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How to Fix Monitor Display Problems with your Security Camera Recorder

If you are having issues with using a monitor or TV to view your security camera system it usually relates to the resolution that the system is trying to display. It's important to take the necessary troubleshooting steps to gather information on why the display is not working. Often times it's easy to assume that the port is no longer working though it can be remedied by double checking settings.

If you know the recorder is receiving power and you can see lights in front of it, but you don't see the menu screen or camera grid on your monitor connected to it, then you most likely have an incorrect display resolution set that is not compatible with your monitor or TV.

Types of monitor outputs on DVRs

To ensure you understand the correct monitor connector terminology please take a look at the image below. Surveillance camera recorders by CCTV Camera World have HDMI and VGA video outputs. VGA maxes out at 1080P resolution, while HDMI can be up to 4K depending on the model of the recorder that you purchased.

How to troubleshoot

Here is a list of troubleshooting steps on how to resolve monitor issues you may be having with your DVR.

  1. Find the make and model of your monitor(s)

  2. Google the make and model and determine what is the max resolution support by each monitor

  3. You cannot set your DVR or NVR display resolution to be higher than the lowest resolution monitor that you have. We recommend selecting 1920x1080 as the display resolution to be sure. The following section explains in detail the different way to set the monitor resolution on a security camera recorder.

How to set the monitor resolution on a security camera recorder

Method 1

How you change the resolution on your recorder will depend on whether you can still see a display output and menu screens on any of your current displays. If you have no video then you will need to connect your recorder to your local network and access the recorder using Internet Explorer on a Windows PC to set the correct display output.

First place the recorder on the network if you already have not. If you are unfamiliar with how to connect the recorder to the network, below are quick and easy to follow videos on how wire the recorder to your network, and enable DHCP to get a dynamic IP address from your router.

Connecting your Recorder to your Router

How to Set your Recorder to get an IP Address Automatically

Once you have the recorder on the network, please follow the instructions provided in our guide on how to change the security DVR display resolution over the web.

Method 2

If you still have video output being displayed by one of the monitors on the digital video recorder or network video recorder, then it's simple to change the display resolution using the menu interface on the recorder. Depending on whether you have a DVR or NVR, the steps to change the display resolution are slightly different as shown in the videos below.

Changing the monitor resolution on a DVR or XVR

Keep in mind that 4K DVR recorders are capable of 4K display output over HDMI, but the VGA port cannot display 4K video. VGA technology maxes out at 1080P. Once you set the main HDMI output to 4K, the VGA port will automatically become disabled. The process to have either or both the HDMI or VGA port working is explained in the video below.

How to set your display resolution on your DVR

Changing the monitor resolution on a NVR

Similar to the DVR and XVR recorders we carry, the NVR recorders offer both HDMI and VGA output. Some NVR models even have second HDMI port that is a spot monitor, and that is limited to 1080P just like the VGA port. The process to set the display resolution on a NVR is explained below.

How to set your display resolution on your NVR

Matt Rossi is a Technical Support Manager at CCTV Camera World, a leading CCTV Camera distributor located in Buffalo, NY. He is a technical support expert for everything video surveillance related.


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