Posts Tagged ‘ HDMI ’

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.


Where is my Video Signal? Understanding Video Resolution!

Written By:
Thursday, March 26th, 2015

You just purchased a new DVR/NVR and the new unit arrived to your door. The first thing you are anxious to do is to connect the monitor to the unit and start using it. But what a disappointment when you see just a black screen and your monitor does not give you the picture you were expecting. So what happened? Hopefully, this article will explain the issue that a lot of our customers are having when they are trying to connect their new DVR/NVR unit to their existing screen or monitor. You need to understand Video Resolution.

All of our DVR/NVR units have 2 main ports that a customer can use to connect the unit to a monitor or a screen, and those are the HDMI or the VGA port. Some DVR/NVR models have the ‘Spot’ connection but I will explain how to use it later on in this article. Users may think that this is the only information they need to plan the connection of their new DVR/NVR, but when you purchase a unit, there is another piece of information that you should know upon getting ready to connect your new device, for the first time, to your monitor.  Will my monitor work with my DVR/NVR Security Recorder?

hdmi-female-connectorMINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Our DVR/NVR units will support standard market resolutions:

Resolution Standard
800×600* Super VGA (SVGA)
1024×768 Common on 14″/15″ TFT’s and the Apple iPad (XGA)
1280×720 720p (WXGA-H, min.)
1280×1024 Network Computing Devices standart (SXGA)
1920×1080 HD 1080 (1080i, 1080p), FullHD (FHD) (WUXGA)

*Supported by some of our models


In most cases, the first time buyers of DVR/NVRs are trying to connect their existing monitor or TV set to their machine so they can perform an initial setup. The monitor is really needed so you can perform the first configuration of the network. After that, you can access your DVR/NVR from any computer that is connected to the same network as your machine (We have plenty of articles on our web site that will help you with this process). As soon as you start using the “web interface” of the DVR/NVR, you can disconnect the monitor unless you want a separate screen that will monitor your surveillance system.

There were many monitors sold on the market within the years, and when a customer is trying to connect a monitor to his machine, it can be a 14 inch old computer monitor, an old plasma TV or a projector, which are not very current for today’s DVR/NVR machines. The best way to check if your DVR/NVR and the monitor are compatible is to check the “native” resolution of the screen. When purchasing a modern computer monitor screen, there is a very high chance that your monitor will support almost all of the resolutions of our DVRs since they are the market standard. If you already have an old computer monitor, it will probably support one or two resolutions from the table above. With TVs, the story is different since today’s television sets are using “fixed pixel display,” meaning that unlike the computer monitors, they use a fixed number of pixels to produce a picture. Usually the TVs will not support the same amount of resolutions as the computer monitors. Today, new LCD and Plasma TV’s are supporting 1920×1080 resolution. The problem is with older TV’s since the old sets had no full HD capabilities, and a lot came with the second most common resolution 768p (1366×768), which is not supported by our DVR/NVRs. As mentioned before, the trick is to research the specs for a specific unit and check its “native” resolution.

So what are you supposed to do when you connect the DVR/NVR for the first time to your monitor and you don’t get a video signal? Here are a few suggestions!

  1. Plug in a regular computer monitor, 17 inch or bigger, using a VGA or HDMI port.
  2. If you are using the HDMI port, make sure you are using ‘HDMI-1’ since some of our models come with 2 HDMI ports.
  3. If you get video signal and you want to try a different resolution, connect the DVR/NVR to local network first and make sure you can access it via “web service” from any PC. In this case you will have the option to change the resolution back if your DVR will lose the video signal as a result of trying different resolutions. *(Be advised that not all our units have the option to control the display from the “web-interface”)
  4. If connecting to both VGA and HDMI ports at the same time, be advised that both connected monitors will work on same resolution only. If you want a different resolution on each monitor, your only option is to connect the second monitor to ‘HDMI-2’ or ‘Spot Out’ if available on your model.
  5. If you do not see a mouse cursor when connected to the HDMI port, it means that you are connected to HDMI-2, which is the ‘Video Matrix’ (the same as “Spot Out”)

How to use my ‘Spot Out’ monitor?


Sometimes you want to connect a secondary monitor so you can see a different or customized view from the one we can see on your main monitor, and some of our DVR/NVR models have the option to do that. It’s called ‘Spot Out’. The resolution on your spot monitor can be totally different from your main screen and the view is totally customized. If you login into the ‘Main Menu’ and go to ‘System’, you will see ‘Video Matrix’. That’s where you can control your secondary monitor. Example: If you choose a ‘View 4’, make sure that all the check boxes for other views will be unchecked, otherwise it is not going to work.


The bottom line is that if you connect your DVR/NVR for the first time to a screen and you don’t see any video feed, do not immediately assume that something is wrong with your unit. There is no reason to panic. The solution could be very simple and there is no need to RMA the unit. Just contact us for any help with initial connection and setup at 866-573-8878.


Security Camera Monitor

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

The security camera monitor is probably considered one of the most important components of a digital video security system.  Yet, it is not purchased as often as other components like cameras and Digital Video Recorders (DVRs) and today’s systems can actually run without one.  In fact, Security Camera King takes pride in offering a complete digital video security package that includes the cameras, cables, connectors, power supply, and DVR but no monitor.  Why is that?  Read on to find out why, and to learn some other interesting facts about the security camera monitor.

There are three types of security camera monitors based on how they are used.  The first is a set-up monitor.  This monitor is only used when the system is first installed or any future changes are made to the system.  It may come in a variety of styles and sizes.  Security Camera King offers, for example, our product number VX-WLCDM, a 2.5 inch LCD service monitor with a wrist strap.

Use this monitor to aim cameras, choose settings on the DVR, and check connections.  Once the system is set up or the changes are made, the monitor is usually disconnected from the system.

The second type of security camera monitor is called the “spot monitor.”  A spot monitor is usually a monitor that is connected to just one camera.  It allows the user to specifically monitor full-time that one area of the security system that the specific camera covers.  The monitor maybe located in close vicinity of the camera it is monitoring or may be located in another location, whichever is most appropriate for the user.

If the spot monitor is used on a “cabled” system, there must be a separate cable run to the spot monitor in addition to the DVR.  This is usually accomplished by adding a splitter to the cable at some point to create a feed to the spot monitor and another to the DVR input.

The third type of security camera monitor is the system or main monitor.  This monitor is generally connected to the DVR by one or more cables and displays the on-screen information of the cameras and the DVR.  Usually this monitor is bigger in size than a spot monitor so that it can accommodate the simultaneous displaying of all or groups of cameras in the system at the same time.

Security camera monitors are like televisions (or perhaps more like personal computer monitors) in composition.  There are basically two types of monitors that are used today, but generally there is only one type that is used the most often.  The two types based on composition are the CRT and LCD monitors.

The CRT or Cathode Ray Tube monitor is the oldest type.  As its name implies it consists of a Cathode Ray Tube that produces the picture.  The CRT monitor is bulkier, heavier, and produces a lower resolution picture than the LCD monitor; basically, its equivalent to the older models of televisions that also used a CRT.  These monitors are still used today, but usually in older systems or as spot monitors.

The LCD or Liquid Crystal Display security camera monitor is probably the single most popular monitor type in use today.  It is much lighter than the CRT, it uses less energy, and displays at a much higher resolution and color, capable of providing quality high definition displays.  These monitors were once limited in size, but as technology advances so do the available sizes.  Security Camera King offers monitors as large as 42 inches.

A monitor is required to initially set-up a system.  However, all systems do not necessarily have system monitors.  The reason for is because once the system is set up it can record and function automatically.  More often however, users have personal computer systems or older monitors from computer systems in which the system is outdated but the monitor is still useful.  Then again, many users opt to connect their systems to the Internet and use any computer system’s monitor or even a Smartphone instead.

One last note; if you are considering purchasing a security camera monitor, regardless of the type, make sure the monitor has the proper connection input type available.  Our DVRs have HDMI, VGA, and BNC connections to make connecting the monitor an easy process for you.  However, many monitors, especially those once used for computers, only have a VGA connection for example.  So be certain to make sure your monitors, camera and DVR display types, and connectors match.


8 Camera Outdoor DVR System and DVD Burner

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

Nothing provides perimeter coverage in business or residential applications better than an 8 camera outdoor DVR system with DVD burner. In fact, these systems are great for use in just about any outdoor application and with a DVD burner, you can save copies of your video files for archiving or to give to police or insurance companies.

Security Camera King offers a full line of security camera equipment, including four different 8 camera outdoor DVR systems packages. We recognize the fact that everyone’s situation is different, possibly requiring a different camera at each point or some other additional feature. Therefore, we have put together these systems on our web site in such a way as to allow you to make different selections even for the system packages. Some changes can be made at no additional cost, while others may be made at a nominal cost compared to individually buying each component.

Each of these packages includes a DVR (Digital Video Recorder) with an on-board DVD writer and a USB thumb drive. The DVRs utilize H.264, the latest CODEC (COmpression/DECompression) utility, used to reduce the size of digital video files so that longer video recording times can be realized without sacrificing image quality. In addition, our DVRs feature a Linux Operating System (OS), a built in Web server, and two-way audio available over the Internet. This allows the system to be monitored over the Internet, Smartphones, or even have email alerts programmed to automatically notify you on different events (triggers).

Not only can these 8 camera outdoor DVR systems with DVD burner packages be monitored over the Internet, but nearly every function of the DVR can be controlled over the internet as well. This even includes multiple user functionality via the Internet. Or if you choose to use a local monitor, these units support HDMI, VGA, and BNC video outputs, and use of several monitors simultaneously.

Our line of DVRs featured in our 8 camera outdoor DVR systems with DVD burner packages can be operated easily with a standard USB mouse. In addition, the DVRs feature easy operation and control of Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) cameras whether you use the supplied GUI software or operate your system via Internet Explorer over the internet.

To complete the functionality of our 8 camera outdoor DVR system with DVD burner packages, the DVR also has an on-board DVD-RW (DVD-RWs can record and erase and record again if desired on one DVD-RW disk.) Using the DV-RW, you can copy any of your recorded video (and/or audio) from your DVR’s hard drive to a DVD. The digital video file that you copy to the DVD can be displayed on just about any personal computer and many of today’s DVD players. Contact one of our security experts today for more information or to make a purchase.

Last, but certainly not least, each one of the 8 camera outdoor DVR system with DVD burner packages offered by Security Camera King comes with a full 3 year warranty on the DVR and a full 1 year warranty of the cameras and accessories.

In addition, these systems are easy to install and operate. However, if should you have any difficulty at all with installation or operation, our trained professional technical support staff will provide as much remote assistance as possible including any training that you need to use your new security system.

Security Camera King offers four different complete 8 channel DVR security camera packages two of which are built around the Elite DVR and two built around the Ultimate DVR. The complete 8 channel Elite DVR security camera package includes the following:
• An 8 channel Elite series DVR with a 250 MB hard drive and H.264 CODEC;
• 8 Outdoor (may also be used as indoor) weatherproof high resolution infrared vandal-proof dome security cameras;
• Two 4-channel plug-in transformer power supplies; and,
• 8 plug and play cables.

Our complete 8 channel Elite DVR security camera package with bulk cable and BNCs offers the same cameras and DVR, but includes an 8 channel professional power distribution box instead of plug-in transformers, and 2 boxes of bulk RG-59-18/2 Siamese video transmission cable.

We offer two complete 8 channel Ultimate security camera packages that feature the Ultimate series DVR. The Ultimate series DVR is capable of recording 704 x 480 resolution at 30 FPS on all 8 channels simultaneously. There are two Ultimate series packages as with the Elite series, that differ depending on power supply preference and bulk wire.


Video Output Of The Elite and Ultimate DVRs

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

One of the benefits of selecting our DVRs are the various video outputs available. The biggest advantage is the HDMI video output. This output allows you to connect the DVR to an HD television or monitor using the HDMI input. This provides great detail since HD video is higher resolution than standard VGA. Additionally, some televisions only have RCA and HDMI inputs and this means that for most DVRs, you would need to convert from BNC to connect. With the Elite and Ultimate DVR you can connect directly just using an HDMI cable.
The next option on all of our DVRs is VGA. The VGA output will allow you to connect the DVR to a standard LCD monitor. Next, there is a BNC output which you can use to connect to a security monitor or the RCA input of a standard TV. Lastly, is the spot monitor output. The spot monitor uses BNC which can connect to a security monitor or a standard RCA input of a TV. The Elite and ultimate DVRs have a built in Matrix which allows you to have a separate sequence of cameras displayed on the spot monitor. This can be a very useful feature.
On the Elite and Ultimate DVRs there are also loop outs for every channel. The loop outs use BNC for the video outputs and are a convenient way to connect individual cameras to spot monitors that will display only one camera.
Unlike most DVRs, all the video outputs can be used at the same time. So essentially, you can have 3 main monitors, 1 Matrix spot monitor and then 1 spot monitor for each channel of the DVR.