Archive for the ‘ CCTV Articles’ Category

How to Stream an IP Camera to a Website – Creating your own Day Care Streaming Webpage

Written By:
Thursday, August 21st, 2014

Day care streaming

There has been a lot of people who have asked how to stream an IP Camera to a Webpage. Well here we go!

Lets start by gathering the software and Hardware that we will need.

  1. Unreal Media Server - Free Version is fine for a few cameras.
  2. WampServer – To host your webpage [optional]
  3. WordPress [pen source website creation tool written in PHP]
  4. Computer that will run this Software
  5. IP Camera [ EL series IP Cameras]

Lets start by setting up our camera.  For this article I will be using the <” target=”_blank”>IPOD-EL1MPIR50-W

We will be setting the camera up to monitor the front door. Keep in mind that we are just getting the camera’s feed directly from the IP camera and not from an NVR. This means that you will not be able to go back and review recorded footage, just the live feed from the Webpage.

My Camera is set to I will go ahead and install Unreal Media Server.

RTSP URl is : rtsp://

Replace the X’s with your Network Camera IP address

In this video you will see how to add your IP camera so that we can go from RTSP to RTMP using the Unreal Media Server and also stream it out.

What we need to do next is open some ports on your computer, in my case Windows 8.1

You will need to Allow Outbound Data from ports 5119 [Players]  and 5113 [Live Servers] on the Firewall Rules. For this you need to Open your Control Panel and navigate to Windows Firewall then click on Advanced Settings. This will open a new Window where you can add your Firewall Rules. Once you are in this new window you can add the rule by going on the left pane and clicking on “New Rule”. Then Tick the Radio Button, the one beside the “PORT” and click Next and then go and tick on the Specific remote Ports. Once you have done this, the area where you can specify the port number will allow you to add the port number that you need for Unreal Media Server. I am using the default which are the 5119 and 5113. At this point you are done with setting your Firewall Rules to allow outgoing Data from this application.

Great! We have finished these steps. Now since we are going to Host our own webpage we are going to be using Wamp Server. Wamp will allow you to Develop as well as Host your Domain name. Keep in mind that it is best to get a Domain name with a company that will allow for Dynamic IP Updates such as If not you will have to have your ISP give you a static IP. This is done so that the ISP will not change your IP address so when navigating to your domain/webpage your visitors do not end up in limbo as the address has changed. For example it is like setting your GPS to go to 123 Johnson street and all of a sudden your house is not there and now it is in 129 Johnson street .

Lets get started!

Download and Install Wamp onto your computer.

Open the Setup File and click next and accept the agreement. Then select where the WAMP folder will be residing. The default is fine. Tick the boxes to get your Shortcuts, click next and then install. In some cases it will ask you for the default web browser which is fine, then select your PHP mail Parameters. Default is fine, Localhost and your email address. Once you do this the application should start and if it does not, launch it using the Short Cut in your Desktop.

Once you have installed WAMP onto your computer you want to configure some settings before you can host your Web Page.

For this we will be navigating to the WAMP icon on the Tool Tray. Right-click on the icon and click on “Apache” then select “httpd.conf open”, this will open up a file.

It is easier if you choose to open it with Notepad ++. This will show the file in its structure versus notepad, as notepad might clump everything together and you end up either corrupting the file or making the wrong changes.

You want to click on your keyboard CTRL and F at the same time to open the Finder. Make sure that the file is selected and your cursor is on another application. Once you have opened up the Finder tool you want to input the following “servername”. Once you have located this on the document you want to change port 80 to 8080.

After doing this open again the Finder tool and search for “Listen”. Once you have located this, you want to find and change the line “Listen 80″ to “Listen 8080″ and also make sure that the “#” is removed. This means it is enabled.

Save the file and restart all services by clicking on the Wamp Icon on the Tool Tray. Once it has restarted, open your Web Browser and Navigate to http://localhost:8080/phpmyadmin.

Error 403 Forbidden

If it gives you the Following Error “Forbidden”, you want to go and modify a file called phpmyadmin.conf in “C:\wamp\alias”. Open it up with the notepad ++ application and make these changes.

Order Allow, D


Wired vs. Wireless Cameras

Written By:
Wednesday, August 20th, 2014


One of the most common questions that I get asked is about wireless camera systems. Everyone wants to have wireless cameras.  I guess that Hollywood has done a lot to make people think that a completely wireless camera system is a good viable option.  There are several advantages and disadvantages to both wired and wireless cameras.  When it comes to my personal security, I will always choose the hardwired system over a wireless system any day of the week.

A wireless camera is a camera in which the video is transmitted over the air to a receiver which captures and records the video.  A wired camera is a camera that transmits the video over a hardwired connection to a receiver. The camera generally not only transmits the video over the cable, but with the correct cable can get it’s power source that way as well.

Pros of Wireless Cameras

There are some pros to having a wireless camera system. The biggest pro would be the fact that installation is generally easier.  When you do not have to worry about climbing through attics or fishing wires through ceiling and walls, the job just got easier.  Typically all you need to worry about when installing a wireless surveillance system with regards to the camera is having a power source in a relatively close proximity to the camera.  Once that is done, all you need to do is mount the cameras and set up your recording device.  This sounds great on the surface, but in reality it’s not that easy.

Cons of Wireless Cameras

With wireless cameras there are a multitude of downfalls.  One of the biggest downfalls that I see are picture quality.  With almost every wireless camera that I have seen on the market, the resolution quality is generally less than 702×480.  When it comes to quality surveillance cameras you want a higher resolution to gather as much detail of the image as possible.  I feel that the reason a lower resolution image is used is so that it can transmit the video footage in more frames per second with less latency in the video.  Another downfall with wireless is that they generally are in the 2.4ghz spectrum.  If you look around most places, that spectrum is inundated with use.  Generally speaking there are 14 channels available in this range.  Inside of this range you have everything from wireless B and G networks, some parts of wireless N networks, a new wireless network AD which is in it’s draft phase will still use some of this range, microwave ovens, baby monitors, digital cordless telephones, car alarms, and bluetooth adapters.

This range of frequency is very crowded and the overlapping of channels with their frequency ranges is a recipe for disaster in a security system.  Adding in yet more devices that are on the same bandwidth, you are asking for interference.  With interference you will get lost signal, dropped signals, and lost video.  I don’t know about you, but I want to know that my CCTV system is always going to record when I needed it to.  Lets say you want to put a camera in a spot without a close power outlet, you have one of a few options.  You can either try and find a battery powered camera, good luck finding anything worth it, have an outlet wired closer to the camera location, or move your camera location closer to an outlet.  These all seem to me that they are more trouble than they are worth.  When I am installing a camera, I want to be able to put it where I am going to get the best possible shot, not where power is going to dictate.  If you find good locations with close power, you better hope that there is no major obstructions in the way, like too many concrete walls, or any of the other items that may interfere with the signal.  If you want a wireless Pan Tilt Zoom camera, they are out there, but if the video signal doesn’t come in do you think the control of the camera is going to be any better.

Pros of Wired Cameras

With every type of method, there are pros and cons.  One of the pros of having your cameras hardwired is that you can count on the picture coming into your recorder.  The power and video can be ran on 1 cable, so everything can be centrally located.  No interference from telephones, bluetooth, wireless networks, microwave ovens, baby monitors, or car alarms.  A wider selection of camera styles are available for use.  You can have a Pan Tilt Zoom camera, to allow you to have one camera to look all around.  You can add audio to your security system without major hassles.  No need for the cameras to be mounted close to a power source, the cable will carry it wherever you need, within reason.  If you use a power distribution box up to 16 of your cameras can be powered with one unit, eliminating multiple power supplies.  There are several different types of wire that can be used to wire your cameras.  You can do simple plug and play, separate RG59 or RG6 and 18/2, Siamese, or Cat 5 cable to wire your cameras.  Wired cameras are harder for someone to disrupt the service of the camera system, by not allowing frequency jamming devices to interrupt you video signal.

Cons of Wired Cameras

With every wiring job comes some complications.  When you are wiring a camera system it is no different.  You can run into studs, concrete block, and other obstacles that can not be seen with drywall up.  You typically have to climb around in an attic and deal with insulation.  You will have to fish wires down walls and around other objects in your path.  If you lay the cable on a high powered line you will get interference on the picture of that camera.  If you choose to use any cable other than plug and play cables, you will have to terminate the ends for it to work properly.


There are some advantages and disadvantages for both types of camera styles.  I personally feel that if a wireless option is what you are looking for, you should do an IP solution with access points and an omni directional antenna.  With this type of setup you are getting the highest rate of resolution for security cameras and you are dealing with network based protocol with better transmission than standard 2.4ghz wireless receivers and transceivers.  With this type of a setup you will still need a power supply close to the camera location for the access point and the camera.  Another cool thing you can do is if you need a camera at a location that is too far to run a cable, and there is line of sight, there are access point/bridges that can travel for miles.  This is very useful for gates and remote camera locations but you will still need a power source.  This will save you from trenching a cable all the way to the camera location.

There are some downfalls to this type of setup, you are sending high quality images over the air and most units can only handle a portion of the data at once.  Most access points are limited to 150 mbps (Megabytes Per Second) up and down. When you are talking about a high resolution image you may be able to get approximately eight 2MP cameras before running into network issues.  If you want to get around this you may want to use multiple access points/bridges to communicate with each other and then you will have 150 mbps on each set of units instead of being limited to the one omni directional access point.  By doing this type of a setup you will be limited to the switch that they go into.

You can probably tell by now my which way I lean when it comes to wired vs wireless.  I am a firm believer that if you are going to spend the time and money to do something, you should do it right the first time and not have to do it over again.  I do not want to have to worry about not getting the images from my camera to my DVR, take the trouble to have to have electrical reran just to fit a camera location, or settle for subpar equipment just to make my job easier.  Wireless cameras are still in the infancy and I feel are years away if ever from being perfected.


How To Become a CCTV Reseller with Security Camera King

Written By:
Tuesday, August 19th, 2014
start your own cctv business

If you’ve been thinking of becoming a security dealer, or have already started a company that installs and sells CCTV equipment, we can help you start and grow your business and become a CCTV reseller. Security Camera King’s parent company is actually TechPro Security Products. TechVision is our reseller company where you may sign up as a security dealer in order to begin reselling our products. We have provided our customers with everything they would need in order to get started with their own security or installation business and have always been willing to help with everything from getting set up to tech support. In order to get started, there are a few things you will need to do. The first step is to come up with a business name and register it. Once you have figured out the name of your company and have registered it with your state, you may sign up on our reseller site in order to become a dealer. After you have signed up you can decide on whether you’re going to be reselling the products on your own site or installing or both. Then decide on whether or not you want to have your own labeled products. These are just a few of the things you need to do in order to get started which I will further explain in more detail ahead…

The first thing you need to do is come up with a plan on what you’re going to be specializing in. Some companies like to just sell the products to their customers, some like to provide installation services, and a few companies even do both. Once you’ve figured out where your specialty is going to be and have registered everything, you will have the information needed in order to sign up as a dealer on Without that information you will not be accepted into our dealer program. It is a strict rule for our sales team to go through each account that has signed up for the program and make sure they are a legitimate company otherwise anyone would be able to sign up for our dealer discounts and would render the retail sales pointless. On TechVision, You will see a form on the front page that allows you to register your company with us:

TechVision CCTV Dealer Signup Form

TechVision CCTV Dealer Signup Form

Once you have submitted your information on this form, we will receive a dealer signup request on our end and you will receive an email confirming that we have received your request and asking that you send in your business information so that we can confirm that all of the information is correct. The email will have all of the instructions needed to get started. Our sales manager will then go through all of the information and once you are approved, you can head back to the TechVision site in order to sign in and view your dealer pricing.

TechVision CCTV Login Form

TechVision Sign in Form

Many dealers have called in and asked us to tell them how much of a discount they will be receiving as a dealer, but unfortunately, we cannot give out that information. This protects all of our current approved dealers when they want to charge their own retail pricing for the products they resell on their website. If a dealer decided to sell his products for higher price than we sell it for and their customers call in and ask us what they paid for the product, it could potentially cause that dealer to lose his customer. If you would like to find out the discount amount, you MUST first become a dealer and then log into your new dealer account to receive your price breaks. We do, however, allow for an extra discount tier for special customers who do over $10,000 in purchasing within 3 months and maintains that amount. If you meet this requirement, we can surely move you to a distributor account instead. There are not many people that fall into that account type though, and I believe it’s because they’re not fully doing everything they can to bring in more business. There are a few really big factors that we tell our dealers which would greatly help their sales if they would take the time to do them or even hire someone full time to take care of these requirements.

Important: Proper Website SEO


One of the most important things you can do to help your reseller business grow is to make sure that your website has all custom content for each product. This is the most time consuming and tedious part of owning a business that most people over look, but can be the saving grace for most companies if they would just take the time to do it. Once you have your reseller account and you create your own website, you should be worried about not only posting each product up for sale, but also writing custom descriptions, spec sheets, and any other information you can about these products to drive traffic to your business. The Search Engines give a lot of value to sites which take the time to do this and it will certainly bring in a ton of extra customers when people are searching for security products. If you’re just copying and pasting all of your product information from other websites, the search engines will discredit your site and you will show up a lot lower in search results. Sites with custom content will always get preference over sites that don’t. Be sure to do a lot of research and learn about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) so that you’re knowledgeable about everything you can possibly do to help you rank better. Many people make the mistake of believing that SEO is about tricking the search engine to place your site above others, but this is far from the truth. You can try to trick the search engine, and it may work for a little while, but ultimately you’re just going to end up getting black listed since search engines constantly have their algorithms updated to block out sites trying to trick the system. The best way you can help your site is to make sure you’re always posting fresh and custom content on your site which makes it a place that people would want to come to in order to learn about the products and purchase them.

TechVision CCTV also offers an OEM option. Basically, the OEM program will allow for you to have our products labeled as your own. You will in turn be able to use your own unique product identification numbers, sku’s, custom branded documentation for all of your products & manuals, and drop shipping directly to your customers if you have your own UPS account set up. One of the biggest benefits of having your own labeled products is that when your customers look up your product ID’s to find out more information, your company website will come up in the search results. All of the information customers will find about the products will be the information that you put up for the world to see. A lot of our dealers love this because they are able to call the products what they want, price them as they want, and use their own logos on everything instead of having their customers try to go around the dealer company straight to the manufacturer. If you’re looking to sign up for OEM, there is an Initial setup fee that is paid. Then, you are able to purchase OEM Labels & Manuals, Removal of All Labels (in case you want products that are not labeled at all), or generic labels which have generic product information listed instead of the manufacturer information. Each one of these services also include a small fee for each product ordered, but it is a very small and affordable fee that you will see when you log into your dealer account. If you want to reach this section of the website, just go to Once you reach that page, you may log in with your dealer user name and password in order to access the page.

TechVision CCTV OEM

TechVision CCTV OEM

At the end of the day, you will end up having all of the tools needed to start or grow a successful CCTV business. TechPro Security has also begun dealing with Access Control too if that is something that you would like to offer as a company. There is a huge variety of Access Control products that have been posted on the Security Camera King and TechVision CCTV websites. If you’re having any technical trouble at all, or having a hard time understanding anything explained in this article, don’t hesitate to give us a call so we can further explain it to you. We are here from 9AM-6PM Eastern Time and you can reach us during those hours at 866.573.8878. We can walk you through creating your dealer account, placing an order on our website or over the phone, and we will even help you out with any technical support problems you may have along the process. We have a Forum that’s available online 24hrs a day, 7 days a week, and a Live Support Chat where you can also reach out to us during business hours!


How to convert DAV files from your DVR

Written By:
Monday, August 18th, 2014

If you have a CCTV security system and either your home or office is broken into or an incident has occurred, the video of that crime has to be given to management or authorities. So at some point you’ll need to download and access that footage from your DVR or NVR.  It has gotten a bit more challenging since the days when you could just retrieve a security tape from a VCR. These DVR files are now encoded as encrypted files with codecs that make them rather difficult to use in standard video players or editors. Even if you convert the file once to an AVI or MPEG file, many traditional media players such as Windows Media Player won’t be able to play them, as they are a rather obscure and specific video format. Those files may need to be converted a second time to nullify the encryption.

dav warning

So in order to alleviate some of that confusion and frustration, here’s a quick guide on how to download and convert DAV files from a DVR or NVR.   Please note, these instructions are intended for those using a Windows based operating system.

About the DAV format:

DAV is a proprietary encrypted format created by DVR365 digital video recorders.  These recorders capture video images that have been recorded by CCTV (closed circuit TV) cameras in a modified MPEG file format, and is commonly used for recording video captured by CCTV cameras in China (where many security cameras and DVR’s are manufactured).  The DAV file cannot be played with most popular media players.

1)  Download footage / files from your DVR


The first step is to retrieve the saved footage from your DVR.

 NOTE: The process and user interface for this will vary depending on your DVR brand and setup.  Log in to your DVR through your computer, and isolate the specific area of video you need, then download it to your hard drive.  The files will be saved as DAV files.

2) Download and install DAV Player / converter

To download the DAV file player / converter, point your web browser to and on the top of the page, click on the “downloads” link.

Downloads link

Then, scroll to near the bottom of the page and click on the “Tools and Software downloads” link.

Tools and Software

Scroll to the bottom of the first page and click either the arrow or the number 2 to go to the next page

Next button

Finally, scroll down to and click on the download link for “Video Player and Converter”.

Video Player download link

Save the zip file to your computer.

Save as

zip file

Unzip the file by right clicking and extracting it to the downloads folder,


Then run the executable file.

install / run

Then install program.


3) Convert the .DAV to an .AVI file

Once the Player software is installed, click on the upward facing blue arrow on the left hand side of the player interface. This opens the “open file” window.  Navigate to c/RecordDownload folder, or wherever else you may have DAV files saved.

Open file

To convert the file, click the small “AVI” button on on the middle top-right of the player under the time navigation bar.  It’ll ask you where you want to save the converted file, but the default location is in the same folder as the original file.  Click “convert” and wait for it to complete.

AVI convert button

4) Use 3rd party software to decrypt AVI files.

Now you have your file converted, but there’s a good possibility that the resulting .AVI file you’ve just created still may not yet work with standard video players, even though it’s still a valid video file.  These files are not intended to be converted or edited easily.  You’ll probably have to run it through one more conversion to make it easily viewable or editable. Some video converters also may not recognize it (including standard ones such as Adobe Media Encoder).

The software we use in-office is Xilisoft Video Converter.


NOTE: This is 3rd party software that is not offered on our website, but even a non-paid trial version of the program will convert up to 3 minutes of footage…


While the full registered version will convert any length video, there are other options for software packages that do essentially the same type of conversion, but this is just the one that we use due to ease of use and the variety of video formats it can read and write to.

Run Xilisoft (or comparable video converter, though the following instructions are specific to that software)

Either drag and drop the AVI file into the software’s main window or click the “Add File” button that looks like a filmstrip with a plus on it (or select File/add file from the file menu at the top).  Select your intended file for conversion.

select file xilisoft

Security camera footage can come in several different resolutions and frame rates.  While the Player software converts the DAV footage to an exact duplicate in AVI format, other converters will offer a myriad of options that may change the quality of your file. To ensure that the footage maintains it’s intended fidelity and detail, make sure that the format you’re converting it to matches the resolution / frame rate of your original file. Or, under profile in Xilisoft’s Video Converter, there are quite a few available video formats and profiles to choose from.  We typically convert to Xvid (.mp4), which is under the “General Video Format” list of formats on the bottom “Profile” window.


On the right hand window, there’s a second “profile” window in which you can choose specific details such as video size, quality, and audio quality.  We recommend choosing “Auto” as that will keep the video resolution the same as your original AVI file, and High Quality for video. Odds are your security camera will not have an audio track, but if it does, select high quality for that as well.


Then select the encode button.  Your video is now un-encrypted and ready to edit or play in any standard media player.

Conversion finished

For a video tutorial on downloading the DAV player/converter, click the video below.

For any other information or questions about this or any other security cameras or products, just go to and contact us.


Quick Tips to Maximize Your Surveillance System CCTV Hard Drive

Written By:
Friday, August 15th, 2014


Most of the time when someone purchases a security system, it’s so they can have a recorded record of events that can be reviewed and analyzed at a later time. Unless you plan to view your cameras remotely and never record or review past video footage you will need a storage device or (CCTV Hard Drive) to record to.

Everyone’s storage requirements vary. In many cases 1 week of storage might be fine, assuming that you would be aware that an event had taken place within that 1 week time frame. If you are a business owner, someone who travels, or someone who leaves their properties unattended for long periods of time, you might need more storage. This is due to the fact that it may be weeks or even months before you realize that you need to go back and review your recorded video. One of the biggest mistakes people make when buying a security system is to try and save money be purchasing less storage. If in fact a crime does take place the most important thing is the the video is still there to be reviewed.

When you have a storage device or drive installed it will keep recording until the drive if full and then overwrite the oldest recordings first in order to store new video. In that respect it’s very similar to a television DVR such as TiVo or one supplied by Comcast, DirectTV or Dish Network.

When calculating how much drive space you need it’s helpful to know a two basic things.
1. First how many cameras will you have.
2. Second, How many days of recorded video to you want to have stored at any time.
Other factors include the resolution your cameras will be set to record at, the video frame rate, and how many hours per day you will be recording.

Once you have this basic information you can do some standard calculations to find out how much CCTV hard drive space you will need for your DVR or NVR. Instead of turning this in to a math class I recommend using the “CCTV Hard Drive Calculator” on

In the illustration below we’ve determined that if we will have 4 cameras recording at D1 resolution, 30 frames per second, 24 hours a day, 7 days per week, it will take up 357.70 Gigabytes. So what does the all mean?

CCTV Hard Drive Calculator

First it’s important to understand that 1000 Gigabytes = 1 Terabyte. Now if you do some basic math this becomes a bit clearer.

350 Gigabytes x 3 = just over 1 Terabyte. So a 1 Terabyte hard drive will get you about 3 weeks of video storage. That sound pretty good, but what if you have 16 cameras?

CCTV Hard Drive Calculator2

Now you can see you are using almost 1.5 Terabytes per week. So that means if you have a 1TB hard drive you will only get around 4 days of recording.

It is also important to note that the video resolution we are using for this example is D1. D1 is 720 x 408px resolution and is standard for most analog video cameras. Once you get into high definition cameras like HD-CVI and IP cameras, the resolution increases greatly and requires a lot more storage space. A 2 Megapixel IP camera for instance has a resolution of 1920 x 1080px (1080p). That will take up about 3 times the storage space as a D1 camera.

So if you don’t want to sacrifice how many cameras you have or how many days of video you can store, what do you do?

The first thing you could do is record at a lower resolution, although that’s not a very popular option. There is really no reason to purchase a high resolution camera simply to record low quality video.

A more popular approach is for you to lower the frame rate or frames per second. Don’t get Frames Per Second (FPS) confused with the resolution of the camera. The FPS is how many frames are stored for 1 second of recorded video. The more frames recorder per second, the smoother the video plays back.


That basically means if you drop your Frames Per Second from 30 to 15 you will double your hard drive capacity. But be careful, if you set the frame rate to low it may result in choppy surveillance footage. The good news is that you would be surprised at how smooth 15 FPS looks. Some people even record at 7 FPS and still find it sufficient.

Remember, even if you reduce you FPS you are still recording at full resolution for each frame that is recorded.

Another option is to reduce the number of hours per day you record footage. A scenario were this could work is in a secure office or lab environment where video only needs to be recorded during working hours. In this case you could set you cameras to record from 9 a.m to 6 p.m. In a case like this you could triple your hard disc space.


If it’s not possible to only record during a certain time frame, you could also choose to set your cameras to record on motion only. This means that a camera will only record when motion is detected in the camera’s field of view. This will also greatly decrease the amount of disc space needed and increase you recording time. Another benefit of recording on motion is it makes it much easier to find events when reviewing your recordings. This is because most DVRs and NVRs will set a visual marker on the cameras timeline each time motion occurs.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to set all cameras to work the same way. You can mix, match and schedule each individual camera’s behavior.

Some security cameras can be set to record on a schedule, while some can be set on motion detect. You can even have all your cameras set to record motion between the hours of 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. then switch to full time recording at night.

If you combine the scheduled recording with motion based recording along with a frame rate reduction you will most certainly get a lot more recording time and increased storage out of you security system.

If you would like to try more CCTV Calculators please visit our “CCTV Calculators” Page.