DVR  fix or upgrade?

No video, black squares or blur image displayed from your cameras?

bad cctv dvr? tips to be aware before you change

Changing or upgrading the old or faulty DVR is pushing you to rush?, it’s ok, but Fixing the CCTV recorder’s problem might require some type of Surveillance knowledge before moving ahead. Here we will cover basics to avoid mistakes and help you choose the best match.

  • A quick DVR Trouble Shooting process will help you recognize common problems and basic solutions to avoid changing the good fellow.
  • What kind of CCTV System you have? You’ll learn the basic difference between DVR and NVR.
  • Compatibility requirements for DVRs and NVRs
  • Diferences between TVI and CVI
  • Get the best match to replace any Surveillance Recorder.

is the dvr bad, BROKEN? or not recording? 

There are several causes of DVR malfunction, and definitely most will convey to changing that recorder, bad wouldn’t be good to do quick troubleshooting just in case. 
Let’s check three key points that can tell you quickly what the current health of the black brick is.

Symptom: DVR not recording or can’t find events
Solution: Internal Hard drive broken, recording mode off or not properly programmed.

Symptom: Black squares displayed on the screen, but the time clock shows running
Solution: The power supply of the cameras is off, or faulty
Symptom: Blurry, fogie or no images in random squares
Solution: Check for camera connections, bad cameras.
Symptom: No Power ON
Solution: You have a bad internal or External Power Supply.
Symptom: No access to your DVR through your mobile device
Solution: Your internet is down, the link between the router and DVR is down.

A great tool that can help you  troubleshooting is a computer monitor in case you don’t have a way to see your cameras directly from the recorder,  Get an old monitor, and connect it to the back VGA port (Generally marked or at least the only blue one), to verify that all your video feeds are working.


DVR or NVR?What cctv 

recorder you have?

Identifying Analog or Digital  CCTV is crucial before you start shopping, most users only know that they have an existing camera system installed, but no idea what type it is, let’s start by differentiating the main two types of Surveillance Recorders in the market.

Digital Camera System (NVR), this system uses IP cameras and a Network Video Recorder to do the video Storage, NVRs can be quickly differentiated from DVRs, as they don’t have coaxial connectors in the back, NVRs might have in the back one or many Rj45 connectors, where one of the network connectors will go to the internet router, and the others grouped together on one side go to each of the cameras this recorder is capable to handle. 

Analog Camera System (DVR), This system used Analog Cameras and a Digital Video Recorder  for video storage, DVR can be easily identified because they have multiple RG59 or coaxial type connectors in the back which connect to the multiple cameras the handle, and even for some other extra devices like external monitors or sound microphones.

Which CCTV System is better? Digital or Analog? DVR or NVR?, Don’t get overwhelmed or assumed that one technology is better than the other, the real differences, advantages and disadvantages have to be measured independently and according to your needs, specific details of the  project and available budget.

Bottom line is that both can handle High Definition Cameras, both can be connected to the internet, and both can be accessed remotely through a computer or a mobile device.

dvr NVR COmpatibility match.

Compatibility is a big issue if you already have a camera system in place, you must identify what you have before moving forward.

Matching your NVR, First, find any resource possible to tell you what was the original resolution of the cameras you purchased with your NVR, and get a new one that supports higher resolution than your existing cameras.

Second, If you are keeping the old cameras, “do not change working platform”, in other words, get an NVR that will work thesame software you were using with the existing cameras.

IP Cameras are picky, and they can give you a lot of agravation to be configured in a different platform from their original brand.

Matching your DVR, First do the same step as with an NVR, figure out or search for info about what resolution you have with your exisiting cameras, and get higher resolution DVR.

Second, as analog cameras have a bigger variaty of flavors, like CVI, TVI, CVBS and more we will give you and tip to identify the most common platforms and an option if your system don’t match in that group.

TVI or CVI? Let’s check which surveillance system you have.

TVI and CVI are the most popular analog technologies, let’s figure out how to identify which type you have.

Identifying which of those two analog CCTV systems is not easy to do just bye eye, but here there are two effective tricks to identify them with no risk of mistaking.

Your Surveillance System most likely is a TVI if:

  • To access your cameras you use iVMS4500 phone app.
  • To get access through your computer, you use iVMS4200 app.
  • When Accessing the DVR directly from a monitor connected to it and the menu you see is red like the one in the graphic at the top.

Your Surveillance System most likely is a CVI if:

  • To access your cameras you use iDMSS or gDMSS phone app.
  • To get access through your computer, you use Smart PSS app.
  • Access the DVR directly from a monitor connected to it and the menu you see is blue like the one in the graphic at the top.

None CVI or TVI?, Probably CVBS.

If you didn’t recognize one of the surveillance systems above to be like yours, you might have a few more options, the third most common one is the Old Analog low Resolution CVBS.

If after all you are not  100% Sure about what is the Best CCTV DVR to replace your old one, we have very good alternatives that will match no only one, two or three different technologies at thesame time, but also will improve the live view quality of your old Security Camera System.