A Windows-based DVR is just what its name implies – a computer with a video capture card, running Windows OS. Like the DVR, the system receives video from the cameras and works in conjunction with the recording software.
An embedded DVR has similar features as a Windows-based DVR system does. An embedded DVR has a fixed number of camera inputs and runs typically on Linux OS. However, image quality remains the same for both Windows-based and embedded DVR systems.
The differences between the two systems are camera capacity, power, and features. An embedded DVR supports a limited number of cameras, provides access to simple motion-based recording, and includes video playback. But a Windows-based DVR can accommodate 20 or more cameras, is scalable, and offers more control.