I'm trying to redesign a utility that allows the user to estimate what kind of DVR they need based on the type/amount of camera(s) they need. It filters out Video Recorders models based on the bandwidth and storage requirements of the cameras they've selected. I'm not sure if the utility should be bottom up(start with camera needs, select appropriate recorder), or a top down (start with recorder, add cameras).

My idea is this:

  1. Utility starts off as a blank page with a blank recorder

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  1. User adds a set of cameras, customizing the amount, camera model type, resolution, and frames per second.

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  1. If they added the maximum of 64 cameras per Recorder, a new recorder automatically appears with the extra cameras.

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  1. They can add as many camera groups to the Recorder as they want, so long as the total is under 64. This is important because people tend to connect several different types of camera to each recorder.

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The model of recorder would automatically filter based on the number of cameras added to that setup, as well as the days of storage needed on the recorder. The user would select the model they want from the 'select recorder' dropdown.

Is this a good way to structure data if my goal is to filter DVR models based on the amount of cameras a customer needs? I know that the header is missing labels for column data, but I was in a rush when I made these mockups.

  • the variables regarding DVR type aren't limited to number of cameras. You also need to take the length of data retention into account and if the cameras are motion triggered or are recording all the time. – Voxwoman Mar 2 '15 at 4:01

If I were using the quote tool, I'd want it to work the way you're describing. The main focal point (correct me if I'm wrong) is the camera quantity. Let me choose the number of cameras, then show me a list of compatible DVRs.

  • Correct. The recorder itself is just a means to and end which, is sufficient camera coverage. If a person had one too many cameras, they'd probably end up buying an extra recorder just to use it. – dmacfour Oct 2 '14 at 22:22

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