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How to Install CCTV Cameras & Setup Steps

CCTV Cameras

In this detailed article, we look at how to install CCTV with input and experience from Techcube’s CCTV installers and owner Vimal Mahes. The guide takes you through the complete CCTV installation process as used by a CCTV installer.

Although we use an example of home CCTV installation, the principles can easily be applied to business CCTV installation, such as CCTV for retail shops.

In this article, we use the term DVR (Digital Video Recorder) but this could also be an NVR (Network Video Recorder).

  • Identify your objectives and be clear about what you are trying to achieve. For example, do you want the CCTV camera to cover the entrance of your property, a larger space, or a particular area?
  • Based on your objectives, choose a location and height for the camera.
  • Then mark with a pencil where the three screws go for the bracket that comes with the camera.
  • Then drill three holes for the screws and insert a raw plug, mount the bracket and then attach the camera.
  • CCTV camera connection: the cable we ran in the previous section is near the camera you just mounted. For IP cameras, connect the Cat 5 or Cat 6 to the camera and for analog HD connect the video and power cables to the camera. Then connect the other end of the camera cable to the DVR/NVR. Once the camera is connected to the DVR, repeat the same procedure for the other cameras.

Installing the DVR

Once the cameras have been installed and connected then:

  • Unpack the DVR or NVR from the box.
  • Remove the cover of the DVR by removing the screws.
  • Connect the power and data cable from DVR/NVR to the hard disk.
  • Close and secure the DVR case.
  • Connect the DVR to a power socket and then turn on the DVR.

Connecting the CCTV Monitor to the DVR

Then connect the CCTV monitor to the DVR and turn on the monitor. It’s recommended to connect the monitor to HDMI for higher resolution and better quality. Alternatively, use a VGA connection.

Testing and Troubleshooting Your CCTV System

Once everything is connected and powered on, you should see the camera images on the monitor. It will be a split screen, so if you have four cameras you will see four images, one for each camera.

If you don’t see any camera images, then the first thing to check is that the box power supply is switched on and connected properly.

If you see images for some of the cameras but not for others then check the connections and network clips, RJ45 connectors for IP cameras, and BNC connectors for analog HD cameras.

If there is still no image for a camera then check the power cables are connected correctly and are positive and negative connected the right way around.

If it’s still not working, then check if the cable is damaged – test with a video test monitor with the continuity function. The camera can be powered up with the video test monitor itself and then the video cable of the camera can be connected directly to the video test monitor, so if a camera is powered up and you can see an image on the video test monitor that means that the camera is working fine.

If the camera doesn’t power up and there is no image, then the camera is faulty, so you need to replace it.

If you do see an image on the video test monitor for the camera in question where you cannot see the image on the DVR monitor, that means the fault is in the video or power cable to the DVR.

If it’s an IP camera you can use a network test tool or sometimes a network test tool is built into the video test monitor itself. If the cable doesn’t work, then re-crimp both ends. If it still doesn’t work, then replace the cable.

If using an analog HD camera shotgun cable, then you can test with a coax cable tester, and if faulty then re-crimp both ends and if still not working then replace the cable.

Then all CCTV camera images should be visible.

Setting up DVR/NVR and Configuration

When all the camera images are showing, you are then ready to set up the DVR/NVR.

The DVR setup wizard will automatically show when you switch on the recorder and you will see the wizard on the monitor and use a mouse connected to the DVR to navigate the system. Then:

  • Choose country
  • Set date and time and daylight-saving settings
  • Choose a user name and password
  • Set recording features, e.g. frames per second (FPS) and motion recording, etc
  • Format the hard disk
  • Once done set brightness and masking etc to prevent recording a neighbor’s property or a public road.

Network Setup to Connect to the Internet

You need to connect the DVR to the internet if you want to watch the CCTV camera footage on a computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Also, this allows the footage to be uploaded to the cloud where it can be stored and streamed to you anywhere in the world where you have an internet connection.

For Advanced Users Who Know About Networking

Static IP address settings, assign a local IP address, gateway, and DNS.

Once IP addresses have been assigned to devices, log in to the router and open ports on the router firewall.

If using an external static IP address from the service provider or a dynamic DNS from a third-party company, register DNS.

Once DNS is registered, download the app for DVR from Google Play or App Store

On the app add static or dynamic IP address details.

Enter your port number, username, and password into the app.

Once connected the app will display the CCTV camera images.

Vimal from Techcube, says that “if possible it’s better to use advanced settings, as streaming will be faster and picture quality better on devices.

The reason is that the basic setting of P2P (peer-to-peer) connects to the manufacturer’s cloud server, which in turn streams to your devices.

So, for example, the cloud server may be in China and therefore streams slowly, whereas with advanced settings footage streams directly from the DVR rather than the cloud to your device, so it’s much faster.”

However, if you have a very poor internet connection, the upload speed and download streaming speed will be slow on both the basic peer-to-peer settings and advanced settings.

For Basic Users

Use DHCP and the router will assign an IP address for the device.

P2P Network can be used – when this is used, the DVR will show you 2 QR codes on the monitor – the first QR code is for apps to be downloaded and connects to the App Store or Google Play.

Once the app is downloaded it will ask you to add a device which is easy to do.

The 2nd QR code has a serial number or s/n and once scanned and input username and password, then all CCTV camera images will appear on the app.

Conclusion

As you can see from this article on how to install CCTV, there is quite a lot to it, and you will need some experience with DIY to be able to complete the installation effectively.

Techcube uses this process to install CCTV and it results in a high-quality and long-lasting installation. We also install to SSAIB’s strict standards and use high-quality components.

An alternative to completing the CCTV installation yourself is to engage experts like Techcube – for more information on our installation services, please see our main CCTV installation page.

Written by The County Info

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