How to Buy and Use a Security Camera System Leave a comment

Small Business Surveillance System – 8 Fixed Vandal Proof Dome Camera and NVR
Small Business Surveillance System – 8 Fixed Vandal Proof Dome Camera and NVR

Choosing a System

Nowadays, there are many options for Security Camera Systems in the marketplace. The two best cameras to choose from in the market right now are HDCVI cameras and IP cameras.

IP Cameras

These Security Camera Systems are also known as network cameras or PoE cameras. Their resolutions go higher than 4K Ultra HD. They use network cabling to transmit pictures over a computer network. Network-based cameras are suggested for newer installations because they offer newer technology and customization through logging in to a web server.

HDCVI Cameras

These video cameras support videos up to 4K in a resolution that can be sent over a coax cable for as long as 1600 feet. It is a better choice for installations if there is already a coax cabling from older CCTV systems or if long cables are needed. These cameras are cheaper and easier to maintain and install in big setting surveillance systems.

How to Set Up a Security Camera System

The first step in setting up a camera system is getting the cameras in position and running the wire. The second step is connecting the cameras and the recorder, and this is all depending on the type of camera system you bought.

NVR Camera System

These cameras use plug-and-play IP Cameras that install into PoE ports on the back of the NVR. These can be called PoE IP camera systems because they don’t use Ethernet technology to communicate over one network cable. It is recommended that you use a CAT5e cable and CAT6 wire. You need it to run longer than 150 feet as the bigger wire gauge allows better power flow. The camera has a plug-and-play set up between the NVR and IP camera. Beginners should not set up an IP security system by themselves. It is recommended that you test IP cameras with an NVR recorder before installing the cameras. Once all the cameras are working, you are going to want to mount all the cameras at the requested location. It is recommended to use a cable continuity tester to safeguard against wiring issues.

DVR Camera System

These cameras have BNC jacks that send the pictures over coax wire. They also have a 12VDC power connector for power. These systems use RG59U siamese cables that have 12VDC power cables and BNC power cables at each end. These allow video and energy to flow through one “Siamese cable.” BNC connectors are silver colored that lock by twisting onto the video jacks of a camera and DVR recorder. Sometimes someone installing it might use networking cable instead to transmit videos on older systems. It doesn’t matter which cable you use though, because the set up is similar.

How to use a Security Camera System

2M Technology 2MVT-2MIR20 2MP TVI Fixed Lens Vandal Camera – Grey
2M Technology 2MVT-2MIR20 2MP TVI Fixed Lens Vandal Camera – Grey

Logging In

Firstly, use a mouse to log in to your Security Camera System set up over the web. To log in you use the DVR or NVR. Connect the recorder to a monitor that is at least 1080 p resolution. It is suggested that you use an HDMI capable monitor. When logging in, you can use two different methods. You can use a graphical pattern as a password or a username and password found on the sticker on top of the unit. If you don’t remember your password, you can change it using the security questions you have set.

Streaming Live Video and Audio on a Surveillance System

All the systems allow different viewing options. There is a grid view, or you can just see one camera at a time. If you are in full-screen mode, you can also listen to the audio if the camera has a built-in microphone. To listen to audio, your camera needs a microphone attached to it, audio capabilities need to be turned on on the surveillance footage from the encode menu, and a screen with noise capabilities must be connected to the system for viewing.

Both systems have the ability to zoom in on a subject. Digital zoom is a digital magnification in live or recorded video. Optical zoom is a setting where the camera lens physically zooms in on something. The difference between the two is that the optical zoom can be used in live view mode. If the camera has motorized zoom cameras or pans tilt zoom cameras, then they can be easily controlled using video recorders. The cameras can be controlled using the GUI system.

Recording Resolution

All cameras are not the same resolution. You can use different resolutions on one recorder as long as they are within the resolutions limits of the same recorder. You can set encoding systems individually for each camera channel. For instance, each system had two streams for the camera channels.

Mainstream is a high-resolution stream that can be the most value equal to the resolution of the camera’s sensor or lower if chosen by the user to conserve bandwidth.

A lower resolution is sub stream, which can be used to view multiple cameras on a computer or mobile device.


There are three settings for encoding the Security Camera System that can be used: codec, resolution, and frame rate.

A compression method used is a codec. Depending on the camera can be H.265 or H.264. H.265 encodes up to 50% bandwidth over the H.264.

The resolution is the size of the picture. This option is available depending on the camera resolution and whether or not it is compatible. To get everything to work, you have to make sure your camera and resolution are compatible. For example, a 12MP IP camera would not work with a 4K NVR.

Frame rate can allow you to adjust how many frames per second are recorded from your camera on your Security Camera System. It also depends on the abilities of your camera. To conserve hard drive space, most cameras record at 15fps. License plate capture cameras or where cameras are overlooking a cashier at their job use 30fps.

Bitrate is the amount of data per second saved for each camera. The lower the bitrate, the more pixelated the video will be as it is more compressed. If your bitrate is too high, the returns would be wrong, and it would not improve video quality past a certain point.

You should first select a codec, resolution, and frame rate then get recommendations based on the settings chosen.

Video Settings

The DVRs and NVRs have multiple quality settings for the pictures. Lighting can affect how this is displayed. You can modify your video settings to adjust to this.

Certain Security Camera Systems produce encoded videos by the DVR, and you can modify the quality before the video is saved. You can use the NVR to apply changes by communicating with the IP cameras. You can also toggle your settings based on your camera specifications. Using the settings you can change backlighting, glare, compensation, and flip an image.

Recording Method Configuration

Every security camera can offer different recording methods. You can set them to record individually. You have the option to stop recording, 24/7 record, scheduled recording, and motion detection. Digital video recorders allow different recording methods for each camera. Also, you can set it to record for a portion of the day or the whole day. Motion detecting can also be important and allows the viewer of the videos to skip to only the parts where motion was detected.


On most security cameras you have the option to playback recorded video. Also, using a mouse, you can select the month and day that you would like to view footage from. For instance, you can choose the cameras you would like to playback and select the point in the video timeline.

You can play the video back on one camera or multiple cameras, depending on the resolution and playback capabilities. More substantial skills are available when you use the computer software that comes with it on a Mac or a PC. 

Downloading footage

The first step is to connect a USB drive to your DVR or NVR. Then go to the search menu and select the channel you would like to use. You can use a Windows or Mac computer to play back security footage. Also, to download from any standalone recorders, you use the flash drive formatted with NTFS or FAT file systems.

To download:

  • Connect the USB drive to the DVR or NVR.
  • Go to the search menu and pick the channel you want to view footage from by day.
  • Select where you want the video to start using the snippet tool. Then select your endpoint.
  • Save the video to the USB drive.

How to View Downloaded Footage

You can use a downloaded smart player to view the footage on a Windows or Mac computer. Also, you can view timeline reconstruction, synchronize playback from multiple cameras, digitally zoom on items, add markers for motion events and analytics, use up to 64X playback speed, review frame by frame, snapshot scenes, snippet videos that interest you, and convert it to AVI for most popular media players. 

Wrap Up

If you are looking to upgrade or install a surveillance security system, log on or give us a call at (877)-926-2288 today! We have a great team of highly experienced salesmen, installers, and technicians that would love to help you out. Also, we can walk you through the process start to finish and help you select the best cameras for you and survey your property to decide on the most optimal locations.

Read Previously: Security Camera Systems Solutions

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