Posts Tagged ‘ DVR ’

What are all These Ports on My Security Camera DVR?

Written By:
Friday, July 31st, 2015

When you receive your Security Camera DVR you might be wondering what some of the ports are for. This article will explain some of them, the reason they are their as well as a little bit of history.

USB = Universal Serial Bus

usbUniversal Serial Bus is an industry standard developed in the mid-1990s to replace the slower serial and ps2 communication ports on a computer.  The purpose was to be able to attach devices like a mouse, a keyboard, disk drives, network adapters, portable media players, and other devices that help qualify the word Universal in the name of the port.  It has become such a standard that it has evolved over the years as USB 1.x, USB 2.0, USB 3.0, USB 3.1, and USB Type-C.  The DVRs and NVRs continue with this trend by offering USB ports for connecting a mouse and flash drives or hard drives to the unit by using one of the available ports.  Unfortunately, USB keyboards are not supported by the operating system and only the online keyboard is available for entering data.  DVRs and NVRs are very similar to computers, so the device needs to be supported in the operating system.  This matters especially when connecting drives in the sense that you could try to use a USB drive that is too new for the unit.  A DVR or NVR manufactured during a certain era will only support flash drives and hard drives with sizes appropriate to that era.  For example, you will not find a 64GB flash drive or a 6 Terabyte hard drive in 2007.  There is no harm plugging in a USB drive to see if it is recognized since the port is plug and play.

Ethernet Port

ethernetAn 8P8C (8 position 8 contact) modular connector, often called RJ45 (Registered Jack 45), has become an extremely important plug since the world wide web is connected with this standard Ethernet port on all kinds of devices.  Our DVRs have one Ethernet port so that they can connect to a router for access to the unit from the world wide web.  Our NVRs have the same port, and may also have power over Ethernet ports (POE) for cameras to connect to it for power and video data transmission.  You can buy an 8 channel NVR, for example, that has a built-in 8 port POE switch that allows you to plug 8 IP network cameras into the back of the unit.  You can also buy an 8 channel NVR that does not have any built in POE ports, so the video data would need to be networked back to the NVR.  This can congest a network if you have other computers and devices using the same routers and switches, but there are ways to design your network topology to reduce or separate traffic.

BNC Connector

The BNC connector derived its name from Bayonet Neill–Concelman, which is a combination of its bayonet mount locking mechanism and its inventors, Paul Neill and Carl Concelman.  The BNC connector is a quick connect radio frequency connector commonly made in 50 and 75 ohm versions used for coaxial cable.  This connector has become the heart and soul of the analog and HD-CVI DVR because of a quick plug and play connection option.  Many people like to use existing coax cable and continue to use it with new technologies like HD-CVI rather than mess with a complete overhaul to an IP technology system.  While IP may be the future, this connector has found new legs with new technologies and should remain viable for years to come.  As long as coax cable still exists, the BNC connector will remain the default option.

RCA Connector

An RCA connector is designed to carry audio and video signals, and received its name from the Radio Corporation of America in the early 40s when it was designed to be an internal connector in home radio-phonograph consoles.  This port has evolved over the years to encompass video in the famous red, white, and yellow composite video.  Our DVRs and NVRs use the connector for audio-in and audio-out primarily since video on our DVRs is covered by the BNC port and NVRs use networking to transmit video.


hdmiHDMI stands for High-Definition Multimedia Interface, and it is a proprietary interface designed for sending video and audio to and from HDMI compliant devices.  The video is uncompressed and the audio can be compressed or uncompressed.  Our DVRs and NVRs have this port as a connection option to a TV or monitor for viewing the live video or playback, as well as adjusting the settings of the unit through the menu options.  The main improvement of this port over VGA, for example, is the ability to do high definition without video loss, which allows us to see higher quality video.  This means that we can see more cameras on the screen at one time clearly and see more detail.

In Summary

There were many ports used in the past that are now likely on the way out.  Most notably is the RS485 connector that is used to control the PTZ cameras.  With Ethernet IP camera and HD-CVI camera technologies taking off, connecting a PTZ is now done over the one cable with no additional cables needed for PTZ control.  They should still be present on hybrids and tribrids, but anyone buying a new system should opt for one of the new technologies since video surveillance is about protecting assets.  VGA should hang around a little longer, but HDMIs ability to handle high definition video without video loss and audio on the same cable, make it very convenient.  RS232 / Serial, PS2, LPT, are all in the port graveyard, but there are likely still some machines out there that have them.

No doubt that new standard ports will come, as they are always being invented or improved.  The research and development teams at all technology companies are working towards the next big thing, so that they can create a new standard port for years to come.  DVR and NVR companies will incorporate any new port into their system that is useful as it grows in popularity.  For example, if a port replaces USB 3.0 for connecting external hard drives, that would become a standard very quickly.  Security Hard Drives happen to be the most important component of an NVR since they are used to record the video footage.  This is an area where the technology needs to improve.


Technical Support Might Be the Most Important Part of your Security Camera System!

Written By:
Wednesday, July 8th, 2015

If you’ve ever shopped for a security camera system you know there are a lot of options available. Do you go with an economical analog CCTV system or one that’s a high definition and state-of-the-art? Should you go with HDCVI or a Network IP setup? Analog cable, CAT5, POE switches, small hard drive or a large hard drive? There is a lot to think about if you want a solution that is going to work for you reliably and give you the quality and functionality you expect.

But one of the most over looked and under-valued components of any modern day security system is TECHNICAL SUPPORT! Without good technical support you might end up with a pile of expensive hardware that was not installed or configured property. Worst it might never get setup at all.


One company that realizes that quality technical support is just as important as the superior products they provide is In addition to all of the product information, product videos, and downloadable content, they also have live technical support for the life of the product. This means you will get FREE lifetime support for any security camera or recording device you buy from them.

Locations in the USA on the East and West Coasts allow for to have extended support hours. Live industry experts are available to help you with the installation, initial setup, system configurations, networking and remote viewing / mobile app implementation.

This support starts with the knowledgeable sales team. Whether you are a professional installer or just looking to secure your home or business you are sure to get all the help you need. Many of the sales team members are also experienced security system installers. This level of expertise ensures that the sales associates will be able to answer all your questions and recommend the best security system to fit you specific needs.

Security cameras

The sales staff can also help you plan your installation. They can help you choose the technology that’s best for you and they can help determine power requirements, what type of cameras you need, how much storage capacity you want and much more.

Once your equipment has been purchased you will have access to a U.S. based technical support team. As mentioned earlier tech support is Free for the life of the product. Here are just a few things a technical support representative can help you with:

DVR Settings: Including but not limited to the following:

  • Setting up your DVR time and Date format
  • Setting up Motion Detect for you cameras
  • Setup you cameras recording resolutions and recording stream settings
  • Setup motion masking and privacy masking on your camera
  • Setup text alerts
  • Setup storage management
  • Review recorded video
  • Export recorded video

IP Camera Settings:

Unlike analog cameras and DVRs, IP camera settings are usually stored in the camera itself. Each camera has it own IP address and they can be accessed individually or simultaneously through the use of an NVR (Network Video Recorder). IP cameras also use CAT5 cable instead of coax and can transfer power and video on the same cable with the use of a POE switch (Power Over Ethernet). Technical support can help you setup the IP addresses for your IP cameras and assist with your POE switch and network setup.

Remote Access, Remote Viewing & Mobile App Setup

Every DVR or NVR that sells has remote access capabilities and FREE remote viewing software or mobile apps. The Pros at can help you set up up remote access as well as get you set up on your PC, MAC, iPhone, iPad, Android Phone or tablet.

If you want to access your home DVR or NVR from a remote location, you must first connect to the IP address that was provided by your ISP. An ISP or Internet Service Provider is the company that provides your Internet like Comcast, Brighthouse or Verizon.

Once you have accessed the home IP address, your router needs to direct your connection to the home DVR or NVR, this is called Port Forwarding.

In addition to setting up your remote viewing apps the technician can also assist you with your router configuration and port forwarding to your recording device.

DDNS Account

One more thing to consider when accessing your DVR or NVR remotely as mention above is that you will need to know what IP address your Internet Service Provider has assigned to you. Once you know that IP address you can set up your software or app to go to that IP address (your home’s IP) and direct you to your Recorder.

One problem you may face is that ISPs often change your assigned IP address (unless your pay for a static IP address). If the IP address of you house changes, then your software or app will not be able to connect to your home’s router until you update the setting with your new home IP address. One way to avoid this is to sign up for a DDNS account (Dynamic Domain Name Service). Simply put, this is a domain name like ( that is aware of you current home IP and will always resolve to your home IP even if it changes.

The great news is that all DVRs and NVRs support DDNS and for each recorder you buy, will give you a FREE DDNS domain name. Better yet, one of the support representatives will be happy to get it all set up for you.

Even More Support


In addition to the Sales and Live tech support offers alternative methods of support including upward of 1000 high quality products, support and how-to videos. There is also an extensive download area where you can find the latest drivers, firmware, software and tools for your CCTV and security equipment.

Live chat for the sales and support department is available on the website Monday through Friday 9am to 8pm EST.

Last but certainly not least there is the CCTV Forum. This is the place to connect with experts in the industry, find answers to common problems and get help on your specific problems. The forum is a 24/7-support source for anyone in need of help regarding CCTV, Home Security, Access Control and more. This forum is constantly monitored by the support staff at and is sure to get you the answers you need fast.

As you can see there is much more to a quality security system then just top quality products. The support you receive is just as important and the equipment you buy and the experts at are there to give you both.


The Importance of Security Camera and Security Recorder Maintenance

Written By:
Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

Imagine walking into your business the morning after something occurred overnight, and you need the video that will help locate the suspect. You find out your system was not recording, or the equipment just turned itself off and failed to capture the event. Frustration understood. You bought the equipment for the specific reason to record when a wrongdoing occurs. Often, system failure is due to the lack of security recorder maintenance on your recorder or cameras. Equipment failures can happen and will happen if proper attention is not paid to the device over time.

A DVR/NVR is an apparatus for security, and it is important to keep it running at optimal performance. Security Recorder Maintenance will prolong the life of the unit and reduce potential for future operational anomalies and failures.

When the system is initially installed, generally there is no documentation providing recommended maintenance for the equipment. This article will give you some general insight, and suggestions, on how to maintain your security system and cameras. Of course, not even the “master of maintaining” can control the “other” factors that also cause the same failures. For example, power outages, storms, lightning, brownouts, circuit trips, alien invasions, etc.

Here is a little bit about EOS/ESD, dust and humidity, specifically.

EOS and ESD (electrical overstress, electric static discharge respectively) are the most common causes of failure for any electrical device. The odds are greater in that a random power surge, lightning strike, failing power supply, or lasting brownout will occur more often than the very slow, progressive, deterioration caused by dust and humidity. Therefore, we should understand the device’s power source and incoming voltage to the system. It is common knowledge in the tech world that ESD are those tiny little rascal lightning bolts that discharge when you come in contact with something after rubbing a balloon on your head or feet against the carpet. Yep, those can damage a circuit board also known as the PCB (Printed circuit board), in a heartbeat if there is direct contact to the board. Of course, the probability that the mainboard would be on the outside of the chassis is about none, but it is still good to know about the effects of ESD when you are maintaining the system.

EOS is another form of over-voltage. EOS can be a momentary event or can cause damage over a course of time. Unlike ESD, where the electricity is dispersed immediately at higher voltages and amperes, EOS is defined as the voltage throughout that exceeds the specified limitations of the device. If the incoming voltage is beyond the specific limitations of the device, EOS will cause localized high temperatures in materials used in the device’s architecture affecting the whole device. You can help prevent EOS by incorporating proper grounding and shielding of lines and receptacles, and only using the correct power supplies.

Examples of damage caused by EOS:


Dust is everywhere and humidity may be present as well. Both of these environmental factors can cause issues with any electrical device. When dust collects on electronic components, it eventually interferes with the flow of electricity through the PCB. Over time, the accumulated dust becomes an insulator, potentially overheating circuits and increasing the chance of failure in capacitors or other vital parts of the PCB creating functional anomalies, random shutdowns, inconsistent operational issues.

Examples of Dust:

enough said

Humidity also has a part to play in this. PCBs can suffer from a variety of problems if the surface is covered with electrically conducting materials, like dust, and combined with moisture, this results in a lowering of resistance and eventually can lead to corrosion of metals. Protect the equipment from humidity by using a bit common sense. Do not install your system in a rain barrel. Some installations are required to install the security equipment in a separate building or a secured shed with no climate control. In these unique circumstances, there are products available that are air tight with ventilation. Luckily, improvements have been made in manufacturing. PCB makers will generally apply a conformal coating over the PCB to help reduce the impact of this natural nuisance!

Examples of damage caused by humidity (rust):

Side note: ANY variation of system overheating, whether it be caused by poor ventilation, dust, humidity, overvoltage, etc. wears down the system circuitry, decreases performance, and increases system instability.

Now that we have covered some of the basics in “high tech equipment nuisances 101,” here are some suggested practical measures to follow in taking care of your security investment.

– Blow out and clean all case fans with compressed/canned air
– Perform a search of footage, varying dates. Doing this checks HDD recording performance.
No footage = Possible HDD issues

Three Months
– Repeat Monthly maintenance
– Look for any video footage anomalies that may indicate a failing camera. This includes camera images that do not look focused and clear, rolling vertical/horizontal lines, diagonal lines, wavy image, color/lighting fluctuations, really bright/dark images (without manual adjustments) etc.

Six Months
– Repeat 3 month DVR maintenance
– Open the case and blow out the system (while unit is turned completely OFF) with compressed/canned air. Make sure to clean out all components, including the power supply (if power supply is mounted inside the unit).
– Run a Hard drive check from the System Main Menu (not available in some models)
– Test UPS battery backup by pulling the plug from the wall. UPS is a highly recommended accessory to have for surveillance equipment.

– Repeat 6 month DVR maintenance
– Meter the UPS and/or Line Conditioner for proper voltage. Also meter the incoming voltage at the wall to determine your raw power conditions.

Of course you can create your own maintenance schedule if you choose. There is no set procedure that needs to be followed. Just keep in mind that the goal is to inspect the equipment and keep it clean. Take care of it, and it will take care of you. A happy recorder is a trustworthy recorder. Hypothetically speaking, if the system is stellar, the camera system may even capture a real ghost using motion detection! In broad daylight! Give yourself a gold star for that! Watch out Ghost Hunters, the mother of maintained surveillance equipment is here!


Our CCTV Forum is the Best Source for Questions about Security Cameras, DVRs, NVRs, and Access Control

Written By:
Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

Security Camera King CCTV Forum


Our CCTV forum is a great resource for both newbies as well as experienced security camera users. In the CCTV Security Camera Forum, everyone learns from one another. Perhaps you have a question about how to configure a specific item such as an HD-CVI camera, an IP camera, or a Security DVR or NVR. Maybe it’s after hours, or on the weekend, and our “live chat” or phones are not available. Well, the good news is that our CCTV forum is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can find answers to most of your questions by using the search as shown below.


If you do not see a question related to what you need then feel free to post your question to the appropriate forum. Our knowledgeable staff, and even other users, are usually monitoring the forum so your question will be answered in a timely manner.

But, before you can do anything you need to register for the forum… and it’s free! See Below.


Once you are registered, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with our posting guidelines and you can see the link in the image below. In there we discuss how to use our forum and also some of our policies regarding posting, instant messaging, contacting members, etc.

Another place you might want to post to right away is our introductions section, also in the image below. Here, we can learn a little about you as well as what your experience level is. Your fellow members will also chime in and welcome you to the community. Everyone is very friendly. If you do not already know who we are at you can read and learn about our company in the About Us section in the same image below.


Now that we have you registered and up to date on what to do, you will find we have forum topics separated by category as shown in the image below.


If you have a question that has not been answered already about Analog Cameras, HD-CVI Security Cameras, IP Cameras, DVRs or NVRs then feel free to post to those forums. You can upload pics, videos, documents, or anything else that would help us answer your question thoroughly. There is no question we can’t handle, and if we do not know the answer off hand, we will have our tech department set up the same scenario as your question in our warehouse and will work until we have the right answer. They love a challenge. You will be amazed on how they can figure out any situation they come across. In some cases, they can even create a video “on the fly” to teach you how to solve your problem. In many cases we can log into your devices during normal hours to fix the problem for you.

Another forum category besides cameras and recorders is the Networking forum. Many times, especially with IP Network Cameras, you need to configure your network in such a way as to save on bandwidth. In the networking section is where you would find answers as well as post questions about networking design and configurations. We know a lot more than just cameras!

The next section is the topic of System Design. Lots of times you are trying to find the best security camera system for your needs and budget. Here is a good place to post your questions and also find answers. It might be after hours or the weekend and you just need to find out what sort of system you need to buy. Others have been in your same situation and have found this topic useful.

Next, is the topic of Wiring and Power. Here you will find questions and answers to a variety of wiring and power needs. Our products are all wired and so they need to have power and also cable. Do you have a power or cable need that is not addressed here in this topic? Then by all means feel free to post your question. Again, there is no question that goes unanswered.

The next topic is on Remote Viewing Software. This topic is very useful as it has answers to most questions about how to view your cameras over the Internet. You can view your cameras on Smart Devices such as the iPhone, Android, Tablet and iPad, as well as external Mac and PC computers. Just how do you view and set that up on those devices? The answers are in this forum topic. Do you have a question that is not listed there? That’s right! You can post your question and either one of our knowledgeable staff or members will help you out. It’s that easy.

Last in our support topics is Access Control. In the last year or two, we have added a full line of access control products and have become quite knowledgeable on how to wire, configure and monitor access control from one to many doors. In fact, our tech guys love to invent new and easier ways to connect and configure access control panels, access control readers, electronic door locks and more. In fact, they can even configure those device to work alongside your security cameras. So, in the access control topic is where you can post your questions about configurations, wiring, software etc.

Another forum thread I would like to point out is the How To Articles. In this link you will find articles written by our tech and sales staff to make things easier for you in the way of configuring your recorders and cameras as well as network schemes and wiring options.

Best of all, this is all free to use. You can access the CCTV Forum here. If you are new, don’t forget to register. If you have already registered, then welcome back and we look forward to helping you with your CCTV or Access Control needs. The more discussions there are, the more we and your fellow members can help out as well as learn from all the information.


Techpro Security Products DVRs and NVRs – Overview of the New Menu System – Part 4

Written By:
Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

This article is the 4th one in a series designed to provide an overview of the new menu system available for the Techpro DVRs and NVRs. These menus have been improved in order to make navigating them and operating your recording device easier through the addition of page links on the majority of the menu pages.

In this article we will continue to take a look at the features offered through the bottom row of the main menu; the SETTINGS menu pages (see Picture 1). The portion of this category that will be covered here includes the EVENT and STORAGE categories, as well as going over some of the more specialized features of the network category. All of these menu pages are critical to setting up your DVR or NVR to record in the manner that you desire. If you have missed the previous articles in this 4 part series, you can read Part 1 of the DVR/NVR menu system here, Part 2 here, and Part 3 here.

Main Menu
Picture 1

TechPro Security Products DVR and NVR Menu – Network

This section of menu pages allows you to configure your recording device so that it will work with your network in the manner that you desire.

FTP: (see Picture 2)
This menu page will allow you to set up an FTP (File Transfer Protocol). This feature can be used to record your video to a remote location, although this application will require significant bandwidth. This feature can also be used to dump chucks of recorded video to a remote location.

Picture 2

P2P: (see Picture 3)
This menu page will allow you to quickly set up a remote connection between your recording device and the phone app from an Android or Iphone. If this is a feature that you wish to utilize, you should contact our tech support department for assistance in setting this up.

Picture 3

TechPro Security Products DVR and NVR Menu – Event

This section of the SETTING category will allow you to set up how you want your DVR or NVR to respond to certain situations.

Detect: (see Picture 4.)
Configuring this menu page correctly is a key part of getting motion-based recording to work correctly. To get this set up correctly, it is vital to realize that there is a version of this menu page for each video channel that your recording device can handle. For this reason, you should never make setting changes with ‘ALL’ selected in the channel selection drop down menu or use the ‘Copy’ function on this page.

In order to get motion-based recording set up correctly, you need to make sure that you highlight the enable box (located below the channel selection drop down menu) and the box to the left of the where it says ‘Record Channel’. The numbered box to the right of where it says ‘Recorded Channel’ which matches the channel selected at the top of this page, will also need to be highlighted.

You can make it so that portions of a cameras view will not trigger motion-based recording by clicking on the Setup button to the right of where it says ‘Region’. This same button will also allow you to adjust the sensitivity of the motion detection in up to four separate regions.

The ‘Anti-dither’ setting determines the length of time that motion must occur in front of a camera in order for it to be recognized as a motion event and trigger recording of the video.

The ‘Latch’ setting will let you customize how long the DVR or NVR will continue to record after motion is no longer happening in front of the camera.

Picture 4

Alarm: (see Picture 5.)
This page of the menu system is where you can customize how the recording device will react to an alarm input.

Picture 5

Abnormality: (see Picture 6.)
This menu page will allow you to configure your DVR or NVR to react to certain unusual circumstances that may occur with the recording device. You can get it to notify you of these events in a number of different ways including alarm outputs, emails and a buzzer.

Picture 6

Alarm outputs: (see Picture 7.)
This page of the menu system is where you can customize how the recording device will trigger any alarm outputs which are connected to the back of the unit.

Picture 7

TechPro Security Products DVR and NVR Menu – Storage

This section of the SETTING category of the menu system will allow you to configure any hard drives installed in the DVR or NVR. While hard drives are automatically formatted when the recording device first powers up after the drive is installed, the section of the menu gives you a significant level of customization on how it will operate.

Schedule: (see Picture 8.)
Setting up this menu page correctly plays a key part in configuring your DVR or NVR for either motion-based or continuous recording. This page will allow you to break each day up into different recording types for each camera connected to the recording device.

The first thing you should do on this menu page is click on the gear icon to the right of Sunday. Once you’re on this new page you need to select all of the days of the week down toward the bottom of this page (see Picture 9). Period 1 will cover a twenty four hour chunk of time by default, although you can break each day up into six periods for a mix of continuous and motion-based recording. If you wish to utilize different types of recording throughout a day, then change the time that each period covers by clicking in the field. If you decide to use this feature, then you must make sure that the combined periods cover all 24 hours of the day.

The next thing you will need to do is select one of the left two check boxes to the right of period 1. You will select ‘Regular’ if you want to record the video from your cameras continuously. You will need to select ‘MD’ if you want to record based on motion detection. You will need to do this for any additional periods that you customized to break up the day. Once you have made all of the changes on this page that you want, then click on the ‘Save’ button at the bottom of the page. This will lead back on to the SCHEDULE page. Now you can click on the ‘Copy’ button to transfer the setting changes to any of your other channels that you wish.

The PreRecord setting will allow you to customize the amount of time that your recording device will record video prior to a motion event. This setting only pertains to motion based recording.

Once you have everything on this page set up the way you want, you should let the security camera system record for a while and then review your recorded footage in order to ensure that the video from your cameras are recording the way you want. Feel free to contact our tech support team for assistance with this process.

Picture 8

Schedule period
Picture 9