Configuring a Network Video Recorder 101
Many times I have been asked what is the proper way to configure an NVR and cameras. In this article I will describe the recommended settings you should have in your NVR and cameras. For this scenario I will be working with an NVR-16 Mini and our IPOB-EL1MPIR50 IP Cameras.
If this is the first time you are working with an NVR and IP cameras you might have to know a little bit about your network structure and how is everything connected. The typical structure is shown in the picture:
Now what we need to do is connect the NVR to a monitor either using a VGA cable or HDMI, also connect the Ethernet cable to your router and the NVR Ethernet jack and begin to power up the unit.
Examples of cable monitor and TV inputs:
After the unit boots up, you can see the main interface of the NVR and a pop-up menu will appear on the screen showing you the Startup Wizard. You can use the Wizard to set the main features on this unit, but for this Demo I will skip these steps and hit cancel.
Login to the NVR by using any of the administrative usernames built in the unit. You can use the “admin” username and the password “admin” to get to the Main Menu.
In this Menu you will find many features. We will start by setting up the correct day and time in the unit based on your time zone.
Next we will be going to the network section. To get there, click on SETTING>NETWORK. In here you can modify your IP Address, Subnet Mask, Gateway etc. We are going to click on “DHCP” option to get an IP address automatically from your router; therefore you don’t have to figure out what network scheme your router is setup to. Click on save and reboot the NVR. This method is the quickest way to get an IP from your Router without going to a computer. Once we get an IP address then we need to go back to the network settings of the NVR and turn OFF DHCP by simply uncheck the option next to the word DHCP. Make sure you write down the IP address of the NVR, so later on you can access the WEB SERVICE of the unit from your PC.
The next option is the SCHEDULE. This is going to be crucial because this is how the NVR will be recording and how frequently will do so. I recommend configuring it to motion detection, so the NVR and cameras will only record when there is an object in front of the cameras. This way the hard drive of the NVR will not fill up as quickly as it would if the unit was configured to record 24/7 non-stop.
These are all of the essential settings you will need to setup your NVR. Now let us start configuring the megapixel cameras. I will always rather configure one camera first, then export the configurations of my settings to a file then later on I can import them to a new camera, this way the configuration time will be reduced and all my cameras will be configured the same way. This method is ideal when using the same camera model; otherwise you will need to export the settings of those cameras that are different model numbers.
To start this process I recommended to connect one camera at the time, due to the fact that we are dealing with IP devices and most likely all of the cameras will be set with the same default IP address of 192.168.1.108.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Due to the different kinds of IP ranges on a given network, you might need to assign a static private IP address on each camera to make sure they will not conflict to another device in the network.
You can use our Configuration Tool in this link http://www.securitycameraking.com/securityinfo/downloads/?category=tools-and-software-downloads to find the cameras in your network and assign the desire Static IP address.
Here is a snapshot of the configuration tool:
CAMERA CONFIGURATION PROCESS
Now that we have assigned an IP address in the camera, it is time to access the camera settings and features. To do so, you will need to open Internet Explorer and begin to set up some of the features of the browser.
Click on this link http://www.securitycameraking.com/securityinfo/forum/remote-viewing-software/web-service/ to follow step by step of how to setup this feature.
Type the IP Address of the camera on the address bar of your browser to access the web service, once the web service comes up input the username and password. The default username and password for our cameras is “admin”.
After accessing the camera make sure the ActiveX files are installed, they will be needed to access and configure Video resolutions, Schedule, etc.
On the left side of the camera settings go to conditions to adjust the brightness, contrast, HUE etc. I normally leave these settings alone and just change them depending of the environment.
Click on video to configure the resolution of the camera, Frames per second, Encoding, etc.
This part of the settings is crucial because it has to do with the recording resolution.
Notice that you have two columns, one labels Main Stream and the other Sub Stream. In a nutshell this is referring to recording streaming and viewing streaming. The Main Stream settings will affect how the camera sends the image to the NVR over the network, among other things it will also affect recording quality and how many FPS (Frames per Second) your NVR will be able to use as each camera gets added to each of the NVR Channels.
NOTE: NVRs and DVR have a maximum amount of cameras and FPS that they can handle. In the case of NVRs, they are restricted to an amount of FPS based on the video resolution your IP cameras are configured.
To understand this Frame restriction, refer to the following charts based on a 16CH NVR:
You can see the FPS increases or decreases based on the amount of cameras you add to the NVR. The math is simple, it is FPS / Camera amount = Max FPS per camera.
Once you have decided how many cameras you will be adding to the NVR, it is important to configure the correct FPS, Bit Rate Type and Bit Rate. For the Bit Rate Type I recommend “CBR” (Constant Bit Rate) instead of “VBR” (Variable Bit Rate), this way the camera will constantly use a predetermine amount of data you set under Bit Rate. The Bit Rate settings will vary depending of what resolution the camera is configured. For a 1080p resolution I will set the Bit Rate to 2048 (2MB). This amount of data is more than enough to stream one camera at 1080p without loosing pixels.
Next we will set the Sub Stream settings. These settings will not affect recording video quality, instead it will affect the way the video performs over the phone while using our app TechproSS or TechproSS plus. This is mainly just for viewing purposes and should be set to D1 at 10 FPS or 15 FPS. The Bit Rate type is fine if we use CBR, and the Bit Rate can be set anywhere between 250 Mbps to 320Mbps. Also make sure the Enable option for this Stream is enable, otherwise you will not be able to view any kind of video while viewing the cameras over the phone or NVR local Interface.
Under “Code-Stream Type”, click on the Drop Down and choose Motion.
Noticed that the Encode Mode and Resolution are now gray out and this means that you can only change the FPS and Bit Rate to affect how motion events occurs. These settings are ideal when recording based on Motion only, so you can have the Main Stream at a less intense setting and the NVR will record at a higher FPS and resolution when Motion happens due to these settings. Click Save when done.
Proceed to go to “Event > Video Detect”. In here we can enable the motion detection feature of the camera. Also we can adjust the “Anti-Dither”, this acts like a delay to proven false motion events, The higher the number the higher the delay the camera will react to motion events. Right now I like these settings shown in this picture:
Next option is the Schedule. Click on “Storage > Schedule” and you can set now Motion recording for every day 24/7. Always remember to save your settings.
We are almost done configuring the camera. The last thing we need to make sure we have correct is the Time Zone and Date and Time, therefore the info will be displayed correctly in the NVR. You can click on “Sync PC” button to get the Time and Date of your PC instead of doing it manually. You can also enable DST to have the camera change its time when daylight saving occurs. Click Save when done.
Click on “Import/Export to export these settings to a file and later one you can Re-Import them to a new camera.
HOW TO ADD THE CAMERAS TO THE NVR
Now for the last step after all of the cameras and NVR are configured, we will need to add the cameras to the channels of the NVR. To me the easiest way to do this is from a PC accessing the NVR over the network.
Open Internet Explorer and begin typing the Internal IP address of the NVR. If you don’t remember what it is, then you can go to MAIN MENU > SETTING > NETWORK and it will be displayed under the IP address field.
After you login to the NVR’s interface, click on CONFIG. On the left panel click on Remote Device and the following interface will display the following options as shown in the example:
In this interface you can click on “Device Search” to find any IP camera in the network and is also possible to use Filter Types to search for a specific type of device, such as DVR’s, NVR’s, Cameras, etc. You can also add the cameras manually if you know their IP address and port. Always remember to save the settings when you are done.
Here is a video demonstration on how to add IP cameras to your NVR