Maintaining your Digital Video Recorder (DVR)…

Hopefully by now you have been able to upgrade from a VCR to a DVR and enjoy the time savings in reviewing video, the added quality of video being recorded and the ability to only search through motion recorded events, just to name a few.

To your DVR running and your camera system humming, please remember the following:

1)      Keep the unit clean!  If the unit is under a service agreement, it ought to be cleaned once a year, but that might not be enough.  If dust gathers around the cooling fans, that is a sign that it is time to clean me up;

2)      Heat is an enemy to any PC so keep your unit cool.  Be sure nothing is set around or on top of the unit that might block air circulation;

3)      Check the unit no less than once a day to make sure it is recording. Nothing worse than needing recorded video only to find out the unit has not been recording for weeks.  Units today offer the ability to let you know when a camera is blocked, loses focus, or has been disconnected.  Only systems with multiple recorders will typically benefit from software that has the ability to let you know when a specific recorder is out;

4)      DO YOUR HOME WORK!!! Know how to remove recorded video off the hard drive to a DVD, thumb drive, or some other external means.  If the FBI needs recorded video off your unit and it cannot be gotten off your DVR, they might take the whole unit;

5)      Is our DVR unit archiving enough past video?

6)      Make certain all your cameras are getting the recorded video you want before it is needed.  If you need to get faces or license plates off certain cameras, review recorded video on these cameras to assure you can. Waiting till after an incident occurs will only add frustration to already bad situation.

7)      What is the worst possible incident that could happen and are all our cameras positioned to help?

8)      Would a covert (hidden) camera help in our system?

9)      Is back lighting issues causing some cameras to not provide a good enough picture?  Remember to review past video at different times of the day to make sure all lighting situations are taken into account;

Camera systems are typically not thought of till there is a need.  If the above items are not addressed prior to this need, it will be too late!