Archive for the ‘ CCTV Articles ’ Category

Splitting Your HDMI Signal

Written By:
Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015

hdmi splitters


There are a multitude of reasons one might want to split a video signal from their Digital Video Recorder or Network Video Recorder: from being able to view it in multiple rooms in your house, to showing your camera view above a point of sale to alert customers of surveillance. Regardless of the reason, you may find that you run out of usable video ports on your DVR/NVR so when looking to view these multiple images, what are you real options? With the advances in technology, HDMI has become the premier format, as such it has become the main video output on most of our DVRs and NVRs. So what are your built in options with our products? What are your alternatives? What are the limitations? What can we recommend?

Spot Outs

So first there are a few options to consider. Are you looking to use this monitor for a point of sale or some place at your business where its viewable to the public. If you are making it viewable to the public then you may want to seriously consider a DVR/NVR with a spot out. A spot out is a monitor connection that shows cameras in sequence that differs from the main display in that it does not reveal all the cameras recording on DVR/NVR. This is extremely beneficial when we talk about privacy and security. If you wish to utilize one of these spot outs I recommend our full-size units which provides you with this option in addition a larger amount of inputs and extra SATA slots for potentially longer recording times. But what if you want to show this spot out to multiple points of sale or other locations around your business? This leads us to our alternative solutions.

(below I have linked a few of these models with spot outs for your convenience)




Splitting Your HDMI Signal with HDMI Splitters

So what if you have one of these DVR’s/NVR’s and still need to split the signal to multiple locations? What if you are looking to split the regular video matrix to be viewed by multiple monitors/TVs around your home. What are your options then? Well that’s where HDMI splitters can come in handy.  They allow you the unique ability to split the signal to two different cables or more depending on the splitter. There are two main kinds of splitters, passive and active.  Passive splitters will work fine for a small split like 1 to 2 way splitter but if your runs between different locations are significant distances 25-50 feet or more it is recommended that you go with an active solution as this allows for greater distance between each location. Additionally, you can use active splitters to split your signal to even more than just two locations allowing you greater distances and the option of running an HDMI anywhere in your home or business.

Unfortunately there are some limitations to this and they are worth noting and considering depending on what situation you’re likely to encounter. For example, the viability, performance, and compatibility can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and unfortunately as we do not currently carry any of these units I cannot particularly recommend any specifics but I can show you a video of a passive splitter I tested to provide an example of just how beneficial this technology can be. Moreover, you can see just how simple a passive HDMI splitter is to use. There is however one additional thing you should consider and that is that you cannot split them over and over, that is to say they cannot be daisy chained like other devices often are. Lastly, among the most important limitations is that the aspect ratios and capabilities of the splitter need to match the settings you’ve chose on your DVR/NVR and the television or monitor. The primary concern is the television and monitor, just as the DVR/NVR, is somewhat flexible. For example, if you are looking to use one of our 4k NVRs or DVRs you should also utilize a splitter capable of handling this on a TV or monitor capable of viewing this resolution or it will be somewhat counterproductive.

In closing, I would like to leave you with a few recommendations. First is that a full size unit and a spot out are always preferred when in a sales or business environment. This is to protect assets with the knowledge that information is a key part of security and providing a potential vulnerability to the public is almost never beneficial. Second that you carefully weigh the risk reward of passive and active HDMI splitters before finalizing your decision because it’s frustrating when you find a part doesn’t work the way you want it to. The third and final recommendation is that you make sure to check the capabilities of the device you purchase against your monitors and TVs to make sure they are compatible.

So what can you take away from all this? Well, hopefully that an HDMI splitter is a worthwhile piece of equipment that can be utilized in a variety of situations to help you take full advantage of our surveillance equipment and expand your camera layout to be viewable throughout your home or business, offering you an even more customized security solution. If you have any questions about our DVRs or NVRs and video outputs please give our knowledgeable sales staff a call at 866-573-8878. And if you’ve already purchased and are seeking support for your system remember all our products come with a lifetime supply of tech support and our experienced staff is as always here for you.


For your convenience here is the aforementioned video. Please bear in mind this is only one option when utilizing an HDMI splitter and there are a variety of products for various situations. Hopefully I’ve helped you get better insight into the possibilities and capabilities of both HDMI splitters and our systems in general. Please feel free to like and share this video with friends or coworkers.


Covert Cameras and how they can benefit your Security

Written By:
Sunday, December 20th, 2015


We at Security Camera King are passionate about our jobs, we advocate, educate and design security to the best of our abilities to not only please you our customer but to increase the overall safety of your business and overall public safety. This includes security design and covert cameras.

When considering a system how do you know what to choose? When searching for the perfect system you have a lot of options to consider and you may have a lot of questions on your mind.

What CCTV technology should I use?
Analog? HDCVI? TVI? IP Network? IP Network 4K Security? What type of system technology will benefit you?

What type of facility to you want to secure?
Are you securing a home? A complex? Construction site? A small business? A large business? A cannabis business? A corporation?  A retail store? Or restaurant? Do you want to monitor multiple locations? Or do you need to monitor a single location?

What are your goals?
Sure you want a security system to help monitor or prevent theft and crime but a well-designed security system can do much more than that. Set up security cameras to monitor traffic patterns and monitor inventory placement. Setup motion detecting to catch activity at each entrance or exit? Is your security system design required to be set up to abide by state laws and guidelines? Basically, how does your security system enhance your quality of life and business?

These are all great questions and all are viable when designing a concrete surveillance system. The answers to these questions can determine the amount of cameras you will need and the hard drive space you will need in your recording device or DVR.

Any one of our security experts will be able to create a system designed perfectly to fit your business needs and safety goals, if you need security guidance in creating your system, Security Camera King’s agents are just a phone call away.

But what does a well designed security system have to do with Covert Security Cameras?
Covert Security cameras will not make up for a well-designed security system. What covert cameras can do is provide the added benefit of being a discrete and virtually undetectable recording device that can be used to increase your security, adding to your security system. Covert security cameras essentially can be used as an additional back up security system. A backup covert security system, that can be used to protect you, your family or your business in cases where your traditional system is rendered incapacitated.

Example: Santa Ana Dispensary

In Santa Ana police were caught on covert video footage insulting a disabled staff member and possibly easting a pot edible after conducting a raid on an unpermitted medical marijuana dispensary. See video below.

This cannabis business was prepared. They not only had their required security system set up in place but they also had an additional assortment of covert security cameras installed throughout the facility. In this particular example, covert security camera footage caught Santa Ana cops displaying incriminating behavior during this raid, after police had destroyed their traditional CCTV security system. This footage was posted online after the incident and became viral, to which, prompted an internal affairs investigation of the Santa Ana Police Officers. Read the full story here.

This story is a good example of how covert cameras benefitted this small business, but in a rare case where the activity caught on video was footage of police officers. In a typical investigation you would be turning over the video footage to police so that they were able to help and aid you in the investigation of whatever crime was committed against you.

Covert cameras and covert surveillance systems can aid in security in a number of different situations beyond this example.

In cases of suspicious activity:

Property and inventory are mysteriously disappearing, you suspect someone is making this happen but you do not know who and all you know is that you want to find out without making it obvious that you’re aware of this suspicious activity.  In this case you choose to install the CVICV-TP2-SMOKE, a 2MP high definition covert camera disguised as a smoke detector and the CVICV-TP2-PIR, a 2MP high definition covert motion detector camera.  You place the cameras in the areas where the activity is occurring. These cameras are discrete and unnoticeable as cameras. Once installed, you now have the peace of mind knowing that if anything were to happen or any items were to “disappear” again, you will now have footage and proof of the incident.

Covert cameras are great for business owners who are suspicious of certain employee behavior or for home owners who often have items from their home disappear.

Covert cameras are also commonly used in the following ways.

  • To set up a Nanny or Baby sitter Cameras
  • Catch Theft By friends, roommates or family members
  • View acts or vandalism
  • Catch that critter who destroys your grass
  • Catch Employee Theft and theft in the workplace
  • Find out about Suspected Drug use
  • Catch Theft By Contractors

Covert camera selections: At Security Camera King you are not limited. We have a variety of covert options, some cameras are wearable, some cameras are wireless, some are all in one systems and some cameras can be added to your current system. If you need more information on our hidden camera selection see the categories below.

Weather your traditional system has been vandalized or you’re in need to observe some suspicious behavior, a covert camera system has multiple advantages. Use covert cameras as a back up in cases where your system is vandalized or add covert cameras to your system to monitor areas of high risk.

Don’t be caught off guard, your security is our business. A good security system design is best practice for your surveillance needs but adding a covert security camera system for back up adds additional security for your security system.


Placing Elite IP Cameras on the channel you want with an Elite system that has a built in POE switch

Written By:
Friday, December 18th, 2015

placing elite IP cameras

One of the big problems that people call in about is that they have trouble placing elite IP cameras to the desired channel. People are expressing interest in seeing the cameras in a specific order for various reasons. Perhaps you want your indoor cameras as the first block, and then your outdoor cameras. Perhaps you want your front door and counter in a business to be set to channel 1 and channel 2. Or perhaps you just want to order your cameras by importance to you. No need to worry, this article will cover how to get this done.

The reason this is difficult is that analog systems have been plug and play for years and networking IP cameras is all about the numbers. This Elite system with a built in POE switch was designed to be a plug and play option for people that do not want to put any thought into it. When you plug in an Elite camera into the POE switch, it automatically takes an IP address that is given by the switch. The built int POE switch acts as a DHCP server, so any cameras set to DHCP will receive an IP address. The default gateway address for Elite series Network Video Recorders’ Switch is If you would like to change this network range, look for a section labeled Switch in the Networking area of the menu. This DHCP option is problematic at times because of a memory effect that has been created from the first time you plug in a camera. Since you are supposed to plug in cameras one by one, they will appear on the channel in the order that you connect them. The port number on the back of the NVR means nothing. It does not represent where you will see the camera on your TV or monitor. With IP based systems, it is all about the numbers.

Static IP addresses for cameras is always the best option

If you want your cameras to go exactly where you want, you need to set all cameras to static IP addresses. This will allow you to add them in the exact order you like. The first thing you need to do is find the cameras. The EL cameras require the EL camera finder utility, also known as the Config Tool. The Config Tool will allow you to change the IP address and network information in the camera. The problem is that the camera needs power on the same network that your computer with the config tool is connected to.

placing elite IP cameras 1

If you plan to use a 12V power supply to set up the camera, that is the best option. You can put the camera on your main network TEMPORARILY while you log into the web service of the camera and change any settings that you want. Since IP camera settings are done at the camera level, this may be a good choice. With Elite cameras and Elite NVRs, majority of the settings should synchronize and be accessible at the NVR. This is not true with ONVIF cameras. Your second option for putting your computer on the same network as the camera is to plug the camera and computer into the POE switch. Your computer and camera will get a 10.1.1.x IP address, so you will be able to access the camera through the config tool and change it to a static number of your choosing. This does work, but I always worry about the camera getting that first dynamic address the second you plug it in. Most of the problems occur when people plug in all their cameras at once and they all get Dynamic IP assignments. I have found that even though it gets a dynamic IP address and a Channel 1 assignment, it is replaced by your static IP address when you remove all cameras that are automatically added and add your camera manually.

Adding Cameras Manually

The final step in adding your camera to the POE switch by using a manually add button. Lets say you decided to start at in your numbering convention. This is where you will push the Manually Add button at the bottom of the remote devices or add a camera section. Do not push the Refresh button or Device Search button. The names of the section can depend on the Web Service version, model number, or interface directly at the NVR. When you set up your camera in the manually add screen, you can choose the exact channel where you want to put it. This is the only way you get to choose the channel. Otherwise, you can add cameras in the order that you choose by using the device search button, selecting the camera, and clicking the add button. This method will place all cameras in the first available channel. So if you are numbering your cameras,,, and so on, you can select one and add one at a time only, and it will get the first available channel. In this case, will get channel 1 since this is our first camera.  Then when you set up your second camera at and hit the device search button, you will be able to automatically add it to channel 2.

placing elite IP cameras 2

In Summary

If you are starting from scratch, this article will help you get to where you need to be.  If you are trying to fix a current NVR, you need to unplug all cameras, default the camera section, then reboot.  Then you will be able to start over.  IP cameras are all about the numbers, so taking control of the numbers will be your best option. If you want a plug and play option with the built in POE switch, then it will work that way by assigning IP addresses. However, the order will be random if they are all connected at the same time, or based on the order that they are plugged in with a non-sequential number scheme. While most people do not care about the numbers that the cameras have, I have found that the static option works the best and that people with problems usually have them set up dynamically. Take control of your cameras and set them up so those numbers do not change. The extra work is a one shot deal and will save you future aggravation.


Prime Series DVR

Written By:
Thursday, December 17th, 2015

The Prime Series DVR, Digital Video Recorders and Network Video Recorders are the latest addition to the Security Camera King line up. They feature the technologies of IP, Analog, and HDTVI cameras. The unit I am working with today is a TRIDVR-PRE8ME.  


This unit can record resolutions of 1080P, 720P, 960H, and D1. Respectively that is 1920 X 1080, 1280 X 720, 960 X 480 for height and width of image. Since this DVR is a TRIDVR it will support 1 IP camera. The great function of the IP camera is that I can tell it to run at any resolution lower than its maximum. If storage space is a concern running at lower resolutions will allow for more playback footage.



This DVR is so user friendly in most cases you can just connect cameras to it and go; however, a lot of us do not buy dvrs just to run at the default setup. We want the network access,  remote access, emails, cell phone access.  That means advanced configuration in the unit is necessary to make these features and many more work . As a support representative here at Security Camera King, a common problem during a phone call is “the date and time are not correct on my unit.” The time on your DVR is very important which is why we need to tackle this first. The biggest reason being you need to be able to find the recorded event. Without the proper time on the unit it makes finding the recording very difficult and should it need to be presented to law enforcement, it may not be able to be used as evidence.


On this page in the web interface are the time zone settings.  There are a lot of options and they are easy to improperly configure. The first option at the top is the time zone. I have seen in many cases that the time zone Greenwich mean time (GMT) is set outside of the local time zone. It needs to be set per your locale. Search the internet for your state or country GMT and you will find what plus or minus it should be set to. When not set properly it will update the time to the wrong time zone thereby forcing your DVR to display the wrong time.

Next is the NTP server setup. NTP stands for Network time protocol. This part allows and instructs the DVR to reach out to a NTP server on the internet to ask what time it is. The time zone option chosen is what response the NTP server will return to the DVR. This is why I cannot emphasize enough to set your TIME ZONE properly, or your DVR will never display the accurate time. The port number for NTP will always be 123.

The daylight savings time (DST) option is last. This is so your DVR will automatically changes time for DST. You just need to enter in the month, week, and day for this to take affect. After you save the configuration the DVR will automatically start updating by itself. Once this feature is configured properly it truly is set it and forget it.


Display output


Display output settings apply to the monitor directly connected to the DVR. Another common issue is that monitors just don’t “work” anymore. It is not that the DVR or monitor does not work . . . it is a common misconception that one or the other is malfunctioning. Again, this is a configuration error, any given monitor only supports or can use specific resolutions. How you connect your monitor can also be a factor in what it can or cannot display. HDMI supports the larger resolutions and VGA supports the smaller resolutions. I have noticed that the small area of crossover is 720P. Most will support both; however, if you have first generation VGA that is not the case. The typical problem people will see when connecting the dvr to the monitor for the first time is that you just have a black screen or the monitor will read out of range. That means the output resolution from the DVR is too big in most cases for the monitor to display.


Network Settings

The network settings are where you configure your DVR to talk to your network. The number of devices and how the network is set up is determines if the default settings will work out of the box for you. In most cases something will have to be changed. Typically it is easier to make those changes on the DVR unless you have a very basic network then it might make sense to do the changes in a router. In all cases you will have to make changes in the router anyway to allow for remote access.


On the image above you have some basic options for the network settings.  The first option is NIC TYPE. This refers to the mode in which the NIC will operate.  You should leave it on Auto as it will auto detect with the router to determine the best link state.  Today most equipment can use 100M at full duplex. In all cases you will want full duplex regardless of speed. Full duplex means the DVR can transmit and receive data over the network at the same time. Instead of just transmit or just receive at one time.

Second is the IPV4 address and a check box for DHCP. We always set devices static. When the DVR reboots it can change IP addresses on you which is why we don’t use DHCP. If the IP address changes unknowingly you will likely lose remote access when it does. The IP address needs to match your current network scheme. If you do not know what it is you can set the DVR to DHCP and the router will assign it an IP address and then you can switch back to static so it does not change again.

Third is the Subnet Mask. What that number does is define how many devices can connect in a network. Typically you would not change this unless you are in a large network. Then you would consult the network administrator to get the proper information.

Fourth is the Default Gateway. That is your router’s internal IP address or the address facing the inside of that network. Typically always on the first IP of the subnet. if its a class C. An example of a class A is That is also what a typical Comcast modem router will use by default.

The IPV6 address is not something typically used yet on internal networks but its usage is expanding greatly over the internet. MTU stand for maximum transmission unit which is 1500 bytes. That is the standard size over most networks. It can be increased but your routing equipment must be configured to use a different size first.  

I have given you the basics of some important features on your PRIME series DVR and more advanced features will come in this series of informational articles.


What if I still need analog!!??!?!?

Written By:
Wednesday, December 16th, 2015


So what if I still need analog?
Have you asked your self this question? As the technology continues to evolve and change so does surveillance technology! That doesn’t mean transitioning to a new system has to be as costly or nerve racking as you may think or that we won’t support the old systems with past and transitional equipment.  In light of this concern I am going to cover a few cameras that can still be used with analog equipment and how to configure these cameras to do so.  Additionally, I will also cover our new line of DVRs that will allow you to use analog cameras and transition gradually from analog to HD.  It is noteworthy that where possible the primary recommendation is virtually always to make the full jump to HD because this allows you to take full advantage of the capabilities of the new equipment you’ve purchased but what if that’s not an option?  So, for whatever reasons you’ve decided not to do a full upgrade . . . what are your options for equipment? What about making a transition slowly?

I. Transitional HD Cameras

First, let’s talk about cameras. There are a few options but it is wise to take into account that each of these cameras belong to a certain technology and you may want to stay on that same type of technology so when you are ready to upgrade your DVR, your cameras will work with them to give you that HD image you desire.  So what are the different technologies and what cameras available for each will work with analog as you replace your cameras and prepare for an HD transition?

     A. TVI Cameras that are backwards compatible to Analog

A TVI solution offers the least expensive starting cameras that are backwards compatible to analog and come in both dome and bullet formats.  These cameras are easily converted from TVI to analog by means of twisted pair of cables that come on an additional pigtail on the camera.  Once this pair of wires is twisted to complete the circuit, your TVI camera will be able to produce a 960H image capable of being viewed by most analog DVRs.

Below I have included a video showing this process and in addition I have also attached the links to these cameras for your convenience.


     B. CVI Cameras that are backwards compatible to Analog

A CVI solution offers some more versatile options for starting cameras that are backwards compatible to analog and comes in both dome and bullet formats as well as true glass vandal domes.  These cameras are easily converted from CVI to analog either by means of twisted pair of cables that come on an additional pigtail on the camera, or by means of an additional video BNC output.  Once this pair of wires is twisted to complete the circuit or you have plugged the alternative video input into the DVR, your CVI camera will be able to produce an analog image capable of being viewed by most analog DVRs.

Below I have included a video showing this process and in addition I have also attached the links to these cameras for your convenience.


For Varifocal or variable focus domes I recommend our CVIOD-TP2IR100L2812B or CVIOD-TP2IR100L2812W respectively.

For Variable focus bullets I recommend our CVIOB-TP2IR2812W

For Variable focus indoor true vandal domes I recommend our CVIID-TP2IR2812W

For fixed lens true vandal domes I recommend our CVIVD-ELV22MPIR50


     II. Tri DVRs

The next option and recommended more than replacing cameras is to replace your DVR. So, let’s talk about DVRs and what options we have when transitioning into the new technologies.  Most of our systems excluding NVRs (network video recorders) are Tri-DVRs.  These Tri-DVRs are capable of handling three different types of technology at varying levels depending on which DVR you are looking at.  The next step is to determine which HD technology most appeals to you,  HD-TVI or HD-CVI.   I won’t get into too much detail as these two technologies are discussed at length in various articles. For your convenience, I’ve attached links for both technologies and their advantages.  I have to say though, HD-TVI offers you a streamlined system with slightly higher end chipsets (generally speaking) while HD-CVI offers a more versatile unit with a variety of inputs including audio.   Hopefully these articles will help you with the decision making process.  For further questions you can call our sales staff at 1-866-573-8878.

Once you’ve made your choices, the next decision to make is which DVR is right for you within that line Prime or Elite respectively.  It is important to leave room for the maximum number of cameras you see yourself having.  For example if you have a 4 camera DVR but eventually want 7 or 8 cameras then an 8 camera system is better suited for you as purchasing additional DVRs later is more expensive than having a larger DVR in the beginning.


III. The Full System

Finally, it’s still important that I mention just how easy it actually is to upgrade to an HD system with our Economy lineup.  We have custom upgrade packages available for 720p systems in 4,8 and 16 camera systems.  We can also create custom packages for you to any varying degree between the above solutions.  This allows you the full versatility you need to make these upgrades when you are ready. I’ll also mention that if you have an analog system with custom cables and a distribution box that not having to buy these for your upgrade will save you even further costs on these custom and pre-made packages.

Whether you are buying new cameras for your analog system, upgrading your analog system, or upgrading you cameras; there is always a solution to your need with future-proofing for when you are ready to make the jump to HD.  If you have any questions or would like further assistance with a custom solution, please give our sales representatives a call at 1-866-573-8878 ext.

(Below are a few links to the 4,8, and 16 camera systems for prepackaged upgrade packages and full packages.)