Digital video recorders configured for physical security applications record video signals from closed-circuit television cameras for detection and documentation purposes. Many are designed to record audio as well. DVRs have evolved into devices that are feature rich and provide services that exceed the simple recording of video images that was previously done through VCRs. A DVR CCTV system provides a multitude of advanced functions over VCR technology including video searches by event, time, date and camera. There is also much more control over quality and frame rate allowing disk space usage to be optimized and the DVR can also be set to overwrite the oldest security footage should the disk become full. In some DVR security systems remote access to security footage using a PC can also be achieved by connecting the DVR to a LAN network or the Internet. Some of the latest professional digital video recorders include video analytics firmware, to enable functionality such as 'virtual tripwire' or even the detection of abandoned objects on the scene.
Consumer digital video recorders ReplayTV and TiVo were launched at the 1999 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada .  Microsoft also demonstrated a unit with DVR capability, but this did not become available until the end of 1999 for full DVR features in Dish Network's DISHplayer receivers. TiVo shipped their first units on March 31, 1999. ReplayTV won the "Best of Show" award in the video category  with Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen as an early investor and board member,  but TiVo was more successful commercially.