If you have a CCTV security system and either your home or office is broken into or an incident has occurred, the video of that crime has to be given to management or authorities. So at some point you’ll need to download and access that footage from your DVR or NVR. It has gotten a bit more challenging since the days when you could just retrieve a security tape from a VCR. These DVR files are now encoded as encrypted files with codecs that make them rather difficult to use in standard video players or editors. Even if you convert the file once to an AVI or MPEG file, many traditional media players such as Windows Media Player won’t be able to play them, as they are a rather obscure and specific video format. Those files may need to be converted a second time to nullify the encryption.
So in order to alleviate some of that confusion and frustration, here’s a quick guide on how to download and convert DAV files from a DVR or NVR. Please note, these instructions are intended for those using a Windows based operating system.
About the DAV format:
DAV is a proprietary encrypted format created by DVR365 digital video recorders. These recorders capture video images that have been recorded by CCTV (closed circuit TV) cameras in a modified MPEG file format, and is commonly used for recording video captured by CCTV cameras in China (where many security cameras and DVR’s are manufactured). The DAV file cannot be played with most popular media players.
1) Download footage / files from your DVR
The first step is to retrieve the saved footage from your DVR.
NOTE: The process and user interface for this will vary depending on your DVR brand and setup. Log in to your DVR through your computer, and isolate the specific area of video you need, then download it to your hard drive. The files will be saved as DAV files.
2) Download and install DAV Player / converter
To download the DAV file player / converter, point your web browser to securitycameraking.com and on the top of the page, click on the “downloads” link.
Then, scroll to near the bottom of the page and click on the “Tools and Software downloads” link.
Scroll to the bottom of the first page and click either the arrow or the number 2 to go to the next page
Finally, scroll down to and click on the download link for “Video Player and Converter”.
Save the zip file to your computer.
Unzip the file by right clicking and extracting it to the downloads folder,
Then run the executable file.
Then install program.
3) Convert the .DAV to an .AVI file
Once the Player software is installed, click on the upward facing blue arrow on the left hand side of the player interface. This opens the “open file” window. Navigate to c/RecordDownload folder, or wherever else you may have DAV files saved.
To convert the file, click the small “AVI” button on on the middle top-right of the player under the time navigation bar. It’ll ask you where you want to save the converted file, but the default location is in the same folder as the original file. Click “convert” and wait for it to complete.
4) Use 3rd party software to decrypt AVI files.
Now you have your file converted, but there’s a good possibility that the resulting .AVI file you’ve just created still may not yet work with standard video players, even though it’s still a valid video file. These files are not intended to be converted or edited easily. You’ll probably have to run it through one more conversion to make it easily viewable or editable. Some video converters also may not recognize it (including standard ones such as Adobe Media Encoder).
The software we use in-office is Xilisoft Video Converter.
NOTE: This is 3rd party software that is not offered on our website, but even a non-paid trial version of the program will convert up to 3 minutes of footage…
While the full registered version will convert any length video, there are other options for software packages that do essentially the same type of conversion, but this is just the one that we use due to ease of use and the variety of video formats it can read and write to.
Run Xilisoft (or comparable video converter, though the following instructions are specific to that software)
Either drag and drop the AVI file into the software’s main window or click the “Add File” button that looks like a filmstrip with a plus on it (or select File/add file from the file menu at the top). Select your intended file for conversion.
Security camera footage can come in several different resolutions and frame rates. While the Player software converts the DAV footage to an exact duplicate in AVI format, other converters will offer a myriad of options that may change the quality of your file. To ensure that the footage maintains it’s intended fidelity and detail, make sure that the format you’re converting it to matches the resolution / frame rate of your original file. Or, under profile in Xilisoft’s Video Converter, there are quite a few available video formats and profiles to choose from. We typically convert to Xvid (.mp4), which is under the “General Video Format” list of formats on the bottom “Profile” window.
On the right hand window, there’s a second “profile” window in which you can choose specific details such as video size, quality, and audio quality. We recommend choosing “Auto” as that will keep the video resolution the same as your original AVI file, and High Quality for video. Odds are your security camera will not have an audio track, but if it does, select high quality for that as well.
Then select the encode button. Your video is now un-encrypted and ready to edit or play in any standard media player.
For a video tutorial on downloading the DAV player/converter, click the video below.
For any other information or questions about this or any other security cameras or products, just go to securitycameraking.com and contact us.