Posts Tagged ‘ DVR’



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.

Wiz
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.

Search:
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.

Search
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.

Backup:
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.

Logout:
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.

Reboot:
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.

Shutdown
Picture 10 – Shutdown page.

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Sending Snapshots by E-mail From a DVR When Triggered by Motion Events

Written By:
Friday, January 2nd, 2015

In this article we are going to use an HD-CVI system, particularly our 16CH HD-CVI DVR (DVR-CVI16480M), to send snapshots by e-mail when motion occurs.  Some people have expressed interest in receiving emails triggered by motion in a snapshot for their reference.  Keep in mind that any changes in pixels can constitute motion, so a bug could set it off.  Anti-dither and sensitivity settings can be adjusted to counter some of these unwanted motion creators.  Also, you can adjust the region to filter out a street with moving cars or other continuous motion areas, for example.  In the region area, you can unselect all boxes and select just one box to trip the motion as a means to filter out unwanted motion.  If the goal is to have motion detect a person, you can just use the region boxes that someone will likely walk through.  With all of that being said, let’s move on to the settings.

Network Email Section

We are going to take into account that the Digital Video Recorder (DVR) has internet access and has been set up with an Ethernet cable connected to a router so that it can send emails.  The Digital Video Recorder (DVR) needs to communicate with an SMTP server from a service like Gmail.  We are going to focus on using Gmail’s SMTP settings since the accounts are free.  Anyone that does not have an account can choose to set one up only for use with the DVR.  Most smartphones and devices allow for multiple email accounts, so having your Digital Video Recorder (DVR) separated from your main email is not necessarily a bad thing.

emailtab

In the Network sub section “EMAIL,” smtp.gmail.com needs to be set as the SMTP server on port 465.  The Encrypt type needs to be SSL as well for this to work.  The username and sender section should have youraccount@gmail.com along with your password for this account.  You can then choose any email recipient on any network like Gmail, Hotmail, MSN, AOL, etc.  Make sure the attachment box is checked so that the email service can send an attachment.  This is very important in order to send snapshots.  You can test your email account at this point to make sure it is working.  If it is not working, you may have to go into your Gmail account and enable it to send from this IP address.  There could be a security measure in place from Google that restricts you from sending emails from the Digital Video Recorder (DVR).  They are trying to prevent spam, and may think that you are a spammer until you allow it.  There may be a warning in the settings area of your Gmail account with this information.

Motion Detect Section

In the Detect area of Event, there are three checkboxes that are important to allow snapshots to be sent to an email address.  First off, it needs to be enabled for the channel that you want to send the email.  If you only want to receive emails from camera one and camera three, then you need to click the enable box for those channels.  Also, you need to make sure you check the Snapshot box and the send Email box for the desired channels.  If you ever feel like you want to start over with this section, just default the section in System > Detect > Event.  You can default any area of the Digital Video Recorder (DVR) in the Default section.

detecttab

Schedule Snapshot Section

The Snapshot area under Schedule needs to be set to react to motion.  This is important in order for the motion snapshot to be created.  Make sure you set this for all days, and all channels that you want to send a snapshot based on motion.  Note that this tab is different from the Record tab where you set the recorded video options.

scheduletab

Record Section

In the Record area of Storage, some of the DVRs have a Snapshot option that needs to be enabled to allow snapshot recording on the desired channel.  This is required and works like master on / off switch.  It will use up some hard drive space, so only check it for the channels where you plan to send a snapshot to your email address.

recordtab

Encode Snapshot Section

The Snapshot section of Encode is used to define the parameters of the snapshot.  The two most important fields in this section are the Mode and the Interval.  The Mode should be set to Trigger to indicate that the snapshot is created in reaction to a motion detection event.  The Interval is how often a snapshot should be created.  It is recommended to set that to 30 seconds since you do not need to generate more than one snapshot based upon an event in that time frame.

encodetab

This article was created out of necessity since we discovered a strange issue when these step by step settings were not in place.  In that case from a particular customer, the snapshot from this Digital Video Recorder (DVR) was taken 5 seconds before the motion was created.  These settings produce results as you would expect where the motion creator is captured in the snapshot.  If you need to capture a snapshot of someone walking through a screen door for example, you may need to focus on the region area of encode for the desired camera.  You can set a very small region of one or two boxes to trip the motion, so you know that a person would be standing in a particular area.  You can be very creative with the region setting to control when the motion event is created.

An email snapshot of motion events is becoming a popular request.  While any SMTP information in the email networking area could work, our tests are always done with Gmail information.  We have heard some people having issues with the header time stamps while using some smaller Internet Service Provider’s SMTP servers.  We have not seen any issues with our Digital Video Recorders (DVRs) sending mail using a Gmail account.

If you have any issues with sending email snapshots from a Digital Video Recorder (DVR) or Network Video Recorder (NVR), contact our tech support team through a service request ticket, or calling directly at 866-573-8878, Option 3.

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Streaming Audio From A Mini Economy Series DVR To TechProSS App!

Written By:
Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

Audio-Recording-on-a-DVR

As some of you may know already we offer many different series of DVRs such as the Elite Series, Ultimate Series, etc. The specific unit I will be talking about is our 16 Channel DVR, the DVR-EL16480ME. This DVR is part of the Elite Mini Economy Series. Now, for whom streaming audio is important, there is one minor setback to this particular unit as it can only record one channel of audio. You can only enable audio on Channel 1 and no other channel. Even if you disable audio on channel 1 you cannot enable it on say Channel 2 or 3, ONLY Channel 1. If that does not deter you from this unit, there is a feature that, in my opinion, is pretty neat. You can stream audio from the unit to the TechProSS app on your phone. This way, when you want to log into your DVR from your phone, you can hear the live audio streaming to your device. If you really think about it, this set up will work on most of our DVRs. However I had a customer refer to this unit, so I will use it in my demonstration. Also, other units will be able to record/enable audio on more than one channel, depending on the DVR.

The setup I will use to demonstrate this requires a few things:

  1. DVR-EL16480ME
  2. Analog Camera
  3. BNC Video cable or a Plug and play cable with Audio
  4. 2x RCA-M-BNC-F
  5. 12V2A Power Supply
  6. Microphone
  7. Smart Phone w/ TechProSS App

Given that you have all the necessary equipment, you are ready to set it up and enjoy. The DVR will come with its own power supply in the box, so go ahead and get the unit booted up so you can see the display on your monitor. Next step is to plug your camera in and make sure all is operating smoothly. Remember, the camera you would like to hear the audio on needs to be on Channel 1 with this unit. I will express this again, there is no way to hear audio on any other channel than Channel 1. Once these steps are complete you are ready to hook up the cable for audio.

Let me take a second to explain that the way I am doing this is for testing purposes only. I am using about a 6 foot piece of BNC cable with two RCA-M-BNC-F connectors connected on opposite ends, converting this BNC video cable to an audio cable with RCA adapters on both ends. The ideal way I would do this is to buy the BNC plug and play cables we offer with audio wired in. You will still plug everything in the same place, just the BNC plug and play is more ideal for running cable 100’ or more. This way you don’t need to run a separate cable, it will all be wrapped into one.

Now, your microphone will have two connections on it. There is one female RCA plug and one male 12vDC plug. This is where the 12V2A power supply will come in handy in my situation. In your situation, or any situation where the plug and play is used, you will need a Y-splitter to split the power coming from the 12V power supply, one to the camera and one to the mic. For testing, I will use a separate 12V2A power supply to power the microphone.

In addition, the two RCA-M-BNC-F connectors will turn the BNC video cable into an audio cable. One end plugs into the mic and the other end to the audio input of the DVR. As you see below, this is what the connection should look like with the cable going to the mic and to the audio input on the DVR. You can also see where you connect the 12V to the red connection of the mic.

Audio Art. 2

Now that all your connections are made, you are ready to set it up at the DVR itself. I will walk you through the steps to configure audio on Channel 1 first, then we will get to the app. Right-click>Main Menu>log in>Go to settings>Encode and make sure Channel 1 is selected. Then make sure that “Audio/Video” is highlighted. This is what enables the audio on Channel 1 and allows the DVR to record it. See picture below. Now that you have that selected, click “Ok” and go to the main screen where you see all 16 channels. Here at this screen you will not hear any audio, that is so you won’t be bothered by the audio all the time while you are viewing multiple cameras. Now, double-click on your Camera 1, you should hear the live audio now. There is another way, if you want to watch all 16 cameras and still hear Channel 1’s audio. Click one time on Channel 1 to select it and you should hear the audio. Thats all she wrote, it was that easy, but now lets get into the app.

FullSizeRender (3)

First thing is first, you must download the app. I will be using the free version TechproSS Lite, although you may use either version you prefer. The difference between the two is, the free version you can not view recorded footage and you cannot set push notifications to alert your phone, whereas the version you must pay for can do these things. So once you have downloaded the app, go ahead and open it up. I am using an iPhone 5s, but it is the same for android.

IMG_3867

When you open the app you should see the screen above. To start, we need to add the DVR to your app. At the top left of the screen, click on the four white windows to the left of “Live Preview”. The next screen will be as shown below. Now, click “Device Manager” and that is where the list of your DVRs would be if you had any. Click Add and then Manually Add, unless you are using DDNS. This brings you to the screen where you will add the DVR/NVR. From here, name the DVR, type the IP address of the DVR, leave “Port” at 37777, “Username” admin, “Password” admin (all lower case), and very important make sure the channel amount is accurate or it will not log into your DVR. Once all the correct information is added, you may click save. Now, you will see your DVR named the way you chose under Device Manager.

IMG_3883

Now that you have your DVR added properly you may click back to the menu above. This time you will click on Live Preview and you will see the very first screenshot I showed you of the app above. Go ahead and click the plus sign in Channel 1’s window. It will ask you to select a device, choose your DVR and then choose Channel 1. Given everything is set up properly you should see your camera in the first window. Double click on your live camera and look for the icon that looks like this (below Left). Once you have found it, click on it, it should now look like this. (Below Right).

Audio Art.1

That is all, you should now be able to hear live audio streaming to your device. You will be able to hear this audio either on the WiFi or externally. To allow this to work externally, a few things need to be done first. I will be brief on this. First, you must port forward your TCP port within your router (Port: 37777). Once that is done properly (call our tech support line 866.573.8878 they will do this for you if need be), you need to add another device under device manager in the app for the same DVR. Only thing that changes is that you must use your external IP address. Hope this article has been informative, for more help with port forwarding download our free article, “Port Forwarding 101″.

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How to Back Up your DVR to an FTP Server

Written By:
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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