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How to Check if Your CCTV Camera is Recording

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Muhammad Baballe Ahmad, Mehmet Cavas, Sudhir Chitnis, and Zhen-ya Liu.

✓ Verified & Tested Information

CCTV cameras are a great way to improve security around your home or business. But how can you tell if your CCTV camera is actually recording?

Check the Recording Status

Checking to see if your CCTV camera is recording is an important step in securing your home or business. This guide will help you determine the recording status of your CCTV camera quickly and easily. In this article, you will learn about the simplest methods for checking the recording status of your CCTV camera, whether you have an analog or IP camera. Let’s get started.

Check the recording status on the DVR

To ensure that your CCTV camera is recording, you need to check the recording status on the Digital Video Recorder (DVR). Follow the instructions below to verify that your camera is actively recording:

1. Locate where the DVR is stored and connect it to a monitor or TV with an HDMI cable.
2. Sign-in to your DVR system and check if it is actively monitoring the camera feeds. If not, make sure all cables are properly plugged into sockets and reboot the DVR by unplugging it from electric supply for 30 seconds.
3. After rebooting, check if the camera feeds are being monitored by referring to the Rec time indicator in Monitor/Playback menu of DVR/NVR screen or each feed window showing a time length or counter below which keeps on increasing, denoting active monitoring.
4. You can also check if your recordings are being stored in the SD card by checking for events detected and recorded at regular intervals in Backup folder of System Setup in the left pane of NVR main page tab who such option available inside settings option in local forum
5. To ensure this you can use remote operation feature like port forwarding and surf through IP address with rtsp port number via vlc player as mentioned inside manual if your recorder supports this feature on internet connection available at location of recorder having NVR system installed at site via its ip address
6 Finished verifying? Now you’re ready to start live streaming your CCTV footage securely!

Check the recording status on the monitor

Checking the recording status on the monitor is one of the quickest and simplest ways to determine if your CCTV camera is recording. Depending on your CCTV set up, you can view a live feed from the recordings that your security cameras have made in the past few hours, days, or weeks. If you do not see any video playback reported, then it is likely that your camera is not capturing recordings.

To determine if your camera has been recording properly, you must check both back and front-end components. The back-end component includes all components related to storage such as footage storage location, capacity, availability and various other parameters which need to be checked. The front-end component comprises of sources such as Cameras, Monitor/Control Station or Decoder etc., it also includes checking status of the external threat like burglar alarm etc.

When checking the recording status at the monitor/control station where footage is displayed in real time or while browsing through previously recorded footages, look out for indicators like time&date stamping in playback and ensure that they are updated accordingly. If there are no changes discovered within reasonable duration of time it may suggest that video feed was not proper and not recorded properly. Furthermore check for error notifications like tape errors/stuck reels or disc errors/stuck drives etc., which could indicate poor quality of video feed sent for recording or non-functioning CCTV systems respectively and hence no continuous recording status may be discerned even if signs are visible on monitor display accordingly.

Check the Camera

If you want to check if your CCTV camera is recording, the easiest way to do so is to check the camera itself. Depending on the type of camera you have and where it is located, it may be easy or difficult to access. If your camera is visible and accessible, then you can use the hardware controls or settings to adjust the recording duration and quality and to review if it is recording or not. Let’s look at some other methods to check if your CCTV camera is recording.

Check the camera for any signs of damage

Before you check if your CCTV camera is recording, you should take the time to make sure that the device is in optimum condition. Look for any signs of physical damage, such as frayed wires, corroded connectors or other external damage. You should also inspect the lens closely for any dust, dirt or moisture buildup which could impede its performance and result in poor quality footage. If you find any of these problems, it’s important to address them before attempting to use your camera. Taking a few extra minutes now can help prevent costly repairs later on.

Check the camera’s connection to the DVR

Before you can confirm if your CCTV camera is recording or not, you first need to ensure that the camera is correctly connected to the Digital Video Recorder (DVR) or Network Video Recorder (NVR). This can be done in two ways – by checking the cables that are connected to the back of both components, or by accessing the recorder’s configuration menu.

The connection between a DVR/NVR and a CCTV camera should have a video (yellow-colored) cable plus a power lead. The video cable transfers video from the camera to the recorder, whilst the power lead supplies power from either a mains adapter plug or directly from an electrical outlet.

For wireless surveillance systems, check that you have good signal strength between your devices using a wireless tester tool. If there’s only one bar of signal showing on your screen, it may be worth considering changing out your wireless transmitter with an improved device for better coverage and reliability.

Once you have established that both devices are correctly connected, then you can move onto confirming whether your CCTV camera is recording or not.

Check the DVR

Checking your dedicated Digital Video Recorder (DVR) is the most reliable way to determine if your CCTV camera is recording. A DVR is essential when you need to record video from multiple cameras in high-definition. It not only records and stores the data but also processes it, enabling you to access your footage anytime you need it. Let’s look into how exactly to check if your CCTV camera is recording by using your DVR.

Check the DVR for any signs of damage

To ensure that your Digital Video Recorder (DVR) is functioning properly, you’ll need to check it periodically. While there may not be any visible signs of damage, it’s always best to take a look just in case. This ensures that the DVR is working correctly, including with the CCTV camera connected to the system. Here are a few things to look for when inspecting your DVR:

-External Damage: Look over the outside of the DVR for any physical signs of damage that may have occurred over time. Check for cracked plastic parts or scuffs on exposed surfaces that could potentially cause problems with performance.
-Cables and Connections: Check all of the cables and other connections to make sure they are properly plugged in and undamaged. You want to make sure everything is securely connected so there is no risk of disconnecting during recording or playback.
-Indicators: All DVRs come with indicator lights either built into the device or displayed on an external panel. Make sure these indicators are clearly lit and functioning as expected, as this could be an indication if something isn’t quite right inside the device itself.
-Data Loss: It’s important to check periodically that no data has been lost while recording with your CCTV cameras connected to your DVR system. Check through playback files and recordings every once in awhile to ensure nothing has been lost unexpectedly due to a power outage or hardware failure within your setup.

Check the DVR’s connection to the camera

In order to determine whether the CCTV camera is recording, it is necessary to check the connection between the CCTV camera and its Digital Video Recorder (DVR).

First, ensure that the power supply to both the camera and DVR are plugged in and switched on. If not, power up both devices so that they can function properly and record any footage at commanded by your settings.

Next, inspect all associated cables for proper connectivity. Make sure there are no loose or dangling cables coming from either device as this could lead to a lapse in recording or complete service interruption. Ensure that your camera’s output cable has been securely plugged into one of the input ports on your DVR. It may be helpful to note which output port is connected to which input port in order to avoid any confusion later on. If your setup includes more than one video input device, repeat this step until all connected devices are securely wired into respective ports on the DVR.

Once all of your equipment is properly powered up, tested for correct wiring and running without fault codes or glitchy displays– you will be able know if your CCTV cameras have been recording using a few simple steps: access the DVR’s control menu; select ‘video settings’; then choose ‘preview/playback’ within these settings; from here you should be given an option to manually play back recordings from previous days by selecting a corresponding date/time range-after doing so, you can use these playback options in order view recordings made by your surveillance system at earlier times.

Check the DVR’s settings

To make sure that your camera is recording, the first thing to do is to check the DVR settings. It is important that you understand how the DVR functions and how you should configure it for optimal coverage.

The settings will depend on your specific make and model. Generally, you need to set up a schedule for ‘record mode’ which will tell the system which times to start and stop recording, as well as setting motion detection modes where the system will start recording if any motion is detected in a certain area.

You can also check if there have been instances of recording in the past by consulting your log files. You can access these logs via your web portal or using an app specifically designed for this purpose. Some cameras also have separate storage devices connected to them which can store video footage; these should be accessed regularly and cleared periodically if they are no longer needed.


It is essential to make sure that your CCTV camera is recording, otherwise, it defeats the whole purpose of having it in the first place. If you are suspicious that your CCTV camera is not recording, there are a few troubleshooting steps you can take to check if it is working. Read on to learn more about how to troubleshoot your CCTV camera and what to do if it isn’t recording.

Check the power supply

When troubleshooting a CCTV system, the first step should be to check the power supply to make sure it is connected and supplying power to the camera. If your camera is not receiving power, then it will not be able to record. To check the power source, start by checking your outlets and verifying that you are using a surge protector or UPS device. If the power supply appears to be connected correctly, you’ll want to verify that there is adequate voltage being supplied and identify any potential issues with cables or connections. You can also test individual components like the power adapter and wiring using a multimeter.

If everything appears to be correctly wired, it may be helpful to reset or cycle the circuit breaker controlling your camera’s outlet. Additionally, ensure that you have selected an appropriate back-up power source for emergencies by utilizing batteries or installing an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) system for uninterrupted recording in case of a power outage. If all of these steps fail, you may need to replace faulty components such as an outlet or defective AC Adapter in order for your camera’s recording function return back online.

Check the network connection

One of the first steps in troubleshooting your CCTV camera recording is to check the network connection. If your system is connected to the internet or your local network, make sure all of the necessary ports are open and that all of the cables are securely connected and running properly. Check to see if your router is broadcasting and that DHCP settings have been configured correctly. Ensure that firewall rules are correctly set up, and be sure to follow manufacturer’s directions when making any changes. Once these settings have been verified, you can run a simple self-test on the camera itself to check for proper functionality.

Check the video cable

The video cable is what connects the CCTV camera to the video source, such as a TV, monitor or digital video recorder. Checking the camera regularly and the video cable is an important first step in determining if your CCTV camera is recording properly or not.

If the connection between your CCTV camera and the video source is not working correctly, then your CCTV system may not be able to record properly. First, check to make sure that both ends of the cable are securely connected. If everything appears to be plugged in correctly and you’re still having problems, you should also check that there are no kinks or bends in the cable which could be causing interference. If everything looks good but you’re still getting poor quality images or no recording whatsoever, you should try using a different length of video cable or replacing it with a new one entirely.

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