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CCTV DVR Setup Checklist - September 16, 2011

CCTV DVR Setup Checklist - September 16, 2011

CCTV DVR Setup Checklist
By Christian M Gillman

This is a quick list and reminder on the various steps and procedures to getting your surveillance DVR up and running. By going over these few steps you will ensure that you haven't forgot to configure any crucial components of your digital video recorder.

Security Camera Setup

Even though this isn't directly involved with setting up your DVR, it's a good idea to have all of your security camera video lines ran to a central point with the correct cable ends (BNC, RCA, RG59, etc...); this way you are ready to connect them to your DVR as soon as you have it installed.

Make sure your cctv cameras are all installed and powered on as well; so when you connect to your DVR you can verify all of their video signals.

Mount & Secure Your DVR

Before trying to connect your DVR to all of your surveillance cameras; make sure you determine the best point in your home or business to have it located; this way you can mount it without having to move it later on after your equipment is all setup.

A place I would recommend setting it up is near your router and modem if it's a network style DVR (as most these days are). This way you don't have to run long stretches of Ethernet cable to get it networked.

Connections, Power, Settings - Main DVR Setup

This is when you will go about connecting all of your cables to your DVR, powering it up, and getting your settings configured. This includes connecting all of your security cameras, your Ethernet cable, a monitor, and a power source.

After you get your cctv cables connected to the DVR you will want to power it on and let it boot up. You may have a couple quick steps to go through as it boots; such as setting the date and time. Then when it has booted up and detected your cameras; do a quick visual check and make sure that all of your video signals are registering and that there are no errors.

Now is the step were you go through and setup your main DVR settings to fit your specific needs. This includes turning on motion detection or having it constantly record, configuring your monitor display, and checking other features like E-Mail notification or resolution quality.

Networking Your DVR

After your main recording settings are configured; it is now the time to network and make your DVR accessible over the internet.

Firstly you will need to find your DVR's networking settings and assign it a few different numbers. For the IP address you will want to assign it your networks INTERNAL IP address. For example if your gateway has an address scheme of; you will want to give it an address that is far enough out so as not to conflict with other devices. A good address to give it for now will be If you address scheme is different however; you will want to make sure to just change the last number when assigning your DVR an IP. Furthermore if there's a gateway IP setting; you will just give it your default IP which in this example is

Next you will need to assign a port to your DVR. Generally you can pick a port at random and it will work, but sometimes the port can already be in use; so a good idea is to use port 8011 as it is generally a free port that a lot of surveillance installers will already use for DVRs.

Now when these setting are all configured in your DVR; it is now time to grab a computer and access your router. When you have access to your router you will need to find your port forwarding page and assign your DVRs port to redirect to your DVRs INTERNAL IP address.

For example we assigned this cctv DVR the INTERNAL IP of; so we will specify that port 8011 points to that address in our router settings.

Now save these settings in your router and get out of that page.

At this point your DVR should be set to go and ready to be accessed via the internet. To test this you will need to find your networks EXTERNAL IP address. Your EXTERNAL IP can be found by going to websites such as and having it find it for you; or if you have a static IP, then that is the IP you will use.

Take this EXTERNAL IP and type it into your web browser like this: http://(Your IP):8011

Note that the end includes the port that you assigned to your DVR. This will ensure that you are directed to the right device on your network.

After you have entered this into your web browser you will press enter; and 1 of 2 things will happen. Either you will enter directly into your DVR and you will have access to and sight of your security cameras; or you will be prompted to enter a user name and password first; all dependent upon your access settings on your DVR.

There you have it! Your surveillance DVR is now ready to use and protect your facility.

Christian M Gillman has worked in the surveillance industry for over 6 years. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter, learn more about surveillance, and find great products at

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