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How to Check Your CCTV Camera Without a DVR

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.

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Check your CCTV camera without a DVR by following these simple steps.

Understanding the Basics

If you need to check what’s going on at home or in your office without a DVR, then a CCTV camera can be a great option. Checking your CCTV camera without a DVR is much simpler than you might think. With the right tools and knowledge, you can easily monitor your property and protect it from unwanted intruders. Here, we will take a look at the basics of checking your CCTV camera without a DVR.

What is a CCTV Camera?

A CCTV Camera, otherwise known as a Closed-Circuit Television Camera, is a type of surveillance camera that records footage for security purposes. It requires a specific power source to operate and is typically connected to a monitor or another type of recording device. This can include digital video recorder (DVR) devices and various other types of recorders. The footage taken by these cameras can be used for monitoring and archiving purposes.

Generally speaking, these cameras come in two different types: Dome Cameras which are encased in either a plastic or acrylic dome; and Bullet Cameras which are cylindrical in shape. Both design types have their advantages depending on the user’s individual needs and specifications. Most DIY systems consist of interchangeable parts that allow you to customize your CCTV system according to your requirements-making it easier to install and configure the system on your own.

What is a DVR?

A Digital Video Recorder (DVR) is an electronic device that records and stores video in a digital format to a disk drive, USB flash drive, SD memory card or other mass storage device. It combines a digital video camera and recorder into one device, allowing for the recording of both analog and digital video signals. It also allows for playback of recorded videos on its integrated monitor or through a networked computer. A DVR system provides excellent image quality and an efficient way to store data over long periods of time because recording can be done 24 hours a day and on multiple channels simultaneously. With this system, footage can be reviewed instantly when needed, allowing for real-time investigations into any suspicious activity that might have been recorded by the cameras.

Checking the Camera without a DVR

Checking the footage from your CCTV camera without a DVR can be done through a variety of methods. You can use apps, IP cameras, or professionals to remotely access the footage. You can also connect the camera directly to a laptop and use software to access the footage. In this section, we will look at the different ways you can check your CCTV camera without a DVR.

Connect the camera to a monitor

If you want to be able to view your CCTV footage without a DVR, there are several options available to you. The most basic option is connecting the camera directly to a monitor. This can be done by simply connecting your camera’s video out port – usually colored yellow – directly into your monitor’s input. You may also need an adapter if the camera and monitor have different types of ports. Once properly connected, the camera should be displaying its feed on the monitor. This method is effective for quick checks but doesn’t allow for long-term viewing or recording.

Set up the camera manually

Although it’s easier to use a digital video recorder (DVR) to check your CCTV camera, if the DVR isn’t available or if you want to use the raw footage from the camera itself, there are steps you can take to set up and view the cameras without it. For simplicity’s sake this guide will focus on analog cameras (non-IP) as they’re most commonly used.

First you’ll need to connect power and video/audio cables into the back of your camera. Make sure all connections are secure. Next, mount the camera itself onto a wall or mount bracket to get it into an optimal position. Once in place, adjust any settings such as zoom and focus so that you can obtain quality footage from your camera.

Next, depending on your setup, is determining a route for where the cable will run from your camera(s). You’ll need a monitor or television with one or more input ports in order to display the live footage from your cameras – make sure it is connected via cable using coaxial connectors. Finally, make sure all power sources for both your monitor/television and cameras are turned on. You should now be able to view live footage from each of your cameras directly on screen without any additional equipment!

Use a smartphone or tablet to access the camera

Using your smartphone or tablet is an easy way to check your CCTV camera without a DVR. This can be done on either Android or iOS devices. All you need is access to the camera’s app on the device and an Internet connection. To do this, you need to make sure that the camera is set up with software that allows remote access. Next, you will need to install the camera’s app on your device so that you can access the video feed from anywhere in the world. Once installed, open up the app and follow any instructions for setup. You may also need to enter a username and password specific to your camera system before you are able to view any footage. Once in, you should be able to view a live stream of what your CCTV camera has picked up from anywhere in the world! Additionally, if supported by your device or app, you should be able to save footage directly from within the app as long as it has enough capacity for storing videos.


Troubleshooting can be an essential part of setting up and maintaining your CCTV system. If you don’t have a digital video recorder (DVR) connected to your cameras, you may need to troubleshoot your CCTV systems to make sure it’s working properly. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at some of the steps to take when troubleshooting your CCTV system without a DVR.

Check the connections

To check your CCTV camera without a Digital Video Recorder (DVR), the first step is to check all connections from the camera back to the power source and monitor. If possible, unplug each connection and then plug it back in firmly to ensure none are loose. In addition, check that both ends of the video cable are secure.

If using an HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) cable, make sure that no pins are bent or damaged as this may cause interference with the signal. Refer to your user manual for further information on how to connect your specific cameral model.

Finally, ensure that your monitor is powered on and set to the correct input channel in order for the camera feed to be visible.

Check the power supply

If you are experiencing an issue with your CCTV camera, the first thing to do is to make sure that it is properly connected to the power supply. In order for the camera to function properly and produce a clear image, it must be connected to an appropriate power outlet. If there is a power surge or disruption, this may cause your camera to reset or stop working altogether. To check if your camera is properly connected, disconnect its power source and then reconnect it while checking for any damage or fraying cables. Additionally, make sure that the voltage of the connection matches the voltage rating of your camera in order for it to work optimally.

Check the camera settings

Before troubleshooting your CCTV camera, it is important to first check the camera settings and make sure that everything is properly configured. This includes checking the power cable and making sure that it is connected to a reliable power source. Additionally, make sure that the video cable is securely attached to the camera and connected to the right port on the receiver.

You should also check that all of the ports on both devices are secure, as well as ensuring that any adapter cables used with your device are not loose or damaged. If your device is provided with a remote control, check its battery life or replace it if necessary. Also, there should be no obstructions in front of your camera such as lights or other objects.

Finally, ensure that the software installed on your device matches what’s specified in its documentation. If software needs to be upgraded, you can usually find updates from the manufacturer’s website or by contacting their customer support team for assistance. If none of these issues seem likely after performing a thorough inspection of all components involved, then you may need additional troubleshooting guidance from an expert technician.


In conclusion, if you don’t have a DVR to check the activity of your CCTV Cameras Connecting the camera to your smartphone app is easy. All you need to do is find the right app for your CCTV Cameras and establish a connection between the two.. Doing this will help you monitor your CCTV Cameras regardless if you have a DVR or not.

Advantages of checking the camera without a DVR

One advantage of checking your CCTV camera without a DVR is the cost savings. Without a DVR, you would not need to purchase or pay for additional recording components, cables or power supplies. Additionally, instead of having to manage and maintain the DVR system and run through long menus of settings, you may be able to access footage from your camera without needing to configure and maintain any complex hardware.

Another advantage might be the speed at which users can gain remote access. Instead of accessing their footage only by using a separate device such as a mobile phone or laptop, users can now view their footage directly via the camera’s monitoring software interface. This enables a much faster response time when surveilling your premises if something has occurred that needs attention.

Finally, through reviewing images on-the-go without needing to access a central recording system allows individuals to ensure that their premises are safe and secure even if they are located in remote locations. Being able to quickly log into your cameras from anywhere that has internet access could potentially save expensive call out fees from professionals or avoid taking time out from business trips or holiday vacations.

Disadvantages of checking the camera without a DVR

Although it is possible to watch a CCTV camera without a DVR, there are several drawbacks to this approach. First of all, you will only be able to view a single camera at once and you may miss out on critical footage if the camera is not set up correctly. Additionally, since the footage is not being recorded and stored, you may have problems viewing or recording clear images or videos at night or in dimly lit rooms.

In order to ensure that all recordings are captured accurately, it is essential to use a Digital Video Recorder (DVR) with your CCTV system. With a DVR, you can store and replay footage that has been recorded onto the device’s built-in hard drive for later inspection if needed. Additionally, the DVR allows for simultaneous viewing of multiple cameras from multiple locations-something that can’t be done when attempting to view cameras without a DVR.

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