Archive for the ‘ CCTV Articles ’ Category

Video Games that Use Security Cameras in Gameplay

Written By:
Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015


It may be hard to believe, but video games have been with us almost 50 years now. Coincidentally, that is about the same time CCTV cameras have been around with both technologies starting to come into their own in the 1970s. The 2 technologies didn’t actually crossover until the mid-1980s when graphics and game play options became sophisticated enough to incorporate an actual game play use for CCTV cameras. So, lets take a look at some of the games that actually found a way to work surveillance cameras into how the game was played.

METAL GEAR – 1987 – NES, MSX – by Konami


The granddaddy of the spy game genre, Metal Gear, was like an 8-bit amalgam of the films “Rambo” and “Escape from New York”. In the game, you play as Solid Snake, a military spy trying to take out an evil dictator located in a bunker complex in the jungle, as well as his doomsday weapon, a walking tank called the Metal Gear. The game has a top down, birds eye view perspective. The game was also one of the first to require stealth, meaning the player had to sneak around the game undetected rather than going out guns-a-blazing, in order to survive.

How CCTV was used in the game:

The first of many games to actually incorporate CCTV cameras heavily in a game. Essentially, the cameras were either fixed in one location or moving back and forth on tracks.

In the original 8-bit Metal Gear games, cameras could not be avoided by walking under them. Instead, the player must hide behind a wall or “equip” the cardboard box before it moved over him. And in certain areas, you had to access a CCTV monitor to show you where enemies lie in waiting in adjacent rooms.

NIGHT TRAP – 1991 – Sega


One of the more bizarre footnotes on game history, Night Trap, a B movie style horror / comedy game was one the first CD based console games. Appearing first on the SEGA CD platform, the disc format (still a new technology at the time) allowed for very compressed, primitive FMV (Full Motion Video). Night Trap is the first game where the ENTIRE game is viewed through the lens of hidden security cameras. Though practically unplayable by today’s standards, this game was groundbreaking and quite controversial for it’s time.. being one of the games that directly led to the video game content rating system.

How CCTV is used in the game:

You’re an undercover SWAT team that’s monitoring a monster-ridden house where a slumber party of sorority girls is taking place. This is happening in eight different locations, but only one camera can be viewed at a time. When Vampires (called “Augers”) invade the the house, the player has to find them and use traps to capture them.

Goldeneye 007 – N64 – 1998 by Rareware / Nintendo


A game that was originally intended to be a 1996 N64 launch title was an adaptation of the 1996 “reboot” of James Bond franchise, “GOLDENEYE”. However, the game’s development dragged on for over 2 years. It was worth well the wait. Garnering near universal praise and adulation for its realistic first person spy shooter mechanics and addictive multiplayer mode, the game went on to sell an incredible 6 million copies.

How CCTV was used in the game:

Shoot out the camera.

In Goldeneye007, cameras have 3 dimensional line of sight. If you appear in front of them, they will trigger an alarm which will send soldiers to your location. Cameras can be shot down (which can be done through windows as well as from long distances), allowing you to move freely through an area. Also, it’s possible to access certain security cameras in certain enemy complexes which allow you to see rooms that lay ahead of you, then plan your strategies ahead of time.

Metal Gear Solid – PS1 – 1998 – by Konami


Coming about 10 years after the original Metal Gear game for the NES and MSX came on the scene, Metal Gear Solid shook up the gaming industry in 1998 by taking it’s sci-fi espionage story and giving it an unprecedentedly cinematic feel for the late 90’s. This sequel / remake took the game play options so far beyond it’s original incarnation that it felt like a completely different entity, despite sharing characters, stories, game play and themes in common.

How CCTV was used in the game:

Like it’s predecessor, Security Cameras in this game become a constant object of avoidance, but unlike the original, they can be avoided by hiding underneath them. And like Goldeneye, your character con occasionally access the cameras to avoid later obstacles.

Manhunt – 2003 – PS2 – Rockstar Games


This game, created by the team behind the Grand Theft Auto franchise, is a controversial urban horror-centric game that, unlike many of the games listed here actually uses security cameras as part of the plot.

How CCTV is used in the game

Notorious for it’s violent imagery, this game uses it’s CCTV cameras as both a plot device and as a visual aesthetic. The plot involves a “Snuff Film” director that sends a death row inmate into an abandoned neighborhood to kill his way through gangs in order to satisfy his “audience”, which is being filmed by “thousands” of CCTV cameras located there. At specific violent parts of the game, the visual aesthetic switches to a gritty, static filled, but convincing analog video look.

Watch Dogs – 2014 – PS3/4 Xbox 360/One – by Ubisoft


The newest and most ambitious game on this list, Watch Dogs is a 3rd person, open world / mission-based tech action-adventure game where players can freely roam the open world of a near-future version Chicago, but can progress by completing missions.

How CCTV is used in the game:
The game centers on a hacker and ex criminal bent avenging his family, using his hacking skills and smartphone to connect to the city infrastructure operating system called ctOS (CenTral Operating System). This allows you to access, monitor and hack everything the city… including manipulating traffic lights, finding information in suspects, and accessing over 25,000 security cameras all over the city in order to stop your enemies.

What makes this game different from past games that utilize CCTV networks is that your access point to cameras or anything else in the game is a cell phone, which immediately makes it feel incredibly modern.


Triggering an Electronic Lock with a Security Camera Alarm Output

Written By:
Friday, June 19th, 2015

Alarm Trigger Setup

Many of our security cameras have a built-in camera alarm output that can be utilized for a variety of devices such as strobes, sirens, flood lights, etc.  But, did you know that these alarm outputs can be used with our access control devices to trigger the unlocking and locking of doors?  Today, we are going to utilize our alarm output to trigger a door to unlock.  Basically, upon motion, our door will unlock to allow entry with a slight delay to allow for a clear snapshot of the subject entering the facility or limited access entryway.

Say you have a customer-only door that you only wish to open when a customer is present.  In addition to taking snap shots of the customers as they enter as well as sending you alerts or pictures of them, you can have the camera automatically unlock the door during these specific hours of operation.  Or, for example, say we have an employee-only room but you want to know exactly who was in that room and when.  This can be used in congruency with the camera’s snapshot feature to trigger the door to unlock with a delay, thus ensuring you get a full picture of the employee who entered the door as well as a date/time stamp of when they entered. This can be obtained by increasing the delay at which the door unlocks and thus opens.

So, today we are going to to go over how to use the camera alarm output on a camera to trigger a door look such as an electronic door strike or magnetic lock.  I’ve chosen to use our 3 megapixel IP Vandal Dome (IPVD-EL3MPIR) and our 1500lb. DX series fail safe strike lock (ACDS-DX1500SA-L).  I’ve also chosen our single channel relay (ACA-Relay-1) to relay the signal between the camera and the lock and the power supply. For the power supply I used our Power-12V3A to provide power to the lock.  For additional cable I recommend our SC500-22-6-SHST-G as it works far better than the Cat-6 cable I utilized for our short run.  It is well worth noting there are a variety of cameras and access control locks that can be utilized with this setup. I certainly encourage you to give our Sales Department a call, and we would be glad to give you a complete list of options of cameras and locks that can be utilized in this manner.

Wiring Diagram For Camera Alarm Output

First, we are going to go over the wiring process and how to hardwire these devices into the relay.  The power supply should be connected to the ground and the hot to the common relay terminals.  The strike should be likewise connected to, in our case, the ground and normally-closed (NC) part of the relay terminals.  Your alarm output should be connected with the alarm out to the ground and +12V terminal.  This should allow a complete circuit until told otherwise from the alarm output.   This allows for current to flow only when the alarm output allows.  When motion is tripped you should also notice a red light on the relay showing the flow of power through to the lock.

Once we’ve done the hard wiring of everything it’s time to configure the camera.  The easiest way to test the wiring is to trip the relay from the camera with the relay or alarm out button located at the top right hand corner of the screen.  It will be the siren like icon located just below the the setup tab after you have logged into the camera.    This is an interesting feature in and of itself as it allows you the unique ability to lock and unlock the lock on manual command, thus allowing you to cancel the entry of the person at the door should you not wish it.

Once you’ve tested the relay, the next step is to configure the camera under the setup tab located on the top right hand of the screen.  From here you will go to the Event tab on the far left hand side of the screen and click the alarm sub-menu.  Make sure the tab for relay out is checked and set the delay for the alarm by the number of seconds you wish to delay.

Next just above alarm-in the sub menu is a video detect event.  You want to ensure that you are inside the motion detect panel and have enabled this feature as we will be using it as the event to trigger the unlocking of the strike.  Following this, we will need to click setup on the working period and set the schedule we want this event to be trigger-able.  Say it’s an entrance for customers, and you only want it to trigger from 9am-5pm Monday through Friday (typical business hours). Here is where you would specify these details.   Once you’ve saved these settings you should click the area set up button and assign the area you wish to have the camera trigger motion within.   Say there is a tree in the background that waves in the wind and you do not want it to affect your door. You would make sure it is not included in the selected area for motion detect.  Again, be sure to save your settings!

Having completed this, you can now test the camera’s motion and you should at this time see the  un-lock triggered after the motions set delay.  This will guarantee that clear snapshot, and allow the person to enter the facility or room. This allows you the peace of mind to let traffic flow as normal without feeling any loss of security.  You also have the ability to look back at each event via email if you chose to click the email notification box in the settings.  With this added feature you will find your camera can be used for many things in addition to typical surveillance options, simply by including it in controlled or limited access areas.  This feature set up is not unique to this lock or camera and it is highly encouraged that you give our Sales team a call to see which camera and lock would best suit your needs!

(hope you enjoy the complete video)


How to Set Up Remote Access for a Standalone ONVIF IP Security Camera

Written By:
Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

A few of our customers showed interest of connecting a standalone IP camera without using an NVR. There are a few reasons to do so. Mainly customers don’t want an over-sophisticated surveillance system, but would prefer a solution using one or two cameras. It is not hard to do since all the cameras that we sell support a standalone operation. Each camera can operate individually as a CCTV system. The downside is that some cameras do not have all the features that the NVR has, and some cameras are just designed to work with an NVR and not as a standalone. For example, some of our EL series cameras can work as standalone but do not have storage to record the video footage. But, now I want to talk about our ONVIF IP cameras that have multiple features which makes them a perfect candidate for a standalone CCTV camera. The ONVIF IP cameras are a little tricky to set up when working with an NVR since ONVIF is a standard that is not fully supported by surveillance systems manufacturers. But, it makes that camera a great choice when a standalone setup is desired. Our ONVIF cameras can hold an SD card which will store your recorded footage, and our TP series ONVIF IP cameras have a pigtail with multiple inputs that will open a lot of options of a standalone security camera.

ONVIP IP Camera pigtail

The most desired feature of any CCTV system is to remote access your system from a distant location so you can view your cameras. I am going to teach you how to do it with 2 of our camera types: TP series cameras and eLine series cameras. Remember, that this type of connection is very limited and I will always recommend having an NVR with cameras connected to it rather than having a standalone camera.

TP series ONVIF IP camera remote access setup

When you connect the TP camera to a network, the camera’s default IP address is You need to use our TP tool to find the camera on the network (the TP Series IP Camera Search tool can be downloaded for free from our website here) and then give it a static IP address.


Use Internet Explorer and type the IP address of the camera into the address bar. Make sure that all of the ActiveX controls are installed correctly so you can view the web-interface properly. If you are having issues with fonts, language display, or any type of display errors, you will have to reinstall the ActiveX controls. The next step is to forward or open 2 ports on your gateway so your camera will be accessible from outside your network. We have to go to your gateway to the Internet which can be your router or modem and login into the interface of that device. Go into the advanced settings of the router and find ‘Port Forwarding’. You need to forward 2 ports, an HTTP port and Server Port. The default HTTP port is 80 and it is not recommended for use since some internet providers block port 80. Use the TP tool and change the HTTP port from 80 to any other port, for example we will use port 82. Forward the port 82 for the IP of your NVR and forward a port range from 3000-3005 for the server port.

Capture03 Capture01

Next stage is to go to a the website and see what your external IP is. You are done! To access your camera remotely you will type the following address in any computer running Internet Explorer: (the x represent your external IP address).

eLine ONVIF IP camera remote access setup

The process for setting up the remote access for the eLine cameras is very similar to the previous setup. Instead of the TP tool, you will need to download an eLine IP search tool that is also available for a free download from our website. The ports that you need to forward on your router are also different. The 2 ports will be the HTTP port (that is also recommended for change from 80) and the server port which is 30001. The big advantage of the eLine cameras over the TP series cameras is that the mobile app is available for download from a Google Play store or Apple App store. The name of the app is eLine SIP Viewer, and you can use it to access your camera from any Smart phone or tablet.

Additional great features of the standalone ONVIF IP cams

Audio: Another great advantage of the TP series ONVIF IP cameras is that they have an audio input at the camera pigtail. With this option you have the possibility to attach a microphone and record an audio that comes in from a scene that you are viewing.

Storage: As I mentioned before, all of our ONVIF IP cameras have some kind of storage option such as a USB flash drive in or SD card slot. That way all the video can be viewed as well as recorded.

Alarm input/outputs: An option to integrate your alarm system into your camera and use it as a recording device when the alarm is triggered.

Motion: The cameras are capable of detecting motion and trigger a recording when that motion happens. There is an option to mask any undesired area for motion and create a few zones for motion.

Multiple standalone cameras

There is also an option to connect multiple standalone cameras which will work as individual units independently and this is also possible but you have to remember a few details. Remember to power one camera at a time and change the default IP address, so the default IPs of the cameras won’t conflict. Also the HTTP and the Server ports have to be different between the cameras. This is a necessity so you can remotely access a certain camera.



The standalone ONVIF IP camera might be a good solution for you but you have to remember all the disadvantages of not having an NVR unit. My opinion is that if you want to run more than one camera, go ahead and purchase an NVR that will manage your multiple cameras, it makes your life so much easier.


Taking the Confusion out of a Security Camera System

Written By:
Wednesday, June 10th, 2015


So, you want a new Security Camera System for your home or business. Or, you just need to update an existing one but you don’t know exactly where to start. Here is a simple and useful checklist/flowchart that will take you step by step to help you determine the best plan of attack to tackle your Security Camera System needs.

Maybe you have an existing analog CCTV system using D1 or 960H cameras with standard coaxial cable.

Do you have an existing security system?


For years, the standard has been RG59 coaxial cable with BNC connectors to hook up your CCTV system. Today, many newer homes and businesses have been or are being wired with CAT5, CAT5E or even CAT6.

Do you have any existing usable cable?


You have options! The next step depends on your budget and what your ultimate goal is. The best case scenario is that you have an existing CAT5/5E/6 infrastructure since that will allow you to use the latest technology and continue to grow. If you’re not pre-wired with network cable and don’t want to break the bank running new CAT5/5E/6 cable all over your property, then hopefully you have RG59/RG6 coaxial cable. If you have no cable and need to start from scratch, I’m going to suggest that you do it right the first time and have CAT6 cable installed since applications running at 1GB/s are already putting strains on the bandwidth capabilities of CAT5E.

With existing or new CAT5/5E/6, your best choice for a recording device will be an NVR (aka Network Video Recorder). You would use an NVR along with IP network cameras. The NVR uses your local network to send and receive data and is ideal for remotely monitoring your surveillance system from your computer, tablet, or smart phone all while recording to a hard drive. Because IP cameras are on the cutting edge of surveillance technology, your security system, anchored by a quality NVR allows you to include new cameras with more advanced features. While most IP cameras and NVRs are compatible, you should always check with your surveillance system supplier to ensure all of your products will work together properly. In case you didn’t already know, when using an NVR and IP cameras, you have the ability to power your cameras through the network cable! This is an excellent benefit that eliminates the need to run an additional 18/2 power cable. We have packages like this 8 channel NVR with built in POE that are ready to plug in and go!


Do you have coaxial cable? Ideally you would have RG6 coax cable since the larger conductor, thicker dielectric insulation and aluminum braid shielding help to more effectively handle Ghz level signals. If you don’t and have an older CCTV system and you have been using RG59 coaxial, you have a couple of options. First, confirm that you have continuity in your coaxial cable runs. Once you’ve done this, you can choose between a few options for DVR’s.


The first option is a standard analog DVR or Digital Video Recorder that records at a 960H resolution (960×480). These are still widely used and are considered a reliable option due in part to the stability of the software (usually Linux) that is embedded in the chip. Capable of achieving resolutions up to 960H, this is an inexpensive upgrade from traditional D1 systems. The images are saved directly to a hard drive that we install before shipping when you purchase a hard drive along with your DVR. We’ll help you choose the number of channels (4-32) of the DVR that you need depending on the size of your property, what kind of coverage you want/need and any future expansion plans! A great place to start is with this complete 8 channel 960H DVR System!


Option number two is one of the newest and most interesting technologies called High Definition Composite Video Interface or HDCVI for short! The HD-CVI DVRs are capable of achieving resolutions up to 1080p and frame rates up to 30fps. This is the best choice if you want higher resolution images without having the expense of running CAT5/5E/6 cable. HDCVI technology helps you to realize multiple signal technology over one cable with video, audio and control signals all through the same coax cable! On top of that, HDCVI allows for longer distance cable runs (1600 feet or more) with no need for repeaters! HDCVI DVR’s MUSTuse HDCVI technology cameras made specifically to be used with them. Take a look at this complete 8 channel 1080p HDCVI package.


Last in your choice for DVRs are the MOTHER OF ALL DVRs…the Hybrid or the Tribrid! The Hybrid gives you the best of both worlds. You can combine 960H analog AND IP Network technologies for the most flexible system available. Along with all of the best features of both technologies, the coolest feature by far is the ability to DOUBLE the amount of cameras you can record (not available on all DVR’s/NVRs). That’s right! With the 16 channel HYBDVR-FE016-DH-160 you can record 16 analog cameras AND 16 IP cameras simultaneously if you choose! While the Tribrid doesn’t give you the ability to double the channels, it steps it up another notch and gives you the option of HDCVI in addition to Analog and IP Network.


You know what type of cable you have and what your choices are for a recording device. Now you need to figure out how many cameras you are going to need. With Google Maps we can see an aerial view of your property and we can help you decide the best placement of cameras to give you the maximum coverage! As far as choosing the type…THAT can be overwhelming! But, when you choose our products, we will help you every step of the way and that includes deciding on camera types and options like bullets, domes, indoor, outdoor, PTZ, auto-tracking, night vision (IR), WDR, varifocal zoom, etc. etc.

Let’s pick some cameras!

You’ll be utilizing CAT5/5E/6 cable so you’ll be using an NVR and you will need to purchase IP Network Cameras. As I said before, the choices can be overwhelming but unlike the soda aisle with ten different types of the same brand, you don’t have to make uninformed choices! Let’s see what type of options you have.

IP Bullet Cameras


  1. With Bullet Cameras you have to choose whether these will be indoor or outdoor. The most important thing to look for is an IP66 rating. A camera that has that rating can be used indoor and outdoor and will be protected against the elements. The price difference is almost negligible so I would recommend getting cameras that can be used indoor or outdoor like our very reasonably priced 1.3MP IPOB-EL1MPIR50.
  2. You should choose whether you want to be able to see at night and at what distance. We have bullet cameras that have IR (Infrared) night vision capabilities so you can better identify intruders at night or in poorly lit areas. We have cameras, like our IPOB-TP2MP250L660-W that can see up to 250’ in the dark!
  3.   Your lens is also another aspect to consider. Do you want a fixed lens or do you want the ability to zoom in on objects? We offer varifocal bullet cameras that can be adjusted directly at the camera and we also offer motorized bullets like our IPOB-EL3IR100ML-D2 that is controlled right through your browser.
  4. There are other considerations like ONVIF compatibility, color, etc. but the above three are the most important.

IP Dome Cameras


  1. Dome Cameras give you options as well but there are a few different things to consider when using Domes. Again, look for that IP66 rating and that will ensure that you can use that camera inside or out! Consider our top-quality but inexpensive IPOD-EL1MPIR50-E as a great starting point.
  2. Do you want to be able to view people more clearly at night? You’ll want a Dome with IR (Infrared) night vision capabilities and the bad guys won’t be able to hide. See what 100’ of IR and 3MP looks like with our IPVD-EL3MPIR100!
  3. You can get fixed or varifocal lenses that will let you adjust the zoom from the camera. If you hate getting up on a ladder you might want to consider a camera like our IPVD-EL3MP100ML2812 that allows you to adjust the zoom from your browser.
  4. All of the things discussed previously like ONVIF compatibility, color, etc. are all still options but with domes you should also consider whether you want a standard turret style that has glass over the lens or a vandal proof Dome rated at IK10 which protects against a 22 pound object dropped from 15¾” in height.

IP PTZ Cameras


  1. With IP PTZ Cameras, you have control! You have control of what you see because this camera has the ability to PAN, TILT and ZOOM in on a subject! Yes, they can be more expensive, but if security is your main concern then you should consider a PTZ and we have them starting at $529 for the IPPTZ-EL2L12X-Mini-i
  2. Just like the Bullet and Dome cameras, you will have the option of IR so you can see images in total darkness!
  3. The zoom function on the PTZ camera allows you to zoom into objects AND move from side to side and up and down! The full feature IPPTZ-EL1MPIR250L20X is a 1.3MP PTZ with 250’ of IR and 20X zoom that won’t break the bank.
  4. You still have options including the option of Auto Tracking that tracks a moving object upon entering the frame. Check this beauty out IPPTZ-EL2IR2L30X-AT!

You have RG59 or RG6 coaxial cable and you have a choice between Analog and CVI. Either way, we have pre-designed systems ready to ship or a helpful staff that will guide you through everything you need to know to help you make an informed decision based on your needs!

Analog Bullet Cameras


  1. The Analog Bullet Cameras are similar in design and construction methods so continue to make sure that they have that IP66 rating. We have bullets ranging in price from $19.34 for a special purchase that we made so stock up on the ELI-AN3-EB54-49R .
  2. The picture quality of these bullets measures in terms of TVL (TV Lines) which is the line density where the camera is no longer able to reproduce individual lines. The higher the number…the better the picture! The highest we currently have available is the OB-CM800IR50-W.
  3. Keep in mind that you will need to have existing power cable running with the coaxial cable or you will need to run an additional 18/2 power cable!

Analog Dome Cameras


  1. Our Analog Dome Cameras have you covered from 600TVL – 1200TVL. Take a look at our 1200TVL Vandal Resistant Dome that is only $44.95!
  2. You can get Domes with up to 100’ of IR and a top quality 1/3” SONY Image Sensor for under $100 with a varifocal zoom lens when you purchase our OD-LX700IR100L2812-W!
  3. Remember everything we’ve previously discussed and if you’re ever been baffled by all of the lingo, check out our online CCTV FORUM for answers 24/7.

Analog PTZ Cameras


  1. If you need to monitor your security system and want some of the most amazing detail that you can get, the PTZ with up to 36x zoom is for you!
  2. We have PTZ Cameras with no IR that you can use for the hard to see areas of your retail store starting at only $499.00!
  3. You will be amazed at the detail and quality of these images like the 23x PTZ-EL700IRL23X-D2. Imagine how helpful crisp, clear images will be if you ever need to turn them over to the police!

That covers standard analog cameras over coaxial cable! Now let’s check out some HDCVI cameras and remember, these MUST be used with HDCVI DVR’s!


  1. The HDCVI Bullet Cameras utilize the HDCVI technology that allows you to get HD quality over coaxial cable. Check out these tiny bullets that have a 720p resolution for only $59.95 CVIOB-EL1MPIR50-E
  2. HDCVI is a specially developed technology that only works with HDCVI compatible DVRs. MAKE SURE you are using HDCVI Cameras with HDCVI DVRs only!  We have a great assortment of bullets going up to 2MP!
  3. Keep in mind that you will need to have existing power cable running with the coaxial cable or you will need to run an additional 18/2 power cable!

CVI Dome Cameras


  1. Imagine 1080p quality images for under $100! That’s what you get with the CVIOD-ELV22MPIR50! You couldn’t have even come close just a couple years ago.
  2. Not only do you have options in terms of image quality, IR distance, etc. but you can get domes in black like the CVIOD-TP2IR100L2812B!
  3. Don’t allow yourself to be confused. Check out our website at Security Camera King and take a look around. It’s easy to navigate, informative and we includes tons of videos! Everybody likes videos!

CVI PTZ Cameras


  1. From 12x to a screaming 20x zoom, we have a PTZ that will do and see what you need! If you think you can’t afford one . . . check again because our CVI PTZs start at just $449 and that’s a bargain for your security!
  2. Imagine a 20x PTZ with 250’ of nighttime IR for under $600 – we’ve got it CVIPTZ-EL1IR250L20X!
  3. Monitor employees, customers and areas of your business where you have limited visibility!

Don’t forget about the incidentals like cables, connectors and power supplies! That’s the easy part! Hopefully you have a better idea of what you need to put together a Home or Business Security System but if you still need help . . . we’re here! Just give us a call at 866-573-8878!


Getting Started With Your TP Series ONVIF IP Camera

Written By:
Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

ONVIF TP IP CameraYou bought a TP series ONVIF IP security camera for the excellent picture quality at an excellent price point, but now realize that they are not as plug and play as the EL series IP cameras.  This article will help you make sense of it all, and give you a baseline to get started.  If you have not done so yet, read my article on networking IP cameras by clicking here.

The TP series IP camera is first and foremost an IP camera, so there has to be a network in place in order to have the camera work.  If you do not know much about networking, then definitely read my other article above to get familiar with what will need to be done involving IP addresses and networking schemes.

The TP series cameras will need to be set up completely manually, so I want to set your expectations to be ready for static IPs and image adjustments.  You first need to find your TP series camera with the TP Finder Tool available on our website here.


It is essential that you are on the same network of the camera or you will not find it.  If the camera is plugged into a built in POE switch port in the back of the NVR, then you will need to plug your computer in an open POE port in the NVR in order to be on the same network. The computer will receive an IP address from that POE port on the NVR.  Change the IP address to your network scheme, the Gateway, and the DNS and hit the ChangIP button.  The DNS can be the same address as your Gateway.  If you have a POE built into your NVR, you likely need to put this camera on the network of, which is the default.  Once all of that is done, you can attach the camera to the NVR by going into the remote section and clicking the Manual Add button.  In this section, you will choose the channel number you want, the static IP address that you assigned, and you will set the Manufacturer to ONVIF, and set the HTTP port to 8080.  Please note that you do not change the HTTP port in the camera settings or using the NetAdmin tool.  Once all of this is done, your camera should be attached to your NVR and ready to view and record.

A good baseline of settings to get you started

We have compiled some settings that will get you started and work well in outdoor as well as indoor environments.  The TP series cameras have several templates to choose from, but we recommend the motion template and the settings that go with it as a great starting point.  The setting in this section that can cause problems for people is the WDR Policy, and this template sets it to off or Close.  A helpful use for that WDR is for a camera inside that is pointing at a doorway that is very bright outside. What is WDR?  Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) is an imaging system attribute that can record greater scene shadows and highlights than a normal setting.  If you have a look that is solarized or too bright, make sure this value is closed or off to correct that issue.


Then we will set the HD Schedule to motion as well.  This schedule should also set the Template to motion, but I like to do them all manually to make sure they stick.


And finally, set the Color to Gray to Auto (alarm).


These settings will give you a great place to start, and allow you to tweak custom settings if you are curious.  However, there are other templates to try before you start changing the individual settings.

The audio video settings should be set based on the specifications of your NVR, as well as the bandwidth restrictions of your network.  It is a good idea to start low, and then slowly increase quality over time to see how it performs.  Resolution, frames, and bit rate are the settings that control the quality and bandwidth requirement.


Why is the time out of sync with the NVR?

There is an issue with the time where it is out of sync with the NVR.  To fix this issue, the GMT on the NVR and the TP camera must be set to +8.  You cannot use NTP if you have a TP camera since they are ONVIF and lack the ability to synchronize with NVRs that are not natively ONVIF.  Finally, you can set the DST at the NVR level so that it will adjust the time during daylight savings.



While many NVRs support ONVIF, you will notice that not all features work or synchronize.  Therefore, you will always need to log directly into the IP camera to check the settings.  Our settings have been tested for indoor and outdoor use, but they may not be perfect for all environments.  It is only a place to start and see how they work for you.  The settings that are available in the NetVideo may not all apply to your camera, and may work with other models.  If everything is working perfect, there is no need to make any changes.

I always recommend setting up TP cameras on a networking while labelling everything with masking tape or some other sticker.   For example, if your gateway is, you can network your TP IP cameras in a row starting at,,, and so on.  Of course, you should always make sure the IP addresses are available by pinging the block that you choose to use.  If you need help with networking IP cameras in general, then refer to my other article listed in the introduction so that you can have an idea of the planning involved.

Finally, make sure you plan the placement of your new TP camera to maximize it’s potential.  If you have it angled outdoors pointing in a direction where the sun rises or sets, you can end up with difficult lighting challenges.  The picture could look perfect during the day, but may end up unusable during that sun rise or set process.