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Changing Analog Camera Resolution From 5 MP to 2.1 MP

Changing Analog Camera Resolution From 5 MP to 2.1 MP


Affected Roles:  Administrator, Installer

Complexity:  Medium

Last Edit:  March 26, 2021


Camera Resolution

Camera resolution is traditionally measured in megapixels (MP) – in general, more pixels means that there will be a higher resolution available.  However, as resolution technology progresses, more processing power is required for the devices receiving higher resolution video streams from cameras.   As a result, users may need to periodically upgrade their outdated equipment if they intend to use the new technology.

For example, connecting a 5 MP camera (2592 x 1944) to a DVR that only supports up to 2.1 MP (1820 x 1080) or to a non-HD DVR (960H) will result in video issues or no video will display at all.  Some Digital Watchdog Star-Light Plus™ (5 MP) analog cameras allow users to lower the resolution output to avoid this problem.

This article will explain how to lower a camera’s resolution output from 5 MP to 2.1 MP.

**NOTE:  This guide is for bullet and vandal dome models only.  If you are not using a vandal ball or turret camera model that supports the use of an OSD joystick, you will need to use a UTP or UTC (up-the-coax) connection between the camera and the DVR to utilize the camera’s onboard UI.

Supported/Affected Devices

  • DW Star-Light Plus™ Analog Cameras (Bullet & Vandal Dome Models)

Lowering the Megapixel Output

For this process, you will need to be physically in front of the camera and connect a compatible display to the camera. 

If you are not using a handheld monitor, it is recommended to connect a display monitor to your recording unit, so that you can view the camera video through the unit.

**NOTE:  For this guide, we will be using the DWC-B6563WTIR (bullet) and DWC-V6563WTIR (vandal dome) as our sample models.  Images and menu layout depicted in this guide may vary from your camera model.

To change the megapixel output:

  1. Open the camera
    • For a bullet-style camera, open the camera by unscrewing and removing the front case cover from the camera.
    • For a vandal-dome-style camera, open the camera by removing the four cover screws with the provided wrench, then remove the dome cover from the camera.
  1. Connect the BNC cable of the camera to a handheld display monitor or to a DVR that supports 5 MP resolution video to view the camera video over a coaxial connection.

If you do not have a receiving device that will support up to 5 MP resolution video, you may locate the Test Video Slot inside of the camera case.

Connect the Test Cable that came with the camera to the Test Video Slot to view the camera video using a 960H resolution over a coaxial connection.

**NOTE:  If you are using a DVR for camera display during this process, you will need a display monitor (VGA or HDMI) connected to the recording unit at this time.

  1. Make sure that the camera is powered ON.

The video from the camera’s Test Video Slot will display in a 960H analog video signal, while the camera’s primary output will display its default HD video signal.

  1. Locate the OSD joystick inside of the camera case.  If you are using a camera that does not support an OSD joystick, please use an alternate means of controlling the camera’s onboard UI.

  1. Push the joystick inward, like a button, to prompt the camera’s on-screen-display (OSD).

Use the joystick to navigate to the Setup tab in the camera OSD menu.

  1. Use the joystick to select “Output”.  Push the joystick inward to open the Output menu.

Change the Framerate to 1080p 30 (2.1 MP; 30fps) or to the preferred resolution.

Select “Confirm”, then set it to ONPush the joystick inward to confirm and apply the setting change.

  1. Using the joystick, select “Return”, then push the joystick inward to return to the previous menu.

Return to the camera OSD Main Menu, then navigate to the “Exit tab in the camera OSD menu.

Select “Save & Exit”, then push the joystick inward to apply the changes.

  1. It is recommended that you do not have the Test Video Cable connected to the camera when monitoring video through the camera’s main coax-out, BNC cable.  The cable will prioritize output through the test cable if it is still connected.

Video output is now 1080p (2.1 MP) 30fps or set to the preferred resolution.  You may connect the camera to the receiver/DVR as normal.

**NOTE:  If you experience further video output issues with the camera, confirm that the receiver/DVR supports HD video signals (HD-TVI, HD-A, HD-CVI).

If the receiver/DVR does not support HD video signals, you will need to change the Analog Mode (video signal) to CVBS.  

This can only be performed while using a DVR that supports at least 2.1 MP (HD-TVI, HD-A, HD-CVI).  If this is the case, please read Changing Analog Camera Video Signals to CVBS.

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  • 26-Mar-2021