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How to Record a Personal Computer or Point of Sale to your Digital Video Recorder without a Camera


When running a small business it is often necessary to record transactions at a point of sale or to simply record the actions and uses of a computer terminal.  Doing so allows the owner or manager to: maintain accountability, prevent loss, keep track of inventory and supervise employee actions.  For a new small business owner this can be a daunting or expensive task, often appearing to require several forms of software and hardware.  The traditional solutions range from purchasing expensive point of sale text overlay systems and/or equipment that can overlay transactions on your cameras and Digital Video Recorder to expending man hours positioning high resolution cameras over the shoulder of employees to view their actions.

Thankfully there are several solutions rarely utilized that are far less costly and far more simple.  Your digital video recorder is capable of recording any analog video information displayed to it through a BNC Connector.  What is often overlooked in surveillance today is that you can split your Video Graphics Adapter monitor output and use a converter to convert the Video Graphics Adapter to BNC Connector.  The total cost to you is less than the cost of a single Internet Protocol camera.   While these converters are a bit more difficult to locate, their value in this regard cannot be over emphasized as the cost for the same service in software is often twice as much. The cost of a single Point of Sale system overlay is almost three times as much and the headache of setting up the software is far more labor intensive.

Alternatively you can even do this for less than ten dollars as I have, by purchasing just a single Video Graphics Adapter splitter and a Video Graphics Adapter to RCA phono plug cable adapter.  It is extremely important to note this specific solution will only work on older computers or point of sales systems where only a Video Graphics Adapter connector is available on video card or motherboard.  (This is because the board must be sending an analog only signal; cards with High Definition Media Interface or Digital Visual Interface ports on them will send digital signals, even if it is through the Video Graphics Adapter port.) The primary drawback to this solution is that you are limited to only a black and white view of the computer screen, but again the effect of being able to review any and all transactions made over the course of the day is of incalculable value in any retail situation or environment.  This is of course, not including, the savings in loss prevention and the ability to guard against loss in the form of inventory errors.

Here in my example you can see that installation is as simple as two cables and you are easily able to observe any of the actions conducted on the terminal.  With the growing number of Point of Sale software created for Personal Computers and tablets it becomes easier and easier to utilize these over traditional register systems. As this trend continues it becomes more and more beneficial to utilize simple hardware solutions like these over complicated software or Point of Sale text overlay systems.  This has a two pronged effect on your business.

The first being the savings and simplicity of installation and configuration of hardware converters over costly overlays or costly and complicated software configurations. For the cost of one overlay you can purchase up to 3 of these converters and the splitters necessary to split your monitor outputs. You also neatly avoid the complications and concerns with which Point of Sale software and/or overlay systems are compatible with which Digital Video Recorder.  You are only limited by your graphics cards capability if anything.  If your graphics card is limited to High Definition Media Interface and does not have a Video Graphics Adapter port it is still a simple matter of converting High Definition Media Interface I to Video Graphics Adapter through an adapter, and while this may diminish some of the video quality, the cost effective comparison is still one that is certainly worthy of considering.

The second effect is the direct savings in loss.  Loss of time for example, by keeping your employees focused on work.  Loss of inventory prevented by errors in quantities sold.  Loss of liquid assets in short sales or incorrect dollar amounts in return transactions or sales.   Overall this multi-tiered response allows for a cost effective solution with long terms savings.  This makes the equipment a long term investment rather than simply a tool.  Maximizing sales by cutting loss is an extremely effective way to get the most bang for your buck so to speak.

So next let us break it down into a step by step installation process.  First unplug the monitor and place a Video Graphics Adapter splitter onto the Video Graphics Adapter port on your Personal Computer or Point of Sale. Then replug your monitor into one side Video Graphics Adapter splitter. On the other side of the Video Graphics Adapter splitter place Video Graphics Adapter to BNC type connector converter.  Following that connect your Video Graphics Adapter to BNC type connector converter to your BNC type cable on one end and on the other end of you BNC type cable connect it to your Digital Video Recorder on any Video channel.  This should allow you to view your Personal Computer or Point of Sale screen on your Digital Video Recorder.

If you have any problems determining the proper configuration our technical support team is extremely effective in determining the proper configuration.  We here at Tech Pro Security Products/ Security Camera King are proud and happy to assist you in any way possible. Hopefully this article has helped you cost-effectively solve a few problems with multi-tiered resolutions by saving you time and money while providing a service putting the tools, the equipment and the knowledge in your hands.

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