Posts Tagged ‘ nvr ’

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.


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.