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How to connect a CCTV camera to a computer

Updated February 21, 2017

One of the problems in connecting a closed circuit television (CCTV) camera to a computer is that generally the computer is nowhere near the camera. If you want to monitor activity at your front door, you'd mount the camera in the hallway, right? That's nowhere near the computer, which might be in the den. The solution is to use a home-wiring network called a powerline network.

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  1. Position your camera. Select a location that isn't pointing directly into a light source. Make sure the camera is shaded and the subject area is well lit. Check that the subject---say a door--is within the frame of the camera. The user manual will tell you the range that the camera will be able to capture a 6-foot person's full image. It's often only 2.5 meters at night using a day/night camera.

  2. Determine the method of mounting the camera. Cameras can be mounted using window suction mounts, which is convenient and easy to do.

  3. Plug the supplied receiver into the wall adjacent to the computer. The receiver and cables come with the kit and are the interface between the computer and the powerline network. Plug the receiver into a spare USB jack on the computer.

  4. Install the software on your computer. There will be a disk that came with the kit. Check the box. Place the CD in the drive and follow the prompts to run the install wizard. The prompts will ask you if you'd like to set up a remote viewing account, which allows you to see images from your camera over the Internet. It will test the system, and it will prompt you to connect and name the camera. At that point go back to the camera.

  5. Plug the camera into the camera's power supply and the power supply into the nearest outlet. You will be using the home's wiring to carry the signal to your computer.

  6. Go back to the computer and continue the wizard. Identify the camera in the software and name it.

  7. Focus the camera. You'll need help to do this. One person needs to be at the camera and the other needs to view the image in the software's home screen.

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Things You'll Need

  • Powerline Networking Home Security Kit

About the Author

Patrick Nelson has been a professional writer since 1992. He was editor and publisher of the music industry trade publication "Producer Report" and has written for a number of technology blogs. Nelson studied design at Hornsey Art School.

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