Posts Tagged ‘ DVR’



How to Back Up your DVR to an FTP Server

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Thursday, September 18th, 2014

How to Backup your DVR using FTP

Great! You’ve gone in the right direction and decided to protect your property using a CCTV surveillance camera system. Having cameras visible on your property is usually enough to deter most criminals from trying to gain entry into your home or business, but what happens if for some reason something happens to the DVR and you lose all of your recorded footage? If your cameras have been placed properly, you will have a great shot of an incident that occurred, but if you didn’t get to it in time to save and backup the incident, there’s a chance you will lose it forever if you do not have another copy of it being stored elsewhere for extra safety.

Hopefully, you’ll never have to deal with this issue but it does happen! The DVR can be damaged in many different ways. Hard drives can stop working, DVRs which are not on surge protectors can get fried during a storm, and then there’s the horrible chance that someone may deliberately steal or destroy the unit. In any of these cases, it would be really nice to have another copy of your hard drives stored far away from the DVR itself. This article will serve as a guide on how to back up your DVR using the FTP feature.

In order to Back Up your DVR to an FTP Server, you will first need some sort of an FTP server. A computer on the same network as the DVR or NVR that is always on will work perfectly, but you may also use a server that is stored elsewhere. A remote server is great in case of a fire or break-in where the device may be destroyed in some way. I do want to stress that the FTP backup feature will only work with footage that is backed up prior to the incident. This means that if you have a schedule set up to back up the DVR at 9:00PM every night, and the next day it’s 8:00PM when the DVR gets ruined, the last back up copy you’ll have on your FTP server is from the night before. Please be aware of this when setting up your scheduling, so that you’re sure the footage is being backed up as needed.

For an FTP software, I recommend FileZilla which is a free FTP server software that works on Windows, OSX and even Linux, and can be downloaded at https://filezilla-project.org/. Once installed, you need to set up your FTP directory and user accounts. Open the Users option and add a user and set the password.

Users

Next click on Shared folders and click Add. You can then browse to where you want the footage backed up to as shown below.

Folders

The FTP is now all set up. All you need to know from here is the IP address of the computer it is installed on. You can obtain this by going to your start menu > run, type “cmd” and enter to open a command prompt. In that window type “ipconfig” and hit enter. Your IP address will be displayed. Take that information down as we will need to enter it into the DVR’s FTP configuration which we will review next.

Access your DVR’s or NVR’s web service by typing the IP address of the DVR into your Internet Explorer address bar. Then click the Setup tab and the storage category.

Under that click on Storage and then the FTP tab. Click the check box to enable the FTP feature and enter your computer’s IP address in the Server IP field. By default, FileZilla uses port 21 so you can leave that field alone. Enter the user name and password for the user you created in FileZilla. Remote Directory can be left blank as you already chose the folder where you want the footage to be backed up to. Finally, you need to choose the channels you want to backup and the weekdays. For both I would recommend setting it to all to back up everything. I recommend the time period to be left at the default setting for all day, or you could set the periods to only back up footage for when you’re not physically at that location. Be sure to select the MD checkbox if your system is set to record based on motion, or the Regular check box if you record 24/7. You now have everything set up that is needed to have an additional backup of your footage for more piece of mind. If the DVR or NVR is stolen, hopefully you will still have the footage you need to lead authorities to an arrest.

FTP

Like I mentioned above, backing up to FTP locally is only as safe as the location where you house your DVR. If anything happens to that location, you still have the threat of losing your recordings. This is why I would highly recommend to backing up your footage off-site. A remote FTP server is definitely affordable nowadays and can save you in the event that your main location is destroyed or tampered with. For example, you may want to back up the footage from the recording device (DVR or NVR) at your business to a computer you have at home. The setup is relatively the same, so follow all of the previous steps for installing FileZilla on your home computer, and the same steps for setting up the FTP feature on your DVR or NVR. The one difference will be for the Server IP setting in the DVR’s configuration. You want to set this to your home network’s external IP. You can see what that is by visiting http://canyouseeme.org from your home computer. Use the IP address given to you on that site for the Server IP field in the FTP options.

The setup is almost complete, but you need to open up the FTP port on your home network’s router so the DVR can find the server. This is called Port Forwarding. You may Refer to your routers documentation on how to set up port forwarding. You will need to forward TCP port 21 to your computer’s IP address. Again, this can be found by running ipconfig from a command prompt. Once this is done, you can confirm your port forwarding settings are working by visiting http://canyouseeme.org and testing port 21. It should respond with a successful message if everything is set up properly. You are now set up, but keep in mind the backup process will use up a lot of bandwidth. You will need a sufficient upload speed from where the DVR is installed, and download speed on the network that has the FTP server in order to grab all that footage it’s backing up and download it onto the machine. You can test your speeds at http://speedtest.net. If your speeds aren’t great, you can always be more selective in what you back up. You can just backup a certain camera, day of the week or time periods.

If you want access to your footage from anywhere, or don’t want to run your own FTP server, you can use a cloud-based storage solution as well. Any cloud storage solution that has FTP access will work great. The account settings for your cloud storage service will provide you with the IP address, account and port needed to set up your DVR’s FTP backup feature.

I have listed three different ways you can enable FTP backup of your DVR or NVR footage. This will provide you with additional piece of mind, as your footage will still be available if the DVR is stolen or destroyed. You should still try to conceal the DVR in a secure location if possible, such as on top of a closet or attic, but if the criminal sees the cameras he will likely look for it until they can locate it. With the FTP backup feature of SecurityCameraKing.com’s DVRs and NVRs, you don’t have to be out of luck if it is found.

If you have any more questions or concerns, please feel free to contact our tech support department and we will help you get all set up with backing up to FTP. We require that you are using one of our DVRs or NVRs, which come with a lifetime of free tech support. You may contact us at 866.573.8878 or support@securitycameraking.com

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CCTV FAQ Part 2

Written By:
Thursday, June 26th, 2014
CCTV-FAQ

Learning about our DVR’s can help you better understand them and allow you to do the more advanced functions, but first you need to learn the basics. Not just the basics but also things that can make setting up the DVR an easier process. This CCTV FAQ is a continuation of last months article that will further explain these functions in detail. This article will go through basic functions like creating a new user and adding an IP camera, to more advanced functions like changing the IP of a camera and enabling tour. This article can be very useful for Dealers, Installers, and the average consumer. It helps explain simple tasks that you could only learn by earthier digging through the User Manual or through experience of using the device.

1. How to create a new user and apply permissions.

With surveillance equipment it is best to know who is accessing your system and who can access it. Creating different users with different permissions will help prevent any tampering and will help narrow down what people are using the device for. To start, the DVR comes with Users built in that can be used but the best thing to do is to start fresh and create all new users with the permissions that you want them to have. The way you do this is by going to Main Menu>Settings, and then Users. In this area you will see the different users on your DVR and by default there should be 4. To add a new one you just click Add User. Here you enter the users Name and Password as well as what group you want to place him under. These groups give predetermined permissions that can be useful if you set up the proper group. If you want to manually adjust a user’s permissions you can do that below. After you are satisfied with that specific user you can click save. If you want multiple users with the same permissions without have to adjust each one you can create a group. After you create a user account for everyone who will be accessing your DVR you can track and log all activity that is happening in realtime.

2. How to setup an IP camera to transmit snapshots to a FTP server.

Having IP cameras allow you to not only record to a NVR but it also allows you to record to a local or remote server. This allows you to use the camera as a standalone unit or to create off-site storage for extra security. It gives you the feature for when there is any motion on the camera it will upload a small clip or a snapshot to your FTP server. For this article I will be referencing the IPOD-EL1MPIR50. To start you need to log into the camera’s web service through Internet Explorer with its default IP 192.168.1.108 username: admin Password: admin. Once logged in you go to Setup>Camera>Video, and then Snapshot. There is a drop down menu next to Interval that will allow you to make the camera take snapshots every 1 to 7 seconds. On this page you can also adjust the quality of the snapshots. Just make sure you click Save at the bottom of the page to apply any changes you have made. After that you need to set up which days and time periods for the snapshots. On the Menu bar to the left click Storage>Schedule, and then snapshot schedule. Click the the setup button on the top right of the time bar and here you will be able to adjust those settings. Choose what days you want to have this feature set for and if you want it for everyday just click Select All on the upper left corner. If you want it based off motion you can just click save but if you want 24 hour then to the right of Period 1 click General.

Now that we have that set up we can configure the settings for connecting to the FTP server. Under Storage on the menu on the left click on Destination. Make sure that your in the Path tab located on the top. Under snapshot on the right side of the screen make sure that the Schedule box is the only one selected and then hit Save. Next select the FTP tab on the top of the screen so we can adjust the settings. To start, Server IP is where you enter the IP address of your FTP server that you are going to be connected to. If you are connecting from outside your network you are going to use your outside IP that your modem is using. Next Port is where you enter your listening port which is usually by default 21. Under username enter the username that is created on you FTP server. Then enter your password that correlates with that username. Last, under Remote Directory this is going to be the name of the folder the snapshots will be stored in on your server. As soon as you complete this step and it’s done correctly, your camera will start to transmit the snapshots to your FTP server. Based on how you set the time interval and whether you have it on motion or 24 hour.

This article was created to help people understand their DVR’s, NVR’s and cameras better so you can do more with your system without having to search through the whole manual to find or call tech support and take more time out of your day. We provide our technology to help make your lives easier, not more confusing. This is the one of multiple FAQ articles that will help you understand the basics of your devices. If you have a more complex problem please call our tech support line for further explanation at 866-573-8878.

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Simple CCTV FAQ’s

Written By:
Monday, June 2nd, 2014
QandA1

Learning about our DVR’s can help you better understand them and allow you to do the more advanced functions, but first you need to learn the basics. Not just the basics but also things that can make setting up the DVR an easier process. This article will go through basic functions like creating a new user and adding an IP camera, to more advanced functions like changing the IP of a camera and enabling tour. This article can be very useful for CCTV Dealers, Installers, and the average consumer. It helps explain simple tasks that you could only learn by digging through the User Manual or through experience of using the device.

1. Why does a DVR beep when I turn it on and how to make it stop?

The DVR has a built in speaker that emits a sound when there is an error or when it does a simple start-up. Every DVR emits a single beep when the unit does a complete start-up test and the single beep is the DVR’s way of sayings that is ready to go. There is no way of turning that sound off. Now when there is no Hard Drive or when the Hard Drive gives you an error of some sort, the DVR will start with the single beep and then also emit a short and long beep. If you want the sound to stop then you need to either press the power button 3 times or navigate trough the settings to release the alarm for the start up or turn the alarm off completely for future start-ups. To adjust it through the settings you need to go to Menu>Advanced>HDD Setting, and then hit Alarm Release; this will shut the alarm off until you restart. To shut the alarm off completely you need to go to Menu> Advanced>Abnormality, and choose to shut off alarm when there is no Hard Drive. In this menu you can also shut off other alarms.

2. How to change the IP address of a DVR/NVR and an IP Camera

Using Ethernet cables an IP Address (Internet Protocol) are how devices communicate over a network; All of our DVR/NVR’s and IP cameras work the same. Most of our IP cameras and DVR/NVR’s by default have an assigned static IP address but to use more than one device on the same network you need to adjust the IP address for each camera. To change the IP of a DVR (from the DVR) you have to go to the Main Menu>Settings, and Network. From here you can change the IP address of the Unit and specify what ports you want to use to remote in from outside the network. When choosing an IP address make sure you put the correct Subnet and Gateway. Also make sure the correct IP scheme is used for your network (192.168.1.x or 10.0.1.x). To adjust the IP of a camera you can use the Configuration tool that is provided in the CD that comes with the camera. Start the config tool and hit the refresh button to search for the camera (the default address is usually 192.168.1.108). Once found double click it and log in using the default password “admin”. You can quickly change the IP of the camera and continue to do it for every camera you add on. Just make sure you only plug one camera in at a time or you will get a IP conflict.

3. How to change the resolution of the Camera

There are many different cameras that we sell that work at different resolutions. Most of them you can adjust using your DVR but when it comes to IP, the camera does all of the work. To adjust the resolution of an analog camera you need to go to the DVR and navigate to Main Menu>Settings, and then encoding. In this menu you can not only change the resolution but also change the amount of frames, the bit rate, and change the extra stream. The reason for changing your resolution is because not all DVR’s can record at max resolution and a high frame rate. Most analog DVR’s tell you how many frames you can have per channel at max resolution. For example, out DVR-LT16480MHD can handle 16 cameras at 30 frames per second at D1 resolution and our DVR-EL16480ME can only handle 16 cameras at 7 frames per second at D1 resolution. With IP cameras the encoding is done in the camera and the NVR is just the storage. The NVR’s do have a max bandwidth they can receive so when connecting cameras to the NVR you have to do some calculations to figure out what resolution to set the camera to. You can set the resolution of the camera on though it’s own web service but for this article I will explain how to do it thought the NVR. Once you connect the camera to the NVR you can go to the Main Menu>Settings, and then Encode. From here you can adjust the resolution, frames per second, Bit Rate, and the Extra Stream for remote viewing. When calculating the resolution for all the cameras you connect to you NVR you also need to consider the Bit Rate. Doing so will help you apply more cameras to the NVR without taking to much from the picture.

This article was created to help people understand there DVR’s, NVR’s AND cameras better so you can do more with your system without having to search through the whole manual to find or call tech support and take more time out of your day. We sell our technology to help make your lives easier, not more confusing. This is the first of multiple FAQ articles that will help you understand the basics of your devices. If you have a more complex problem please call out tech support line for further explanation at 866-573-8878.

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Frame Rate vs Resolution in Security DVRs – Which is More Important

Written By:
Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

When configuring a DVR a very common question is what is the difference between frame rate and resolution and which is more important to have at a higher rate? Of course my answer is it depends… Both are very important but, depending on what you want to use the cameras for is which is more important than the other.

Now to begin you really need to understand what frame rate is. We will take a trip back in time to the 1800’s when cameras were first invented. They only took one picture at a time. The mechanism and film were designed that way. It was a physical limitation for decades. It was tedious and horribly long with the extra processing steps. You had to have fairly dangerous chemicals to actually develop the pictures. To take a picture, people had to stand as perfectly still as possible, because the camera’s shutter speed was so slow and the film need exposure times of ten minutes to an hour depending on the film. As film paper became more sensitive to light it reacted faster, so shutter speeds eventually had to be faster. I remember in the 1980’s the hot thing was Kodak High speed film. What set them apart from everybody else for a few years was Kodak figured out a way to get the film paper extremely sensitive. Coupled with cameras that had extremely fast shutter speeds Kodak figured out to how to take out the blur you may get when objects are moving. The pictures coming out of the Olympics that year were amazing there were no blur and the images extremely crisp. The faster shutter speed means a camera can take more pictures per second. Better film allowed for this by being more responsive to less light. A fact that is not well known by people is that the faster the shutter speed the less light comes in the iris which will create dim images.

Resolution is a separate aspect of the image compared to frame rate. CIF is 320 X 240 pixels. 2CIF is 720 X 240 pixels. 2CIF is a wider image than CIF depending on the need is if you would pick the wider shot or standard CIF. VGA is 640 X 480 pixels. D1 is 720 X 480 pixels. As image processing has improved the pixels have increased. With more pixels the colors become more vibrant and the images more clear. To better understand the clarity parts pixels are a very tiny piece of the puzzle known as your picture. The more pixels you can get the smaller the piece gets to represent that part of the picture. The down side is that this increases the need for better hardware to handle the increased load of imaging, which of course drives the price higher. That said the saying, “you get what you pay for”, could not be truer with DVR systems.

Resolution Comparisons

Now that we understand what both frame rate and resolution really are we can determine which is more important per the application. A few months ago I was helping a customer that had a DVR-EL4120ME. This DVR is capable of all the analog resolutions and the D1 at 7 frame rate but CIF at 30 frames per second. . I will say “John” was using this system to monitor a manufacturing process. The issue he was running into was that he was getting blurry images so he called his tech support GURU Daniel (that’s me). He goes on to describe what he is doing and the images he is getting. I logged into his system to see what he described. His process was happening so fast that he was not really getting an image of what he wanted, so I asked what is more important the resolution or frame rate. John said, “Gee I really don’t know. I thought resolution but with the images I’m getting I need help.” I told him no problem I have the knowledge to get it right. Instead of running the DVR at D1 and 7 frames per second, let’s adjust the system to CIF at 30 frames per second. POOF!!! Just like that the conveyor belt that was carrying some electronic device to be soldered could be seen. It was not about seeing exactly what was being soldered but making sure the robotic arm was hitting the part in time as it passed by. In minutes I was able to take John from not being that satisfied of a customer to being ecstatic about his equipment.

An example of the resolution being more important than frame rate is in monitoring your cash register. In many if not all retail environments keeping a close eye on the money is important. Typically people are not moving at warp speed so they do not look like a blur on camera. Giving way to frames per second while boosting resolution. Being able to make out the print on the one hundred, twenty, ten, five, and one dollar bills is important. People make mistakes on both sides of the register. The clerk gave the wrong change, the customer paid with the wrong bill etc. Now all of a sudden being able to make out the print is a big deal, so you know without a doubt who gave what to who.

Cash register

I can tell you having a customer have a meltdown at the main register is really not good so, as a manager you need a way to quickly defuse the situation before it carries over to other customers. Having your DVR configured to the highest resolution lets you see the 10, the 20, the 50, and 100 dollar bills. You can go back to where the DVR is setup, review the footage and know with confidence what happened or who made the mistake. Also, you can show the customer in real time “who” made the mistake.

Now you know the difference between resolution to frame rate and in which applications makes either feature more important. Should you run into a scenario when you are not able to compromise, IP cameras typically are the way to go. They support the mega pixel resolutions which are considerable higher than analog as well as 30 frame rate per second.

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How to optimize your DVR for Recording

Written By:
Thursday, May 1st, 2014

Many customers always ask questions about how to make the DVR more efficient. A lot of these questions are related to recording space, motion detection and bandwidth.

Today I will write about some of the settings I consider the most important to make your DVR more efficient, from disc capacity, motion detection and quality of recording.

DVR-LT04120-Front-350

How many days you want to store?

Having an Idea of how many days you want to get from a security system is crucial, because it will determine how much space is required to accomplish your recording day goals.

I always picture the storage size I need based on the amount of cameras I am installing in the DVR, also where they are going to be installed. The reason for this is because having cameras installed in places where there is a lot of movement it means more storage will be used, therefore more space is required.

Another variable I will take into account is the resolution and how should I be recording in the DVR;  Fundamentally you have 2 options, based on motion or continuous record (24/7 non stop)

Motion Detection, Alarm and Continuous Recording

All of our DVRs have the capability of using different types of schedule recording. You can, in theory record using different methods depending of your needs, i.e you could configure your DVR to record on motion, continuous, at certain times, a combination of both or even when an external alarm is triggered if connected to the DVR.

Motion is the common type of recording that customers choose when setting up the DVR and this will be the best scenario when it comes to save space and achieve your goal.

You could also save more space by configuring the DVR to record only when alarms are triggered then have a camera activate video recording when these devices get triggered. This is ideal for areas that no one is supposed to be there, such as a private vault or an office, where they need to open a door or pass through an area that will force to activate the alarm contact. This is ONLY ideal for those cases where you don’t want people to know that you are recording and there are no camera or visible alarms.

Continuous recording are considered the most hard drive space consuming when it comes to saving space. The system will record regardless if there is any object in front of the camera or if a camera is connected physically to the DVR. This method on the other hand is used in specific areas such as banks and heavy pedestrian traffic.

How to avoid false motion detection events?

Many times you will get false motion detection creating empty files in your drive and when searching for events like this can be very difficult because they are just like regular motion events. To minimized these types of false motion events there are a few settings we can adjust to reduce false events.

Anti Dither:

Anti-dither is a feature that is been around for decades and its function is to delay a trigger. To explain this much better imagine that you are going to take a picture and you setup a timer in your camera. In CCTV when DVRs are configured by motions you can set each camera to have a delay when something is on front of it. By having this set to 5 seconds as a test, then the object that will eventually trigger motion needs to be on front of the camera or in frame for 5 seconds for the DVR to realize that there is something in there. After this threshold is met then the camera will activate its motion feature then it will start recording.

Sensitivity:

Sensitivity is a parameter that will help you adjust how the camera senses motion based on object size. The lower the sensitivity the bigger the object needs to be and also the closer it needs to be of the camera to be detected. The higher the sensitivity level of the camera, the smaller the object is needed to trigger motion.

Region or Mask: 

When it comes to avoiding any type of false motion events, using region on a DVR will do the trick. This is basically setting spots on a check marked frame that you want to have no detection at all. Imagine the camera is installed in your backyard and is looking at trees in the background. Your crucial breaking points where possible intruders could get in is in the foreground of the same area. Then when trees move it will cause a lot of motion events just because of the fact that there are changes in the pixels, therefore the DVR will recognize that as a motion event. One thing you can do is use region to mask the background area where the trees are and the camera will basically omit that region in the image. Also notice that if motion is triggered in the foreground area and it meets the threshold of the Anti-dither, then you will have a motion event with the trees in the background as well. In another words, region does not remove part of the video if motion is detected, instead is just an algorithm that tells the DVR to not detect anything within the region.

Below a video that demonstrate how to mask an area:

embedded by Embedded Video

YouTube Direkt

The biggest challenge of motion detection configuration is to find the settings that do not produce false alarms and at the same time do not miss any actual intrusions. The rule of thumb is: the sensitivity should be as high as possible while not producing false alarms and also adjusting the sensitivity according to the environment. The default sensitivity level of our Security Camera Kind DVRs is 3 (on a scale of 0-6) and it is a good setting for most standard cases.

Follow this link to find a great calculator to figure out what storage size you need for your DVR and NVR.

CCTV HARD DRIVE CALCULATOR HERE

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