Is it a must you have WiFi or buy a security camera system with DVR to monitor your property? No, not at all. In this article, we’re going to show you how to connect a CCTV camera to computer with cable only and still enjoy a seamless live stream feed.
For the surveillance hack to work, though, you’ll need an IP PoE security camera. It’s the only one you can use on a local network directly without having to do any modification, as with the analog counterparts.
Although it will be a topic of another day, the analog BNC security cameras can also work without a recorder. However, you’ll need to connect the respective camera to a TV/ monitor since the computer doesn’t support an RCA connection.
But I Thought One Must Have an NVR to View Multiple Cameras?
When you work with security camera systems for a long time, you’ll come to realize there’s so much you still don’t know. For one, a battery operated security camera with memory card is not the only standalone we have. Even a wired BNC or PoE camera can work on its own without the need for a recorder.
But again, both DVR and NVR have open channels to connect multiple cameras. Does that mean you can’t monitor different positions of your home or business without investing in a recorder?
Well, a simple answer is no. If you have a PoE switch, you can hook up multiple cameras on your single local network. Then, you use the IP address of the cameras to view them on a web browser.
But then, the NVR holds the local hard drive that security cameras can record to. So, your wired IP camera will need to have a built-in memory card slot if you would like to stream and record. footages.
How To Connect CCTV Camera To Computer With Cable
In general, there are two ways you can connect a security camera to the computer with a cable:
- While using a power adapter
- With a PoE Injector or PoE Switch
Part 1: Connecting the Camera straight into a PC with a Network Cable
Just as the sound of it, this setup is pretty simple and straightforward to carry out. You only need the IP camera, power adapter, a network cable (Cat5 or Cat6), a working laptop/ desktop pc.
a) Provide power to your CCTV camera by connecting a power adapter that plugs into an AC outlet
b) Link up the camera to the computer using the network cable via the network ports.
c) Assign your computer’s network port a static IP address to establish communication with the camera. To do this:
- Right-click the internet connection icon on your computer’s taskbar and “Open Network and Sharing Center”.
- Open change adapter setting option
- Now right-click the “Ethernet connection” and scroll down to “properties”.
- On the small open window, select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPV4
- Then, hit properties to open another window that has the computer’s IP address details
- Select “Use the following IP Address”, and type the address you want your computer to use. If you’re connected to your router (wirelessly), make use of the IP address you assign matches that of the router (listed as Default Gateway)
- After you assign the IP address you want, hit Ok and close the page.
d) With your computer’s WiFi off, check the current IP address of your CCTV camera. To do that, you can open the camera’s recommended management software. Then, click the camera menu and check the devices available
e) Once you find the camera, check and make sure the camera has an IP address scheme similar to that of the local network (connected computer). If not, you’ll need to change it to avoid IP conflict and enable communication between connected devices. To change the camera’s IP address, you just need to make sure the first three octets match those of the computer address (listed as Gateway). Let’s say our computer address is 192.168.1.2, the camera’s address should be set to 192.168.1.X (where x is your preferred number other than 2)
f) Using the new IP address, you can now view your CCTV camera using this computer. You just type the new camera’s IP address (e.g. 192.168.1.150) into the URL box of the web browser.
g) Alternatively, you can live stream your IP CCTV camera on the manufacturer’s management software. You just need to sign in, go to the devices/ cameras menu and click the “Add” option. A small window will open and that’s where you’ll name your camera and input the new IP address from step (e) above. Once you save the details, the camera will be successfully added and you can click the “Live View” menu to watch.
Part 2: Connecting the Camera into a PC with Cable via PoE Injector or Switch
This is also another way you can stream your CCTV camera on the PC via a cable. You can use a PoE injector if it’s only a single camera or a PoE switch when you need to use multiple cameras. Either of the two will be the source of power for your camera/s in question. So, you necessarily don’t need to use a power adapter here.
To start live streaming your cameras…
a) Plug your PoE injector/ switch into the AC outlet. Then, connect a network cable from the camera to the “Data & Power” port on the PoE device.
b) Get another network cable and connect the injector’s “Data In” port to the computer’s Ethernet slot.
c) Configure the computer and the CCTV camera to have them on the same local network.
d) So, you can do Part 1 (c) above if you didn’t do it to make sure your computer has the appropriate IP address.
e) Repeat Part 1 (d) and (e) to assign a new IP address to your connected camera. If you have connected multiple cameras with a PoE switch, you’ll need to give each of them a unique IP address but on the same local network. Let’s take our previous example 192.168.1.150, the other three cameras connected can be 192.168.1.151, 192.168.1.152, and 192.168.1.153. The last octet should be the only one that changes since it’s the unique identity of the camera.
f) Finally, use the acquired IP address of the camera/s to live stream the feed as in Step 1 (f) or (g).
Whether you want to test an IP camera, troubleshoot it, or just live-stream your living room, you can see it’s all easy with a computer. If you want that PC to be like the CCTV, you don’t even need to have internet in the house. The only challenge will be if you would want to remotely view your security cameras while away as in that case Internet connection is a must.
In any case, hopefully, we have been helpful in the situation that needed you to know how to connect CCTV camera to computer with cable. If you have some old analog BNC cameras collecting dust somewhere, you can as well use them with that old TV in the garage. But that will be a top of another day, stay tuned!