How to Convert CCTV Cameras to Television

Written by tony breedlove
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CCTV (closed circuit television) cameras use so-called BNC connectors to connect to CCTV monitors. However CCTV monitors are expensive and can only be used as a monitor. But since the signal is a standard 1 volt signal, you can adapt the connectors to plug your CCTV cameras into any modern television. If you have more than one camera you want to view you will need a CCTV switcher to allow you to switch from one camera to another or cycle through viewing each camera in your system.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • BNC-to-RCA adaptor (Resource 1)
  • RCA male-to-male cable (Resource 2)
  • Video switcher (Resource 3)

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  1. 1

    Connect the BNC connectors from the cameras to the inputs on the switcher. Make sure to select a switcher that can accommodate the number of cameras you have. Models range from four-channel switchers up to 16 channels, as well as commercial switchers that can accommodate dozens of cameras (the switcher in Resource 3 is a four-channel switcher), If you have a security DVR (digital video recorder) you will not need a switcher since all modern security DVRs have built-in switchers.

  2. 2

    Plug the BNC-to-RCA adaptor into the switcher output. Turn on the switcher. (The adaptor has no electronics in it and can be purchased online for less than £3 each.) Many switchers have two outputs; you can use the second output to connect to another television or a standard DVR or VCR to record your cameras.

  3. 3

    Plug the RCA cable into the adaptor on the switcher and plug the other end into the video input on your TV. The video in is usually yellow and may be marked "Video In, "Line In" or AUX 1, AUX 2 or AUX 3, depending on your TV.

  4. 4

    Turn on your TV and using the remote control navigate to the video-input screen. Select the correct input according to where you connected the RCA cable.

  5. 5

    Adjust the switcher to the camera you would like to view or set the dwell time on the switcher. The dwell time function will cycle through each camera connected to the switcher, stopping on each camera for the dwell time you set.

Tips and warnings

  • A basic four-channel switcher can be purchased on line for under £19. If you connect a recorder to your switcher it will record whatever displays on your television--it does not have the capability to record every camera simultaneously like a security DVR does. If your switcher will be in a different area of the house than your monitor or recorder, you can run a CCTV cable to that location; you are limited to a maximum distance of 750 feet for standard CCTV cable (RG-59).

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