Archive for the ‘ CCTV Articles’ Category

How to Configure the AIR ROUTER HP

Written By:
Monday, August 4th, 2014


Networking is essential in security systems from access control to security cameras. There are many types of systems out there designed for security. To operate normally most security systems don’t need the Internet, but to utilize all the bells and whistles in conjunction you will need to be connected to the web. There are many options for networking devices out on the market. Chances are you already have your own equipment. If you have internet service you have a router or modem.  In most cases when you add a security system you want to have it setup on its own network. To create your own network that will require another router. We suggest the Air Router HP from

A new router introduced to your local network will need to be setup properly to allow for connectivity and be able to implement security or restrict access to the system and subnet.  Our TP-Airrouter-HP is a great device to handle the job. It has a huge amount of integrated features for a small price. If you purchased a comparable router from AT&T you would be completely restricted and be missing standard routing features. When it comes to the networking there is much more than just getting “online”.

This router comes with a default IP of That IP may or may not work with your current network subnet. Most people or home users likely you will be OK for the initial part of accessing the router.  Routers are designed to operate within different separate subnets of each other. This first issue you will run into is that this router is handing out the same subnet as the current router of with a default gateway of This is not going to work as the routers will not know which route to use to transmit data packets to devices on the given network. Devices may stay connected but become sluggish or lose connectivity all together. There are a few ways to go about configuring the router for connectivity.

To begin you need a computer connected directly to the AIR ROUTER-HP. Then you will open a browser and enter the routers default IP into the browsers address bar and hit enter. You will arrive at the router’s login page.  Ubnt/ubnt is the user name and password to login. Once you log into the router you will see 6 tabs at the top of the page for different groups of features. The features we initially need access to be located in the network tab.  As we need this router to work with another router on the network there are a 3 ways to configure the router.  The network role is what you are looking for and the network mode is what needs to be changed. The modes of the Router are: Router, SOHO Router, and Bridge.

Putting the device in bridge mode is the easiest option to configure connectivity. Save and apply then connect to your other router and you will have network access. Bridge mode bridges the two routers together so they are in the same virtual network. In other words your main router is still handing out IP addresses to all devices connected to main router and secondary router. The next option that can save time is on the same page it is called Configuration MODE. Your options are simple and advanced. If you are going to bridge the router I would suggest leaving it in simple mode. Most of the options in advanced mode you probably won’t use. From here all you set is the secondary router’s IP address to be static or dynamic. For port forwarding it really does not matter as in bridge mode the forwarding is only done on main router.  If you decide to go into advanced mode this can change, but not necessarily. The features you gain access to in advanced mode are: Interfaces (physical ports on router) IP aliases (associating multiple IP to one interface), Vlan (restrict access to devices), Firewall (stop traffic coming in), Static routes (manual routing), Traffic shaping (rate limiting).

SOHO Router and Router mode are just about the same. SOHO means small office/ home office. The main difference is in the Network address translation feature. In Router mode all the NAT protocols are enabled. In SHO Router mode the features can be disabled or enabled as needed. In both SOHO router and router modes the Wide Area Network (WAN) and Local Area Network (LAN) have to be manually configured.  In the WAN feature you can set the router to DHCP or static meaning you can assign a static IP or let the primary router assign it an IP. I can tell you for port forwarding to not stop working after power loss you will need to assign the router a static IP address. Since every time a router loses power when in DHCP mode it will get a new IP address between from primary router. This makes old port forwarding rules incorrect, so you will lose remote access.  The LAN settings are very important. You cannot have the same subnets assigned to two routers connected to each other. In LAN you will want to assign an IP address in a different subnet from primary router such as Then you need to enable DHCP server so the router can automatically assign devices a IP address in that subnet. Next you set the range. Typically the range would be to You can make any variation between the last octets 2-254. If you only want 5 devices connecting to that network you can program router to only be able to hand out 5 addresses, so the range would be to This will prevent people from randomly connecting devices to your network. You can still statically assign IP address to device you want to connect to this network.

As you go through this router you can see there are a lot more customizable features to use. Always feel free to call in for further options for configuration.


Recording Live Surveillance Feeds On Your Computer With Bandicam

Written By:
Friday, August 1st, 2014

bandicam Logo

So what happens when you are viewing a camera system, either online or at work but don’t have permissions on that Digital Video Recorder or Network Video Recorder and still want to record what you are watching?  Most web based “live” camera feeds are set up without any basic permissions for the viewer to record to the Digital Video Recorder or Network Video Recorder. There are a variety of times where not being able to record an important event can be frustrating.  Say you are observing your little one at a daycare website or you log into a DVR as a guest and see a superior or co-worker taking something from your desk?  Even if its being recorded on the DVR you want a copy for your own records. Perhaps you might just be watching a live feed of a local beach or the “squirrel cam” located on a public park website and see something you want to save for your own personal use.  Maybe you are even witnessing a traffic accident or a crime on a live street camera off a news or traffic site.  Maybe you have admin privileges, but what If you are viewing your home cameras from your computer at work and don’t have time to change the DVR settings?  Or you want to catch that person breaking into the neighbors house but you didn’t have the camera set to motion detect? Whatever the reason, you want your own copy of the video stream you are watching as quickly and easily as possible without having to ask permission.

The solution is actually relatively simple and there are several forms of free software that can be downloaded and utilized for this purpose.  This software allows the user to record, as a video clip (.AVI File), anything within a selected window or on their monitor (depending on the settings of the software).  The software has existed for some time and has often been used in the past to make tutorial videos for employees about how to access, run or utilize a new piece of software.  Many in the gaming community use it as well to record their achievements or performance and upload and share them via YouTube or another site, as bragging rights.  Put simply, this software also allows the user to take snap shots or videos of whatever is being viewed on your desktop either in part or in whole.

The software program that I would recommend to a new user for this particular purpose is “Bandicam” (But there is a variety of software available that would work for this scenario).  The first step in the process is to visit one of of these sites and download the software. The example I will be using  is:


Once you’ve downloaded the software it is as simple as running the installation file and a small matter of arranging the settings for your particular purpose, if you even need to at all.  The default settings for Bandicam are quite adequate for our particular situation but we will discuss some of the features and options in the following paragraphs.

With Bandicam you can record in full screen mode or use a movable window that will open and record anything within that window saving it to whatever folder you wish to designate as the destination. This option can be located under the general tab to the left hand side of the Bandicam window. This is also where the file location your snapshots will be saved to.  At the bottom of this tab is an auto complete recording option. Here you can set a maximum recording time and a maximum file size, allowing you to automatically limit the size and length of the file you are recording.  If you purchase the full version you can also have the option to automatically and immediately start recording again, shut down the program or shutdown the computer entirely after your first clip has been recorded and saved.

If you decide to use the window recorder, the window can be sized, adjusted and moved across your desktop at will and anytime, even while recording this window can be moved across your desktop. You can also set whether or not you want this window to be kept recording on top of your other windows by default.

With this software you can simply hit the hot-key whenever you wish to record. You can set your video hot-key and pause hot-key under the Video tab, thus allowing you to start and stop your video capture at the press of a button.

Under the image tab of Bandicam you have a separate hot-key to use in order to take a snap shot that can be changed for your convenience. This allows you to capture an image of your screen view, desktop or window.  So if size is an issue on your PC and you don’t want to take full video clips, you can simply take a screen shot of the image using this software (rather than having to revert to “print screening” and pasting to paint or another image editing software).  Under this tab you can also set the software to repeat the screen shot every so many seconds, if you so desire.  You can also change the file type you wish the image to be saved as.

Under the output tab you can view the files you have created by date and see details such as size, file type and name. It is also important to note that the free version of Bandicam does have a watermark that cannot be removed without purchasing the software.  However it is small in relative size to the clip and does not obscure much of the video.  It is located in the top center of the video clip and is still somewhat transparent.

The program can be set to record on opening and this is extremely helpful for our example.  Once its downloaded the programs is built to be a simple open and or hot-key and your capturing the video stream you thought you could never record.  This solves the problem of permissions or access to the NVR/DVR and allows you to save the video to your pre-designated folder, hassle free.

Overall I have found this software extremely useful for saving images, designing walkthroughs, creating “how to” tutorials and saving videos I would otherwise have been unable to record. There are various other forms of this software and they can be used in a variety of different ways.  Hopefully this article has given you a few options about how to record web based video feeds from your PC.  This way you capture that precious moment of your child’s first steps, that accident or crime you just witnessed, or just particularly amazing piece of scenery.

Bandicam Demonstration Video


How to configure and connect an ONVIF IP Security Camera (our TP-Series)

Written By:
Thursday, July 31st, 2014

IP5                           IP4                       IP2                  IPOB-TP2MPIR150L2812-B-main

Onvif Cameras have become very popular these days and many companies are adopting this new open protocol to integrate with other equipment brands.

Today I will introduce our new line of ONVIF cameras (our TP Series) with a new and elegant style, that promise to be an easy and great setup for your CCTV needs.

One of the greatest thing about this new line is the variety of models we are offering from bullet style, varifocal & fix lenses to small ball domes that can be installed in no time.

As I mentioned before, Onvif (Open Network Video Interface Forum), is an Open Industry aimed to facilitate the communication of IP based video products with other devices that are not necessarily from the same manufacturer. Some ONVIF products require to have certain features turned ON before integrating with any equipment that is not from the same brand. In my opinion and as a rule of thumb I always configure each device first to avoid any misconfigurations, then I will end connecting these to the recorder.

For this demonstration I will be using an IPID-TP2MPIR50L2812-W. The settings and access setup is the same throughout the entire TP-Series Cameras. Some settings such as brightness, sharpness, WDR, etc need to be adjusted depending of the environment where the cameras are mounted.

Like any IP based device it will require to know its IP address, or at least have a way to find it. These cameras come with a default IP of or sometimes will be set to DHCP. The best way to approach this is by downloading and using the TP-IP Series Search Utility.

The first step to connect to the camera is to find its IP. Open the finder and click on refresh, the result will show below:

TP Search

Select the resultant IP address and here you can change some settings such as port, IP address, mask, etc. I suggest to only change IP Address related settings and not change the ports.

Internet Explorer Settings

Internet Explorer is the only web browser that will work without any add-ons, and is in fact the only browser supported 100% with our DVRs/NVRs and IP cameras.

To access your camera with Internet Explorer, is important to know what version is currently installed in your computer. To do so, open internet explorer and click on Help>About Internet Explorer. A window will open and you can see the current version running in your computer.

IE Version

This particular version of Internet Explorer has been optimized for better graphics, performance, etc. The steps to connect to the camera are the same exempt now you will need to add the IP address of the DVR/NVR/IP Camera to the compatibility view settings of the software in order to show correctly.
1.- Go to Start button>Control Panel and Internet Options.


2.- Click on the Security Tab, then custom Level…

3.- On the next window we will scroll down to look for an option labeled “Download Unsigned ActiveX Controls”. Select “Prompt” and click OK.

IE Security

At this point you should be all set to access your Camera.

4.- Open Internet Explorer and type the IP address of your camera. If you are performing these task from the same location were the camera is, then type the internal IP address.

If this is the first time you are trying to connect to the IP camera then it will not show correctly. You will encounter this issue if you are using Internet Explorer Version 11, which is the latest version Microsoft is offering on computers running Windows 7 and Windows 8.

Connecting to the camera for the first time

Once you have configured Internet Explorer, the next step is to connect to the camera. Input the default IP address, or if you have changed the address then you will need to use that instead.

A log in page will show up after the necessary Activex Files finish installing. The Default username is Admin/Admin.

Click on Configure to access the settings of the camera and begin enabling features like Motion, Schedule, Resolution, etc.

Camstar IPID Login

Configuring Motion & Schedule Detection

This is one of the main features that you should configure to allow the camera to record when there is movement. To do this click on the configuration panel on the left side and locate “Alarm”.

Motion Alarm - Apply to EveryDay

Once there, click on the top check mark to enable motion and proceed to select the Motion detection Area. Click on “Set Motion Detect Area” and drag you mouse across the picture to select the area you want the camera to detect motion, like in the picture above, and show the desire selection. Adjust the “Motion Detect Threshold” to adjust the sensitivity. The higher the number the more sensitive to movement the camera will be. Click on “Set” to save those settings. Move down to schedule and change the timing from “00:00 – 23:59”, this will make the camera enable motion 24/7 for a specific day. Click on ”Apply  to Every Day” then “Set” to save these settings. NOTE: when you move to another menu and decide to come back to the Motion Alarm settings, you will notice that the area you have selected for motion will not show up. Don’t panic, the settings are there, you just need to click on “Set Motion Detect Area” again and the area will reappear.

Configuring Encoding Resolution

Encoding will be one of the most fundamental settings you will need to understand and configure correctly. These settings will allow you to setup how the camera will broadcast the video resolution and quality to the NVR and smartphones.

Video Parameters 1Major

The settings above are the most common when it comes to configuring the Main Stream of the camera. These settings will be the ones the NVR will record with and it will affect the quality of the recordings if this is set incorrectly. You should set your cameras this way but sometimes it will be necessary to decrease these settings if you lack on bandwidth to stream IP cameras over the Internet.

Lastly the settings for the Sub Stream should be as follows:

Video Parameters 2Major

The Sub Stream is basically how you will see your cameras over a smart phone or tablet. These settings are usually at a lower frame rate and resolution (D1), without compromising quality on the video recording. Make sure you click on “Set” when changing any of these settings so the changes will stick.

NOTE: If you are using an NVR with PoE Switch build in, then you will need to configure the camera’s IP address to match the PoE IP address range. When ready to connect the camera then you need to add the camera manually utilizing Onvif as the Manufacture and the HTTP port number is 8080. Once that is all set, click add and the video will start streaming over the NVR.

There are many features in this camera that will make this article incredibly long but these are some of the essential settings you should have when connecting them to your NVR. For more information visit us a


How to integrate an IP camera with a NAS (Network Attached Storage) Device

Written By:
Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Many customers have tried to figure out ways to integrate an IP camera with something different than an NVR. Sometimes they use a computer with enough storage to record footage from a camera, but is there another way to do it without the hassle of logging in to the camera interface and pressing the record button?

The answer is YES! Technology nowadays offers many software interface solutions with the ability to stream video from an IP camera and allow it to be recorded to an internal Hard Drive, but is there a cheaper solution utilizing a 3rd Part Device to record footage? Again, the answer is YES!

This device is called a NAS (Network Attached Storage). There are so many of them in the market offering the ability to connect to cameras and utilize downloadable software from their market place. In this article I will be using one of my favorite NAS devices (Sinology).

This little box offers a lot of features beside the ability to use it as an NVR. It also can be used to host other services. Surveillance Station is a software that can be downloaded to most Sinology NAS devices and interconnects your IP cameras to it.

It also allows you to Monitor real time video of all your IP cameras. It is accessible from almost any computer, including Mac and PC. This great device also offers a free app to watch your cameras.

This software supports our EL Series IP cameras and the setup is very simple. You could also use any ONVIF camera but it will be very limited in features.

How to get the software and how to install it?

To get the software simply login to your Sinology NAS and download Surveillance Station from the Package Center. Make sure your NAS have the latest and greatest Software Updates.

After the installation, proceed to open up the software by going to the Main Menu icon and look for click on Surveillance Station

Synology 1

After you fire up the software, it will be necessary to install a plugin in your PC in order to get the interface of the software. Click on the download link and follow the steps to download the file. The interface will look like this:

Synology 3 pluging

The Next step will be adding your IP cameras. In this demonstration I will be using our IPOB-EL1MPIR50 and our IPOB-TP2MPIR50 (Onvif Camera). Notice that our camera will not displayed as a camera option under camera brand. Make sure for our EL Series you use “Dahua” as the manufacturer. After you type the IP address of the camera, the Model should Auto populate in the field.

Synology 5 Adding Cameras

A welcome screen will appear after clicking Add. Choose any mode you will like to proceed and add the cameras. Click Next to Add the camera information.

Welcome Screen

You can see here that the camera has been added successfully after typing the IP address and Brand. Also you should assign an intuitive name so is easy to search for footage later on.

Camera add

The next option will be configuring your video settings and recording schedule. I will recommend to set the format of the cameras as H.264; this is better for streaming and compression of the file. Adjust the resolution, bitrate control and kbps on the camera accordingly.

Synology 6 Recording

Adjust how often your NAS will save Video. Also adjust how many seconds the unit will pre-record and post-record. Lastly setup how the files will be handle when the archive threshold is reached.

Synology 7 Detection recording

Surveillance Station can record based on a continuous manner, Motion and alarm or when motion is activated.

Synology 8 Schedule

You can also utilize any other camera brand including ONVIF. Here is a link that will show you all of the compatible cameras that work with this unit.

If you want to use ONVIF cameras it is absolutely the same steps but the Onvif Port differs from a standard camera. For this example I used an IPOB-TP2MPIR50 which is purely Onvif protocol.

Camera add ONVIF

You will noticed that the port is 8080 instead. The last thing after adding the cameras is setting up your camera layout. Surveillance Station offers a variety of layouts up to 64-channel view. Also you can configure camera grouping and camera sequence. For more info you can visit this link to learn more.

Live View Layouts

After setting up your layout of your cameras you can go to live view to view your newly added cameras.

Life View

There are many options you can play with while viewing the cameras live. If you go to the left bottom corner you can click the gear icon to see more options. You can click on the + to zoom in at close and utilize the scroll in your mouse to zoom in and out.

Lastly, access your recording at any time by going to the Management Tab and all your recording will show up in the list. Pick the camera you want to review footage and a window will open with a time line.

Recording Access

Although this is a great device to be use as a Storage Device for your IP cameras it can be very expensive when it comes to adding more cameras. Each camera requires a license that is not free. Your unit (depending of the model) will come with a license preloaded in the system. If you need to add more cameras then you will need more licenses per cameras. We recommend to use a stand-alone NVR such as our ELT series NVR. They are excellent for a simple installation, supporting up to 1080p resolution for recording and no licenses are required.

NOTE: Sinology is not a Techpro Security product equipment. If you need any support or help configuring the software after the cameras are added, you will need to go to for more information.


Camera Lenses

Written By:
Tuesday, July 29th, 2014


Camera lenses are devices that are made up of an optical lens or multiple lenses aligned in a certain way used with a camera chipset to make what we see everyday with our eyes possible for a camera. There is no major difference between lenses used for still or motion cameras but the detailed design and construction will depend on how far, close, etc the camera will be capable of. Most cameras have a permanent fixed lens built into the camera but some cameras have the ability to connect interchangeable lenses with different focal lengths and other properties. When it comes to construction of the lens the higher quality it gets the less optical obstructions there will be which will give a better quality image. With there being so many different kinds of lenses and qualities, finding the right one for the camera you have is key to having the best image possible.

Camera lenses are made up of multiple elements that when put together properly will allow the camera not only to see but see clearly. To start the front element is the most important part of its entire lens assembly. Today we help protect that lens by coating it with protective sealant to reduce scratching, flare, reflection, and if need be to adjust color balance. To decrease the chance of a front lens aberration the lens is curved so that the angle of incidence and reflection are as equal as possible. That way if there is an occurrence of a scratch on the lens, It will basically disappear with the reflection. With a fixed lens camera this is an achievable possibility but with zoom it can be a little tricky. The focus on a lens is adjusted by moving the lens assembly further or closer to the image plane or by moving the different elements of the lens assembly. This can be related to you taking off your glasses and moving them further and closer to your eyes. Today, with most cameras, this is done automatically with an assembly called a floating system. As for materials, glass is commonly used as the optics because of its resistance to scratching and good optical properties. There are many other materials that can be used but does not hold up as good or are very costly. With many new cameras they apply multiple coating. Like I mentioned earlier there are some that protect it from getting scratched, and others that protect it from UV lighting. This will help not only the lens last longer but also protect the chipset from any damage. Some lenses will have a mechanical aperture adjustment, usually referred to as an iris diaphragm, which will regulate how much light is allowed to be captured. Lastly there is the shutter which is to regulate the amount of time the light may pass through the iris. In new cameras the shutter does the Job of both.


Aperture and Focal Lengths
The two main things that people look for in a good lens are focal length and the maximum aperture. The purpose for focal length is what determines the magnification of the image that is being captured onto the image plane and the intensity of the aperture. It will also change the perspective of the image. It will not change the main subject that you are trying to capture but it will effect the background. For any given lens system the focal length is what determines the angle of view. The shorter the focal length the wider your field of view is. The maximum aperture of a lens is read using a calculation called a focal ratio represented as a f-number. It is easily defined as the lenses length divided by the effective aperture. So to clear things up the lower the f-number you see on a specific lens, the better quality image it will produce.

Elements of a Lens
The elements of a lens are based off of what is needed for its specific use. It depends on the angle, its maximum aperture, and price point. When a lens is constructed with a wide angle and large aperture it cost a lot to compensate for reflection and any aberrations. This might be a high quality lens but where there is quality there comes high price. For every day cameras like security cameras there has to be a lens that will capture a quality image but sill meet a low price point. This is achieved by compensating on the width of the lens and increasing the f-number. Doing this still gives you a wide image and good lighting but not the best in the business. When talking about the elements what makes a good picture is the type of quality and control the facility has. When the glass is made, if not done right, there could be defects within the glass its self. There could be scratches, bumps, bubbles, fog, etc. Major improvements in the industry today make that a rare incident but still applies.


Camera lenses are delicate devices that when assembled correctly can allow the camera to absorb and capture the world we see everyday. The construction of a cameras lens is very important because one little defect can make all the difference. The use of specific coats placed on the front lens can help with protecting it from abrasions and UV light. The aperture and focal lengths are key things when looking into a camera lens. It is what gives the camera the most light and the widest aspect ratio to get the best view. Having a specific f-number can also change the cameras perspective so to keep the image as life like as possible you want to keep the f-number as low as possible. The different elements of the lens will be the difference between a higher quality lens and poorly constructed plastic lens. But where there is high quality comes high price. For any more information you can call our tech line at 866-573-8878.