16, 8, or 4 Channels? I Can’t Decide?!

Many customers call me asking, “Which system should I buy?”

My answer is always the same: “Whichever system fits your needs.”

Yes, it sounds cliche and not very helpful but it is the truth. Many customers do not know the difference between the systems so I will try to explain here about the DVR systems and their differences.

We currently have DVR’s that are 16, 8, or 4 Channels. These channels are indicative of how many cameras may be installed into the system at a set time. For example, a 4 channel system will allow up to 4 cameras, a 8 channel system will allow up to 8 cameras, and a 16 channel system will allow up to 16 cameras.

There are three different things you need to consider when purchasing your Security Camera system:

1. Need : What do I need it for?


2. Price : How much am I willing to pay for it?


3. How many : How many Cameras will I be needing?


The “need” will tell you why you’re looking for a system in the first place. Many times the reason is either for businesses, small homes, previous thefts or robberies and much more. Make sure you’re not buying a camera system without reason, otherwise you will not use it to its full potential, eventually leading you to wonder why you invested so much money into something seeing absolutely no use.

The “price” is probably the most important factor in purchasing a security camera system. How much are you willing to spend? If your budget is $300 dollars, your choices are narrowed down to certain camera systems. Don’t be swayed by what you don’t need. Yes, you may be able to extend your budget to $500 or $600 but will you be happy that you bought something over budget and possibly don’t need? Determine which price is right for you and go from there.

Now that you’ve figured out the “need” and the “price,” you now have to figure out “how many” cameras you’re going to need. As I explained before, there are different systems with different camera capacities. If you only need four cameras and see no need to expand that set in the future, by all means go with a 4-channel system. If you need 4 cameras at the moment but see yourself possibly expanding your viewing/recording areas within the next couple months or a year, consider buying an 8-channel system. **This is important, because a system that has already been bought is normally not capable of being expanded or customized afterwards. You’re best bet after would be to consider buying a whole new system and junking the old one. So When you’re looking at how many you need, don’t just plan for the now but also plan for what could be.

All in all, it really comes down to what fits your needs. So make sure you do some planning before you purchase your security system. Happy shopping!



11 thoughts on “16, 8, or 4 Channels? I Can’t Decide?!

  1. I see that some people are selling a 16 channel 10 camera system. How is that possible? What to do with the remaining 6 channels?

    1. You’ll see that most sellers or companies are selling 16 channels with 10 cameras. The remaining 6 channels can simply be left alone as you do not need to have all 16 filled to have the system be operational.

  2. Thank you, Thank you for providing this needed information. When you’re a novice, pertinent information is so very very helpful . Again thank you.
    Best Regards,

  3. now am using 8 channel dvr. But am using only 4 camera. if am using a 4 channel dvr the recording Mb will be come high or less
    now the dvr have showing some fault. am decided to change the dvr .so kindly suggest a dvr .

    1. Dear Customer,

      We apologize to hear about this situation that you are facing.

      This matter will all depend on what DVR you currently have.

      The size of your saved footage will also depend on the resolution the cameras are shooting in and what FPS you have set those cameras to.

      As this situation may need a more in-depth analysis please contact samsung tech center at 877 349 3149

      Kind Regards,

      Soltech Security

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