What do I do with pre existing wired security cameras?

I bought a house that has 3 wired outdoor cameras. The previous owner told me the company they were set up with, but I'm wondering if I can just set them up myself? What would I need? Seems silly to pay an extra $50 a month without even having access to the feed myself. 

4 Answers

  • Mmm J
    Lv 7
    3 weeks ago

    Depends on the cameras.

    I use Swann cameras. They connect using CAT5e or CAT6 Ethernetto a Network Video Recorder. The NVR is connected to the house LAN. I registered the NVR with Swann and set up an "account" for a domain name. This did not cost extra and there is no monthly or annual charge. I can access the video locally (when I am home) or remotely (not connected directly to the home LAN) using a smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer. All password protected.

    We sold the house and left it for the new homeowners. They set up a new userID/Password with Swann; I deleted my access - and set up a new account for the new place we moved to - and installed a new system.

    Some of the "older" systems use a thin coax cable instead of Ethernet cabling. In this case, if the Digital Video Recorder (DVR) has an Ethernet port, then it can be added to the the network, too...

    Without knowing the camera manufacturer or cabling type, we don't know if you need an NVR or DVR and we don't know whether the manufacturer has a domain service like Swann to access the video from various devices...

  • 4 weeks ago

    Just get a standard security DVR (digital video recorder) that is compatible with the cameras that are installed, and plug them in to that.

    Most types will store somewhere between a week and a month of video before they start overwriting the existing recordings.

    Get a network compatible one and connect it to your broadband & you can check the cameras remotely from a phone or tablet.

    If they are analog cameras (typically using BNC connectors for video), get an eight-camera type DVR; most analog ones are only capable of continuous video from half the inputs at once.

    Or if they are analog, consider replacing them with a newer all-digital system. Newer digital cameras have vastly improved quality compared to analog ones, eg. 1920 x 1080 HD or even 4K video.

    • L
      Lv 7
      2 weeks agoReport

      Nest... Google. I would not trust the security. Replace them with non-cloud storage cams. Swann, Fostex, a few others.

  • P
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    The cameras may even be leased and password protected.  Otherwise to get them to work would depend on what specific camera models they are and how they are wired up.   Have you even figured out what they are connected into?

  • Mark
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    If you'd have to pay $50/mo (and not just a one-time fee), the feed is probably going to a security company. What did you plan to do? Never leave home (EVER), and watch the feeds from your own PC?

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