Manuals and Reference Guides
All of our user guides are in pdf format. Please download Adobe Reader if you are unable to open the files.
XL PLUS NVR
XL Hybrid DVR
- XL Hybrid DVR Software Overview
- XL Hybrid IP Camera Setup Guide
- XL Hybrid iPhone / Android Setup
- XL Hybrid CMS Client For PC Setup
- XL Hybrid Backup / Playback / POS Search
- XL Hybrid Display Group Setup
- XL Hybrid POS Integration Setup
XLE Embedded NVR
TVI Embedded DVR
E2 Embedded DVR
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Listed below are some commonly asked questions and answers. If you have a question you would like to have answered, e-mail us at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (877) 289-2824.
1. First, make sure you plugged the camera into a video port, and not an audio port. The video ports are on red wires and have "VID" on the ends. Audio ports are on white wires and have "AID" on the ends.
2. If you can, either test that camera on a wire that works, or test a known working camera on that wire. This will narrow the problem down to a wire issue or a camera issue. If it is a defective camera, contact us for a replacement.
3. The most common wiring issues are:
- The BNC connector was not twisted on all the way, or the cable was not stripped properly. Untwist the BNC connector and re-strip the cable, making sure that the mesh ground wire is trimmed so it won't short on the center pin when you twist the connector back on.
- Make sure the camera is getting power. If it is a 12 volt camera, make sure the polarity is correct.
Currently, you can save video onto a USB thumb drive, or any sort of external hard drive, or any type of blank CD or DVD. You can also back up video to any type of networked storage device.
1. The system has been turned off or unplugged from the network. Verify the network connection by opening a browser window on the DVR and make sure you are able to navigate to a website.
2. Your IP address has changed. Some internet service providers will give you a dynamic IP address (one that changes from time to time). Since we use your IP address to access your DVR, any time it changes, you may lose access. You can either call your ISP and request a static IP address, or contact us to install a DNS updater on your system if you are unable to get a static IP address.
3. You have recently changed ISP's or replaced any network hardware (router or modem) We have to configure your router or modem to allow traffic to and from your DVR. If the router or modem has been replaced, we will have to reconfigure the new one.
All of our systems are upgradeable to 64 cameras. When purchased, your system will only be capable of handling a specific amount (8, 16, 32, etc.) You can upgrade your system by purchasing an expansion board from us. The expansion boards are relatively easy to install and come in increments of 8 cameras.
This is normal error message and will not affect the DVR or any of its functions.
This error message means the cameras listed are not recording. Check the images on the main screen to make sure they are good quality. If they are not then immediatly disconnect those cameras from the back of the system. Using a mulitmeter, check each of the analog video lines to see if there is a high amount of voltage coming back through them. Any voltage that is greater than 1 volt is not normal and needs to be fixed or it may damage the capture card inside the system. Call the Watcher Technical Support Department if you need any assistance with this.
The main cause of this issue is usually a bad CAT5 cable. Check the ends of the cable to make sure they were connected properly. Use a CAT5 tester to make sure the signal is getting through. Also, make sure the cable is plugged into the correct ports on the switch/router.
Check the settings in the system to make sure they are correct. Remember...The IP address of the camera needs to have almost the same IP address as the switch/router. The only changes made to the number is the last 3 digits. This IP address must not be used by another system (ie. Other IP cameras, computers on the network, or anything else that takes an IP address). Also, make sure to check the gateway address in the cameras that it matches the router's ip address. If these numbers are different you will not have a stable connection.
To check/change the settings of the IP Camera, first open the DVR. Next, Click the Menu button and select ADD/DEL IP Camera. To Change the IP Address, select the camera from the list and click the Mod Cam button.
To check/change the IP Camera Gateway address, Highlight the camera and click the Del Cam button. Then, Click the IPC Search button and select DH Series IPC Search. Find the camera from the list that appears and highlight it. Next, If necessary change the IP address, Mask Address (subnet mask), and NetGate Address (Gateway Address). Once the changes have been made and everything is correct, then click the Modify IP Button. A box should pop up confirming the changes were successful. Now click the Add to DVR Button.
This means the DVR cannot save any video recordings to that hard drive. This could mean the hard drive has gone bad and needs to be replaced. Contact Watcher Technical Support line to assist in resolving this issue.
The DVR program uses a video format with a special codec to save the file. In order to view them you need to use a special video player. Click on the link to download the video player.
For Analog Cameras: Open the DVR program and click on the setup button at the bottom of the screen. Next, click the Camera Setup button. Then, at the top of the page selectg the camera number you want to name. Click on the box to the right for Camera Description, delete what's in there, and type the new name of the camera. Click the save button in the lower right corner of the screen.
For IP Cameras: Open the DVR, click on the Menu button, and select Add/Delete IP Cameras. Find the camera is the list that pops up and change the server name of the camera. Next, Click the Modify button. Click the OK button and continue for all the cameras. Once the final camera has been labeled then click the Save button at the bottom to save the changes.
The software is not registered. Please contact the Watcher Support Line at (877) 289-2824 option 1, so we can get the software registered. This does not affect the functionality of the software and your analog cameras should still be recording.
There are normally two ways you can view the cameras remotely.
1. Currently Internet Explorer is the only browser you can use to view the cameras. Open Internet Explorer from the computer. If your computer is on the same network as the DVR then type the IP address of the DVR into the address bar either port 80 or 85. To enter the port into the address, type in the IP address first then colon (:) and the port (Ex. http://192.168.1.1:80). If the computer is on a different network then you need to user the IP address assigned from the ISP. You will receive a pop up asking you if you would like to allow the installation of an activex program. Go ahead and install it (you need this to view the cameras through Internet Explorer). If you receive a message that said Windows has blocked the installation of this program, then change the security settings in the Internet Options to download and install the file. You will not be able to view the cameras without installing the Activex program.
2. Use the remote client software to connect and view the cameras. You can download it from here. Install the software onto the computer you want to view the cameras on. Run the software and click the Setup button at the bottom. Next, Click the Add button. Now add the server name (anything you want it to be called), the IP address (DVR IP address if on the same network or the IP address assigned from the ISP), enter the connect port (usually port 5100 or 8000), the user id (By default its admin), and the password (By default there is no password). Then click ok. If the connection was made the Cameras column will change from 0 to the number of cameras on your system. Click the Save button.
When the screen shows video loss it means the DVR is not receiving a signal from the cameras. This could be due to bad cable ends, a break in the cable line, camera not powering on, or a bad camera.
Take the camera and plug it into a line that is working and see if the problem follows the camera or if its the line. If its the camera then contact the Watcher Support Line. If its bad line then either check the cable ends or replace the line.
The 1303 error is caused by the user account control being turned on in Windows. This setting is turned on by default and will not allow the CMS software to be installed. Please turn off the user account control under the Windows Account Manager and restart the system. Then, try to re-install the CMS software.
Common CCTV Terms
AI - Auto Iris
Security cameras with auto iris, have the ability to compensate for large variations in light levels. This is useful for security cameras that need to adjust for changes from bright sunlight to darkness or night. Auto iris circuitry is normally linked to a motorized drive that opens and shuts the iris on the camera lens. Closing a physical iris is a much better way to protect a camera from being damaged by bright sunlight then simply using electronics to reduce the signal strength.
Some DVRs and security cameras have alarm inputs, which can accept input from a sensor device such as a door contact or a passive infra-red motion detection which trigger the camera or DVR to take some action such as to begin recording.
Aperture - The opening of the CCTV lens. The size of which is controlled by the iris and is measured in F numbers. Generally, the lower the F number, the larger the aperture is and consequently more light can pass through the lens.
BLC - Back Light Compensation
This is a feature of security cameras that automatically adjusts the image to compensate for bright light to give more detail on the darker areas of the image. For example, use is to focus on the detail of a face of a person that has the sunlight shining from behind.
A Video Balun enables the transmission of video using unshielded twisted pair (Cat5) wire instead of coaxial cable. The word "balun" comes from combining the terms balanced and unbalanced. The function of a balun is to transform an unbalanced signal into a balanced signal. When video signal is transmitted through coaxial cable, the distance traveled by the signal is limited because the signal is in the form of an unbalanced signal that is susceptible to Radio Frequency Interference or noise. Coax cable incorporates special shielding to minimize noise. Video Baluns transform the video signal into a balanced form in which each wire in the twisted pair transmits an identical signal with opposite polarized magnetic fields. Noise affects each signal equally. When the signals are combined, the noise is cancelled out. By using a designed balun, an unshielded twisted pair wire can transmit video for much longer distances than coax cable and with a lower cable cost.
BNC is a connector for coaxial cable that is most commonly used for CCTV installations.
CCD - Charge Coupled Device
Charge Coupled Device, CCD, is one of the two main types of image sensors used in security cameras. When a video is recorded, the CCD is struck by light coming through the camera's lens. Each of the thousands or millions of tiny pixels that make up the CCD converts this light into electrons. The number of electrons, usually described as the pixel's accumulated charge, is measured, and then converted to a digital value. This last step occurs outside the CCD, in a camera component called an analog-to-digital converter.
C Mount Lens & CS Mount Lens
There are two main types of lenses used in security cameras. The C mount lens has a flange back distance of 17.5mm. The CS mount lens has a flange back distance of 12.5mm. C mount lenses therefore have a longer focal distance. CS mount became widely used, because it its more practical for many of today's more compact cameras. Lenses are often supplied with a 5mm spacer ring (sometimes called a C ring) that allows a C mount lens to be used on a CS camera. Most modern security cameras are CS.
A type of cable typically used in cctv installations that has a central conductor, surrounded by a shield sharing the same axis. The shield can be made from a variety of materials including, braided copper, or lapped foil. There are various standards for specific types of co-axial cable. The cable used for normal CCTV installations is called RG59.
The encoded output of a surveillance camera whereby the red, green, and blue video signals are combined with the synchronizing, blanking, and color burst signals and are transmitted simultaneously down one cable.
The process of removing redundant information from an image or video to reduce the file size. Digital video pictures can be compressed with a number of techniques. These include: JPEG and JPEG-2000 (for still images), M-JPEG and MPEG and H.264 (for moving pictures).
DVR (Digital Video Recorder)
A Digital Video Recorder is a generic term for a device that is similar to a VCR but records television data in digital on a hard drive as opposed to a VCR tape. A DVR looks like a VCR and has all of the same functionality of VCR (recording, playback, fast forwarding, rewinding, and pausing) plus the ability to skip to any part of the program without having to rewind or fast forward the data stream.
The distance between the center of a lens, or its secondary principal point and the imaging sensor. Lower lengths give a greater field of view and less magnification. Longer lengths give a narrower field of view and greater magnification. Most CCTV cameras have one of the 3 sizes of imaging devices listed below, 1/4", 1/3" or 1/2".
Gamma correction controls and adjusts the overall brightness of an image for consistency.
H.264, also known as MPEG-4 AVC (Advanced Video Coding), is a video compression standard that offers significantly greater compression than its predecessors.
The standard offers up to twice the compression of MPEG-4 ASP (Advanced Simple Profile). In addition to improvements in perceptual quality, the H.264 standard can provide DVD-quality video at under 1 Mbps.
The enhanced compression and perceptual quality of H.264 are obtained by motion estimation, which minimizes temporal redundancies; intra estimation, which minimizes spatial redundancies; transformation of motion estimation and intra estimation into the frequency domain; reduction of compression artifacts; and entropy coding, which assigns a smaller number of bits to frequently encountered symbols and a larger number of bits to infrequently encountered symbols.
Devices with internal sync have an internal crystal to provide sync pulses without needing reference from any external device.
Low frequency light below the visible spectrum. Infrared is used in surveillance cameras to provide a light source to record images in dark and zero light conditions.
IP Waterproof Rating
IP waterproof ratings are a BSi standard measurement for how waterproof something is. Many security cameras or camera housings are designed for outdoor use need to be waterproof. The IP rating number has two digits, and optional letters after them. E.G IP66 and IP68. The first number defines the protection against ingress of foreign objects. 0 is the lowest rating and means non-protected. 6 is the highest rating and means dust tight and protects against access with a wire. The second number defines the level of protection against ingress of water. 0 is the lowest rating means non-protected. 8 is the highest rating and means protects against continuous immersion in water.
The mechanical device that adjusts to vary the amount of light passing through the lens of a camera.
LCD (Liquid Crystal Display)
Technology used for flat screen displays.
Unit of light illuminance used as a measure of low-light recording capacity in security cameras. Cameras with a Lux rating of 0.2 Lux or less would be considered low-light cameras. It is not possible to get good color definition in low light levels, so in general low light cameras are always black and white. Day/night cameras use electronics to switch from color during the daytime, to black/white during night or low light conditions. Many low light cameras also use infrared, which is useful in zero light conditions. The lower the LUX rating of a camera, the better it will see in low light.
A unit equal to approximately one million pixels, used to measure the resolution of a digital image.
The Motion Picture Experts Group (MPEG) released MPEG-4 encoding in 1998. The basic idea behind MPEG is that compressed images are compared before being transmitted over the network. The first compressed image is used as a reference and compared to the images that follow it in the video sequence. The first image is transmitted over the network along with the parts of the following images that differ from the initial reference image. The viewing application on the receiving end of the transmission then reconstructs all images based on this information and displays the result. This is a simplified description of how MPEG-4 works.
Network Camera or IP Camera
This refers to a camera that is designed to record pictures and transmit them directly over a computer network or internet connection. Network cameras normally do not have any analogue video outputs. The images are encoded directly in one of the standard compression techniques, such as JPEG or MPEG.
NTSC is an abbreviation for the National Television Standards Committee. The term "NTSC video" refers to the video standard defined by the committee, which has a specifically limited color gamut, is interlaced, and is approximately 720 x 480 pixels, and 30 frames per second (fps). This standard is used in North America.
OSD (On Screen Display)
A method of displaying set-up information and/or instructions on a display monitor.
PAL is an abbreviation for Phase Alternating Line. This is the television display standard that is used mainly in Europe, China, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East, parts of Africa, and other parts of the world. PAL uses 625 lines per frame and a frame rate of 25 frames per second.
This is a type of lens with a very small aperture. Normally used for covert applications, where it can easily hide behind or within another object.
A device that forwards data packets along networks. Typically when referred to in CCTV installations, a router is used to connect a surveillance DVR and a computer to a single internet connection. A router can also be used to connect multiple IP based security cameras to a single internet connection.
A pixel refers to an individual area on the surface of the imaging device, normally a CCD. It is made from photosensitive material which converts light into electrical energy. In the context of a display monitor, a pixel is also referred to as an individual area on the surface of the screen which converts electrical energy to visible light.
RS-232 is a communications standard for serial communications between devices. In CCTV, this can be communication between a controller and a surveillance camera. The RS-232 standard allows for the connection of two devices through a serial link, and is the protocol used for serial connections in computers. RS-485 allows for serial connections between more than 2 devices on a networked system and is defined below.
RS485, also referred to as EIA-485 is a communications standard for serial communication between devices. When talking about surveillance systems, RS-485 is typically used as the protocol to allow computers and remote controllers to control the activity of cameras such as pan, tilt, rotate, and zoom operations. RS485 is an updated version of the original serial protocol, RS-232.
Signal to Noise Ratio (S/N Ratio)
This is the ratio between the signal strength and the noise levels on an audio or video signal.
Television Lines (TVL)
This is a measure of the resolution of a video device. The higher the number, the higher the resolution is. 380 TVL is considered medium resolution. 480 TVL or greater is considered high resolution.
This refers to a type of lens that has the capability to change the focal length. This allows adjustment of the magnification and field of view of the security camera.
WDR Security Cameras
A WDR security camera (Wide Dynamic Range) is used for capturing clear images of objects surrounded by a strong back light, while still keeping the background visible.