• Video Surveillance FAQ
  • Burglar Alarm FAQ

Video FAQ

What is a Security DVR? DVR stands for Digital Video Recorder. A Security DVR is capable of taking the video from digital or analog cameras and recording it into a digital format on a hard drive. It can record high quality video, maintenance free, for weeks or even months. An ideal replacement for time lapse VCRs.

What is a video capture card? A video capture card or DVR card is a graphic card inside the Security DVR system which captures the signal from the cameras and stores the video on the hard drive.

How many hours of video can the Security DVR store? The length of archive depends on the number of cameras, frames per second (FPS) and amount of available hard disk space. Our preconfigured systems usually provide several weeks of archive on motion detect mode.

How does motion detection work? Through the camera or the software? Motion detection works through the software in the DVR system by recording video when pixels in the image change. Our Security DVRs offer a sensitivity scale so the user can set the sensitivity of the motion detection.

Can I view live and recorded video locally? Yes, our DVRs offer the ability to view live on site, remote viewing and still record what's going on at the same time.

Can I view live and recorded video remotely? Yes, all of our Security DVR systems are Internet enabled. You can view live and recorded video from anywhere through the Internet and print and record to the remote computer.

Why does my hard drive say 100% on the main page of my DVR? When your DVR is first used there is no recorder video on the DVR. After days or weeks the capacity of the hard drive will be full. This is what it is reporting. At that point the DVR will begin recording over the oldest stored video. Keep an eye on your system and you will be able to see how much recording time you get. Save any video that you need prior to it erasing over the oldest video saved.

What kind of broadband do I need? How much bandwidth? Basic dynamic DSL or cable will work as will static IP in most cases. Basic dynamic is a much cheaper monthly service fee from the provider. This should be considered when purchasing a DVR system. You could save over $500.00 per year!

Can several users view one site at once? All our Internet-enabled Security DVR systems will allow multiple users to view the same site simultaneously. However, as more people look at the same cameras/DVR at the same time, the bandwidth will be shared between them which will slow down the frame rate and connectivity.

Can I record audio? Yes, most of our Security DVR systems come with an audio option which allows you to record audio. Most of our analog cameras do not come with built in audio, so you would need our option audio module, microphones and speakers.

Can I listen to live and recorded audio remotely? Yes, our Security DVR systems have that option. With an optional audio module, you can listen to live and recorded audio from anywhere through the Internet.

How many cameras do I need? This will depend on the size and layout of the area you wish to survey. Our system DVRS & NVRs come in a configuration of a 4, 8, 16, 32, 64 and Unlimited cameras (NVR) systems.

Can I use my existing cameras? Yes, you can use your existing CCTV cameras as long as they use a BNC type connector. Simply plug them into the back of the Security DVR which replaces the VCR.

What camera lens size is the best for my application? Most of the cameras that we use have an auto iris, vari-focal lens which allows the field of view to be widened or narrowed depending on what best suits what you want to see.

What is an Auto-Iris Lens? An auto iris lens provides consistent light source coming into the camera to provide enough light to provide a clear picture. The iris of the lens opens in darker conditions and closes during brighter lighting.

What is Lux? Illumination is measured in units called Lux. This is how much candela (candlelight power) is needed by a camera to produce a viewable picture. The lower the number the lower the light needed.

Can I zoom in with a camera to get get a bigger, cleaner closer video picture? Yes, but you need a special camera called a Pan-Tilt-Zoom or PTZ camera. DVRs have a digital zoom feature but you lose clarity when this feature is used. A PTZ camera allows you to move through out and area and zoom in and focus to view a person, place or thing. They can also be set up with a "Guard Tour" which allows you to set a constant pattern while not operating the camera manually. .

What type of Operating System (OS) does the Security DVR use? Most PC-based Security DVR Systems use Windows XP or Windows 7, and Standalone Security DVRs are Linux based.

What kind of cable should I use? Siamese cable which is an RG59 coaxial cable and a pair of 18 gauge wire in the same jacket to make installation easy. We also use CAT5 wired with a special product called a "Video Balun" for long wire runs.

What happens if there is power outage? Most Security DVRs will come back on as soon as power is restored. However, we suggest an uninterruptable power supply (UPS) which provides a short period of backup power and also serves as a surge protection device.

What is the difference between a static IP and a dynamic IP? A static IP is a fixed IP address assigned to you by your internet provider that will never change. A dynamic IP is a constantly changing IP address that could change at any point.

What is a DVRDNS service and why would I need it? It is the DVR domain name server that you can login to the DVR remotely without typing in the IP address. If you have a Dynamic IP address the address changes from time to time and you would not know what it is. For example if you name your IP address johnjones.dvrdns.net, then you would use this instead on a LAN IP address like or a WAN IP address of like It is easier to remember a name instead of an IP address and it tracks the number when it changes.

How does images per second affect the DVR HDD (hard drive) space? The greater the images per second, the more disk space is used up when recording Also the density of the video image which is bytes per image.

How does the motion sensing for cameras work with the DVR? DVR's detect motion by looking at the video pixels (little light and dark dots that make up the video picture) as the pixels change the DVR sees motion. DVR's have a "Mask" or overlay for each camera, the screen is divided up into many small boxes called cells. Each cell can be individually turned on or off to enable or disable motion detection in that cell. This allows a camera not to see normally moving objects like trees or fans. Each camera also has a sensitivity level setting that controls the amount of change in motion before the systems triggers. All motion sensing is done in the DVR. The camera has nothing to do with motion sensing, it just provides the video to the DVR.

Can I review recorded video and keep recording at the same time and not lose any recording time? Yes

Can I switch from a split screen view (4, 8 or 16 cameras per screen) to a single camera view and keep recording all the cameras at the same time? Yes, both in live and recording modes

How much time will a hard drive record for? It depends on your DVR setup (there are four settings) and your hard drive capacity. With the same hard drive capacity, setting DVR with normal to best recording quality can cut your recording time to 25%. Depending on how many days or weeks you require would depend on both how much hard drive space you will need as well as your settings. Each camera can be set up individually for recording quality as well as frames per second. We use a one Terabyte hard drive as a standard and you upgrade to more upon request

Can I view video from the DVR on my TV or do I need a monitor? No, you can only use a CRT monitor or a VGA monitor

Can I make my own cables? No, our cables are double shielded cables that are proprietary and used by all professional type camera systems.

Can I connect a VGA monitor and composite/tv monitor at the same time? No not with a PC based DVR system. Only a PC VGA monitor. Some standalone systems do allow both or a spot monitor like you see when you walk into a grocery store with a specific camera viewable.

Which ports do I need to open on my computer to be able to view video remotely? Our PC based DVR systems use Port 9091 through 9112.

What is the username and password? Default is Admin and no password

When I use a Mac or PC using Firefox or Safari nothing happens? The PC based DVRs are all Windows and can be viewed using a Windows based PC and Windows Internet Explorer only. Some standalone can use others.

Burglar FAQ

Are the alarm systems complicated to use? No - our systems are easy to operate. We keep the level of sophistication appropriate to the customers requirements.

Who chooses the LOGIN code and password? The LOGIN details are chosen by the customer - however, we advise you adhere to our recommendations for added security.

How do I turn the security system ON and OFF? This depends upon the system you have installed. If you are at the property, you would normally enter your code into the keypad as you left or use the remote control key fob. In the event that you are away from the property you would only be able to turn off the system if you have a DSC telephone Escort module installed.

Can I use the system at night? Yes - all of our home alarm systems are Zoned. There are 3 choices - FULL security, Home and Away. You can easily turn your system on before you go to bed for added security at NIGHT. If you felt vulnerable in the DAY, you could switch the perimeter security ON. When everybody has left the property you would normally arm the system to FULL security.

If I accidentally trigger the security system, what will happen? What you do depends upon what system you have installed. Enter you user code to disarm the system. If you disarm the system with a few seconds of triggering the alarm, an abort cancel with be sent to the central station not to dispatch.

Will I know if the system has been triggered while I was away? Yes. The system logs all events. You would also receive a call from the central station if you have our 24 hour monitoring service.

I have pets. Can I still have a security system installed? Yes. We use sophisticated pet immune detectors which can tell the difference between a pet and a human.

What happens if there is a power outage? All of our systems are supplied with a completely separate battery back up system. The battery back up will last from a few hours to a couple of days.

What is the difference between wireless and a wired security system? The newest wireless technology being incorporated into security systems uses, wireless" technology. As the name suggests, the system has NO wires. This is achieved by utilizing the airwaves in the property - as opposed to running wires throughout the property. There are many differences between wired and wireless security systems, both types have advantages and disadvantages. For this reason, we sometimes recommend a hybrid system which uses both wired and wireless technology - hybrid systems can offer you the best of both worlds.

Are Wireless security systems any good? As is the case with most things - you get what you pay for. Some wireless security systems can be prone to false alarms from rogue frequencies (airwaves). However, the systems we install have been designed and tested for reliability - we very rarely receive false alarms. Another potential disadvantage with a wireless security system, is that the alarm detectors require the batteries to be changed on a regular basis.

This is why the systems we install are designed with a NEW technology which conserves battery life - greatly lengthening the time span before a battery has to be changed (to several years in most cases). Less expensive wireless security systems can also be jammed by professional burglars - making the sensors redundant. We only use wireless systems that incorporate specialized DATA ENCRYPTION between sensors - any form of jamming would not affect our alarm security systems

How long is my system guaranteed for? All of our systems are guaranteed for the first year following installation. We highly recommend that a basic maintenance contract be added after the first year of the included warranty. Check with us for the currently monthly service call rate.

Do you service security systems that you haven't installed? Yes. We do offer servicing and maintenance of alarm systems that we have not supplied. We are able to advise on each individual system, with regard the overall quality of the equipment and installation. Some alarm systems may proprietary software on have an installer lock out code which would keep us from being able to service your system. We do not offer any warranties on systems that we have not installed.

Can you guarantee that my property will NOT be burglarized? No - we do NOT believe that any reputable security company could offer this guarantee. However, we DO believe that ALL forms of security prevention and protection will ultimately pay dividends over time. Since, some forms of security prevention are FREE and only require a slightly higher level of discipline, there is NO excuse for complacency.

Why is my keypad beeping periodically and/or my trouble light on?
To trouble shoot:
Press *2 on keypad. What zone lights up?
Zone 1 - battery back-up is low.
Zone 2 - transformer is defective.
Zone 3 - telephone trouble.
Zone 4 - the system is having trouble communicating.
Zone 5 - fire system trouble. (see "how do I reset my smoke detectors?")
Zone 8 - reset the time and date.

How do I reset the time and date on my keypad? With most DSC Systems
Press *6
Press your four digit master code
Press 1
HH:MM (military time)
Press #

DSC PowerSeries security systems: Presss *6
Press your four digit master code
Press 1
HH:MM (military time)
Press #

How can I make my keypad chime when the doors open? Press * 4 on the keypad or the "Chime" button if your keypad has one. This will enable/ disable the chime feature. If this does not work, contact our service department.

How do I change my master code? Press * 5 on the keypad
Enter your four digit master code
Press 40
Enter your new four digit master code
Press #

My memory light is lit on my keypad, what do I do? Your system has gone into alarm since the last time you armed the system!!! Please cautiously check on your home and family (we recommend with the proper authorities.) Investigate the cause of the alarm. The zone that caused the problem should be designated on the keypad (zone light lit). Use extreme caution when entering the zone where the alarm has been activated.

To turn off the memory light, simply arm and disarm the system by entering your four digit master code.

Call for service if needed. If it is a false alarm, the system will need to be serviced to avoid false alarm fines from your police department.

Why are my smoke detectors beeping? How do I reset my smoke detectors? If the smoke detectors are beeping and the trouble light on the keypad is not lit, the smoke detectors are most likely not tied into your security system. These smoke detectors would not have been installed by Ultimate Security Systems. Although we cannot help you with your existing "built in" detectors, please contact Ultimate Security Systems to have your system upgraded to our specially designed smoke and heat detectors to provide quality life saving smoke and fire detection. These smoke detectors would also be monitored if you have our 24 hour monitoring service with the central station.

If the trouble light on the keypad is lit: Press *2. If zone 5 is lit then the smoke detector alarmed and needs to be reset.
In order to reset the smoke detectors press *72.
Trouble light should turn off.
Note: The cause of the smoke alarm should carefully be investigated. If unable to determine cause of smoke alarm, please contact Ultimate Security Systems for service.

After replacing an exterior door, why is my keypad showing an open zone? The door you replaced had a security sensor in it. You will need to call our service department to schedule a technician to install a new contact in your new door. The service department can advise you of our rates.
How do I bypass a zone?
Press *1 on the keypad
Press the 2-digit zone number (e.g., 01, 02)
Press #
Arm system with your code

What days/times does Ultimate Security Systems run Service Calls? Our service department is open Monday–Friday (8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.).

However, afterhours / emergency service is available in some circumstances for an escalated service rate.

Why does my keypad display "not ready"? Your keypad is informing you that the alarm system is not ready to turn on (arm). Common reasons for this are that a door or window is not completely closed, a motion detector may be sensing movement, or a previous alarm has not been cleared out of the memory. Correct the condition and the alarm system will be ready to arm.

If I lose electric power, will my alarm system still work? Yes. In case of a power loss, the back-up battery will activate to maintain your alarm protection for several hours. You should replace the back up battery when the service light indicates trouble