How to use the Universal Series Security Camera System / CCTV Camera World Knowledge Base Leave a comment

This guide is meant for customers who have purchased the UNV security camera recorder from CCTV Camera World. The Universal series NVRs are compatible replacements for several third party products like Q-See Halifax or Knox recorders. To get started quickly with how to operate your new recorder we recommend watching the video guide below which provides all the useful information you would need in comprehensive yet brief videos.

1. How to Login

Before setting up remote viewing, or accessing the system over a network with a web browser, you will need to login at the NVR using a mouse and HDMI monitor. It is important to use a 1080P compatible computer monitor or TV to get started. 

Log in using the graphical user password, or the written admin password that is located on the label on the top of your recorder. Please watch the video tutorial below to learn more about logging in.

How to Log into your System at the DVR or NVR – Universal Series

2. Live Viewing Video and Audio from security cameras

The system provides multiple ways to view security cameras that are connected to the back of the NVR. Network video recorders can view many cameras in a multi-grid view, or one camera in full screen mode. If the cameras have a built-in microphone or microphone input for audio the audio can be heard when viewing in full screen mode, or by manually enabling audio for the channel on the multi-grid screen.

Viewing your cameras from your NVR or DVR – Universal Series

It is important to highlight the differences between digital and motorized optical zoom when using security cameras. Digital zoom takes a portion of video and stretches the image for slightly better detail, but causes pixelation quickly. 

Optical zoom can only be used in live view mode, and is used to set up the view that the camera will record. Motorized zoom security cameras physically rotate the lens to optically zoom-in when watching video live, which does not stretch the image and does not cause pixelation. However, optical zoom does cut down on the angle of view a camera sees. 

A camera must have a motorized zoom lens in order for a recorder to send zoom commands, but all our cameras and systems support digital zoom. 

Digital Zoom vs Optical Zoom – Universal Series

Last but not least are PTZ or Pan-Tilt-Zoom cameras that can be controlled from the security camera system. PTZ cameras are mainly useful for active surveillance for security guards, or a vigilant home owner. To learn how to use PTZ cameras with the system watch the video below!

How to playback recorded video from your NVR or DVR – Universal Series

3. Setting Recording Resolution and Encoding Settings

Recording resolution and encoding settings are what determines how well a camera is viewed and recorded to the NVR. Our Universal Series security camera systems support resolutions ranging from 1080P to 8MP (4K). For the most part these settings can be left alone if the customer is satisfied with the image quality and the amount of video storage they are getting. However, optimizing encoding settings can result in increased video storage. Lowering the resolution of cameras will also greatly increase the amount of video that can be stored, as the video takes up less space on the hard drive. To learn more about encoding settings and resolutions watch our video.

How to set Camera Encoding settings in a NVR or DVR – Universal Series

4. Customizing Camera Image Settings

Most cameras are usually fine with their default image settings from the factory. However, there are unique situations where image settings can make a world of difference in how well a  camera can see. IP cameras generally offer more options for image settings when compared to coaxial cameras. Watch our video below to learn more about the image settings offered on the Universal Series systems.

How to set Image settings on a DVR or NVR – Universal Series

5. Setting up Motion Detection and Recording Methods

By default our systems are set to record video continuously 24 hours a day 7 days a week. For most people this is not necessary as they really only care about when things happen on their property. For those customers we recommend setting up a motion detection recording schedule and enabling motion detection on their cameras. There is an advanced recording method that involves recording continuously during the day while you’re at work, and only recording motion at night or vice versa. To learn more about recording methods and setting up motion detection, watch our tutorial video below.

How to set up Recording and Motion Detection with a DVR or NVR – Universal Series

6. Recorded Video Playback

After going through the initial setup one might be wondering how to playback video on their system. Fortunately viewing recorded footage from a Universal Series NVR is really easy, and there are some really useful playback controls. For more information about playback controls and how to view playback from your system watch the following video.

How to playback recorded video from your NVR or DVR – Universal Series

7. Exporting Recorded Video

With a NTFS or FAT32 formatted thumb drive exporting video from the Universal Series of security camera systems is very easy to do. There are two ways to export video, selecting a date and time for start and ending manually, or using the timeline controls. Watch our video below to find out how to export video from.

How to back up to a USB drive from an NVR or DVR – Universal Series

8. Remotely viewing your security camera system

Long gone are the days of complicated network settings and port forwarding. With the easy scan and go app you’ll be watching your security cameras remotely in no time. Watch how easy it is to connect this system using the mobile app in the following video.

Dummies Guide for Universal Series Remote Viewing

Matt Rossi is a Technical Support Manager at CCTV Camera World, a leading CCTV Camera distributor located in Buffalo, NY. He is a technical support expert for everything video surveillance related.


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