Video loss in security cameras is mainly due to low power, loose connections, or IP address conflicts. Besides that, weak Wi-Fi signals and faulty equipment can contribute to this.
To prevent video loss, you must carry out regular maintenance and inspections. Setting up surge protectors or signal boosters can also help.
Things to Know
- Low power, IP address conflicts, and issues with the transmission medium are the most common causes of video loss in security cameras.
- Outdated firmware or visual obstructions to the camera lens can also lead to video loss.
- Using high-quality cables and avoiding long cable runs can mitigate this issue for wired cameras.
- Improving the Wi-Fi signal or setting up a separate Wi-Fi router is another good solution for wireless cameras,
- Regular inspections are important to prevent video loss. Ensure the system is powered and the cables and lenses aren’t damaged or obscured.
6 Factors that Cause Video Loss in Security Cameras
Video loss in security cameras can be observed when:
- The camera’s live view is blank or puts out a “Video Loss” message.
- All cameras in the DVR are displayed as blanks.
- The video feed flickers on and off continuously.
- Artifacts such as lines or static are building up in the video feed.
- There’s blurry footage.
There are several reasons why this may happen. Almost all of these can be condensed into a few factors. These are:
- Issues with the power supply
- Unstable wireless network
- Issues with the wired data cables
- Hardware defects in the security camera or other components
- Incorrect settings or buggy VMS/Companion app
- IP address conflicts
1. Power Issues in the Cameras or Security System
The most common reason why a security camera fails to capture footage is because of a power failure. Some of the common power-related reasons are:
- Loose connections in the power supply
- Bent, twisted, or damaged power cables
- Cables that are too long
- Damaged power supply due to surges or power failure
- Inefficient power supply and cabling
- Improperly sized PoE switch/PoE injector
Troubleshooting Power Issues
Identifying the reason for the power issue in your system can help you resolve the issue faster. However, in case you can’t figure out what’s wrong, here’s a quick guide on troubleshooting power issues:
- First, check if you can access the live feed of the video camera.
- If you can, make sure the video feed is live-streaming. Then, check whether it responds to events and settings (such as motion detection, switching to infrared, etc.)
- If the camera seems to be working fine, check if the footage gets stored properly in the storage option you’ve set up. You’ll have to use the VMS or companion app to check past footage and verify.
- However, if you can’t access the live feed in your security camera, check for any lights or indicators in these components:
- The DVR
- TV or monitor screen used to display security camera footage
- PoE switches or injectors (if you have any)
- AC/DC Power Supply
- Power cables (look for any bent or damaged wires)
- Battery or solar panels
- Security camera itself.
- To check if your security camera is receiving power, look for any indicator lights.
- Alternatively, you can put your finger over the light sensor and hear the IR filter’s cutoff mechanism (signaled by a “click” sound).
2. Unstable Wireless Network
Weak Wi-Fi signals, lack of internet access, or low bandwidth are some of the primary network-related issues. When these happen, the video footage can lag or miss out on important details.
To Troubleshoot network issues:
- Check the live feed as before. Ensure the footage is recorded in real-time without any lag or delays.
- If the camera is lagging or the DVR/Companion app shows the camera is disconnected, you’ll have to check the wireless network.
- First, check the signal strength of the camera. You can check this via the VMS or mobile app.
- If the signal is weak, check out this article on how far a security camera can transmit to consider your options.
- If the signal is strong, but you still have network issues, carry out these steps:
- Disconnect unnecessary devices from the Wi-Fi
- Check the internet speed of your connection
- Contact your ISP to verify any blackouts or expired internet plans
- Alternatively, try bypassing the Wi-Fi by creating a mobile hotspot and logging your cameras into it.
- For Cellular Cameras: Make sure the SIM card is properly installed.
3. Problems With the Wired Data Cables
Most security cameras, especially those in a CCTV system, rely on cables for data transmission. So, check for these conditions when troubleshooting the cables:
- When troubleshooting PoE or BNC cables, make sure to check the entire length of the cables. See if they are twisted, bent, damaged, or corroded, and try replacing them or getting help from an expert.
- If you’re using any PoE injectors, ensure they are sized appropriately and provide enough power to your security cameras.
- Distance matters as well. Check the length of your cable runs and consider adding repeaters or amplifiers to boost the video signal.
4. Hardware Malfunctions in the Security Camera System
Your cameras, video recorders, or even the monitor might be damaged. If either of these pieces of equipment is broken, you won’t be able to check the video feed or even record your footage.
When troubleshooting damaged equipment, always check if they are plugged in or put out any indicator lights.
To check the security camera, you can use the simple method of covering the light sensor and checking the “click” of the IR-cutoff filter mechanism.
5. Incorrect Settings on Your VMS or Companion App
Sometimes, if the VMS settings are not configured to be compatible with your security camera, it might not record or store footage. Some of the issues you might run across are:
- Incorrect resolution
- The firmware needs an update.
- Cameras that are disabled or not completely initialized
- Incompatible camera settings.
Diagnosing each of these issues can be specific to your system. Therefore, it’s best to check with the user guide. Alternatively, resetting the system or initializing everything from scratch will help.
6. IP Address Conflicts
IP address conflicts will result in security cameras sharing the same IP address. Because of this, you might have a single channel switching back and forth between two cameras.
To resolve IP address conflicts, you’ll have to use the VMS or companion app to unplug and reconfigure the IP addresses of these cameras. You might also have to use another application to scan for the IP addresses to verify things further.
Extra Tips to Prevent Video Loss Issues in Security Cameras
Here are another list of steps you can take to minimize video loss in your system:
- Use a multimeter to check the voltage at the cameras. Then, repair or replace the faulty power supplies or equipment as necessary.
- Consider setting up a UPS to keep the cameras recording in case of a power outage.
- Use a separate Wi-Fi connection to compensate for low bandwidth and internet outages.
- Purchase security cameras and DVRs from the same brand. It ensures compatibility and makes reaching out for custom support much easier.
- Keep the lenses on your security cameras clean. Perform regular maintenance and inspections around your security cameras to minimize visual obstructions.
- Schedule regular checks on all possible connections and cabling. Check power supplies, network cables, and connection between the camera and monitor.
- Hardware issues require a thorough inspection of the equipment. Ensure the recording device is running smoothly and the monitor or TV display is clear.
- Ensure you have the latest firmware and software installed. Most manufacturers provide software updates online, which can be installed manually.
- Set up power surge protectors. This adds an extra layer against internal faults or lightning strikes.
- Set up external IR illuminators to improve night vision illumination.
Video loss in security cameras can be caused by power supply issues, network interruptions, wiring faults, hardware or software glitches, or IP address conflicts.
By understanding these causes and learning how to troubleshoot, you can efficiently resolve them and maintain the clarity of your security camera footage.
Besides that, regularly inspecting the camera connections, using appropriate cables, investing in quality equipment, and monitoring the system activity can help prevent this from happening in the future.