2SEETV sells DVR systems, PC based CCTV and CCTV cameras.

2SEETV Ltd  
[ 2seetv Home ]  [ Products ]  [ Guide to CCTV ]  [ Glossary of Terms ]  [ News ]  [ Contact Us ]  [ Installation Service ]  [ Links ] 
 

How to view images from CCTV cameras via the internet

Modern CCTV recorders have the ability to act as a web server. DVRs like the DMR4-MPEG4 model have a LAN (Local Area Network) port as standard, hence allowing them to be connected to a network for both local and remote viewing.

A simple network can be established by connecting the DVR directly to a PC.

 

The DMR4-MPEG4 recorders are supplied with a simple to use viewing software.

Once the programme has been loaded on to the PC you can view live and recorded images from the DVR or control most functions of the DVR. Recorded images can be saved to the PC.

You will only be able to view the images from the connected PC.

A more useful configuration can be obtained using a router. For example, a 4 port router will allow the connection of 1 DVR and up to 3 computers. Each computer can then access the DVR data.

 

A broadband router with a live internet connection would allow connection from a remote PC.

 

 

Performance Across a Network Connection

The picture quality and smoothness of the images when viewed over a LAN will usually be very good.

When viewing images over a WAN (Wide Area Network) the performance of the internet connection is the deciding factor.

It is important to understand the type of internet you are using.

Typically an ADSL or Broadband service will be used.

ADSL stands for Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line. In simple terms this means the download connection and the upload connections do not have the same capacities.

The download connection is used to download information from a web server connected to the internet. You may have a broadband connection with an 8Mbps capability (8 Million bits per second).

The upload connection is always of a lower capacity, typically 256Kbps or 512Kbps. Check with your Internet Service Provider (ISP) what type of service is available.

Alternatively, a DSL connection can be purchased which will offer much higher capacities but at greatly increased prices.

For most purposes an ADSL connection will give usable results.

Understanding Static and Dynamic IP Addresses

IP networks work by each connected device having an IP address.  A broadband router will have 2 IP address, one for the internal or LAN side and one for the WAN side.

For example the LAN side devices, your PC and the DVR could have address as follows:

Router LAN side:       192.168.1.3

PC:                          192.168.1.2

DVR                         192.168.1.10

These are static IP addresses in that they do not change.

The WAN side of the router is assigned an IP address by your ISP and may be either static or dynamic.

The current Internet Protocol system cannot cope with the high demand for static addresses so may ISPs now provide dynamic IP addresses. This is achieved by your router requesting an IP address from the ISP when it is powered on. The ISP assigns an unused address. When you surf to any web site your IP address is sent as the location to which the requested pages are be returned.

Most ISPs operate a contention ratio system of current users to available internet connections. This may be something like 30:1 which means there is only one internet connection available for every 30 subscribers. Not all subscribers are online at the same time so this is a workable system. In periods of inactivity your router will temporary disconnect from the ISP but reconnect when a new web site is requested. A new IP address will now be allocated. This process will appear seamless to the user with no perceived loss of service.

To access the DVR from a remote location you will need to know the WAN side IP address of the router connection. With a dynamic IP address system this will be unknown. There is a method to overcome this using a setup called DDNS (Dynamic Domain Name Server). More about this later.

 

Step By Step Instructions To Connect a DMR4-MPEG4 Digtal Recorder to a Local a Wide Area Network.

These instructions are based on the DMR4 DVR but the general principal can be applied to most DVRs.

 

First steps – make the basic connections

Connect a suitable video feed to the channel 1 input on the rear of the DMR4

DMR4-MPEG4– Initial configuration

In order to correctly configure the DMR4, it must initially be connected directly to a PC or Laptop using a CAT 5 patch lead. At this stage it should be a cross-over cable (not a straight thru).

The default DMR4 IP address is 192.168.1.10 The PC or Laptop needs to be configured so that its IP address is in the same range as the I/P address of the DMR4.

The following steps show you how to configure the PC or Laptop with an IP address of 192.168.1.2

The following steps show configuration using Windows XP although configuration is similar for other versions of Windows.

Open Control Panel (start – settings – control panel) and double click Network Connections. Double click the Local Area Connection and select properties.

1. Select Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) and then click on the Properties button. The TCP/IP Properties dialogue lets you enter the TCP/IP address details.

2. Select the Use the following IP address button and enter 192.168.1.2 in the IP address box. Select the Subnet mask box and enter 255.255.255.0

Click OK and exit right out of control panel

Note: Windows XP will take around 30-60 seconds to set the new network settings – all other versions of Windows will require a system restart

To test that the DMR4 is properly connected, click Start – Run and enter ‘COMMAND’ in the box that appears. Click OK and a black command prompt window should appear.

Type the following command and press enter

ping 192.168.1.10

You should see a screen similar to the following:

This indicates that the PC is communicating successfully with the DMR4. If you see ‘Request timed out’ or other error message, this means there is either a problem with the patch lead or the network configuration is incorrect - work through the above configuration steps again to check for errors.

Installation and configuration of the Video Web Server software

Once you have established a connection, insert the CD supplied with the DMR4 and install the video server software.

Once the software has installed, double click on the desktop Video Web Server icon to run it.

 

The default user name and password is set to admin / admin (case sensitive!). Enter these and the IP address of the DMR4 as above. The Web port should be left at 80. Click OK and the main DMR4 screen should appear.

 At this stage it is useful to familiarise yourself with the various functions and configuration settings available within the web server software.

 

 

Advanced configuration steps

The above configuration allows simple remote viewing and control on a standalone system. For connectivity to existing networks or broadband routers etc., further configuration is required.

To integrate the DMR4 with an existing network and broadband router

Note: at this point, the DMR4 should still be connected to a standalone PC and not to the network.

The first step is to gather information about the existing network setup (principally the IP address range and whether the network uses static or DHCP IP address allocation)

If the network uses static I/P addresses, locate a free I/P address that can be assigned to the DMR4 – in a static IP setup, IP addresses are usually configured in sequence, the first generally being 192.168.1.1. In this case, it’s fair to assume that an address higher up the range is free – for example, in a network of 25 PCs, I/P address 192.168.1.90 is likely to be free. Double check that an IP address is free by ‘pinging’ it as detailed above. The procedure is similar for a DHCP setup – determine the range of IP addresses that the DHCP server issues and choose an IP address for the DMR4 that is outside this range. If you are unable to determine the DHCP range, following the steps for a static IP network should give a usable IP address.

The subnet mask also needs to be determined. The easiest way to do this is to open a command prompt on one of the network PCs (Start – Run – ‘COMMAND’ – OK), type ‘IPCONFIG’ and press enter.

Amongst other information, the subnet mask will be given – make a note of this.

Finally, the I/P address of the router is required.

Log in to the DMR4 and open up the configuration screen:

Enter your chosen IP address in the Server I/P box and the subnet mask in the Net Mask box. The Gateway setting should be the same as the router IP address and the DNS can be left blank as DNS is handled automatically by the router.

Finally, change the Web Port value from 80 to 1528 (more about this later), and click APPLY to save the changes.

At this point, the DMR4 can be connected to the network. When connecting to a router you need a straight thru cable not a crossover cable.

To allow remote access to the DMR4, a ‘routing table’ must be set up on the router – a routing table is simply a small set of instructions that tells the router what to do with certain types of incoming data.

In this case, the router needs to be configured so that all incoming data on port 1528 is directed to the IP address of the DMR4 – the steps needed to do this vary between different manufacturers but is a basic feature of all routers and should be documented in the router manual.

To allow end users to remotely access the DMR4, they need the following information:

·        The ‘public side’ I/P address of your router (this is the static I/P address provided by your ISP)

·        A suitable username and password.

·        The video server software CD

Alternatively some DVRs like the DMR4 allows a connection through Internet Explorer. Details of this type of configuration can be found in the user manuals.

Router Configuration and Port Forwarding

This example is based on a Netgear DG834 router but the principle can be applied to most broadband routers

Imagine the Netgear DG834 is split in to two halves - one half is the private side which serves the local network. This ‘half’ of the router has its own IP address (typically 192.168.1.30) and other devices (PCs, laptops, DVR etc.) that are connected to it will all have a unique IP address of the form

192.168.1.XXX.

Because this is a private network, it cannot be accessed directly from the outside world.

The other imaginary half of the DG834G is the public side - it also has its own IP address which is allocated to you by your ISP and can either be static (it never changes) or dynamic (your ISP could change it at any time). Because this is a public network, in theory, anyone from the outside world who knows your public IP address can access the router and your private network. But, because the router has a security firewall built in, incoming traffic is severely limited to prevent this.

For this reason, you need to configure the DG834 so that incoming traffic intended for the DVR is correctly routed instead of being blocked - this is known as port forwarding.

You will notice on the DVR that in the network setup section, there is also a port number. This could technically be any value but you must avoid common Internet ports such as 80, 110, 25, 21 etc. In general, the default value on the DVR is acceptable.

In this case, the DMR4 default port value is 1528 so a rule needs creating on the DG834 that channels all traffic coming in on port 1528 to the DMR4.

This section assumes that you have already established a successful connection locally. Logon to the DG834 and select ‘Services’ from the menu.

Click ‘Add Custom Service’ and enter the following values:

Name: DMR4 (or any other name of your choice)

Type: TCP

Start Port: 1528

Finish port: 1528

And click ‘Apply’

Then, create a firewall rule as follows:

Select ‘Firewall Rules’ from the menu. Under the inbound services, click ‘Add’ and enter the following:

Service: DMR4(TCP:1528) – This is the service you created earlier

Action: Leave at ‘ALLOW always’

Send to LAN server: 192.168.1.10 - This is the IP address of the DMR4

Wan Users and Log settings can be left unchanged.

And click ‘apply’ to add the new rule

Once the firewall rule is setup, anybody should be able to access the DMR4 from the outside world, as long as they are using the correct software.

To configure the software, the IP address is the public static IP address of your router and the port number in this case will be 1528. The username and password must match those set up on the DMR4

How to configure a DMR4 with a dynamic IP address

By the very nature of how it works, the DMR4 must have a fixed I/P address. This address is issued to your end users allowing them to access the DMR4 at any time over the Internet.

However, many Internet Service Providers will not allocate a fixed IP address – this essentially means that every time a broadband connection is established, the DMR4 will have a different IP address. Unless the end users know this address, they will not be able to access the DMR4.

Under normal circumstances, we always recommend that you use an ISP that provides a static I/P address – if this is not possible for whatever reason, the following steps provide a workaround.

One solution is to sign up to a ‘DynDNS’ service.

DynDNS (Dynamic Domain Name Server) works as follows:

·        Register your choice of domain name with a suitable DynDNS provider – one provider is www.dyndns.org. Your chosen domain could be something like www.dmrnet.dyndns.org

·        A software client must then be installed on a PC that has access to your Internet connection (www.dyndns.org list a number of suitable clients that you can use). Depending on which client you choose, the package may be free of charge or you may have to pay a one off charge before you can use the client.

·        Configure the client with your chosen DynDNS domain name (e.g. www.dmrnet.dyndns.org). The client software runs in the background and continually monitors your IP address that has been allocated to you and passes it to the DynDNS server database.

·        Reconfigure the video web server software by entering the DynDNS name in the ‘server IP’ box instead of a fixed IP address.

·        Each time the video web server software is run, the DynDNS server will convert the DynDNS domain name to the current IP address of your DMR thus allowing them to connect at any time, regardless of your current IP address.

Please note that these instructions on using dynamic IP addresses are for information only – as the services listed above are provided by third parties, we are unable to offer product support and cannot be held responsible for issues arising from the use of the services mentioned above.