Many homes and offices use closed circuit television (CCTV) camera systems to monitor and record surveillance footage. Common uses include keeping an eye on individuals responsible for childcare, deterring thieves and making sure that employees are staying honest. The problem in the past was that these systems had to be monitored from somewhere on site. However, with advances in mobile Internet technology, it is possible to stream these video feeds to a BlackBerry Smartphone with the proper software application and camera system installed.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Purchase and install a CCTV system with IP cameras that connect to a PC and support Internet streaming or a standalone digital video recording (DVR) unit that is Internet ready. Many different options exist and the choice depends on your viewing needs and budget (see Resources).
Download and install the BlackBerry software application for your CCTV system. Follow the instructions to properly configure the application for your particular BlackBerry model and CCTV set-up.
Turn on the CCTV system and verify that all of the cameras are broadcasting their respective images. Turn on the PC or TV and cycle through the camera channels to see that each of the cameras is properly installed and aimed at the desired area.
Install the broadcasting software on the PC and verify that it is connected to the Internet. Users with standalone DVR systems simply plug the router into the Internet jack on the back of the unit. Most users must contract a fixed IP address to make the system accessible remotely. A fixed IP address means that the particular external IP address for the base PC or DVR unit is always the same. Without a fixed IP, the BlackBerry application will not be able to connect to the CCTV system.
Launch the remote viewing application on the BlackBerry and follow the onscreen instructions to connect to your phone to the CCTV system remotely. The BlackBerry must have a data plan for Internet access or a Wi-Fi connection to monitor the CCTV cameras.
Tips and warnings
- Many software applications allow users to easily convert their existing webcams into remotely accessible security cameras with no additional equipment necessary.
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