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How to Repair Video Surveillance Cameras

Here are a few troubleshooting tips if your home security video surveillance cameras stop working

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If you’ve gone to the trouble of installing video surveillance cameras as an important component of your home security system, keeping them in working order will be critical. Unless you are an expert, you may not fully know how to repair video surveillance cameras, but here are a few troubleshooting tips.

What’s the problem?

Perhaps the first step in repairing a video surveillance camera is determining what’s wrong with it. Perhaps the picture is blurry or has stopped feeding to the monitor altogether. You may have “static” or even fragmented images coming through one or more cameras.home security video surveillance cameras

Perhaps you are seeing “live” streaming recording of images in and around your home, but you later find that nothing has been saved to your recorder or designated storage unit.

Perhaps you have discovered that your video surveillance cameras aren’t recording the full range of their area. Perhaps you have motion sensors connected to trigger your cameras and they are either failing to trigger recording activity or they’re stuck in constant recording mode.

Take a moment and diagnose the problem or problems first, then you can more easily isolate the areas to try a few troubleshooting steps.

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Scotty, do we have power?

An inconsistent or intermittent power source can weaken your camera signals. Check all the power sources to every camera. Ensure that the batteries are fresh, even if they are only necessary as a backup power source as that can affect some camera performance features. Check to be sure that any electrical hookup is functional.

How clear is the view?

Check camera lenses for damage and ensure that nothing is blocking the view. A camera being “blocked” by direct sunlight may cause unclear or distorted images. Are the lenses clean? Are the lenses properly focused? Check to see if the iris select switch is in the right mode. The image problem may be with your monitor and not the camera. Move home security video surveillance camerasthe camera to another system and see if it works on that system. If it does, then the problem is somewhere other than the camera.

Is it the cable, guy?

Inconsistent, shaky, blurry or even no image could be caused by problems with your connecting cables. Check all cables for kinks or tears or weak spots. Remove the camera and system cable connection and reconnect each end to see if that clears up the problem. Change the cable out for another one and check what happens. Use the current cable between the system and a camera somewhere else to see if the cable works properly there. If your video surveillance cameras are part of a wireless system, it, of course, wont be a cable issue but it could be a software issue. Check the settings in the software for your wireless system to see if they have been changed or re-set due to something like a power surge or a rebooting of your system. Make sure your system is "seeing" the camera. You might try adding another wireless device you know is working to the system and see if it connects properly.

Are we recording?

Check your digital video recorder (DVR) or computer that’s serving as the receiver for recording purposes and be sure it is plugged in, turned on and working properly. Open the computer box and reseat the video card, along with the other peripherals such as the hard drive and RAM. Look for any signs of damage to your DVR. A dent or other scuff may indicate a hard blow that jarred something loose inside or damaged a component. Connect the computer or DVR to a cable and camera that you know is working to see what happens.

Do you have software issues?

Check the software running your systems to see if any changes were made, or if it has become corrupt. Reinstall the software using the backup disk for a computer and reenter the correct parameters and information.

Keep and read the manual

When all else fails, consult your owner’s manual. If you have misplaced it or lost it or if you never kept one in the first place, most major surveillance camera manufacturers have a website you can visit that can direct you to additional troubleshooting steps you can take and resources you can consult. Many offer online assistance. Some even have personnel available 24/7 who can even “share” your system online and diagnose and even correct problems with your system.


In the end, unless you are a trained technician, you may have some video surveillance camera problems you can’t fix or repair on your own. Reply! can help you by connecting you to local home security experts with experience in assisting homeowners with all their home security system needs.

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