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Exporting Video Footage with C3 CMS

Exporting Video Footage with C3™ CMS


Affected Roles:  All Users

Related Digital Watchdog VMS Apps:  C3™ CMS

Complexity:  Low

Last Edit:  April 7, 2022


Exporting Video

When utilizing C3™ CMS to monitor your recording system, it becomes possible to export previously recorded video footage through this desktop software.

The following article will outline the various ways that you can export video footage from a recording unit directly to your computer with the C3 CMS software including:

  • Streaming Backup (specified time period)
  • File Backup (hour-long blocks)
  • Scheduled Backup (set schedule for automatic backup)
  • Scheduled FTP Upload (backup for multiple sites to a dedicated backup server)
  • Password Encryption (require a password to view exported video files)
  • Viewing Exported Video (how to view SSF/AVI files containing exported video)

**NOTE:  If you have not added your DVR or NVR site to the C3 CMS software, please read Adding a Site to C3 CMS before proceeding.

**NOTE:  If you are connected to your recorder site using the PathFinder P2P function (PathFinder ID), please be aware that the remote backup features will not function.  To perform a remote backup, the recorder site must be registered to C3 CMS using an IP address or DDNS address to maintain a direct connection.

Supported/Affected Devices

  • VMAX® A1 Series (2.1 MP)
  • VMAX® A1 Plus Series (5 MP)
  • VMAX® IP Plus Series

Performing a Backup

When a standalone recorder archives camera video footage, the video files will be stored in the local storage drive (HDD) that is installed within the VMAX unit. This previously recorded video footage can be reviewed locally at the recorder itself, but it can also be retrieved through C3 CMS.

In addition to the convenience of using a computer desktop application for regular viewing, video files can also be exported/backed-up directly to the computer. Below are a few of the remote backup options that the C3 CMS service provides.

Streaming Backup

This method is different than using the Site Backup feature of C3 CMS as users are able to be more specific with the timeframe of the target footage for backup, rather than being limited to only exporting footage in hour-long blocks.

To use the Streaming Backup feature to export video through C3 CMS:

  1. From the left pane, under “Resources”, select a site from the Sites list and begin viewing video. To view video, drag-and-drop the registered recorder from the Site List, that is located on the left-hand side of the window in the Resources panel.

  1. After beginning to view the site, search for your footage by clicking on the Calendar icon in the bottom pane to display the Calendar Search feature. 

Use the Calendar to specify the date and time of the desired video playback.  In the Calendar, dates that are highlighted in yellow represents previously recorded video that is available for playback.

After making your selections in the Calendar, the Timeline will activate at the bottom pane of the window. You may use the mouse wheel to zoom-in closer or to zoom out further on the Timeline.

**NOTE:  If the bottom pane is currently hidden, click the collapsible tab at the bottom of the window to display the viewing controls.

  1. To select which cameras you would like to view (and soon export video for) select the target video channels in the main viewing area. The Timeline will show a green ribbon to represent the searchable video.

**NOTE:  Breaks in the green ribbon on the Timeline are normal. Empty areas represent either the fact that you have not selected all of the desired cameras in the viewing area and/or the camera settings in the recorder have been set to only archive footage when motion has been detected by the camera.

Using the right mouse button, click-and-drag in the Timeline to highlight the desired timeframe.  You can click and slide the Start and End points with your mouse if an adjustment needed.

Alternatively, to set up the Streaming Export, right-click in the Timeline at the starting point of your desired section of footage, then select “Backup Start Set”.  A Start marker will display on the Timeline.

To set the ending point of your desired section of footage, right-click at the end of your desired footage, then select “Backup End Set”.  An End marker will display on the Timeline.

  1. The section of footage marked on the Timeline will be highlighted in yellow and the Streaming Backup settings will display.

In the Streaming Backup window, configure the following setting before continuing:

  • Device Name, IP address, max channels – these settings will list the connection settings for the registered site
  • Path – under the Device Information section, select a save location to where the export the backup video files will be stored on the computer
  • SSF Files/AVI Files – select between exporting the video to .SSF format or .AVI format. Use “SSF Files” if you are exporting video from more than one video channel.
    • .AVI is still supported by some third party media players
  • SSF Player Export – enable this option to include the standalone Backup Player executable (.exe) with the backup files.  This is recommended if the files are going to be shared with anyone that does not use C3 CMS or does not have a media player that will support .SSF format.
  • Backup Setting – select the video channels to include for the selected section of footage. To export all of the video channels, enable “ALL Channel” to create backup files for all video channels. The more channels that are selected, the larger the file size will be.
  • Start Time / End Time – verify or adjust the start and end points of the video export as needed.

  1. Once your specifications have been set, click the “Backup Start” button to begin the backup.  The processing time will vary depending on the length of the footage and the number of channels that were selected.  You may click the “Stop” button at any point to abort the process early.

Once the export process has been completed, a confirmation message will display.  Click the “OK” button to close the pop-up.

The exported footage and Backup Player will be saved in the destination (Path) folder that was specified in the Streaming Backup settings window.

File Backup Dialog

To export video through File Backup:

  1. Open the Top Menu and select “Backup”.

  1. The Backup window will display.  Under “My Sites”, select the target site for the backup.

  1. Under the Site Information section, verify that the address information is correct.

For “Path”, determine the location where the video file will be saved in the computer.  To change the file pathing, click the ellipses (…) button.

  1. Use the Calendar to select a specific recording date.  Days colored in GREEN represents that there is video recorded for that day.

Under the Backup Time section, choose the time of the footage that you would like to backup.  In the File Backup dialogue, footage may only be backed up by the hour.

  1. Under the Channels to Backup section, specify which channels you would like to include in the backup.  By default, all channels will be included.
  1. Click the “Start” button to begin the backup process.  The progress bar at the bottom of the Backup window will display the status of the backup.

Scheduled Backup

Use C3 CMS to periodically backup video files on a set schedule with the Schedule Backup feature.

**NOTE:  The computer must remain turned on during the runtime for the scheduled backup for this feature to work.

To set up Schedule Backup:

  1. Open the Top Menu, then click on “Backup”.

The Backup window will display.  Click on the “Schedule Backup” tab.

  1. In the My Sites panel, select the site that you will be periodically backing up.  The device information will display in the Site Information area.

The “Path” setting will determine the location where the video file will be saved on the computer.  To change the file pathing, click the ellipses () button and select the new file location.

  1. In the Backup Date section, set the start date and end date of the backup period of the scheduled backup. 

Enable the “Continue” setting to have C3 CMS backup footage, beginning at the designated starting date, and to continuously backup video beyond the set end-date.

In the Channels to Backup section, select which channels to include in the backup.  Enable “ALL Channels” to include all video channels in the backup.

  1. In the Server Schedule section, set the days of the week and hours of day that C3 CMS will backup footage for.  Click-and-drag to mark grid.

  1. Under the Backup Run Time section, set the hour of the day that the backup process is allowed to run.  Click-and-drag to mark in the grid.

  1. At the bottom of the window, enable [optional] “Start Scheduled Backup when OS Starts” to execute backup when the OS of the computer starts.

Once the settings have been configured, click the Save button.  C3 is ready to begin following the schedule upon clicking saving the settings.

  1. The scheduled backup will appear in the Scheduled Backup List menu. Click on the “Scheduled Backup List” tab to view a list of the scheduled backups.

Scheduled FTP Upload

The Schedule FTP Upload function is supported for stable backup for multiple sites.  To use the Schedule FTP Upload function, the FTP server must be operated on the backup PC.

To set up the Schedule FTP Upload function:

  1. Open the Top Menu, then click on “Backup”.

The Backup window will display.  Click on the “Schedule FTP Upload” tab.

  1. Under the My Sites section, click on a site that you are setting this feature for.  The device information will display in the Site Information area.

Set the Path of the backup file.

  1. Under the Upload Date section, choose the dates to upload.

If you check the “Continue” box, the setting will be designated from the start date to the present date.

If you check the “Latest” box, the setting will start from the previous day and proceed like continuous backup.

Under the Channels to Backup section, select which channels to include in the backup.  Enable “ALL Channels” to select all channels.

  1. Under the FTP Server Information section, configure the following:
  • Host – enter the backup server’s IP Address
  • Port – 22 (default; if limited, you may enter a different port)
  • User – enter the FTP server ID
  • Password – enter the FTP server password
  • Home Path – set the home path set in the FTP

  1. At the bottom of the window, enable [optional] “Start Scheduled Backup when OS Starts” to execute backup when the OS of the computer starts.

Once the settings have been configured, click the Save/Connect Test button to test the connection and save the settings.

  1. Click the Scheduled FTP Upload List tab to view the scheduled backup.  The last downloaded file will display, not the time of the last data uploaded.

At the bottom of the window, set the “Delete Old Folders” and “Days” settings to configure the auto deletion of old recordings of the Scheduled FTP Upload feature.

File Password

C3 users have the option to utilize the File Password menu, which allows the encrypting of exported video files and will require users to enter a password to view them.

To set up a File Password in C3 CMS:

  1. Open the Top Menu, then click on “Backup”.

The Backup window will display.  Click on the “File Password” tab.

  1. The File Password menu will display.

Select the file location from the Drive List, then select the backup file in the Backup File List that you would like to encrypt.

  1. In the File Encryption area, create a password to protect the selected file(s).

Click the “Encryption” button to encrypt the selected file(s) and apply the password.

  1. To change or delete the encryption password, select the file, then enter the login password to the site.

Enable the “No password” setting to disable the current password altogether.

Enter a new password in the “New Password” and “Confirm Password” settings to change the password to something else.

Click the “Save” button when finished to apply the settings.

Viewing Exported Video Footage with C3 CMS

To play exported footage, users may use the C3 CMS Backup Viewer feature or standalone player version (Streaming Backup setting).

To use the Backup Viewer to view an exported video file:

  1. If you are using the C3 CMS desktop application, click the Player icon that is located next to the Calendar in the bottom panel.

If you do not have C3 CMS and are trying to view an exported video, use the C3Player executable (.exe) program that was included when the video export was created.


  1. In the File Drive List section, select the file directory (folder) that contains the video files.

If the files are password protected, enter the password in the “File Password” box to decrypt the video footage files for viewing.

  1. Next, in the TTX File List section, select the “One” tab to view one channel at a time during playback.

Alternatively, select the “Multi” tab to view multiple channels simultaneously during playback.

Double-click on a video file to begin viewing the exported video file.

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  • 07-Apr-2022