At this point, there’s everything reason to install a CCTV system in your home or business. But for those of us who already have, what causes video loss in security cameras that were working just fine a few hours ago?
Well, unfortunately, this is a pretty common issue on both wired and wireless security cameras. But, fortunately, most of the time the issue is nothing alarming. It just happens to be frustratingly annoying as you can miss a crucial live moment during that black screen.
In this article, though, we’ve listed down eighteen possible causes of video loss in security cameras you can easily troubleshoot yourself.
What Type of Security Camera Do You Have?
Before looking at what causes video loss in security cameras, we should ask about the type of system you have. Yes, some of the causes are usually universal. But others are specific to certain models- that’s wireless or wired technologies.
Do You Have A Wired Security Camera System?
When you see the term wired security camera system, most of the time it refers to BNC and PoE connection. The two technologies usually transmit videos to the recorder via a physical data cable.
A BNC camera will also need to be plugged into a power outlet all the time to function. But for a PoE security camera, it’s only a few cases you may need to plug into a power outlet.
Do You Have A Wireless Security Camera System?
When we now use the term wireless security cameras, we’re collectively referring to the systems that transmit video via a “wireless” signal. The wireless connectivity can be either WiFi or analog radio frequency like we have in a baby monitor.
Nonetheless, many consumers usually interpret wireless security cameras to be battery-powered. But this is not always the case as most indoor cams run on plug-in power.
Also, the best way to get a Ring or Eufy floodlight to work is usually to hardwire to the main connection box. The system may come with an adapter to plug into the outlet. Then again, this is usually a temporary fix to complete the setup on the ground before moving to the main position.
A Quick Guide on What Causes Video Loss in Security Cameras
Now you know the basics of your security camera, let’s go through various issues that could lead to video loss on your viewing device. We’ve divided the issues into four categories, namely:
Causes A: Video Loss Due to Power Problems
The first cause of video loss in security cameras is power issues. It can happen when either the system is not getting any power at all or there is not enough of it. The former is pretty easy to detect as the Power-On LED indicator will be completely off.
Some of the situations your security camera can lose total power include when:
- There is a power outage in your home area: the only solution is to wait for power to come back or connect a backup
- The power adapter for your camera is disconnected/ damaged: you can solve the issue by making sure the adapter is plugged in and the cable isn’t faulty
- The battery for your battery-powered security camera is drained or damaged: to make sure this isn’t the cause of the video loss, check the camera is charged. If the battery is no longer retaining power, replace it with a new one.
- The Cat5e or Cat6 cable for your PoE camera has been disconnected or it’s faulty: If this is the cause of video loss, you just have to reconnect the cable and repair/ replace it when damaged.
In the case of inadequate power, your security camera can lose video signal completely (screen goes black) or partially (screen flickering on and off). The issue is usually temporary, whereby it can happen when:
- Your home area is experiencing low voltage or fluctuations: the solution is to wait for the power company to restore normalcy
- The power cables for your security camera are loosely connected: the fix is to make sure everything is attached accordingly
- You’re using one cable to power up too many cameras at once: the solution will be to reduce the number of devices on each cable.
- The PoE cable to the camera is too far from the recorder: the solution to avoid video loss in such a case is to plug the camera into a power supply. If the camera distance is short but the connection cable is too long, you’ll have to shorten it
Causes B: Video Loss due to Network Problems
The second category of causes of video loss in security cameras is those related to network connections. It mostly happens with wireless security cameras, whereby the issue can cause a total or partial loss of video signal- just like with power.
You can expect a total video loss (the viewing screen is completely black) in security cameras due to network when:
- Your internet connection is completely offline: the only solution is to make sure you have an active connection (from your service provider) and the router is fully functioning
- The WiFi cameras are too far from the internet router (completely out of range): the solution is to move the cameras closer to the router. If that’s not possible, get a WiFi range extender
If you’re experiencing a partial video loss from your security camera (it tends to connect and disconnect), the issue is an unstable network. The various causes of unstable network connections include when:
- Your WiFi camera is encountering signal interference and interruption: you can fix the issue by keeping the camera farther from microwave radiation, Bluetooth stereo, and other wireless devices.
- The WiFi connection to the camera is relatively weak: you can solve a weak WiFi signal by choosing a 2.4GHz signal over 5GHz. If there are a series of unavoidable barriers, extend the signal with a WiFi range extender, preferably a mesh system.
Note: when using a PoE security camera as a standalone, you require to connect it to the router via the Ethernet data cable. If the device suddenly losses a video signal, make sure the cable is fully functional, and so is the port on the router.
Causes C: Video Loss by Hardware Problems
The third category of problems that causes video loss in security cameras is that to do with hardware. And this can occur when:
- The video ports (VGA or HDMI) behind the DVR or NVR box are faulty: you can solve the issue by repairing the part
- The integrated ports to hook up the security cameras are damaged: the solution is to repair them or replace the system
- The BNC or PoE cables to transmit the video are frayed or broken: the fix is to replace the broken lines with new ones
- The internal electronics of the security camera have sorted out or just failed from old age: you can only solve the issue by replacing the broken camera
Causes D: Video Loss by Firmware Problems
Last but not least, your security camera can have a video loss due to firmware problems, such as:
- You have set your security camera with incorrect configuration, such as a higher viewing resolution than the display: a fix will be to adjust your system to the correct configurations. If you can’t remember the exact parameters, reset the device to factory default.
- Your security system has an old or bug-ridden firmware: you can troubleshoot this kind of issue by simply updating the firmware.
If it ever happens, these are the most common issues that cause video loss in security cameras from either the wired or wireless category. Things like power outages, voltage fluctuations, internal damage, incorrect configuration, and outdated firmware are pretty universal on all systems. Thus, the solution is pretty much the same- even though how you apply it may vary.
Anyway, the fixes of almost all that causes video loss in security cameras are hacks you can do yourself. But if the issue continues after trying all the possible troubleshooting, contact the manufacturer or your local technician.