You are using an unsupported browser. Please update your browser to the latest version on or before July 31, 2020.

Third-Party Analog Camera Issues

Third-Party Analog Camera Issues


Affected Roles:  Administrator

Complexity:  Low

Last Edit:  April 22, 2020


Third-Party Camera Issues

Digital Watchdog’s standalone analog recording units are capable of supporting third-party cameras.  Most commonly used third-party cameras from companies like Hikvision, Dahua, or Samsung have been tested and confirmed to be compatible with VMAX DVRs.  However, it is not guaranteed that all OEM analog cameras will be compatible, as some companies require pairing their cameras with their DVRs (e.g., Lorex, Q-SEE, etc.) in a bundled system.

This article will outline some troubleshooting recommendations for resolving the most common video issues when using a third-party camera with a Digital Watchdog recording unit.

Note:  Please contact the camera manufacturer for issues that are not outlined in this document.

Supported/Affected Devices

  • VMAX Analog Series (960H)
  • VMAX A1 Series (2.1 MP)
  • VMAX A1 Plus Series (5MP)
  • CPUHD Compressor Series
  • ENH Compressor Series


When experiencing issues with using a third-party camera:

  1. If you have not already done so, identify the camera’s model number and manufacturer.
  1. If you are experiencing video issues with the camera, confirm that the camera’s Video Signal and Resolution output specifications are supported by your DVR.
  • VMAX Analog Series – CVBS / 960H Analog
  • VMAX A1 Series – up to 2.1 megapixels
  • VMAX A1 Plus Series – up to 5 megapixels
  1. Confirm that the camera’s video cable is securely connected to the DVR’s BNC connector.
  1. Power cycle the camera.

Turn the camera power off, then back on to reboot the camera.  If video issues persist, proceed with troubleshooting.

  1. Move the camera’s BNC connection to a different BNC connector at the DVR. 

If the issue follows the camera to the other BNC connector, it may be an issue with the camera or its cable run.

  1. Confirm that the DVR is set to the same video signal as the camera.

The VMAX A1 and VMAX A1 Plus allows users to change the video signal input for each channel.  Make sure that the DVR’s input signal matches the camera’s output signal.

  1. Confirm that the camera is powered on.

If the camera supports IR lighting, obscure the light sensor to see if the IR lights ignite.

If issues persist, you may need to uninstall the camera for bench testing.

  1. During the bench test, use an isolated power supply and a short coaxial cable, connected directly to the DVR.  This removes the cable run and the shared camera power supply as possible causes of the issue.
  1. If video issues persist during the bench test, test the camera video using another DVR, handheld monitor, or other device.  If the camera works with the other device, there may be a possible compatibility issue between the camera and the DVR.

Note:  Please contact the camera manufacturer for any operational issues with the third-party camera.  Digital Watchdog Technical Support agents are responsible for Digital Watchdog products only.

  • 387
  • 22-Apr-2020