Posts Tagged ‘ nvr ’

Getting Started With The Prime Line

Written By:
Monday, October 26th, 2015

prime-ip-networkThe Prime line of cameras, Network Video Recorders (NVRs) and Digital Video Recorders (DVRs) are now available at, so it’s time to learn how to get started with one of these new devices.  You will first need to get familiar with the Prime SADP tool that is designed to find NVRs, DVRs, and IP cameras connected to the same router as your Computer.


The Prime SADP tool will let you change the IP address of any device it finds, so you will want to match the network scheme that your router creates.  To figure out your network scheme, you will need to open a DOS prompt in Windows and type ipconfig or open a terminal in MAC and type ifconfig.  This should tell you the IP address of your computer and the Windows command will give you the gateway as well.  The gateway will generally be located at .1 like for example.  You could have a network that looks like that you may find with Comcast and other providers.  An IP camera and DVR will have a default password of 12345 for the admin account, but an NVR requires you to set it up with a monitor and mouse when you first turn it on.  Once you have a password created for your NVR, then you can use the SADP tool to change the network scheme.  Of course if you have a monitor and mouse, you can always change the network information directly in the NVR or DVR.

Take advantage of the Web Service


Once the DVR or NVR is on your network, you can access the web service with your computer to make changes.  Type the IP address in Internet Explorer and run the plugin file to set up the access.  It is good to add the website address to Compatibility View and allow for unsigned Active X downloads like you did with the Elite series of DVRs and NVRs.  Other browsers may work with the Prime series, but not all have been tested at this time.  The web service works different than the Elite series in the sense that only the plugin is needed for the video.  You should still be able to access the Configuration with browsers even if the video plugin will not install.  I was able to access the Configuration section in Chrome in Firefox, but not the video.  I have confirmation from MAC users that this web service will work natively on Safari.

Add a user right away

The most important thing to do first is to add Operator accounts for each person using the DVR or NVR.  Navigate to Configuration > User Management and add some users so you can have access from other accounts.


You can add all the permissions to make the account close to the admin level.  The Prime series has 3 predefined groups of admin, operator, and user which cannot be changed.  However, you can still customize each person by setting the permissions that you see fit.


The last thing that you would want to happen is to be logged out because everyone is using the main admin account.  Too many hands in the cookie jar can create a bad situation and having many accounts will be a proactive response for you to avoid that scenario.

It’s about time!

The next important setting we can address will be the time.  Navigate to Configuration > System Settings > Time Settings so that the time can be adjusted for your time zone.


If it is an NVR, we find that leaving the time zone set to +8:00 Beijing along with manual settings works the best with DST enabled.  Of course you can synchronize with your computer to get an immediate time change to your correct time, and there is a check box to make that happen after you hit save.  With Daylight Savings Time enabled, you need to set it to March 2nd through November 1st so it will change twice a year automatically.  The reason these settings work well for an NVR is that they are general settings that work best with ONVIF cameras.  Some NVR owners may mix ONVIF and private cameras, so these settings are also recommended for that type of setup.

If you plan to use NTP, make sure your server information is correct and check your GMT settings as well.  The Florida Greenwich Mean Time right now is -4:00 and California is -7:00 for example.  You need to have the correct GMT so every 60 minutes it will synchronize time with the server.  If you are using ONVIF cameras, this setting will not carry forward to the cameras as some features do not synchronize. With IP cameras, all encoding and settings are done at the camera level so they may need to be configured prior to plugging them into an NVR.

Adding Cameras

With a Tribrid DVR, analog or TVI cameras are plug and play.  If you have no video from TVI cameras, you may want to check your cabling or power.  Old existing cabling may not be good enough for TVI, so check with our sales team about the cost of RG59 Siamese cable since it will allow for the needed high quality video.

When it comes to adding IP cameras to an NVR or Tribrid, you have to navigate to Configuration > System > Camera Management.


In this section, you can Add, Modify, Delete, Quick Add, Custom Protocol, and Activation.  If you have an NVR with a built in POE switch, it will create a network.  Therefore, if you are setting up you cameras as static to connect to that network, you will need to set them to 192.168.254.X so they can be found by the internal switch.  The advantage to a built in switch is that video traffic will not reside on your main network, and should provide faster access without the congestion.

This concludes the getting started with the Prime Line guide.  If you need further assistance with the setup of your NVR or Tribrid, call our knowledgeable tech support team at 866-573-8878 option 3.



Setting up your IP camera surveillance system using an NVR with Two Ethernet Ports

Written By:
Monday, September 28th, 2015

The technology behind an IP security camera system is constantly evolving and there have been some nice improvements recently. Here at TechPro Security Products, we offer 3 types of systems including ones using IP cameras to provide the video. Although IP cameras may cost a bit more, they are also going to give you the highest resolution available on the market today. This article is going to explain how to set up this type of security camera system using a very useful configuration because some people are a bit intimidated by the networking involved.

There are several different ways that an IP surveillance camera system can be set up. This article is going to go over the type of set up which uses a NVR with two Ethernet ports. This configuration is great because it can be used to avoid putting an unnecessary bandwidth load on a network. All of the IP cameras that we carry give you megapixel quality video. The data involved in transmitting the video from even a one megapixel camera is fairly significant. If you are working with several of these cameras or ones that provide higher resolution (we now carry up to 12 megapixel cameras!) then transmitting all of that video will use an immense amount of bandwidth. This will cause the most common network to not function correctly. Not only can it cause the camera system to not work correctly, it will probably mean that nothing else will be able to use that network correctly. The solution to this is using the second Ethernet port to keep the data involved with the video transmission separated from the main network.

For the purposes of this article we’ll go over setting up a 64 channel NVR with 64 cameras using the dual Ethernet port method. This set up will require the following equipment.

64 ch NVR
A 64 channel NVR (Model# NVR-ELHS-64-4K-DH)

simple switch
A simple gigabyte switch (Model# Switch-5G)

A 16 channel POE switch. (Model# POE-16MB2GP)

An IP camera. (Model# IPOD-EL3MPIR50)

The first step in this type of setup is putting together a temporary configuration so that you can initialize each camera (see Diagram 1). You will need to have a computer, a POE switch and the NVR (using Ethernet port 1) all connected to the same router. You will also need to make sure that you have the NVR’s Ethernet port 1 configured to work with your network.

IP camera layout 1
Diagram 1

This layout will allow you to power each of the cameras and then log into them from the computer in order to get them set up to work with your NVR. The main thing you will need to do while logged into the camera will be to enable motion detection and assign the camera a unique IP address for the IP scheme that will be assigned to the NVR’s second Ethernet port. Changing the camera’s IP address is the last thing that you should do because you will not be able to access it from that computer once this change has been made and saved. There may be some other settings in the camera which will help to customize it for the application which you have planned for it. It’s also a good idea to label each camera with the IP address which you have assigned to it.

Once all of the cameras have been initialized, then they are ready to be set up in their final configuration (see Diagram 2). You will need to go to the network page of the NVR and choose “Multi-Address” from the drop down menu, this will allow each ethernet port to be set to a different IP scheme (for example – Ethernet port 1 can be set up to use the scheme and Ethernet port 2 can be set up to use This is a key feature in keeping the network which is handling the video transmission, from the cameras to the NVR, separate from the main network at the location.

IP camera layout 2
Diagram 2

At this point you should have Ethernet port 1 set to match the IP scheme of the main network, which will be used for remote connection. You should also have Ethernet port 2 set to a different IP scheme and all of your cameras set to unique IP address within that scheme (for example – Ethernet port 2 can be set to and each camera would be set to 10.1.1.x, where x is unique to each camera).

The last step is to get each camera assigned to its own channel on the NVR. This is done by assigning the IP address from a camera to the particular channel which you want to associate with that camera’s live video feed and its recorded video footage. This will be accomplished through the ‘Remote’ page of the NVR using one of two different methods depending on the model of camera that you are using (see picture 1).

If the camera is one of our EL models (for example – IPOD-EL3MPIR50) then the NVR will detect it through the ‘Remote’ page of the NVR’s menu system. Clicking on the ‘Device Search’ button will get the NVR to list any network devices which it can detect. Once that you can see that the camera has been detected then all you have to do is put a check mark next to the camera’s IP address and click on the ‘ADD’ button.

If the camera you are using is any other type then you will need to manually add it to the NVR. To do this you will first need to click on the ‘Manual Add’ button. Next, you will need to enter the camera’s IP address, user name, password and the ports that it is using for video transmission.

Picture 1

This type of IP camera system can be customized to suit any sized system. Our sales team can help you get the type of system which best suits your needs. Our tech support team is also available to help you get everything set up and running correctly.


Understanding IP Cameras and ONVIF Compatibility

Written By:
Monday, September 21st, 2015

When choosing to use IP network cameras for your residential or commercial security camera system there are a few things to take into account. This article will focus on clearing up some common questions regarding Network IP Cameras and NVRs (Network Video Recorders). In order to clarify some of the topics covered, I will often refer to “Techpro Security Products” brand of NVRs and cameras.

A square peg forced into a round hole. 3D render with HDRI lighting and raytraced textures.

Analog Cameras & DVRs
First, it is important to understand some differences between IP cameras and analog cameras. In most cases, an analog camera simply sends the video signal back to the DVR over a coax cable. The DVR is where the encoding and recording is done. It also contains the software for managing the camera settings and camera options. You can access and modify each camera’s settings through the DVR itself. The DVR also provides the ability to view the cameras in real-time and review recorded footage. Without a DVR you would not be able to record or view recorded video.  Essentially the DVR is the brains of an analog security system. Usually, analog cameras are powered with a 12 or 24 volt power source.

IP Cameras
Network IP cameras, on the other hand, are standalone units that can be accessed via the camera IP address. All of the software and settings (the brains) are embedded in the camera itself. Many IP cameras also have an SD card for storing recorded video. IP cameras are just like any other computer or smart device that is accessible on your network. IP cameras use CAT5 or CAT6 to transfer the video, and in most cases can be powered over the same cable when use in conjunction with a POE (Power Over Ethernet) switch.

Essentially this means that you can have 1 IP camera on your network or several if you choose. Each IP camera would have its own user interface and specific settings that can be viewed or managed individually by going to the IP address of each camera and logging in to it.


Viewing Multiple IP Cameras Simultaneously
As you might guess, if you have multiple IP cameras, it quickly becomes a hassle to have to go to different IP addresses and log into each camera individually in order to view in real-time or re-view recorded video.

So, what do you need to view all of your IP cameras in one place? The answer is an NVR (Network Video Recorder). You can think of an NVR as a hub with a single IP where you can view all of your cameras simultaneously. The NVR can also house a hard drive(s) to store the recordings of all your IP cameras and dramatically increase your storage capacity.

IP camera compatibility
Because each IP camera has its own user interface and camera options built into the camera itself, not all IP cameras are completely compatible with all NVRs. Next I will talk about the various IP camera compatibility options.

Compatible Network IP cameras and NVRs
Your best option is to buy network IP cameras that have a compatible NVR. This means that the manufacturer of the cameras specifically designed the NVR to be compatible with the user interface, software, and options that are embedded in the camera itself.

For purposes of this example we will talk about the “ELITE” line and “PRIME network IP lines by Techpro Security Products. If you were to buy Elite IP cameras along with an Elite NVR, you can expect that the cameras will work seamlessly with the NVR. This means that all of the camera options and functionality are directly accessible and configurable through the NVR itself. There is no need to log into each camera individually for the initial setup or to access the camera’s functionality thereafter.

The same can be said for the PRIME IP line. If you were to buy Prime IP cameras with a Prime NVR you are guaranteed to have full functionality directly through the NVR.  Buying IP cameras that are fully compatible with the NVR can make for a fast and convenient setup as well as streamline the maintenance and usability of your new security camera system.


The ONVIF Protocol
What if you already have IP cameras and just want to replace your NVR or vice versa, you have an NVR but you want to add new IP cameras?

All cameras use a specific protocol for communication between the NVR and the camera itself. One of the most common protocols is ONVIF. In most cases, if the camera is ONVIF compatible it will be able to communicate with an NVR that is also ONVIF compatible. This means that you are guaranteed to get video output from each camera to the NVR. But in many cases, not all of the cameras functionality will be available directly through the NVR.

TechPro Security Products also has a TP line of IP network cameras. The TP line uses the ONVIF protocol and can be used in conjunction with the Elite NVRs, Prime NVRs or any ONVIF compatible recorder.

When using ONVIF, it is recommended that you log into each camera individually to configure the settings at the camera level prior to installing or mounting it.  Once all of your cameras are configured the way you like, you are ready to install them and video will be transferred back to the ONVIF compatible NVR.

Some common things you will want to set up on your ONVIF cameras include but are not limited to the following:

The Camera IP address – If the cameras you are using do not have a DHCP option you will want to manually assign each camera a unique IP address to avoid IP conflicts on your network.

Main Stream Resolution
Extra Stream Resolution
Date & Time Format
Camera Label
Motion Detection
Motion Masking
Color and Contrast settings
IR Configurations

It is also recommended that you update the camera firmware at the time of setup as it may not be able to be updated through the NVR.


How to Back Up Your Security Camera Footage with Schedule Backup

Written By:
Tuesday, August 25th, 2015


We get many calls in the tech support department by people looking to keep an offsite backup of their DVR.  Unfortunately, all options are going to utilize valuable upstream bandwidth as well as tax the DVR system while it tries to record video as its primary duty.  Some businesses want to archive video records for various reasons, and the schedule backup solution is an excellent option.  If you need to have it offsite, it can still work because the software uses an address and login criteria to find the machine and access it for backup.  This is a very basic tool, and this article is only going to focus on the basics in order to get you set up and backing up some video to the computer of your choice at the time that you want.  First, you will need to download the Windows only program from our website at this location:  click here


Run the program and login using admin as the username and admin as the password.  When I upgraded to Windows 10, it gave me an error when I tried to run the program.  I right clicked on the icon, chose Properties, and then Compatibility where I was able to set the compatibility mode to Windows 7.  The program ran with no problem after changing that setting.  After you login, you will see the main Schedule Backup window where you can start to configure your backup.


Start by clicking on the Config button and select Device Manage so you can add your DVR or NVR to the software.


You need to add your IP address, login credentials, and give it a good name.  If you have more than one DVR or NVR to backup, it is a good idea to name each device by the location so you can track them easier.  If your computer is not at the site of the DVR or NVR, keep in mind that it will be using the upstream of the Internet connect to send high quality video to the backup computer.  Also consider that you will fill up your computer’s hard drive very fast with high quality video, so you need to consider have vast amounts of storage space to encompass large volumes of data.


If you select Config then Option, you can configure the default save directories by selecting up to five devices as well as how much hard drive space will be used until it moves onto the next device.  The amount used will be the amount of available space on the drive until it reaches the minimum free capacity amount. You can select the default option of Overwrite or Stop for when the drives are full.  On this screen you can click the ellipse next to the Download record file name rule to completely customize the naming convention for your files.


Our next step is to create a backup plan by clicking the Config button, and selecting Backup Plan.

When you see the backup plan box, click the Add button.


This is where you will create your first backup plan.  If you want to backup everything, you would need to click the Multiple-channel button and select all cameras.  Keep in mind that you will be taxing your DVR and bandwidth by requesting massive amounts of video footage to be sent via your upstream or internal network to the computer running the Schedule Backup software.  The Backup Plan period is the time when the DVR will backup the video footage.  The Record Period is the video that you want to backup.  Since the box defaults to Today, you have to choose yesterday since that video footage has already been recorded.  If you are using Multiple-channel, the Record Period will be the same for all channels.  If you want different channels on different time periods, then you need to create a Backup Plan for each channel.  You can be creative on what to backup and when.  The last step is to hit the Start button on the main screen, and it will change to a Stop button so you know it is running.


This tool is an effective way to back up some video footage that you want to save.  Most people do not need to save everything so this will do the trick.  If you need to backup everything, the most effective and fastest way is to take the hard drives out of the unit and replace them with fresh ones.  Moving all video from one drive to another is not practical since the video is already on one drive.  There will be too much stress on the DVR and the network, especially with the massive amount of gigabytes created from high definition video.  For a selective backup or important camera, the Schedule Backup is very useful.  Once you have the backup in the .dav file format, you can open them using the Smart PSS or the player that is available on our website.  The player is a smaller application, so it can easily be distributed with the video.  The files that are backed up will depend on how you are recording the cameras.  I am recording full time, so I have one file for each hour of recording.  That means each day will provide 24 files for each camera.  If you are recording motion, then each file will be one motion event per camera.  This means that you could have thousands of little files, and that will be what the schedule backup software places on your computer.  Full time recording is more manageable, but of course requires more hard drive space.

No matter how you decide to use Schedule Backup, give it a try as it is a free option available for testing.  If you need help setting up the Schedule Backup software, our tech support team can remote in to your computer and do that.

Here are some useful software links:

You can download the Backup Scheduler tool by clicking here.

You can download the Smart PSS Windows (2015) by clicking here.

You can download the Smart PSS for MAC by clicking here.

You can download the Video Player and Converter Downloads by clicking here.


Benefits of an NVR with a Built-in POE Switch

Written By:
Monday, August 17th, 2015

Many of our customers call us to ask why they cannot change the camera’s position when using a built-in POE NVR. The short answer to that is that it is not possible after the cameras are connected for the first time on the NVR. See, the NVR’s POE built-in switch is a separate entity. The idea behind this technology is to offer security, avoid broadcast storm, and in theory separate the traffic from the IP cameras and NVR completely. Also, the most obvious reason to use a built-in POE on these NVRs is to power the cameras from one unit, without using an external POE switch. This will reduce the cost of equipment in theory.

So, why can I not move the cameras to a different position after I plug them in the NVR? Well, the reason is that the MAC Address of the cameras “Sticks” to the port the camera is connected to, and the NVR will not release that unless the NVR gets defaulted completely.

What can I do if I want to change the position of my cameras then?

Ahh, that’s why I’m writing this article, to show you an idea I have that I think could help many customers that are frustrated with this type of setup.

NOTE: Although this article is solely to show a temporary fix to the way the POE works, it is intended to be used ONLY on those NVRs with POE built in. In the near future, a firmware will “fix” or add a different way to accomplish the following task. Any camera added to the built-in POE switch will not be accessible over the LAN interface. Instead, if you would like to access the settings of the cameras, you will then use the NVR’s web interface (EL SERIES IPC ONLY). For ONVIF cameras, you will need to be connected with a computer to one of the ports of the built-in POE Switch and either assign a static IP on your PC Ethernet card or simply get an IP address from the POE switch IP pool. You will then be able to change any settings on the camera.

The Following list will show you the NVR models numbers with Built-in POE:




Lets begin by understand the settings on the NVR. The POE switch, like I said before, is a separate entity from the regular single LAN port. Normally the single Ethernet port of the DVR IP address is The POE side is by default You can change this by going to the network settings. For this article I will be using the web service interface of the NVR. Click on Setup, from the left options, click on Network then all the way to the bottom click on Switch.

POE Switch

Notice that the IP address and default gateway are in the same range, in fact they are the same number. If you planned to change this then you must have the same number on both the IP address and gateway. Also, the IP address here and for the NVR cannot be on the same range. An example is if the LAN port is configured 192.168.1.X where X is a random number from 1-255 then the IP address from the switch side cannot be on that range. You can leave the defaults as is and you will not have any conflict, or if you want to change it to something similar then you can use something like 192.168.x.x where the (x.x) can be any number different from your LAN IP Address.

The next step is to make sure you configure the essential settings for your NVR. Time, Date and DST are essential settings to keep your cameras in sync with the NVR time and to make sure the recordings have the accurate date and time in case an event happens.

Go to Setup>Setting>General and Date&Time. Adjust the date format and time format based on your liking.

Time Format

System Time

Go ahead now and connect the cameras to the POE switch of the NVR. For this demonstration I have 2 cameras connected with a short CAT5e cable. Allow about a minute for the cameras to show up on the screen of the NVR. NOTE: If for some reason the cameras do not come up on the screen, there is a chance that the IP cameras’ IP addresses are set to static and the NVR does not know how to change it to dynamic. Simply disconnect the camera and put it on a external POE switch and change the address using the config tool. You can download the tool here: CONFIG TOOL 2.0.

Assuming that all the cameras are set to dynamic, you should start to see the video streaming in the NVR. Also notice that you can tell when a camera is added automatically to the NVR by checking the LAN Icon displayed in the top left corner. This indicates that the camera is detected for that channel.


I have a total of 4 cameras connected on this NVR. Two of these are connected directly to the unit and two are brought from the network. The next thing to do will be creating a tour that will basically rearrange the cameras the way you want it. Ideally it will be easy for you to make a note of the IP cameras’ channel and what channel you want them to appear. For example, if camera 1 and 3 are not on the channels you want, then all you need to do is create the tour and select the cameras in the order you want them in the tour screen. If you want camera 3 on channel 1 then click on channel 3 first, that indicates the tour that the fist camera in the group will be #3. For this example I will choose camera 3 to go on window 1, camera 4 on window 2, camera 1 on window 4, and lastly camera 2 on window 3.

Below is a picture what it looks like before enabling the tour:


To configure the tour, login to the NVR and click on setup>settings>Display>Tour.


Notice that the NVR has different views (Window Split). On this NVR (4CH NVR ELT) I only have View 1 or View 4. For this trick to work, you will need to uncheck all of the channels on the View 1 channel group. This will ensure that the tour will only display a 4 View Split. From the window split drop down select View 4.


Now in this window, delete the current view of cameras then click on the Green + button to add your own. Like I said before I will click on cameras 3, 4, 2 and 1 to add the view on my screen.


Click on Enable and click on Save. Now this is how my cameras are arranged at this point. NOTE: Due to the nature of the Tour, the screen will refresh every 5 seconds. You will see that the screen goes dark and comes back for a second. I will recommend you to set it to 120 sec so you don’t see the refresh of the screen often.


DISCLAIMER: The purpose of the tour is to arrange the cameras on the main screen. The arrangement of the cameras will not be displayed when viewing the cameras over the web service. Also, in the event of searching for footage, the camera arrangement will not be paired to the channel in the footage. An example of this is if camera #4 was showing originally on channel 1 prior to enabling the tour, then when searching footage for that camera you will need to select channel 1 since that is the original window of the camera in question.