A Brief Guide for NVR Connection with IP Cameras

Updated on Sep 29, 2021 by

Enhancing security with a robust NVR camera system is essential in today's connected world. The Network Video Recorder (NVR) serves as a hub in this system, managing footage captured by IP cameras. When it comes to NVR connection, several questions often arise. How do IP cameras connect to an NVR? Are PoE switches required? This article discusses the basics of NVRs and how to connect IP cameras to an NVR—with or without PoE switches.

What Is NVR?

A Network Video Recorder (NVR) is a specialized computer system that receives live images or video streams captured by IP cameras and records them digitally to a hard disk, USB flash drive, or other mass storage device. It is typically used in IP video surveillance networks to provide centralized video controls. Users can view, playback, and download video recordings when needed.

An NVR setup typically involves integrating various components within the surveillance network. The core connections include linking IP cameras directly to the NVR through Ethernet cables, optionally using a PoE switch to provide power and data over a single cable. Additionally, the NVR connects to a network router for internet access, and to a monitor or control terminal for local management of video footage.

Read More: What Is NVR? Do I Need NVR for IP Camera?

How to Connect IP Camera to NVR

There are two types of NVRs on the market: PoE NVRs and non-PoE NVRs. They use different methods to connect IP surveillance cameras. Here are the connection considerations and the specific methods for NVR camera system setup.

Preparation for NVR Connection

Before setting up your NVR with IP cameras, it is crucial to verify that the NVR is compatible with the cameras you plan to use.

First, make sure that the NVR supports the specific models of IP cameras. This often involves checking for protocol compatibility, such as the ONVIF standard, which facilitates interoperability between IP security devices from different manufacturers.

Then, confirm that the NVR can handle the camera's resolution, as not all currently support 4K or 12MP cameras. If the camera's resolution exceeds what the NVR can process, you may need to access the camera's web interface to adjust the resolution settings downward.

Option One: Connecting IP Cameras to PoE NVR without PoE Switch

A PoE NVR has a built-in PoE switch, offering PoE ports for connecting IP cameras directly over Ethernet cables. So it does not require a separate power adapter to work. Below is a step-by-step guide for PoE NVR connection

  • Make sure the NVR is powered on. Use an Ethernet cable to link the router and the PoE NVR, so as to connect your NVR to the internet.

  • Connect each IP camera's Ethernet cable to the available PoE ports on the NVR. These connections will enable the cameras to receive power and send video feed to the NVR concurrently.

  • Connect the NVR and a monitor or TV via a VGA or HDMI cable. Make sure the monitor or TV is set to the correct input mode, such as VGA, HDMI 1, or HDMI 2.

Once all connections are properly established, your NVR should be successfully linked to the IP cameras, at which point the capabilities of this PoE NVR security system become fully operational. This system is ideal for IP surveillance within homes and smaller-scale commercial settings, such as family villas and chain stores.

NVR Security System without PoE Switches

Option Two: Connecting IP Cameras to Non-PoE NVR with PoE Switch

Non-PoE NVRs come with Ethernet ports but need an external PoE switch or adapter to power network cameras. Follow the steps below to finish the NVR connections with the use of a PoE switch.

  • Connect the LAN port on the PoE switch to the router using an Ethernet cable, and connect the non-PoE NVR and the router. Make sure the PoE switch and NVR are in the same network.

  • Connect IP cameras to the RJ45 ports on the PoE switch by Ethernet cables. The PoE switch will provide power and support video transmission.

  • Connect the NVR and a monitor or TV via a VGA or HDMI cable, ensuring it's set to the right input channel, such as VGA or HDMI1.

Note that users must add the cameras to the NVR to view and record footage from the cameras. Therefore, please follow the steps in the instruction manual attached to your NVR.

NVR Security System with PoE Switches

FAQs About NVR Connection

Does NVR Require the Internet?

Network video recorders can work without the Internet and continue to record and stream the video stream. However, without the Internet, users can not back up the videos on cloud storage, have no access to the recordings remotely, or even won't get push notifications or alerts in case of an intrusion.

What is the Farthest Distance between a Security Camera and the Connected NVR?

The connection between an IP camera and NVR is achieved by Ethernet cables. Because of the signal attenuation, the maximum transmission distance of the Ethernet cable is 100 meters. Thus, the maximum distance that the camera can run from the NVR is also 100 meters. If users require a distance beyond 100 meters, they can use an Ethernet extender to extend the distance.

Can I mix different brands of IP cameras on the same NVR?

Yes, this is often possible if the NVR and the IP cameras are compliant with the ONVIF (Open Network Video Interface Forum) standard, which promotes interoperability between different brands' devices. Always check the manufacturer's specifications to ensure compatibility.

How many IP cameras can I connect to my NVR?

The number of cameras that can be connected to an NVR depends on the specific NVR model and its channel capacity. Some NVRs support 4, 8, 16, or more channels, which corresponds to the number of cameras that can be connected.

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