Wonder how to calculate the CCTV storage and the hard disk capacity for CCTV? Or you are confused by the different results of CCTV storage calculators online?
In fact, CCTV storage calculation as well as the hard disk storage calculation on your own can be quite easy.
In this post, you will learn a more precise CCTV storage calculation formula as well as the storage saving tips to maximize your CCTV camera storage capacity.
Bonus: If you want to learn about the CCTV bandwidth calculation formula, continue the reading about IP camera bandwidth calculation.
CCTV Camera Storage Calculation Formula
Yes, the CCTV storage calculator software online can give you quick answers to your CCTV camera recording capacity.
But the results are far from preciseness – different CCTV storage calculators can provide you divergent outcomes. More importantly, they don’t apply to EVERYONE.
So, we have got this DIY CCTV storage calculation formula for you to calculate the hard disk capacity for CCTV:
Storage Space (GB) = Bitrate (Kbps) * 1000/8 * 3600 * 24 * Cameras * Days/1000 000 000
- *1000/8 = to convert kbps to Bytes
- *3600 = to convert from seconds to hour
- *24 = to convert from hour to day
- Cameras = total number of cameras
- Days = total number of days you want to record
With the above CCTV storage calculation formula, you can now be off to calculate CCTV camera storage or the hard disk capacity for CCTV.
CCTV Storage Calculator Formula Example
If you have 2 cameras whose maximum bitrate is 1024 Kbps and want to record for 7 days nonstop, according to this CCTV camera storage calculation formula:
Required storage space = 1024 * 1000/8 * 3600 * 24 * 2 * 7/1000 000 000 = 154.8288 GB
You can also apply this formula to the CCTV storage calculation of different brands, including the Reolink IP camera storage calculator, CCTV storage calculator for Samsung, Hikvision, Panasonic, Axis, Hoenywell, HD-SDI, Auetura, Milestone, Bosch, etc.
Note that the results worked out by the above CCTV storage calculator formula may not be exactly the same with your actual storage needs, as the CCTV camera storage calculation is impacted by various factors.
Below we list the main determinants for CCTV storage calculation, which could affect your CCTV camera recording capacity.
- Resolution – The high the resolution, the larger the CCTV camera storage capacity in days is required.
- Compression – Video compression is a kind of technique that reduces the size of original video file formats and thus occupies less CCTV storage space than the original files.
The popular video compression formats include H.264, MJPEG and MPEG4. (Read the comparison between the H.264 and MJPEG security cameras).
- Bitrate – Higher camera bitrate contributes to better video quality, which on the other hand, also means greater CCTV storage capacity required, as you can infer from the CCTV storage calculation formula above.
And it is also affected by the resolution and compression formats. Lower resolution and highly compressed videos will require less bitrate.
- Camera – The number of cameras you use can also impact the CCTV storage calculation. If you use multiple cameras simultaneously, more CCTV storage space will be required.
- Days – The longer CCTV recording retention period is, the larger CCTV storage capacity is required.
When you utilize the CCTV storage calculation formula, note that it is calculated by days, so you need to convert the hours to days if the camera records in hours.
On top of these, CCTV storage calculation can also be influenced by other factors, such as the audio recordings, recording modes (motion triggered recording or 24/7 recording), amount of motion activities, lighting conditions of the scene, etc.
Even if the IP camera or hard disk drive storage space doesn’t meet the required CCTV storage capacity according to the CCTV storage calculation formula, there is NO need to worry!
Normally, the original videos will be overwritten by the new ones when the CCTV storage reaches its maximum capacity. Just remember to back up the important documents before they are overwritten.
Bonus: Wanna know how long your CCTV cameras can record with a certain amount of storage space, say, 2TB HDD, read this to figure it out.
Now that you have grasped the CCTV storage calculation tool, the next question is how to maximize your CCTV storage capacity. These following practical storage-saving tips can do the trick to serve your purpose.
1. Choose H.264 IP Cameras
As mentioned above, H.264 video format can greatly affect the CCTV storage calculation.
Without compromising the image quality, H.264 format can reduce the size of a video by more than 80% compared with MJPEG format and 50% with the MPEG-4 format, thus optimizing the CCTV camera storage capacity.
Watch the high resolution video recorded by the H.264 IP camera, Reolink Argus 2.
2. Go for PTZ Security Cameras to Cover More Areas
Instead of using two security cameras with relatively narrow field of view, why not simply employ ONE PTZ security camera?
It not only covers wider monitoring areas, but also allows you to zoom in to identify more details.
Additionally, according to the CCTV storage calculation formula, you can also save the storage space with fewer cameras according to the CCTV storage calculation formula.
3. Adjust the Camera Resolution
In order to optimize the CCTV camera storage capacity, you may adjust the camera resolution based on the places you are going to monitor.
For the critical entrances with high traffic, higher resolution is required to record clear videos. While in the places of less importance, you can record at a comparatively low resolution.
4. Set up Proper Recording Modes
Since the recording mode is also a vital determinant of CCTV storage calculation, it is always best to set up the recording modes based on your needs.
For example, when you are at home, you can switch the camera recording mode to the motion-triggered recording instead of continuous recording. Or you can also choose to record only during the selected time.
5. Utilize External HDDs
What if the built-in hard disk drive of your DVR/NVR fails to meet your storage needs as per the CCTV hard disk storage calculator?
The way is simple: Expand your DVR/NVR storage with an external HDD.
Now many DVRs and NVRs on the market, such as Reolink NVR, allow you to install an external HDD for more CCTV storage space.
6. Disable Audio Recording If Not Necessary
In places such as parking lots, recording videos with audio is not a necessity. You can disable the audio recording in order to save the CCTV camera storage space.
7. Place Security Cameras in Low-Traffic Areas
Too many false alarms and unwanted motion-triggered videos will take up much security camera storage space.
To take full advantage of the CCTV storage capacity, avoid placing your security cameras in the crowded areas. Also, you may disable the security camera motion detection when it is not needed to CCTV camera recording capacity.
8. Back up Important Files Regularly
Though your CCTV camera storage capacity might be limited, you can regularly back up and transfer the important files to your computer, so that more storage space can be freed to save new videos.
Do you still have any questions about the CCTV storage calculation? Have I missed any useful solutions to optimize CCTV storage capacity? Feel free to ping me in the comments.