1024= video storage (GByte)

How long can a HDD record for your DVR/NVR?

Recording channels 500G HDD  1TB HDD 2TB HDD
4 channels 9.7 days Nineteen days Thirty eight days
8 channels 4.8 days Ten days Twenty days
16 channels Four days Eight days Sixteen days

If you use the H.265 network cameras and NVRs, then you can reduce 50% video storage usage. By the way, we herein we provide you a summarized table to show you the video storage when a camera records in non-stop 24 hours manner.

Resolution Bitrate (25fps) Hours Days Weeks Months 6 Months
2560x1920 20Mbps 8.8GB 210.9GB 1.44TB 6.18TB 37.08TB
QXGA(2048x1536) 13Mbps 5.7GB 137GB 960GB 4TB 24TB
QXGA(2048x1536) 9Mbps 4GB 95GB 665GB 2.78TB 16.68TB
QXGA(1600x1200) 8Mbps 3.5GB 84.4GB 591GB 2.47TB 14.82TB
1080P(1920x1080) 8Mbps 3.5GB 84.4GB 591GB 2.47TB 14.82TB
1.3MP(1280x960) 4Mbps 1.8GB 43.2GB 303GB 1.21TB 7.26TB
720P(1280x720) 2Mbps 900MB 21.09GB 147.66GB 632.8GB 3.7TB
VGA(640x480) 1536kbps 675MB 15.8GB 110.6GB 474GB 2.78TB
2CIF(704x288) 1024kbps 450MB 10.5GB 73.5GB 315GB 1.85TB

Note: 1Mbps = 1024 kbps; 1024Mbps = 1GByte

Disclaim: Only for reference, the result calculated by software/table is based on regular H.264 codec, after several years' improvement, we reckon that the H.264 video compression efficiency has been greatly improved, so data may not accurate for today's H.264 IP cameras and DVRs/NVRs. 

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