Tribrid video recorders are very new to the market.  If you're not already familiar with them, we encourage you to read our previous article first outlining what Tribrid DVRs are all about.  From here on out, it's essentially going to be a grudge match between Tribrids and Hybrids to see which one will come out on top.  It’s already being speculated that Tribrid series DVRs may completely replace Hybrids altogether but as we don't want to assume anything just yet, we'll all want to know which the better option is for our own personal situations.

CCTV Camera Compatibility

Tribrids are similar to Hybrids in that they're both compatible with standard definition (SD) analog and high definition (HD) IP/network cameras, but Tribrids are different in that they are also compatible with HDCVI cameras.  This easily makes Tribrids the most diverse and versatile video recorders on the market and the closest thing you'll find to backwards compatibility.

Channel Quantity

Another major difference is a little more difficult to explain if you’re not already familiar with Hybrid DVRs.  Generally speaking, Hybrids are actually larger than they appear to be.  What we mean is that when a company tells you that you’re looking at a four channel Hybrid, you’re probably really looking at a video recorder with eight usable channels; four analog channels, and four IP channels.  This means that when you purchase a Hybrid, you’re getting twice what you’re paying for.  With Tribrid type recorders, you’re getting the exact number of usable channels as is being advertised.  You can have three different camera types on a four channel Tribrid, but you’ll only have four usable channels in total.

Upgrade Potential

Right from the start, you’ll probably see with the Tribrid that you have the ability to gradually upgrade starting all the way at the bottom (analog) and moving all the way to the top (IP) without having to replace the DVR.  You’ll want to keep one very big thing in mind here.  While not having to upgrade your DVR as you move from camera type to camera type, you will end up having to change your cable at least once if you plan to cycle through all three types.  If you want to avoid replacing all of your cable, you’ll have to commit to upgrading from analog to HDCVI or analog to IP; going from HDCVI to IP is impossible without changing your cable.

Upgrading From Analog to IP

If you've already decided that you’re going to make the move from analog straight to IP, there’s still something else to consider.  While Hybrids can be used with IP cameras on all channels, they won’t be able to do it in real-time like the Tribrid can.  If you need/want real-time recording, the Tribrid is the obvious choice.  Hybrids do a maximum of 7fps at 1080p and 15fps at 720p.  They will do a full 30fps at D1 but that sort of defeats the purpose of having IP cameras if you can’t utilize their high definition resolution.


Don Stephens is a Technical Support Manager at CCTV Camera World, a leading Security Camera distributor located in Buffalo, NY. His area of expertise is in designing professional security camera systems for medium and large scale businesses, schools, and government projects.

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