When you install security cameras, they should be running day and night to make the most of them. This means you should teach yourself how to fix CCTV camera video loss. Otherwise, you’d end up missing a crucial moment in that area with a channel down.
There are various reasons your CCTV camera can have a video loss. The good thing, though, is that many of the causes are something you can fix with no special skills required. And in this quick guide, I’ve put together everything you should know to resolve the issue faster.
Causes of Video Loss vary with the Type of CCTV Camera
First, Video loss in CCTV is when the dedicated receiver or viewing device doesn’t receive the signal (of picture) from the camera. The issue can manifest with an error message, such as “No Video”, “the video is not able to play”, “camera unable to connect”, et cetera. If you have a security camera with DVR, the monitor screen can also suddenly go blank (black).
Technically, the video loss message you receive on your end depends on the type of CCTV camera installed. For instance, a wireless security camera will show the “camera unable to connect” error, whereas most DVR systems show a “No Video” message.
The type of CCTV camera you have also determine the causes of video loss:
Part 1: Common causes of video loss in only wired CCTV camera systems
- Spoilt Cables
- Power surge
Part 2: Common causes of video loss in only wireless CCTV camera systems
- Weak/ No network signal
- A conflict between IP addresses
Part 3: Common causes of video loss in both wired & wireless CCTV camera systems
- Insufficient power
- Hardware issues
- Firmware issues
- End of Life
A Complete Guide on the Causes & How To Fix CCTV Camera Video Loss
Below is a complete guide on how to fix CCTV camera video loss. But as with any other problem, you’ll first need to understand the cause before fixing it:
How to fix CCTV camera video loss caused by Spoilt Cables
The first and most common cause of video loss on wired security camera systems is the issue with cabling. It can happen when the BNC or PoE cables of your system are broken or installed poorly.
In “poor installation”, video loss can occur when the cables are badly bent or twisted. What happens is that the video signal tends to get lost along the path before reaching the receiver (recorder).
Solution: You can only fix video loss from spoilt cables by replacing them with new ones. But before replacing, check the entire cabling and straighten up the badly bent/ twisted cables.
How to fix CCTV camera video loss caused by Insufficient Power
The second cause of video loss in a CCTV camera is when the power flow is inadequate. It can happen when the main supply is experiencing low voltage (or fluctuations), the power adapter is defective, or the connectors are loose.
In a PoE security camera, you may have an insufficient-power problem if the cable is transmitting the video signal far. The issue can also happen when you use one cable charger to power up multiple cameras at the same time.
Solution: the various ways you can fix CCTV camera video loss from insufficient power will vary with the specific cause:
- Power fluctuations: wait for the electric utility company to restore normalcy.
- Defective power adapter: replace the accessory
- Loose connection/ connectors: check all areas with joints and make sure they have held firmly
- PoE cable is running far: provide the IP security cameras at a distance with an additional power supply
- Powering multiple cameras: ensure the total power intake of the cameras doesn’t exceed charger output.
How to fix CCTV camera video loss caused by Power Surge
Your CCTV camera can also lose video signal when there’s a sudden power surge. The issue can occur when there’s a massive spike from the main power grid or lightning strikes during thunderstorms.
Solution: The first way to protect your CCTV system from power surges is to make sure you ground the junction box and electrical outlets properly. You can also protect your systems by connecting to surge protectors or UPS (uninterruptible power supplies)
How to fix CCTV camera video loss caused by Incompatibility Issues
In a nutshell, a security camera and recorder from different brands won’t work if they are not ONVIF compatible. The camera will also not work if you’re trying to connect it to a lower resolution recorder- say a 4K camera on 1080p DVR/ NVR.
Furthermore, when you set your recorder to display in a higher resolution than the monitor it connects to, the screen goes black. A perfect example is when you set the DVR to play in 4K, yet the monitor only supports 1080p Full HD resolution.
Solution: The best way how to fix CCTV camera video loss here will depend on the specific cause:
- Mixing camera brands– make sure they are all compatible with the recorder at hand
- Mixing camera resolutions: Make sure the recorder is at or above the resolution of the cameras
- Incorrect monitor configuration: set the recorder to the correct parameter or restore to default settings
How to fix CCTV camera video loss caused by Weak/ No network Signal
If your wireless camera is too far away from the router, the two won’t be able to communicate and you’ll have video loss. And when the connection is unstable, crowded, or there’s too much interference usually causes random video loss. You will notice the viewing screen goes in and out like it’s flickering.
If your network connection is completely down (offline), your live view screen will black out completely.
Solution: You can fix CCTV camera video loss from network issues in the following ways:
- The WiFi signal is far– make sure the cameras are closer to the router or sync them with mesh/ access points
- Crowded connection- ensure your router bandwidth is enough to handle all the connected devices. Reduce some devices if they’re too many
- Network interference- make sure your WiFi router is farther away from other radio signals, such as Bluetooth stereos, Microwave, et cetera.
- The network is offline– check the router is powered on and your broadband subscription is active
How to fix CCTV camera video loss caused by Conflicting IP Addresses
When working with multiple IP cameras, each will need a unique IP address on the NVR, DVR, or computer to work. If you have multiple cameras on the same IP address, they will be kicking each other from the network. And this will end up causing a video loss.
Solution: The fix here is simple. Log into your client software, then scan the IP address of every connected camera to make sure there are no duplicates. In case of duplicate addresses, adjust them manually until each is unique.
How to fix CCTV camera video loss caused by Hardware Issues
If you still have video loss at this point, chances are your camera/ recorder has defective hardware. The defect can occur after water gets into the internal parts and short them out, or from old age.
You can also have a video loss if the video port (VGA or HDMI) of your DVR/ NVR or the monitor is loose or not connected properly.
Solution: Unfortunately, it will be tricky to fix your CCTV camera if water damaged the internal parts. When the defect is from old age, there will also be no need to repair if the system has served its time.
But before you decide to retire your system, check the video ports (VGA/ HDMI) and make sure the cables are connected well. If you feel the port unit is loose, solder it in place or just replace the system.
How to fix CCTV camera video loss caused by Firmware Issues
Last but not least, you can have a video loss if your CCTV camera has an incorrect configuration. A perfect example is when you set the viewing resolution higher than the maximum capabilities of the display.
If the firmware/ software of the camera or recorder is outdated/ buggy, you can also experience video loss.
Solution: if the video loss is from an incorrect configuration, you can set it right by adjusting the settings to the correct parameters. In case you don’t remember the parameters, restore the system to factory default.
As for bug-ridden or outdated software, you’ll want to update to the latest version. If it was what caused video loss, the update should solve the problem.
If it ever caught up with you, that’s how to fix CCTV camera video loss. You can see the fixes to most causes of the issue are something easy to do yourself. The trick is just to identify the most-possible cause, then apply the appropriate resolution.
If the simple fixes seem not to solve your video loss issue, have your technician come and look at it for you. And in case you’ve had the system long enough, it may be time to replace it with a new one.