Posts Tagged ‘ DVR ’

Why Do I Need A Security Camera System?

Written By:
Tuesday, April 7th, 2015


When speaking to customers, I often get the question of “why do I need a security camera system in my location”.  My simple answer is that video evidence is the most powerful tool a prosecution attorney can get, as long as the video is of high quality.  Now there are so many different types and qualities of systems on the market.  Remember that you often do get what you pay for.

Now I am not saying that every homeowner needs a “department of defense” quality camera system.  They should have some sort of protection to give them piece of mind when not at their property.  With all of the Techpro Security Products DVRs (Digital Video Recorders) and NVRs ( Network Video Recorders) on the market, you get the ability to remotely monitor your property from anywhere in the world you have internet connection, as long as your property has an Internet connection itself.

Another thing that is awesome about Techpro Security Products security recorders is that with a purchase of a new recorder, Techpro Security will give you a free DDNS account.  A DDNS is a dynamic domain name system, which means that no matter what your IP address is, you will be able to reach your property.  Generally most homes and properties get a Dynamic IP address from their ISP (Internet Service Provider), and now you do not need to spend extra money to have a static IP address.

Now if you are a business owner, you really should look into a higher quality system as it can help to protect your business in more ways than just outside threats.  With any camera system in a business you will naturally help to keep your employees honest.  You will also notice less loss of product as when normal customers know they are being watched, they are more likely to not do the wrong thing.  With a camera system you can generally talk to your insurance company and they should help lower your rates.  This also can help you to settle workman’s comp claims, as you have video evidence of what took place.  Camera systems can also help to stifle frivolous law suits by customers and their “slip and falls”.  Not only can a camera system help to protect you if your location is targeted by thieves, it can help you to keep your costs lower by minimizing your cost of doing business.

I am not saying that cameras are needed on every single corner of every street, but I am saying the more camera systems that are being utilized the less likely people are to do something than if they thought no one was watching.  I understand that the more cameras the government has, the more likely they are to be utilized to police people without really being present.  I know there are shows like People of Interest, where a computer utilizes every camera to locate and track people.  Currently, the government has not let us know this is possible, but I wouldn’t doubt it if they have been working on this technology.  Now the more private systems that are properly locked down, the less need for government systems there are.

When I put my camera system into my house, my neighbors freaked out!  This was a tough sell to most of the neighbors, that is until there were a rash of break-ins in my neighborhood.  No houses in my direct vicinity got touched.  Can I directly take credit for their properties not being touch, No.  But when a fellow neighbor captured the perpetrators vehicle on camera and informed me of what to be on the lookout for, that gave me something to go on.  When I spotted the vehicle coming into the neighborhood, I was able to alert the authorities to what was happening.  While I was informing the police of what I saw, I heard of an alarm call coming in from my neighborhood and I was able to describe what the authorities were looking for.  Ever since then there has been no real crime in my neighborhood, especially by my house.  These events helped to change the minds of my neighbors.

If you want to learn more about our Techpro Security Products security camera systems click here.


Use Smart PSS instead of Web Service

Written By:
Thursday, April 2nd, 2015


Use Smart PSS instead of Web Service

Smart PSS excels at Live viewing and playback.  In tech support, we really like that web service for configuration changes, and that is where it should be used as a quick way to make changes.  However, the Smart PSS is superior for viewing Live video and playback.  First off, you do not have to worry about installing the web plugin, active x, compatibility views, or any other computer related issue in getting that plugin to work.  You just install the executable file on PC or MAC, and you have software designed to manage all your Digital Video Recorders (DVR)s, Network Video Recorders (NVR)s, and cameras in one centralized software program.  You get the same interface in PC and MAC, so learning the interface one time will work for both platforms.  Let’s gets started and go through the main benefits.

Manage all your devices in one place

The Device Manager allows you to add up to 50 Digital Video Recorders (DVR)s, Network Video Recorders (NVR)s, and cameras.  This is convenient if you have a business that has more than one DVR or NVR, or you want to use a local IP address and an external IP address in one software platform.  It is a good idea to have a DVR at Home and a DVR away so that you can use your Wi-Fi while you are at home for faster access to the DVR.  If you have more than one DVR or NVR, then this is where the SmartPSS really shines.


Create views for one or many DVRs and NVRs

viewsCreating a view is very easy in SmartPSS.  You simply drag the cameras that you want to any window.  This is very useful if you want to rearrange the order of your cameras without doing any changes to the back of the DVR or NVR.  Then you can save your views and have a quick access one click way to get to them.  What makes this really special is that you can create a view from multiple DVRs and NVRs.  For example, let’s say you own a dry cleaner business and have four locations.  You can create a view called “front counters” and list all four counters from the four store locations.  If you only have one DVR, you can utilize the view feature to create different views for different needs.  Perhaps, you have multiple storage locations that you want to set up in one view that you only check occasionally.  Or perhaps you want to customize your main Live view, then drag it to your second monitor, and then make it full screen so you can see your specific cameras at all times.  Once you get started created views, the options are endless and you will find that more customization will allow you to organize your security.

Smart PSS is an excellent tool for playback and saving video

In the playback section, you select your date and cameras and hit the search button.  You will now see a timeline at the bottom of the screen providing that you are recording 24/7, and will have the option to synchronize video between windows.  If you selected more than one camera to search, start playing one camera and click the synchronize button to synchronize all the video feeds.  Let’s say you searched for 4 cameras and want to watch synchronized video on all 4 at 10AM.  Click on 10AM on the first timeline and then hit the synchronize button, and all four videos will automatically synchronize at that time.

If you find something that you want to save, click the scissors on the right to start a snip. Then select an ending spot on the timeline and click the scissors a second time.  This will bring up a dialog box where you get to choose a save location on your hard drive.  It will create one file the length of your snipped selection.  Another option for saving videos is to click the Event button on the left to see all the files that make up your timeline.  Every hour is one file, so you can select which hours and cameras that you want based on your search criteria.  Also, by seeing the file sizes, you can do the math to determine the amount of Hard Drive space you will use while recording with all your cameras.  Many people have expressed interest in determining their Hard Drive usage, and Smart PSS is an excellent tool for that use as well.  All you need is one day of recording, and all cameras set at the same encoding settings to determine the hard drive space needed.  This is a very important feature for our I-502 (Washington’s Marijuana Recreational Law) customers.


Everything changes if you are using motion recording.  Every motion event is one file and you will not be able to synchronize video since all motion events will be at different times.   If you are trying to play slivers of video created by motion, use the magnifying option to zoom in on the timeline to make it easy to select those video files.


What is the Accounts section of Smart PSS

There is a default account of username admin with a password of admin.  This account has nothing to do with your DVR or NVR.  This software is designed to manage multiple devices, so the passwords for those devices are controlled in Devices under Settings.  The user section of the software is for you to control the accessibility of the software program.  You can eliminate buttons and options at the software level to control accessibility to the DVR or NVR. This gives you some flexibility limiting control at the Software level since you can use one admin login at the DVR level if you wish, and still lock down computers and the software to prevent certain functionality.


Techpro Security Products DVRs and NVRs – Overview of the New Menu System – Part 3

Written By:
Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

In this article we’re going to continue the overview of the newest menu system in TechPro Security Products DVRs (Digital Video Recorder) and NVRs (Network Video Recorder). The new system is set up to allow you to navigate the menu more easily through the use of links on most pages. If you have missed the previous articles in this 3 part series, you can read Part 1 of the DVR/NVR menu system here and Part 2 here.

In this article will be examining the features which are available through the bottom row of the main menu; the SETTINGS menu pages (see Picture 1). This portion of the menu system is very important because it’s going to allow you to configure how the DVR or NVR will be operating. This row of the menu has five main categories are Camera, Network, Event, Storage and System. This article will go over the first 2 (Camera and Network). Part 4 of this series will go over the remaining (Event, Storage, and System).

Main Menu
Picture 1

TechPro Security Products DVR and NVR Menu – Camera

This is the selection from the left side of the SETTINGS row of the main menu. Each of the other SETTINGS categories can easily be accessed through the links at the top of the page.

Image: (see Picture 2)

The settings on this page will allow you to affect the video in several ways for both live video and the way it’s recorded. These settings can be set up on a per camera basis and it can even be set up differently for different periods of the day. The way that most of these settings will affect the video differ slightly based on several variables such as lighting conditions and the range to the cameras target.

The more advanced settings are located at the bottom of this page. The previously mentioned variables are examples of some of the situations where these settings can be most beneficial. The ways that most of these settings can be helpful is fairly obvious although the bottom two options can use a little explanation.

The 2D NR and 3D NR both provide a digital noise reduction throughout the cameras view at different layers. The 2D noise reduction slider bar performs this function on 2 layers, while the 3D accomplishes this in 3 dimensions though out the entire image.

Picture 2

Encode: (see Picture 3.)
This menu page will allow you to configure the different video and audio streams that your DVR or NVR is processing. The settings for the main stream are located along the left side of this page. This column of settings is where you will set up the higher video quality for recording to any hard drives installed in the unit.

The column of settings along the right side of the page will allow you to set up the sub stream or extra stream for your desired purpose. This stream will use less bandwidth for data transmission because this stream uses lower resolutions. This stream is particularly useful when you’re remotely connecting to the recording device from a computer and/or mobile device, as it can help avoid latency issues.

The drop down menu labeled as ‘Type’ will give you the option of selecting Regular, MD (Motion Detection) or Alarm. These options will allow you to configure this page for each of these triggers for recording.

When you open the resolution drop down menu, you will see the highest resolution that is available on your DVR or NVR shown at the top of the list. The lowest resolution option will be shown at the bottom of the menu.

The Bit Rate is where you can set the speed of the data transmission from your cameras.

The Audio/Video check boxes enable those types of signals for the main stream, extra stream or both.

Picture 3

Cam Name: (see Picture 4.):
This menu page is where you can set the name for each channel. This will be displayed in the corner of each camera’s view.

Picture 4

Channel Type: (see Picture 5.)
This page will allow you to select what type of camera or cabling will be used for connecting a camera to each channel. This page is not available on all models of DVRs or NVRs.

Coax – This should only be selected if you’re using RG-59 or RG-6 to transfer the video from the camera to the DVR.

UTP – This option should only be selected if you’re using Ethernet cable with baluns designed specifically for use with HD-CVI cameras

IP – This option should be selected if you’re using IP cameras on this channel.

Picture 5

TechPro Security Products DVR and NVR Menu – Network

This section of the menu system will allow to customize the way that your DVR or NVR interact with the network where it’s connected.

TCP/IP: (see Picture 6.)
You will need to enter your network’s Default gateway here, as well as a unique IP address based on that IP scheme. For example, if your default gateway is then would be a viable IP address as long as it’s not in use by another device on your network. Most of the rest of the info here will stay the same as the default settings.

This page will also list the MAC address of the recording device.

Picture 6

Connection: (see Picture 7.)
This menu page shows the ports that are currently being used by your DVR or NVR in order to establish a connection with a remote device. The only port that is usually changed is the HTTP port. It is most commonly changed to 88. The HTTP port and the TCP port need to be forwarded through your network’s firewall before you can remotely connect to your recording device from outside the network where it’s located. The most common reason for our customers to contact our tech support team is for assistance with this process.

Picture 7

DDNS: (see Picture 8.)
This menu page will allow you to configure your DVR or NVR to work with a DDNS service.

By default, most external IP addresses are dynamic. This means that the IP address can change for a variety of reasons and it will not be possible to connect remotely until you find out the new IP address. A DDNS account can eliminate this problem.

Picture 8

IP Filter: (see Picture 9.)
This menu page will allow you to block specified IP address from remotely connecting to your DVR or NVR.

Picture 9

Email: (see Picture 10.)
This menu page is where you can configure the recording device to work with an email address. If you have any issues with the set up then you should contact our tech support department.

Picture 10

Stay tuned for Part 4 of this series that will finish up the rest of the menu settings. If you wish, click the box below to be notified of new posts on this blog.


Techpro Security Products DVRs and NVRs – Overview of the New Menu System – Part 2

Written By:
Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

This article will continue the complete overview of the most recent menu system in TechPro Security Products newest NVRs (Network Video Recorders) and DVRs (Digital Video Recorders). If you missed Part 1 of the series click here. This new menu system is designed to allow you to interact with your recorder more efficiently and quickly once you are familiar with it.

In this article we will be examining the features available through the second row of the main menu; the INFO menu pages (see Picture 1). This section of the menu will provide you with some very useful information about your system and the way it’s operating. There are four main categories shown here – System, Event, Network and Log.

Info - Main
Picture 1

TechPro Security Products DVR and NVR Menu – System

This is the first selection on the info row of the main menu. It will give you information about different aspects of your recording device. You can easily access other pages within the INFO category of the menu by clicking on the page names along the top of any page with in the category. For example, you can get to the Event, Network or Log pages of the INFO category by clicking on that button along the top of this page. This is a big part of how this new menu system will allow you to navigate the menu quicker and easier.

HDD: (see Picture 2)
Here you will see some useful information about the hard drives which are installed in your DVR or NVR. You will see the size of the hard drives, how much free space currently remains on the hard drives, the current status of the any hard drive present, and the S.M.A.R.T status report. The S.M.A.R.T category (Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology) is particularly useful because it checks the hard drive or drives for any indication that a malfunction may occur in the relatively near future.

This page will also show you if any storage devices are currently being recognized by the DVR or NVR. A ‘o’ will be shown under one of the numbers instead of a dash. This indication is separated to indicate if the storage device is attached to the recorder by an internal Sata or external eSata connection.

Info HDD
Picture 2

Record: (see Picture 3.)
This page will show you the record times on each hard drive installed in your DVR or NVR. It also shows you this info for the combined storage area.

Picture 3

BPS: (see Picture 4.)
The BPS (Bits Per Second) page can help you to monitor the bit rates of the video being transmitted by each channel with in your recording device. It will also show the video resolution being transmitted.

Picture 4

Version: (see Picture 5.)
This menu page displays information about the recording device that you have. The number of video channels, alarm inputs, and alarm outputs which your DVR or NVR has is also shown here. You may already know some of the information mentioned above but at some point you may also need to refer to this menu page in order to learn the system version (firmware version), hardware version, and/or build date for your unit.

Picture 5

TechPro Security Products DVR and NVR Menu – Event: (See Picture 6.)

You can visit this menu page in order to learn about any events happening on your DVR or NVR at the current time. This page can provide you with data about the status of any hard drives installed in the unit, if the unit is currently connected to a network and the status of any of the channels.

This page of the menu will tell you the status of any alarms connected directly to your DVR or NVR. If you have a NVR then you can also monitor any alarm inputs or alarm outputs on your IP cameras.

Picture 6

TechPro Security Products DVR and NVR Menu – Network

Online users (see Picture 7.)
This menu page will provide you with a list of the users which are currently logged into the DVR or NVR from a remote device. These users are listed by their IP address and username which they are using to log into the recording device. This page also allows you to disconnect and/or block a selected user for an amount of time which determine.

Info-network-online users
Picture 7

Load: (see Picture 8)
This page will show you the connection status of any network ports that are on your DVR or NVR. The MAC address for each connection port is also displayed toward the top of this page. The bottom portion of this page will display a graph representing the data being transmitted and received between your recording device and your network in real time.

Picture 8

Test: (see Picture 9.)
This menu page will give you the capacity to test how your recording device is interacting with your network. The top portion of the page will allow you to be sure that your DVR or NVR is properly connected to your network by pinging your router’s IP address. This feature will also tell you the average delay, which is an indication of the connection speed between your DVR or NVR and your network’s router.

Users with advanced networking knowledge can gain additional information through the bottom part of this page. This part of the interface will let you export a list of the data packets being sent to a thumb drive. This can be done in order to have them analyzed through third party software.

Picture 9

TechPro Security Products DVR and NVR Menu – Log: (see Picture 10.)

This menu page will you allow you to search logs based on time, date, and/or the type of log event. The log events will give you a record of any issues occurring with video loss from any channels, hard drives issues, the recording device or a network connection. This information will be shown by time and date, even if the issue is intermittent.

Picture 10

In the third and final part of this article, I’ll be going over the SETTING portion of the main menu. This portion of the menu deals with configuring your DVR or NVR to record your video footage in the manner that you desire. This part of the menu will also allow you to set your DVR or NVR up to work with any network or alarms connected to it.


Techpro Security Products DVRs and NVRs – Overview of the New Menu System – Part 1

Written By:
Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

The menu system in all Techpro Security Products DVRs and NVRs has been very similar over the past few years, with little variation regardless of the model or the type of system that it’s designed to accommodate. The older menu system was great but recently several improvements have been made to it. Once an operator makes the adjustment to the changes then it’s easy to appreciate how the improvements actually make the system easier to navigate and operate. Hopefully this overview article will help you to understand and appreciate these changes.

After you have connected a monitor and mouse to the DVR or NVR and powered up the unit, the first thing you’ll see is the startup wizard (see Picture 1). The first thing that you should do is to cancel out of this feature.

Picture 1 – Start up wizard.

Once that has been done you should right click anywhere on the screen. This will bring up a small menu (see Picture 2) and selecting Main Menu from the bottom of it will bring you to the log in box (see Picture 3).

popup menu
Picture 2 – Pop-up menu.

Clicking in the password field of the log in window will bring up a virtual key board. The user name is the default password – so the password for the admin account is admin. The password for the 888888 account is 888888. The admin account and the 888888 account are the only two that will give you full admin privileges. The default user accounts should never be deleted, although their passwords can be changed.

Log in
Picture 3 – Log in window.

Once you’re logged into the recording unit, the first page you will see is the Main Menu (see Picture 4). This menu page has twelve selection icons which are separated into three rows. The respective rows are labeled as Operation, Info and Setting. The first part of this article will be discussing the Operation row, which includes the Search, Backup and Shutdown selection icons.

Main menu
Picture 4 – Main Menu.

The Search page (see Picture 5) is where you will be able to view your recorded footage and export it if you desire. This interface will offer you several different ways to review your recorded footage.

Picture 5 – Search Page

The first part of this page that you will deal with is the calendar (see Picture 6) in the upper right corner. You will need to select a blue day because these are the days where you have recorded footage.

The next step is to locate the drop down menus below the calendar. The tabs above the drop down menus will allow you to choose how many cameras will be reviewed at the same time. You choose which camera or cameras are reviewed with the drop down menu or menus.

Search calender
Picture 6 – Search calendar.

Once everything described above has been configured correctly, you should see colored sections show up along the search bar (see Picture 7), which is located at the bottom of the page. The type of recorded footage can be determined by using the color key located below the search bar. The bar is divided into 24 sections representing the hours of the day. Simply clicking anywhere in the colored portion of a bar will allow you to see your recorded footage playing.

Search bar
Picture 7 – Search bar.

The buttons (see Picture 8) below the area where your video will show up gives you a nice level of control over your playback.

Playback controls
Picture 8 – Playback controls.

Going from right to left on the control buttons, they will allow you to:

  • Play your video normally.
  • Stop your playback.
  • Play your video in reverse.
  • Step the playback backward frame by frame, once the video is paused.
  • Step the playback forward frame by frame once the video is paused.
  • Play the video slowly in the direction that it’s traveling. There are multiple speeds which can you access through clicking the button more than once.
  • Play the video quickly in the direction that’s traveling. There are multiple speeds which can you access through clicking the button more than once.

This page of the menu system (see Picture 9) will allow you to export segments of recorded video to a thumb drive or other USB storage device which does not draw power through the USB connection. After such a storage device has been inserted in a USB port, the detect button is used to get the DVR or NVR to recognize it. Once this has been done you will see some information about the device will show up.

You can use the button which is labeled as ‘Format’ to prepare your storage device. It will be prepared with the FAT32 format style and this must be done before you can begin backing up your recorded footage.

Back up
Picture 9 – Backup page.

It is also possible to format the storage device through a computer. This is done by connecting the device to a computer and then going to the same page on your computer where you can see your CD drives and hard drives. You should see the recently connected device on this page and you will need to right click on it on order to see the format option.

Shutdown: (see Picture 10)
Selecting this option is the way that you should turn your DVR or NVR off. Turning a recorder off in any other manner has the potential to cause additional strain on the hard drive and possibly shorten its life.

Selecting this option will log the user out of the menu system and lock it. It will not be possible to interact with the menu system again until you log in with one of the user accounts.

This is the selection that you should use in order to restart your DVR or NVR properly. It’s also a good idea to use this feature after you’ve made a significant amount of setting changes. When this action is performed, you will see a message indicting that the DVR or NVR is saving data displayed on the screen.

Picture 10 – Shutdown page.