How To Connect A Security Camera To A TV Without DVR?[Step By Step]

connect security camera to TV

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Are you looking for a way to connect your CCTV camera to your TV without using a DVR? Then you’re in the right place.

Monitoring your properties through your TV can be convenient since you –

  • Can watch every detail on an extensive screen.
  • Can monitor from the comfort of your living room.
  • Don’t need an extra device for watching the live feed.

But sometimes, people are not interested in investing in a DVR. Or they may have a DVR that is not working. But do you even need a DVR to connect your security camera to the TV? If not then how do you go about the process?

This is all I have covered in this detailed guide. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know to set up your security camera without a DVR.

Let’s get started.

What’s DVR?

DVR stands for Digital Video Recorder. It’s an electronic device for recording TV shows, movies, and videos from security cameras and saving them in local storage in digital format.

While DVRs are cheap and easy to setup, but it’s true that they don’t offer quality recordings. You require external cables for connectivity and a dedicated power supply.

However, these are used in a variety of settings, including entertainment, security, law enforcement, and business applications.

How Does A DVR Work?

At the most basic level, a DVR is just a hard drive for recording and saving videos for watching later. It works by capturing analog signals from a camera and converting it into a digital format. The digital video is then stored on a storage device, such as a hard drive or flash memory.

You can playback these videos and access them remotely through a network. DVRs typically have a variety of features that allow users to control the recording process, such as motion detection and pause/rewinding.

First, you need to connect your security cameras to the correct port of the DVR using coaxial cables. Then connect an external monitor or your TV to the suitable port of the DVR. Now you can watch the live feed of your camera on the monitor.

Is DVR Necessary For Connecting Security Camera To TV?

In modern days, there’s no need for a DVR for connecting your surveillance cameras to a TV. With a few tweaks, you can connect your cameras directly to your TV or monitor using the right cables, connectors, and adapters.

Though a DVR is not necessary for connecting a security camera to a TV, it is a good idea to have one to be able to review footage if needed.

Necessary Equipment For Connecting Security Camera To A TV Without A DVR

So do you have everything you need to establish a connection between your CCTV camera and your TV? Check out this list and see the required tools and components –

  • A surveillance camera
  • TV or monitor
  • Power adapter
  • Video cables
  • Power cables
  • Connectors
  • Converters
  • Screw Driver
  • Scissors or cutter

What types of cables and connectors you need depend on the model of your camera and TV. Some of the common ports and cables you can find include 2.1 mm power cables, BNC connectors, RCA connectors, Scart connectors, and HDMI and VGA converters.

Steps to Connect An Analog Security Camera To A TV Without a DVR

Now you have a clear idea about DVRs, their usage, and their necessity. It’s time to see how you can set up your security camera with your TV without using a DVR.

As I’ve mentioned before, the process of making the connection will be different depending on-

  • What type of camera you use(Analog, IP, Wire-free)
  • What model camera do you have?
  • What video input and output does your TV support?

Step #1: Power Up Your CCTV Camera

Take the power adapter and connect it to the camera’s power port. Make sure it is a 12 V 1 amp adapter. Plug your power adapter into an electrical outlet. Turn on the power.

Check your cameras whether the LED lights are litten. If so, that means your camera is gettings power.

Step #2: Connect Your Camera To The TV

Take the BNC cable of your camera. Connect it to the BNC to RCA cable. Now take your RCA cable and connect it to the other end of the connector.

Finally, connect the RCA cable to the video port of your TV. Usually, it is the yellow colored port. This may vary from TV to TV. You can read the TV manual or check the ports for indications.

Step #3: Turn On Your TV

Setup other necessary wires for your TV. You may need to plug the TV into a separate power outlet. Use the remote or the power button to turn your TV on.

Step #4: Channel Tune To Find The CCTV Footage

After you turn the TV on, you will not see any footage right away. You will only see TV static. Set the TV for auto-tuning. Your TV will start searching for channels. This may take a few minutes to complete so be patient.

Once the channel tuning is 100% completed, you will have some channels to view. Browse each channel to find the one your CCTV camera is showing the live footage on.

You can now view the live feed of your CCTV camera on your TV monitor.

Connect A HD Security Camera To A TV Without a DVR

This is mostly the same process as connecting an analog camera, with some exceptions.

  • Get a BNC to HDMI converter.
  • Connect the BNC ends of your camera and the converter.
  • Use an HDMI cable to connect the converter to your TV.
  • Turn on your TV.
  • Use your remote to display the HDMI output.

What If You Don’t Have A Converter?

All the necessary equipment such as connectors and converters should be available in your local hardware stores. If you can’t collect them, you still have a last resort.

  • Cut off the heads of your wires using a scissor or cutter.
  • Peel off the outer layer to unveil the copper wires inside.
  • Connect the different types of wires to create a converter yourself.
  • Use tape to hide the open wires.
create a converter

How To Record Your Security Camera Footage Without a DVR?

If you decide not to use a DVR, you have limited options, and in some cases, no option to record the security camera video. If your camera supports inserting SD cards, you can save the video on that card.

In some security cameras, you can connect it to your computer or laptop and save the recorded video on a hard disk or SSD. For IP cameras, you can use an NVR instead of a DVR for recording purposes.

Disadvantages of Not Using a DVR When Connecting Your Security Camera To The TV

While it is possible to connect your camera to the TV without a DVR, it’s not the best setup.

You can view the live feed and monitor your house and properties. But this means you will need to sit in front of your TV all the time. Which is not reasonable.

Without a DVR, you won’t be able to record any audio with footage. You won’t be able to see the recordings later. So you will not be able to monitor your house while you are not there.

Is It Worth Connecting Your Security Camera To The TV Without A DVR?

As you may be thinking, is this process and hassle even worth going through? In my opinion, it’s not worth it.

Not only it becomes difficult to record the footage of your security cameras(if not impossible), you may mess up the process and end up with broken connections.

It also requires a lot of wiring and components. If you decide to not use converters and cut the wires, this may result in making them useless, you can make any mistake. So my advice will be to use a DVR(or the modern NVR) to connect your camera to the TV.

Final Thoughts

This article goes through the whole process of connecting a security camera to a TV with and without a DVR. We’ve also covered the pros and cons of using a DVR. At the end of the day, it’s your choice to use or not use a DVR. But my suggestion is to go with a DVR setup.

As far as security concerns go, it’s essential to monitor your house 24/7. If you depend on live viewing on your TV only, this defeats that purpose. Even if you decide not to use a DVR, then you can buy a camera that can record and save videos to other external storage like an SD card or computer hard drive.

Palash is an entrepreneur in the tech industry and the author of the Smart Home Protector. As a tech entrepreneur & reviewer of a home safety gadget store, his job helps customers remain on top of what's coming next in our rapidly changing world.

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