Archive for the ‘ CCTV Articles’ Category

Security Camera Comparisons

Written By:
Friday, November 7th, 2014

Security cameras are becoming significantly more prevalent in our society every day. This increase is due in part to the technology behind them getting better and better all of the time. As these improvements take place, the cost is also coming down at about the same rate. Because of all of these improvements in security camera technology there are far more types and styles available to the consumer today then every before and this variety can easily confuse even a tech-savvy buyer. In this article we’re going to take a look at the assortment of designs and features that are offered with some of the surveillance cameras on the market today and provide you with some useful information that should help you make the decision of which camera will work best for you. It will serve as a useful guide on security camera comparisons

That first thing that you should consider when you’re buying a security camera is whether it will be mounted outside or indoors. All security cameras are designed to work inside a structure but only a portion of them are designed to work outside, in the elements. Indoor cameras are usually less expensive, weigh less and are made with lighter materials. Surveillance cameras that are designed to be mounted outside are usually made of a stronger material, such as metal or a thick plastic, and sealed in such a way that they will keep moisture and debris out of the delicate internal electronic components to varying degrees. There is a rating system, called the IP code, which will help you determine what level of protection that a camera provides and allow you to choose the camera that will work best in the environment of your installation. This rating system is too complicated to explain in detail here but it’s a good idea to make sure that you use a camera that has an IP66 rating for outside installations. This means that the camera’s housing will protect the more delicate parts of the camera from dust and jets of water.

There are variations in the way that security cameras are built, both functional and aesthetic, that are a consideration when deciding what type of camera will work best for you. There are basically four different styles of cameras: box, bullet, dome and PTZ. There are a few differences in these types of cameras in the manner in which they can be mounted and where they can be installed.

A box camera is usually a rectangular camera that needs to have a separate lens attached to it. These lenses are available in a wide variety of zoom levels and are usually larger than those in other types of cameras. These larger lenses allow more light to be processed by the camera, resulting in a higher quality image. If box cameras are installed in an outside environment, they will also need to be mounted inside a housing to help protect them from the elements. These cameras are highly noticeable and because of this, they are effective in the role of a criminal deterrent as well as providing high quality video footage. The lenses for these cameras can be built with a varifocal lens, which means that you can manually adjust the level of zoom to suit your needs.

Box Camera
Box Security Camera With Lens Attached

A bullet security camera is a surveillance camera that has an oblong or cylindrical shaped housing, which is fixed to the mounting surface by some sort of an arm. These cameras allow you to easily mount and adjust them to the desired field of view. Bullet cameras are often designed for indoor and outdoor installations, but it’s still a good idea to check the IP code rating if you’re planning to use them outside. Unlike box cameras, bullet cameras can be designed with infrared (IR) lights around the lens of the camera. This IR lighting is triggered with an internal light sensor, so that the camera will be switched to IR mode once the lighting levels drop below a certain point. Once the camera is in this mode it will be able to show video in complete darkness.

Bullet Security Camera
Bullet Security Camera

A dome camera has a bulbous shape to it and can be mounted on most flat surfaces. This design offers the highest level of vandal resistance, which means that these security cameras make it very hard for anyone to tamper with them after they’ve been mounted. This type of camera is also available with infrared lighting built in to it so that it doesn’t need a visual light source to be able to record video for you. Dome style cameras are available in models that are designed to be mounted indoors exclusively or models that can be mounted indoors or outside.

Dome Security Camera
Dome Security Camera

Another type of surveillance camera that is very popular these days is a called a Pan Tilt Zoom camera or PTZ. This type of camera allows you to get the camera to pan around horizontally, tilt up and down vertically, and zoom in and out. All of these abilities are controlled from the DVR or over the Internet depending on the type of DVR you have and how it’s configured. These cameras are available in indoor and outdoor versions with widely varying magnification levels that can include both mechanical and digital zoom functions. PTZ cameras offer you the ability to have a look around the area where it’s mounted while you’re away from it. Some of them even have an auto tracking feature which will let it follow movement automatically.

Pan Tilt Zoom Camera (PTZ)
Pan Tilt Zoom (PTZ) Security Camera

All of these styles of security cameras are available in two different signal standards that have been around for years – Analog and IP. There is also a third signal standard that has arrived on the scene recently that is called HD-CVI.
Analog cameras have been around the longest of the three types and are still the most common. These cameras have BNC connectors for video, and they can use a few different types of cables to connect them directly to a DVR and some form of power supply. BNC connectors are circular with two small posts that lock the connection in place.

IP cameras have also been around for years now, but they are still newer than analog cameras. They are connected to a network through a standard network cable, either a CAT5 or CAT6 cable. These cameras are capable of megapixel resolution but can put a stain on a network’s resources unless the network is designed to handle significant bandwidth or a separate network is built for multiple cameras of this type.

HD-CVI cameras are the newest type of signal standard. These cameras are capable of delivering megapixel quality video footage and the video signal doesn’t go through a network. The cameras for this type of security camera system use BNC connectors and RG59 to transmit the signal to a DVR specifically designed to work with this type of camera. You can learn more about this amazing technology and the specifics of what HDCVI is here.


How to Choose a Security Camera System Based on Your Layout

Written By:
Thursday, November 6th, 2014

Many people know that they would like to have a security camera system for their home or office, but they just don’t know where to start. Here are a few things to think about when choosing your system to help ensure you get the right equipment and plan a smooth and efficient installation. This article will help you how to choose a security camera system based on your layout.

The first thing you might want to think about is the floor plan of your home or business, the areas you would like your cameras to cover, and the environment surrounding each camera. Doing this will give you a good idea of the type of equipment you will need and how many cameras are required.

Property Layout, Coverage Area and the Surrounding Conditions

Let’s use the illustration below as an example. Here is a house where we want to plan and install a security camera system. We can answer a lot of questions simply by using this example. (See Fig. 1-1)

Security Camera Layout 1-1Camera Layout Fig. 1-1

Notice we have 4 cameras setup and labeled in various locations around the house. What can we tell from this simple illustration?

Camera 1: We want camera 1 to cover our patio, front door, front walkway and front yard. For this camera we need a wide field of view, a good quality image, and we need to see at night with a low or no light source. In this case you might want to go with a 800 TVL (TV Line) high quality camera with a 3.6 fixed lens (wide field of view) and 50′ IR (can see up to 50 feet at night with the assistance of built in infrared).

Camera 2: This camera will focus on the driveway and garage door. We also want a wide field of view and good image quality as well as 100′ IR for a longer night vision distance.

Camera 3: Camera 3 has similar requirements as camera 1, so we can use the same camera.

Camera 4: On camera 4 we want to view and monitor the pool area. Unlike the fixed lens cameras used for the rest of the house we want a varifocal lens (can be zoomed and focused on a specific area). We also need a good quality picture and night vision.

Another thing we can tell by looking at our layout is there are some other areas of the home that are not covered at all. In this case we might decide that a 4 camera system is not sufficient for our needs. But for the purposes of this article we will stick with 4 cameras for now.

Note: In some cases you may want to purchase an 8 channel DVR even though you are only going to start with 4 cameras. This gives you the ability to scale your security camera system over time.

Choosing Your Camera Types

Now we need to choose the types of cameras we want use. Below are images of two popular camera styles mounted on the soffit of the house. There are a few things to consider when choosing your camera type(s).

Dome or Vandal Dome Security Camera

Dome Security Camera Mounted
Fig. 1-2

Bullet Security Camera

Bullet Security Camera Mounted 1
Fig 1-3

In this case using a bullet camera gives you the ability to drop below the obstruction or even mount the camera on the wall as seen in the photo below. (See Fig. 2-3)

Bullet Security Camera Mounted 2
Fig 2-3

Let’s assume the back of the house near the pool area has gutters that will make using a dome camera difficult. We also know that we want to be able to point the camera so that it’s looking directly at the pool. In this case we might want a bullet camera.

One more thing to note is that there are indoor and outdoor cameras. Outdoor cameras are also known as weather resistant or weather proof. We will be using all outdoor cameras for our installation.

By using our layout, taking into consideration the areas we want cover and the conditions around each camera, we have decided on the following cameras listed below:

Camera 1: (Front)
700 TVL Dome style Security Camera with a fixed wide angle lens and 50′ IR for night vision.

Camera 2: (Driveway)
700 TVL Dome style Security Camera with a fixed wide angle lens and 100′ IR for night vision.

Camera 3: (Back Yard)
700 TVL Dome style Security Camera with a fixed wide angle lens and 50′ IR for night vision.

Camera 4: (Pool)
700 TVL Bullet style Security Camera with Wall Mount, Varifocal lens and 100′ IR for night vision.

Choosing Your DVR

Now that we have picked out our cameras we need to choose the right DVR. A few questions you might ask yourself are: how many days of recording would I like to be stored on my DVR for play back? How important is the clarity and quality of the play back footage and do I want to view my cameras remotely via a computer, mobile device or phone?

In our case we want to be able to view recorded video for up to 7 days. We also want high quality playback and remote viewing.

Storage Requirements

If we want to have 1 week of recordings on 4 cameras, 24 hour a day, 7 day a week at high quality, we will need about 650 gigabytes of storage. Most DVRs today use standard hard drives as a storage device, so a 1 terabyte hard drive will do. You can determine storage requirement with a hard drive calculator like this one on


We’ve already determined that we are going to start with an 8 channel DVR even though we are only going to install 4 cameras at this time. We also want a DVR that can record the highest quality image in real time on all 8 channels. When choosing a DVR take your time and do some research. Some lower cost DVRs may not be able record at the highest quality on all channels due to processor or hardware limitations.

So we want to make sure we get an 8 channel DVR that is capable of the highest quality, real-time recording on all channels.

Remote Viewing

Many DVRs today have the ability to view your cameras or play back video remotely via computer, mobile device or phone. This capability depends on having an Internet connection at both the location where the DVR is located and the remote location from where you will be viewing. It is important that you make sure the DVR that you purchase has remote viewing capabilities and the software or App that supports your phone or mobile device.


Have a look at our layout below (See Fig. 3-1). Video and power cables will have to be run from the area of the home where the DVR will be located to each of the cameras. In order to do this some tools may be required. You should be comfortable running wire and you will most likely need to get into your attic. Here is where you make your next decision. Is this a Do-It-Yourself project or do you prefer Professional Installation?

DVR Placement
Fig. 3-1

If you decide to have a professional come to do your installation you probably will not have to be concerned with most of what we will cover next.

Common Types of Cable

Have a look at our layout below (See Fig. 3-1). Video and power cables will have to be run from the area of the home where the DVR will be located to each of the cameras. In order to do this some tools may be required. You should be comfortable running wire and you will most likely need to get into your attic. Here is where you make your next decision. Is this a Do-It-Yourself project or do you prefer Professional Installation?

Siamese Cable

Siamese Cable has video and power both in one cable. It usually comes on a spool or in a box and can be cut to the exact length needed for each camera. The power leads and BNC video ends need to be attached. Tools may be required. The option of using “cut your own cable” is very popular with professional installers.

Siamese Cable Connection

Cat 5

Cat 5 Cable may also be used. For newer Network IP cameras CAT 5 may even be a requirement. Cat 5 also has the ability to transmit video and power. Even if you are not using IP Network cameras, you may want to use Cat 5 with Baluns (converters) for your analog cameras. This is a benefit if you know you will upgrade to IP cameras in the future and do not want to re-wire at that time.

Cat 5 Cable

Plug and Play

Plug and Play Cable may be the best option for those who do not want to cut cable or splice ends. It is pre-made in various lengths and has the correct connectors on both ends. This is a popular choice for Do-It-Yourself installations.

Plug and Play Cable


The last thing we need to decide is how we want to power the cameras. We will talk about two common power options. Option one is a plug and play power supply (See Fig. 4-1) and option two is a power distribution box. (See Fig. 4-2).

Power Supply
Fig. 4-1

Power Distribution Box
Fig. 4-2

Plug and Play Power Supply

Similar to the pre-made plug and play cables, the plug and play power supply is a very popular option for home owners and self-installers. You simply plug the power supply into a standard 110 outlet then plug the end of your cameras power cable in to one of the power leads. That’s it! You are done. (See Fig. 4-3)

Power Supply end
Fig. 4-3

Power Distribution Box

A distribution box is a good choice for delivering power to multiple cameras from a central location. This is generally a cleaner more professional installation option, providing better power distribution and surge protection. When using this option it is not necessary to use power leads, the end of each power cable is attached directly to the terminal block inside the power distribution box. (See Fig. 4-4)

Power Distribution Box Connection
Fig. 4-4


Although there are many equipment and installation options not covered in this article, understanding your layout, surrounding environment and knowing your installation options will help you select the best equipment and plan a smooth installation in any scenario.


Security Camera Cables – The Different Types

Written By:
Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

What are the different types of cabling options for security cameras and how are they different?

Here at we offer three different types of security camera cables to connect your surveillance cameras to your security camera system. Finding the correct wiring method for your needs can be a bit tricky because each of these options has their own strengths and weaknesses. The three different cabling options that you can use for your security camera installation are prefabricated plug and play cable, CAT5 cable with baluns and Siamese cable. When you are installing your own security camera system most of the work takes place when you are running the cables from your cameras to where your DVR is located, so it’s nice to know that you have the type of cable that works best for you and the environment of the installation. That way you won’t have to do this work twice. This article will take a closer look at all of these options of security camera cables and help provide you with the information that you need to make this decision.

The first cabling option that we are going to take a look it are the pre-made plug and play cables. These cables are available in 25, 50, 100 and 150 foot lengths. They all have the connectors for both video and power already connected. You can even get them with a third connector at each end that will allow them to transmit audio signal, if you are planning to install microphones near where you are install a security camera. All you have to do is plug them in to the proper places (camera, DVR and power supply) and then they are ready to transmit the video signal to your DVR. This type of cable is the least expensive and the easiest to work with since it is all ready to be installed when you get them.
The down side of the plug and play cables is that they don’t offer the highest quality of video and power transmission. These cables aren’t able to consistently transmit these signals any further than 150 feet, which is why that is the maximum length of them that we sell.


The second type of security camera cables that we offer our customers is CAT5 cable. This type of cable is the same type that is used in most homes so that you can access the Internet. When they are used in a security camera installation with analog cameras they will need to be used in conjunction with small adapters, called baluns, which are connected to each end of the cables. After the baluns are connected to each end of the CAT5 cable, one balun will be connected to the security camera and the balun at the other end of the cable will be connected to the DVR and power supply. These cables transmit video and power signal better then plug and play cables, giving you a higher quality of video and allowing you to have more distance between your DVR and security cameras. The maximum distance that these cables can carry video and power is 300 feet. If you are able to bring power to a security camera from a source near where it is mounted, then these CAT5 cables can carry the video signal up to 1,500 feet. This cabling solution is also fairly inexpensive. This is the type of cable that you must use if you are installing IP cameras. The baluns are not needed with IP cameras because these cables will go directly in the camera at one and into a switch or router at the other end. When you are installing this type of camera it is also possible to run the power and video over a single CAT5 cable with the use of a power supply, if you are connecting the camera to a POE (Power Over Ethernet) switch. If you aren’t using a POE switch with these cameras then you will have to power the cameras in another way, by pulling a second wire from a power supply to the camera.

The downside of using CAT5 cable is that it is more susceptible to interference then some of the other types of cables you can use for your security cameras, but the sources of this interference is known and can be avoided. This interference is caused by running the CAT5 cables near high voltage devices or fluorescent lighting fixtures. If you are running CAT5 from your surveillance camera to your DVR, just make sure to keep the wires as far from these types of devices as possible.


The third type of cable that you can use for your security cameras is called Siamese cable. It is actually two different types of cables that connected, side by side, by a tough outer plastic insulation. One of these cables is called RG59 and the other is referred to as 18/2 wire. The RG59 is a specific type of coaxial cable and it is used to transmit the video signal from the security camera to the DVR. The 18/2 wire is actually two separate 18-gauge wires and they are used to transmit power from a power supply to the surveillance camera. These two combined cables let you bring power and video to your cameras by just pulling one cable. This is the type of cable that is used by most professional surveillance camera installation companies. Siamese cable has the capability to transmit power and video with less inference and voltage drop than the other two types of cables that have been previously discussed in this article. This means that the distance that you can transmit power and video through this cable is slightly higher than you can with CAT5. You can also transmit just the video signal a slightly longer distance than CAT5 if you are able to provide power to the camera from a source closer to where it has been mounted.


Hopefully this article has provided you with enough information to help you to decide which of these options will work best for your security camera system installation. There are many possible variables that can affect this decision. If you are concerned that the circumstances of your install might not have been addressed in this article, please contact our knowledgeable sales department and they will definitely be able to help you make this decision.


Smart PSS Features

Written By:
Monday, November 3rd, 2014

Many software developers strive to make improvements to their software to accomplish improved performance, security and even a complete revamp of its interface. In our industry the changes to these type of things happen quite fast, from software management to Web Interface of the recorders and cameras. Today I will be showing you some of the main features of our DVR CMS software called Smart PSS (AKA new Pro Surveillance System)

SmartPSS login

This complete software has been quite redesigned and its interface is fresh and easy to navigate. First I will explain some of the main icons and some features I find the most important in this software from connecting the CCTV recorder, creating groups, and scheduling tasks to navigating through some of the tabs.

Main Interface

There are 3 main sections in the software. They are divided as follows:

BASIC: In this section of the software you will find 4 icons: these are Live View, Playback, Alarm and Log.

ADVANCE: In this section of the software you will find 3 icons: Video Wall, E-Map and Display

SETTINGS:  In this last section you will see options such as Devices, Device SFG, Alarm CFG, PC NVR, Video Wall, Account and General.

The Live View basically is where you will stream and view your live video. In here you can stream one or multiple cameras. This section also provides different Layouts in which you can select as your main layout to view your cameras.


In the layout section you can configure a multitude of camera views from 1 view window to 64 View window. Also you can make your own layouts. Beside the layouts, you can configure the aspect ratio of the windows, from Original, to 4:3, 16:9 or 9:64.

The next option will be to make the live preview Full Screen so no menus show up. To bring the program and features back, simply right click with your mouse, or simply click the Esc button in your keyboard.

This first section also provides playback footage functionality. In here you can view previous recordings, Fast Forward, pause, and also download footage to your PC.


To play back files you will need to add a recorder to the software first. Go to the Devices tab and you could click Add or Manual Add. For this demonstration I will click on Manual Add and the following page will pop-up:

Manual Add

In this picture it will show some of the info you will need to have handy to add your security recorder. First, type an intuitive name for the connection between the software and recorder. Often you will name it something like Home security cameras.

Second, type the IP or DDNS name of your recorder. The Internal default IP address is If your network is within that range then you can use that, if not you might need to arrange that according to your network scheme. Follow this link to learn more about how to configure your DVR for remote access.

Third, If you have your security recorder as default, the port, username and password should be as shown in the above picture. After you have input all the settings, you can click on Get info. This will fill the rest of the empty fields such as Device SN, Video Input, Video Output, etc. At this point you can click on Save and Continue.

NOTE: By default the connection name will be added to the Default Group. If you want to group your connection, simply go to Live view and on the right hand side clock on New Group, then drag the connection name to the new group.

Now that we have added the security recorder to the software, we can now playback files. Click on the Playback icon and the playback window will appear.

From the left hand side you can locate the Group and Security Recorder you recently add to the software, Click on the “+” sign to expand the group and unveil the recorder channels.

Select the channel you want to play footage by selecting the channel and selecting the box next to it.

Default Group

On the bottom of the page click the from and to to select the time frame you want to search for.

From - to

After that you can click on search and and the Time Line will display the recording files. There will be either green or yellow depending of how your schedule is setup. Green indicates that Continuous recording is setup in place and Yellow Indicates Motion detection.

Time line

If you click on any of those colors the video will start to play back right away. Noticed that each stripe represents the channel, so if the first green stripe is clicked then that will be the first channel you have selected in your search box and so on. Here is a sample of the playback:


If playing a single line then you could just cut a time frame you like. Noticed when clicking a stripe in the time line, a scissor icon shows up. If clicked once that will put a mark in the file as your beginning time then if clicked again it will marked that the file as the end time. After that, a window labeled Export Setup will open showing you where to save the file. You can change the the export format if you like. You can also check or uncheck the option to download the Smart Player to playback the file.

Export Setup

The Alarm icon will display any alarm notifications if you have your recorders displaying realtime alarm information.This setting can be set if you want to receive an alert in your computer screen when motion happens on a channel.

In the Log Icon we can see the recorders Log events based on different types. these types are System, Config, Storage, etc. You can select a time frame and pick a device you have in the software then you can select different types of events.

The lasts 2 sections will be will be more for configuring the security recorder itself.

Under Advance you will find Video Wall, E-map and Display. Unfortunately Video wall and Display will require a special hardware that we do not carry at the moment.

E-map is a cool way to identify your cameras based on your home or business layout. In the picture below I can simply click on the camera and a window will display the camera location. It is required to add a layout of your location where the cameras are installed then drag the cameras to where they are actually installed in that picture. Double click on the camera name and a window will start streaming live video of the camera in question.


The last section labeled settings will be primarily to configure the recorder settings, Add devices, Alarm configuration, Task, etc.

DEVICES: In this section you can add, delete and modify devices you add to the system.

DEVICE CONFIG: It allows you to configure the recorder’s Network settings, add cameras, disk management, manage accounts etc. This section is like accessing the recorder’s setting from the WEB SERVICE but with a better interface. Also If you have IP cameras connected to an NVR then you can access the cameras’ individual settings.

ALARM CONFIG: This is a cool feature that SmartPSS and even the older version of PSS offer. Here is a link that will explain the process using the old version of PSS. This feature allows you to setup alarm events when motion detection occurs, also when cameras lose connection (ANALOG DVRs ONLY). You can also receive alerts when the camera is covered by an object or spray painted. Basically you link an event to a channel of the recorder then you link an alarm to it. You can set the schedule when you want this alarm to pop up in the software then save the settings.

TOUR & TASK: This feature allows you to set and enable channel groups and layouts. This allows you to setup different windows on a particular layout or view then it can rotate on a fix format.

PC-NVR: When setting this feature, your computer becomes an NVR. This feature will allow you to record only 16 Channels and you can connect to IP cameras, DVRs and NVRs and have their channels stream and record to your PC. It is recommended to use the computer as the NVR and store machine only instead of using both the client and playback PC.

VIDEO WALL: Video wall allows you to connect and configure how the TV from the Video wall will interact and display video. This device is a standalone unit that its entire purpose is to stream video and display it in the monitor, just as a giant monitor. There are many layouts you can have on each of the monitors and each work independently.

ACCOUNT:  Allows you to configure the users that will operate the this software. This is not the users of the recorder, so if you create a new user here it will not sync to the recorder.

GENERAL: This section allows you to configure the basics of the software. You can set to start the software using the last video layout used before you closed the software, auto login PSS, setup the file path location for snapshots, recording etc.

The current version we have of this great software can be found below:



Overview of the Security DVR Menu System from – Part 3

Written By:
Friday, October 31st, 2014

This is the third part of an article designed to give you a complete overview of the DVR menu system in our DVRs. You can find Part 1 to this article here. And you can also find Part 2 here.

DVR Advanced Menu:


HDD Manage:
This menu page allows you to adjust some options that affect the interaction between your DVR and any hard drives which are installed in it.

eSata – Clicking this button will allow you to configure an external hard drive which is connected to the DVR’s eSata port.

Set to – The most important action that this drop down menu allows you to do is format any hard drives which are installed in the DVR. This will completely clear the selected hard drive and restructure the storage sectors within it.

You would first need to select the hard drive through the HDD No. drop down menu. After that is done you will need to select format from the “Set to” drop down menu. Then hit the Execute button and after a few moments the DVR will prompt you to reboot.

HDD manage

Alarm Set:
This menu page will allow you to set the DVR up to notify you if there is a problem with a hard drive installed within it. The triggering events that are most commonly used are No Disk, Disk Error and Disk No Space. If one of these events occur then you can have the DVR trigger an external alarm device (like a siren), show a message on display device which is connected to the DVR, notify an alarm monitoring service, send an email, and/or trigger the DVR’s internal buzzer.

Alarm Set

HDD setting:
This menu page will allow you to assign hard drives to group. You can use this feature to effectively create separate storage spaces.

HDD setting

Alarm Release:
This button will let you to disarm the DVR’s internal buzzer if it has been triggered.

HDD channel:
This menu page will allow you to assign individual cameras to record to the groups of hard drives which have been set up on the HDD setting page.

HDD Channel

This page of the menu system is exactly the same menu page as the Alarm Set page which is accessible through the HDD manage page.

Alarm Set

Alarm Output:
This small window will allow you to set how your DVR will handle alarm outputs with three different options for each alarm output. Only one of these options can be selected for each output.

Schedule – Selecting this option will mean that an alarm input will trigger the alarm output based on time frame set up on the schedule page (Main Menu -> Setting -> Schedule).

Manual – Selecting this option will make it so the DVR triggers an alarm output until it’s manually stopped.

Stop – This selection will disable the alarm output.

Status – This indicates when an alarm output is being triggered.

Alarm Output

This menu page will allow you to customize the way your DVR records video streams with three different options for each video channel. Only one of these options can be selected for each channel.

The most common way that this page is configured is to select schedule for any channel where a camera is connected and to select stop for any channel which does not have a camera connected to it.

Schedule – Selecting this option will mean that camera’s video will be recorded in the way that it has been set up on the schedule page (Main Menu -> Setting -> Schedule).

Manual – Selecting this option will mean that camera is being recorded continuously.

Stop – This selection will make it so this channel is not recording.


This menu page allows you to modify how user accounts can interact with the DVR, add users, delete users and change passwords for any of the users. It is very important that you NOT delete any of the default user accounts; although you are free to change the passwords for them.


Add User:
This menu page will allow you to set up new users for the DVR. You can create a new user and its password here. If you enable the reuseable feature then multiple people will be able to use that user account at the same time. If the reuseable is not enabled then a user will be denied access to the user if it’s already in use by another user.

You can choose which type of account you’re making with the Group drop down menu. The two types of accounts are admin or user, with the user account offering less possible permission to assign to the account.

The bottom portion of this page will allow you to set the permissions for specific users. This is where you can deny access to the menu option or only allow access to certain cameras for that user.

Add User

Modify User:
This page will allow you to modify the permissions for a user. You can also enable or disable the reuseable feature here.

Modify User

Add Group:
This menu page allows you to create a user group. Creating a group will let you set the default permissions for any user created within it.

Add Group

Modify Group:
This Page will allow you to modify any of the default permissions for any user groups.

Modify Group

Modify Password:
On this page you will be able to change the password for any of the DVR’s users.

Modify Password

Auto Maintain:
By default, the DVR is set up to automatically reboot at 2:00 am every Tuesday. This feature helps the DVR to function properly over an extended period of time. You can adjust when or if this occurs on this menu page. It is recommended that you leave this on.

Auto Maintain.

This page also allows you to set up the DVR to automatically delete video files after a variable amount of days.

TV Adjust:
This menu page allows you to adjust how the video shows up on a display device connected directly to the DVR. You can move the top, bottom or either side so that it takes full advantage of the display device’s viewing area. You can also adjust the brightness here for that display device.

TV Adjust

Text Overlay:
This menu page is where you would configure the DVR to work with a POS system, so that the transaction information will be displayed over a cameras video.

Text Overlay

Config Backup:
This menu page allows you to back up all the settings from the DVR so that it can be uploaded to another DVR. This feature is particularly useful if you are setting up multiple DVRs.

This concludes an overview of a DVR’s menu system. Our units are constantly being upgraded, so you may see some slight variations in your menu system.

Config Backup