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Frequently Asked Questions

At SCR, we continuously strive to make CCTV surveillance product users’ experience a breeze. We have decided to come up with answers to many of the frequently asked questions on CCTV surveillance system.
If you didn’t find any answer and you’re still stuck you can contact us at the bottom of this page.

INTRUSION PREVENTION

➢ Can a wired CCTV camera get hacked?

Yes! A wired CCTV camera can be hacked especially if it is an IP camera that is connected to a network. The hacker can use computer programs like Angry IP scanner, Wireshark, Nmap to probe the IP address and gain access.

It is very important to change the default password of every device on the network to a very strong alphanumeric combination, which will be very difficult to crack.

➢ How can I know if my home security camera is hacked?

Your security camera will begin to act weird, e.g. hearing a sound coming from the camera especially if it a standard IP camera.

Also you might be locked out from using your logging details, so it is important to make your security camera foolproof to hack by using a very strong password combination.

IP CCTV SYSTEM

➢ What good recorder device can I buy for my multiple brands POE/IP security cameras?

A 16 channel PoE NVR will be perfect for connecting the multiple brands of the IP PoE security cameras. We recommend the Amcrest NV4116E PoE 16 channels NVR. It is very good for expansion and it is support from 720p to 4k resolution IP cameras.

➢ Is it possible to configure a DVR system to assign an individual IP address for each CCTV camera?

No! A DVR system does not assign IP address for a CCTV camera. A DVR system can only be assigned to an IP address on the network through a router for the purpose of remote monitoring within the Local Area Network (LAN).

➢ Does an NVR (network video recorder) stop recording if I turn off the Wi-Fi network?

No! Unless the IP cameras are connected to the NVR via Wi-Fi, but if connected via network cable, it does not stop recording even if you turn off the Wi-Fi network.

➢ Does IP CCTV camera works without a DVR or NVR?

Yes! An IP CCTV camera can work as a standalone device and can also be connected to a Local Area Network via Wi-Fi or network cable without the use of DVR or NVR.

You can also configure the IP CCTV camera to record to the cloud.

➢ Can I use any cable size for CCTV cameras?

No! You have to follow the guidelines on selecting the right cable for CCTV cameras.

  • RG59 Siamese is the standard for AHD, TVI, CVI and SDI cameras.
  • Cat5 and Cat6 are the standards for IP cameras.
➢ What could make one of your CCTV cameras not work despite showing the red Infrared light at night?

– The image sensor of the CCTV camera might be faulty.

– The video cable might have a partial contact at the end of the BNCs.

POWER

➢ If the CCTV camera is switched off, can it still record?
No! There is no CCTV camera that can record after it has been turned off.
➢ Does a CCTV camera work without electricity?

Yes! There are many battery powered CCTV cameras that do not rely on electricity on the market. They have internal battery and also work with a solar panel for recharging their batteries.

➢ When the light is off, is the CCTV camera working or not?
Light here can be divided into 2 contexts; electricity and light bulb.

  • If electricity is off, the CCTV camera will stop working unless it is connected to a power backup system.
  • If the light bulb is off, the CCTV will not stop working except it does not have a built-in infrared LEDs. An infrared LEDs provides illumination for a CCTV camera to record even in a pitch dark condition.
➢ If the power is off can CCTV work without any UPS connection?
No! Except it has an internal battery.
➢ Does a CCTV records if the TV monitor is turned off?
Yes! CCTV system does not rely on a TV monitor to record. A TV monitor only displays the output images from the DVR/NVR system.

SOUND

➢ Does CCTV record audio?

Yes! CCTV DVR/NVR captures audio provided the camera has a built-in microphone.

➢ Why does a CCTV camera does not record voices?

Possible reasons could be that the CCTV camera does not have a built-in microphone or the microphone cable is not connected.

CCTV FOOTAGE DELETION

➢ How can I clear CCTV footage? Is it possible to erase CCTV footage?
Only users with administrator privilege can clear or erase CCTV footage. If you are a user with administrator privilege, log in to the DVR/NVR system and navigate to the main menu, click on system and then HDD management, select the box option and finally, click the format button.

CABLES

➢ What should be the maximum distance between a CCTV camera and DVR by coaxial cable?
The maximum distance between a CCTV camera to a DVR can be categorized into 4 stages:

  1. AHD (Analog High Definition) – maximum of 300m
  2. TVI (Transport Video Interface) – maximum of 500m
  3. CVI (Composite Video Interface) – maximum of 500m
  4. SDI (Serial Data Interface) – maximum of 100m

IMAGE RESOLUTION

➢ Why do CCTV cameras have such poor resolution?
Low quality and cheap CCTV cameras can have poor resolutions. CCTV cameras from reputable manufacturers tend to have good resolution, but also can have poor resolution if the right cable is not selected for the installation.
➢ How can I enhance a surveillance video to help identify a person? How can you recognize criminals in low quality CCTV footage?
There are many free and paid computer programs to enhance a surveillance video and to identify a person in low quality CCTV footage. You can use Wondershare Filmora, Avidemux for the video, whilst Robust Motion Deblurring, and Let’s Enhance online service can be used for the blurry image.

REMOTE VIEW

➢ How can I see a live feed of my house?
To see a live feed of your house, you need to check if your CCTV camera/DVR/NVR supports P2P cloud service. 

A P2P cloud service allows you to stream your live footage securely to an online server.

To connect your surveillance device to the cloud service, perform the following steps:

  1. Navigate to the main menu of your device
  2. Select network
  3. Look through the available options and click on P2P to enable it
  4. Connect your surveillance device to the ISP using Cat5 cable
  5. Click save and apply, then restart the device Camera/DVR/NVR

See live feed from video surveillanceplug dvr to router 6. Navigate to the P2P setting again to scan or copy the cloud serial number

See live feed from video surveillance

7. Visit xmeye.net or simply download xmeye app from your respective app store and register for a free account. Begin to add device by tapping the QR scanner on the app to capture the QR code of the device. You can also manually enter the serial number.

See live feed from video surveillance

➢ Is it possible to connect the CCTV DVR and watch on your laptop? How do I connect a CCTV camera to a mobile phone?
Yes! It is possible to connect CCTV DVR and watch remotely the stream on your laptop and/or mobile phone. Simply connect your DVR to the internet network router with a network cable and enable the P2P function under the system tab of the DVR. Register a free P2P cloud account on Xmeye and sync your DVR to their server to watch it on your laptop. You can also download the mobile app from the app store and view your DVR on your smartphone.

STORAGE

➢ What is the memory capacity of an 8 channel CCTV camera?

The maximum memory capacity for an 8 channel DVR is 4TB. 4TB is substantially a large storage to accommodate 8 security cameras and will produce 24 hours continuous CCTV footage for 25days, with 25FPS settings on 720p resolution.

➢ For how long do banks keep video surveillance tapes of their branches? What about ATMs?
According to the banking standard policy on CCTV surveillance, retention period must be at least 3 months, but individual bank’s policy may be more than 3 months.
➢ How long do neighbours keep their CCTV footage?

There is no standard law that stipulate how long should residential users of CCTV systems keep their CCTV footages.

PRIVACY

➢ Are there cameras in public bathrooms?

Yes! Some public bathrooms have CCTV cameras in their hallways but CCTV stickers has to be clearly visible in the hallways as well. This CCTV stickers will serve as a notice that the floor activities in such public bathrooms are being recorded.

➢ How can you find a bug (listening or video device) in your house? What are some cheap ways to debug?
Yes! Some hotels do install hidden cameras in the guest rooms to spy on their guests. The best ways to find a bug (listening or video device) in your house or your hotel room will be to:

  1. Thoroughly examine the walls for unusual holes and objects
  2. Use your smartphone with built-in magnetic sensor, and download hidden camera detector app from respective app store.
  3. Buy yourself anti-spy RF detector and scan the entire room.

We made a complete guide on How to detect camera in your hotel room. Have a look here.

➢ What is the best way to find hidden cameras in an Airbnb?
Yes! Some hotels do install hidden cameras in the guest rooms to spy on their guests. The best ways to find a bug (listening or video device) in your house or your hotel room will be to:

  1. Thoroughly examine the walls for unusual holes and objects
  2. Use your smartphone with built-in magnetic sensor, and download hidden camera detector app from respective app store.
  3. Buy yourself anti-spy RF detector and scan the entire room.

We made a complete guide on How to detect camera in your hotel room. Have a look here.

➢ How can hidden cameras be detected?
Yes! Some hotels do install hidden cameras in the guest rooms to spy on their guests. The best ways to find a bug (listening or video device) in your house or your hotel room will be to:

  1. Thoroughly examine the walls for unusual holes and objects
  2. Use your smartphone with built-in magnetic sensor, and download hidden camera detector app from respective app store.
  3. Buy yourself anti-spy RF detector and scan the entire room.

We made a complete guide on How to detect camera in your hotel room. Have a look here.

➢ Do hotels install cameras in the bathrooms? Which measures can we take to ensure our privacy from such acts?
Yes! Some hotels do install hidden cameras in the guest rooms to spy on their guests. The best ways to find a bug (listening or video device) in your house or your hotel room will be to:

  1. Thoroughly examine the walls for unusual holes and objects
  2. Use your smartphone with built-in magnetic sensor, and download hidden camera detector app from respective app store.
  3. Buy yourself anti-spy RF detector and scan the entire room.

We made a complete guide on How to detect camera in your hotel room. Have a look here.

➢ How do I know if my classroom has a CCTV camera?

The best way to know is to physically inspect the entire classroom for CCTV camera appearance.

➢ Does Walmart have security cameras installed in the clothing section?

Yes! Walmart have security cameras installed not only in the clothing section, but almost everywhere in the store.

➢ Do you know if they put cameras in dressing rooms?

CCTV Cameras are totally illegal in the dressing room. This is privacy intrusion and it is a punishable offence in USA and other parts of the world.

➢ Is it legal to install a CCTV camera outside the bathrooms of a girl’s hostel?

It is illegal to install a CCTV camera outside the bathrooms of girl’s hostel. But due to the rising immoral behaviours amongst female students, CCTV cameras can be installed in the hallway to monitor the floor activities. However, CCTV signs must be placed in the hallway or outside the bathrooms to serve as a reminder.

➢ Is it illegal to put cameras in bathrooms?
Yes! It is illegal and a punishable offence.
➢ What if a CCTV camera with a microphone was installed by my neighbour just to see the activities in my house? Is it manipulation in someone's privacy or not?

Your neighbour might not have purposely installed a CCTV camera to directly spy or invade on your privacy.

The CCTV camera will also help you to document video activities of home whenever you are away, even though you do not have direct access to it. But if you feel the camera has been installed to manipulate your privacy somehow, you can literally block the view by planting trees or use other objects.

Lastly, you can meet your neighbour and complain in a friendly manner to adjust the position.

➢ My landlord has installed cameras in the living room and in the kitchen of the house. Is this legal?

It is legal if she also lives there. A living room, kitchen and the hallways are exempted from where you can have privacy.

➢ Is it true that some hotels have CCTV cameras inside their guest rooms? Why? Can we label them 'busybody,' or is there any other reasons they want to do that? Are there security cameras in US hotel rooms? Why?

Many hotels have been reported to have installed hidden cameras in the guest rooms and bathrooms, there is no important reasons to why they did it. It is a criminal offence for hotels to install hidden cameras in the guest rooms or bathrooms.

➢ Do people have to warn you that you're being recorded by CCTV's?

In some states in the US, you need to let people know you are recording them by placing CCTV stickers all over the place.

➢ My neighbour has a camera pointed directly at my front door. Is this legal or do I have the right to be annoyed?

It is illegal but you can simply approach your neighbour and ask him politely to get it off your front door.

PRIVACY PROTECTION

➢ Is it legal to install your own personal security camera inside your hotel room, to make sure that housekeeping, or anyone else, doesn’t steal your belongings?

Yes, this is legal as long as it’s contained in your room only. This can also help as evidence in a lawsuit against the hotel for having their employee stealing your personal belongings.

➢ As a male boss, is it legally okay to have surveillance cameras in my office to avoid the false accusations of female employees?

Yes! It is legal but the surveillance cameras must be visible and identifiable by everyone.

➢ Is it legal to place security cameras around your neighbourhood, even if they aren't on your own property?

Yes! It is legal only if it is recommended and instituted by the residents’ association to place security cameras as a means of protecting the neighbourhood.

➢ Are there laws that prevent security cameras in private places such as public bathroom or changing rooms?

Yes! For instance in U.S, 13 states – Arkansas, Alabama, California, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, South Dakota, and Utah have a strict laws on the use of security cameras or video equipment in a place where a least of privacy is expected. It is always good to find out specific law of a certain state.

MISCELLANEOUS

➢ Is there any way to hook up 9 security cameras to an 8 channel DVR?
No! This is practically impossible to hook up 9 CCTV cameras to an 8 channel DVR, the best option is to upgrade to 16 channel DVR.
➢ What things do I keep in mind while buying a CCTV camera for home to keep an eye on my maid with my 3 month old kid while I am in the office?
  1. You need to make sure the cameras are hidden.
  2. The image resolution must be good quality.
  3. It must support cloud storage.
  4. It must also be battery powered and not dependent of electricity.
➢ I want to check recordings only not having internet facility at home. What will be the best camera with storage for home security?

You need to choose your preferred number of CCTV camera system first. It is advisable to choose a PoE camera system because they are easy to maintain and upgrade in the future. Connect the CCTV camera(s) to the NVR with the hard disk installed and start viewing your CCTV cameras live.

➢ My DVR was stolen, is there any way to recover the previous CCTV recordings?

If DVR was stolen, the best way to recover the previous CCTV recordings is to download the CCTV footage from the cloud. Available only if the DVR was setup to record to the cloud server previously.

➢ I want to upgrade a surveillance system, is POE better than BNC connection?

From every indications, IP camera is the best technology because it gives room for expansion or upgrade but analogue technology are limited. If the existing surveillance system is BNC connection, it will be impossible to upgrade to PoE because of their incompatibility.

➢ What causes a CCTV camera network to fail?
Causes of CCTV camera network failure may vary from:

  1. Power problem: a CCTV camera will have a network failure if there is a faulty power supply.
  2. Bad cable: a bad cable can also trigger a CCTV camera to have a network failure.
  3. Bad camera: a network failure can occur if the camera itself is faulty.
➢ Does a CCTV record all the time?

This is determined by the type of configuration used, a CCTV surveillance system can be set to record in a loop, which means it will record endlessly.

Whilst a CCTV surveillance can also be set to record only when motion is detected, which means it will be in sleep mode always until it senses movement.

➢ Are security cameras checked daily?

CCTV cameras may not be checked daily by many entities but are constantly checked by stores, schools, parking lots etc… Home owners sometimes do not check their CCTV cameras daily until there is an incident.

➢ Why do surveillance cameras glow red light at night?

The red glow light is an infrared technology, embedded on every latest surveillance camera to enable them record in a pitch-black night or at dusk. The infrared LEDs provide illumination needed for the CCTV camera to record where there is no visible light.

➢ Why are there LED lights in the CCTV camera? If lights are off, does it mean the camera is off?

No! The camera is not off even if the Infrared lights are off. Infrared lights are meant to provide illumination for the CCTV camera in dark condition to enable them to record. Infrared light only lit when the quantity of the surrounding light is below the amount required by the CCTV camera.

➢ How far can I run a category 5 cable for my CCTV? I will be running 8 cameras hardwired. How far can I run the cable without a booster?

The rule of thumb for category 5 cables states that it should not be more than 100 meters, but in other to have an effective CCTV system, cable run for each camera should be limited to 80 meters to avoid signal degradation.

➢ How is the live feed recorded in the CCTVs sent to the control center?

Live feed recorded in CCTVs can be sent to the control centre by using any of the following technology:

  1. Point-to-Point wireless bridge technology
  2. Fiber optics cable
  3. Cloud
➢ Does the CCTV camera at an ATM work 24/7, or is it a fake?

Yes! It works 24/7 and it is not fake

➢ Can I ask to see the security cameras at Walmart or other retail stores?

No! Walmart or other retail stores won’t grant you any access. You need to file a complaint about an incident with the police and then the clip will be released to the police instead.

➢ Do all Walmart security cameras work?

All Walmart security cameras work.

➢ How does Walmart use their security cameras?

Walmart use their security cameras just like other stores do. They use their security cameras in every sections of the store e.g. cashier points, inventory storage areas, and customer sections to monitor all the activities ranging from a customer shoplifting, and a corrupt employees stealing money from the cash register.

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