The Imperial 256

256 Channel 4K NVR

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The Imperial 256 is the 256 channel NVR for enterprise locations.

With its high-definition streaming capabilities and powerful recording platform, this is easily one of our best NVRS and has a variety of features you will love; including: 256 camera capacity with 756Mbps total bitrate! Sporting selective algorithms to protect your business from intrusions or vandalism with remote footage download options (viewing), 1 click firmware update system compatibility (reliability), mobile device app functionality (convenience) hot spare compatible with easy updates when necessary. The power of the Imperial 256 is unmatched in the industry today!

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The Imperial 256 is the 256 channel NVR for enterprise locations.

With its high-definition streaming capabilities and powerful recording platform, this is easily one of our best NVRS and has a variety of features you will love; including: 256 camera capacity with 756Mbps total bitrate! Sporting selective algorithms to protect your business from intrusions or vandalism with remote footage download options (viewing), 1 click firmware update system compatibility (reliability), mobile device app functionality (convenience) hot spare compatible with easy updates when necessary. The power of the Imperial 256 is unmatched in the industry today!

It’s time to upgrade your security system and get an Imperial 256 today! You won’t regret it!


256 1080P cameras at 30 FPS
185 4MP cameras at 30FPS
150 4K cameras at 20 FPS

756 Mbps incoming bitrate; 3 Mbps per channel

H.265 encoding


VCA: Motion Detection, Line Crossing, Face Detection, Intrusion Detection, People Counting, Vandalism Detection
Video Content Analytics (VCA) Search
VCA Event based Email Alerts
Remote Footage Download
1 Click Firmware Update
Hot Spare Compatible


5 x 4K, 20 x 1080p, 45 x 720p, 96 x D1

Smartphone Apps
Tablet Apps
Windows Apps
Mac Viewing Apps
Internet Explorer Viewing


24 hard drive bays; supports RAID 0/1/5/6/10/50/60
Rack Mount Ears Built In - Tray/Slide Required
4 RJ-45 10M/100M/1000M adaptive Ethernet Interface
Standard 3-Prong Wall Plug
VGA Monitor Out
4K HDMI Out for TVs/Monitors
Alarm Inputs and Outputs
Footage Download via USB
Hot Swap Hard Drives

Hot Swap

Hot Swap: Change Hard Drives on the Fly

This NVR has Hot Swap, which means that it has the ability to remove a hard drive while it is running and install another one.

This is useful if you need to archive footage long-term, to create backups on external media, or to replace a failed drive without turning off your recording. Normal hard drive setups require you to power off the device, take off the case, and connect cables. This NVR has an eject button for removing the hard drive.


RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks)

This NVR has RAID.

RAID stands for Redundant Array of Independent Drives/Disks. RAID is a feature that turns a set of independent disks into a single array, in basic terms sharing data between the disks. RAID is primarily used as a form of gaining redundancy in the event of hard drive failures. There are many levels of RAID which dictate how much storage is available and how much hard drive redundancy protection you have. The most common RAID setup is RAID5, which allows a single drive to fail without losing footage. To learn more please visit our knowledge base article on RAID for surveillance.

Motion Detection, Alers, and VCA

Motion Detection, Alerts, and VCA

This Admiral NVR is a motion detection NVR. Feel free to read more about these features by clicking on the link, but here's a quick synopsis:

Alerts and Notifications:

Get email alerts with snapshot images of motion detection alerts or VCA events

Set a schedule to get emails only on the hours of the day you want.

Get Push Notifications to the SCW Go Application for Android and iPhone.

Automatically upload snapshot images via FTP


Create your own customizable record schedule, including recording based on the day of the week, hours of the day, or even choose not to record for periods of time. Set constant recording during business hours and only motion during closed hours.

Motion, VCA, or 24/7 Recording - Record based on motion detection, VCA (video content analysis), or set the system to record 24/7. You can even record based on alarm inputs!

Motion Detection You Can Use in Court - If your system is set to record based on motion or VCA events, you can have a 60 second pre-event buffer to grab footage prior to the detection. You can also set the system to record up to 10 minutes after an incident is detected. Motion detection footage does not "time out" and stop recording mid scene. Motion Clips cannot be deleted by employees or other users.

Customizable Motion Detection Recording through VCA events:

VCA features vary by camera model, and can include:

Intrusion Detection - Monitor areas with precision, define zones, set time thresholds, and sensitivity.

Line Crossing - Create virtual lines to detect people or objects crossing doors, entrances, and more.

People Counting - Determine how many people are entering and exiting. Keep and review daily logs.

Audio Detection - Listens for Rises or falls in volume, and sudden loud noises.

Vandal Detection - Get alerts based on tampering detection, defocusing, or any dramatic scene changes.


Smart Search - Quickly review footage by filtering by motion detected in specific areas of the screen, by the face captured, by intrusion into certain areas, or by line crossing

People Counting Statistics - view traffic stats on your NVR or download a CSV file

commercial grade

Commercial Grade Features

This Imperial 256 Channel NVR is part of our commercial grade NVR line. Feel free to read more about these features and what commercial grade means to us, but here's a quick synopsis, as to how it relates to NVRs:

Surveillance Rated Hard Drive - NVRs need Surveillance Rated Hard Drives, as PC drives will overheat and fail.

Store 40% more data with H.265 video compression or switch back to H.264, if you need H.264 third-party integration support.

Passes vibration and surge testing up to 6,0000 volts - SCW NVRs can withstand vibration and surges up to 6,000 volts.

Cyber Security Protections - hackers can't easily see SCW cameras because they run on a special, isolated network created by the NVR. (For more information and a history of some of the larger cyber security attacks that have affected the industry, please see our guide on best practices for preventing IOT hacks.)

4K at 30 FPS Capable - Sufficient Bitrate (processing power) to Record Smooth Video

Easy 1 Click Firmware Update Process - Maintenance made easy.

No Recording Delay - Even when recording on motion.

ONVIF compliant - this NVR complies with the open industry standard ONVIF Profile S (video & audio streaming).

NAS backup - this NVR can extend its storage or mirror its contents onto a second location on a NAS (networked attached storage) device


3 or 5 Year Warranty

The Imperial 256 NVR comes with a 3 year warranty. This warranty can also be upgraded to a 5 years. We recommend doing so for enterprise clients.

PC Mac Viewstation software

SCW view station PC/Mac Software

Our Windows/Mac application is a full featured, easy to use, desktop video management software. You can combine multiple Admiral or Imperial systems, even at multiple locations and seamlessly view, control, and manage them as if they were one system. Just about anything you can do on your NVR you can do on our free SCW ViewStation.

SCW View Station is both Mac and PC compatible and is 100% free.


Browser Plugin

Although you can edit most settings and live stream a camera feed in any of the major browsers, to take full advantage of our software features you will need to install our browser plugin or viewstation software.

Our browser plugin supports Internet Explorer.

Why no plugins for Chrome/Firefox? How Patent Wars have changed Browser Support for the Entire Surveillance Industry

scwgo mobile app

SCWGo Smartphone and Tablet Apps

SCWGo is availible for both Android and iPhone/iPad.

You download these apps from your phone's app store. Just look for the SCWGo app.

vga output


This recording device has VGA Out.

You can plug this recording device into any VGA enabled monitor.

Q: Do I have to use a monitor?

A. No, you can use either a monitor or a TV, as explained below. But, you don't actually have to use either. You can manage nearly all your settings remotely via our PC or Mac apps or via the web-interface. Quite a few of our customers hide their recorders or put them in a safe with a cable pass-through, to prevent them from potential theft. This is a perfectly fine solution. You will probably want to plug a monitor in to make your initial setup easier.

nas support

Redundant NAS Support

NAS supports allows you to add an NFS compatible NAS to your NVR for redundant recording. This NAS will record in real time with your NVR to help limit the lost footage in the event of hard drive failure. SCW offers a 2 bay NAS and a 4 bay NAS option.

To learn more about setting up a NAS and functionality check out our guide.

hdmi output


This recording device has HDMI Out.

You can plug this recording device into any HDMI enabled television. This means that you don't need to purchase a monitor unless you want to; you can connect a monitor with either HDMI or VGA cable.

Q: What if I plug in both the HDMI and VGA? Can I watch on two screens?

A. The IMP256 unit has 2 HDMI outputs and one VGA output. All 3 outputs support independent screens for multiple views.

Please note that although our NVRs can all do 1080P and 4K output, all of them ship with 720P as the default. This is to prevent display issues for people who have older TVs or monitors that don't support 1080P or 4K. To change the output right click and then go to configuration.

American-Based Technical Support after the sale. For FREE. Forever.

Real review from Fransisco, who had this to say:

The most important part of a purchase like this is the support for technical assistance when there is a question or when there is a problem, and they always exceed expectations!

All of our equipment comes with Free Technical Support that is US based (Our Warehouse and Staff are located in Asheville, NC). We're happy to help you via chat, email, screenshare / remote support sessions, and phones. Our number is 866-414-2553 and we're open from 9-7 M-F (EST).

scw support included

UL Listed, FCC certified

UL Listed and FCC Certified

This product is UL Listed and FCC certified

UL is a safety consulting and certification company headquartered in Northbrook, Illinois and provides safety-related certification, validation, testing, inspection, and auditing of SCW products.

The Federal Communications Commission has certified that the electromagnetic interference from the device is under limits approved by the FCC.

Not Sanctioned. On Oct 7th 2019, The US government placed sanctions on major providers in the industry for human rights abuses. Some or all Honeywell, Hikvision, Dahua, Lorex, Swann, LTS, Annke, Alibi, Laview, WBox, Interlogix, Flir, Bosch, ICRealtime, QSee, Panasonic, ADT, Indigo Vision, Montavue, and many more security products are included. SCW's Admiral and Imperial line equipment is not sanctioned.

These sanctions prevent these companies from using US technology or standards in future software or firmware releases and from using US patents in future hardware models. This means that they are going to face a situation where they either don't update firmware for cyber security concerns or lose ONVIF compliance or features when their firmware is updated. For these reasons, we recommend staying away from these brands.

For more information and full documentation, please see our article on NDAA and US Sanctions of Hikvision, Dahua, and their OEM brands.

The Imperial 256 Channel NVR - IMP256 Specs


Operating System
Embedded Linux
Processor Manufacturer
ONVIF Conformance
Profile S, Profile G, Profile C, Profile Q, Profile A, Profile T
Max Remote Connections Total
Up to 256

Video & Audio Inputs

Video Compression
H.265 / H.264
Video Input
Two-way Audio Input
1-ch, RCA

Video /Audio Output

HDMI & VGA Output
1920x1080p /60Hz, 1920x1080p /50Hz, 1600x1200 /60Hz, 1280x1024 /60Hz, 1280x720 /60Hz, 1024x768 /60Hz

4K (3840x2160) /30Hz, 1920x1080p /60Hz, 1920x1080p /50Hz, 1600x1200 /60Hz, 1280x1024 /60Hz, 1280x720 /60Hz, 1024x768 /60Hz

4K (3840x2160) /30Hz, 1920x1080p /60Hz, 1920x1080p /50Hz, 1600x1200 /60Hz, 1280x1024 /60Hz, 1280x720 /60Hz, 1024x768 /60Hz
Encoding Resolution
Video Bit Rate
32 Kbps ~ 16,384 Kbps, or user defined (Max. 16,384 Kbps)
Total Processor Bitrate
768 incoming / 768Mbps outgoing
NAS Support
Supports NFS NAS and Redundant Recording
Audio Output
1-ch, RCA
Playback Speed
Up to 128x (From Local Display); up to 16x from webview (depends on your internet upload and download speed)
Decoding Capability
4 x 12MP@20, 5 x 4K@30, 20 x 1080p@30, 45 x 720p@30, 96 x D1

Hard Disk

24 SATA Interfaces
Up to 12TB capacity for each disk
2 miniSAS interface
1 eSATA interface
RAID 0/1/5/6/10/50/60

External Interface

Network Interface
4 RJ-45 10 / 100 / 1000 Mbps self-adaptive Ethernet interface
Serial Interface
1 x RS232, 1 x RS485
USB interface
Front Panel: 2 x USB 2.0 - Rear panel: 2 x USB3.0
Alarm Inputs / Outputs
24 in / 4 out


Power Supply
100 ~ 240 V AC
Noise Level (dB)
NVR Consumption
Power Consumption: ≤ 70 W( without HDD )
Working Temperature
14°F - 131°
Working Humidity
Humidity ≤ 90% RH(non-condensing)
21.0 "×19.1" ×6.9"
Rack Mounting
3U chassis, slides required and included
27.56lbs (No HDs)

Most popular downloads related to the Imperial 256ch NVR - IMP256

IMP256 spec sheet

Spec Sheet for The Imperial 256 Channel NVR - IMP256

A one page PDF listing this product's most important specs.

Bench Testing Guide

BenchTesting Guide

It is very, very important that you always bench test IP cameras before installing them. This will help you determine if you accidentally cut an ethernet cable during installation.

Quick Start guide

The Quickstart Guide

You should get one of these in your shipment when you order, but sometimes it is nice to have a digital version.

Camera Manual

User Manual for The Admiral Line of NVRs

You should get one of these in your shipment when you order, but sometimes it is nice to have a digital version.

installation guides

Please see our support portal for a full list of all technical bulletins, user manuals, and software.

NVR Mounting Options

nvr on desk

Shelf / Desk Mounting NVRs

This is what most people do: just put it on a shelf or desk. This makes it easy to connect to a TV/monitor and use the mouse (included) to control the NVR.

nvr in rack mount

Rack Mounting NVRs

Companies often want to put the NVR in their server rack room. People who do this often to control the NVR only through our apps or web browser. Most of our NVRs (8 channels and up) are wide enough to be rack mounted in a standard 19" server rack. We carry two options: the 9U Rack Mount Cabinet and the 12U Rack Mount Cabinet.
Our smaller NVRs can use our Cantilever Rack Mount Shelf.

nvr in wall rack

Wall Mounting NVRs

Many people choose to mount their NVR vertically on a wall near a TV. To do this for the Admiral 8, 16 (standard), or Corporal models, you will want to purchase a 1U Vertical Wall Mount Rack that matches the height of your NVR. You will also need to purchase the 1U Rack Mount Ears for these models.
The Admiral Pro 16, 32, and Imperial 32, 64 channel units have a height of 2U, and can be wall mounted with the 2U Vertical Wall Mount Rack. The 2U Rack Mount Ears are included with these models, but additional pairs may be purchased here.
The Imperial 128 channel is 3U. NVRs are heavy and you will want to make sure your wall can support the weight.
Our 4 channel NVRs cannot be wall rack mounted.

Mounting NVRs behind a Wall / in an Attic

People who are afraid of the theft of an NVR often place it behind a false wall or in an attic. People who do this control the NVR only through our apps or web browser. Be aware: Not all attics are insulated well enough to be within the temperature requirements of the NVR. Temperature range is listed on each NVR's technical specs tab.

lock box

"NVR" Lock Boxes

There's a few companies advertising "NVR Lock Boxes," but any Server Rack or Computer Rack will do. Most Server Racks or Mounts have locks on them already. This picture is of a Tripp Lite Server Rack with Lock It houses a 32 channel NVR, two of our POE Switches, and a router, but there are tons of companies selling small server racks online.

nvr hard drive installation

NVR hard drive installation

If you purchase both a hard drive(s) and recorder from us, we will happily install the hard drive for you. but here's a handy guide if you want to do it yourself.