Setting up a Sharx Security Network Video Recorder

The new Sharx Security HTNR16560 records and displays up to 16 cameras with a total of 240 frames per second (fps).

Full specifications are here: NVR Flyer

Setup involves only a few steps. When connected to power and a monitor for the first time, it displays an “Easy Setup” series of 10 screens. The included mouse can be plugged into the front USB port for menu selections. At remote locations such as vacation homes the NVR can work totally standalone or connected only to a modem, but the more common method to use the NVR is to connect it to an existing network. For that, we recommend to connect the NVR to your router using a Cat5e network cable plugged into one of your router’s LAN ports and the single NVR network port labeled “WAN” (wide area network). The other 16 network connections are for cameras.

Screen 1: System Admin: Here is where you select a username and password. We recommend to keep the username admin, and then to type a password that is easy for you to remember.

Screen 2: Connection Mode: Here is where you can set a static IP, but we recommend to choose a dynamic IP and then also to set the DNS to Auto, and to later reserve the NVR’s IP address in your router’s address reservation menu.

Screen 3: Port / Connection Test: We recommend to keep defaults.

If you like to test that the NVR can reach out to the internet, this menu also has an option where you could type the name of a web site (such as www.google.com ) using the on screen keyboard. Note: one of the more common issues is to be sure you are actually typing the dot (period) with the on screen keyboard. Since you haven’t set the screen resolution yet, the low initial screen resolution might make the dot and comma look somewhat similar. The dot is next to the slash /

Screen 4:DVRNS / Dashboard: These menus are helpful for remote access, but can be safely skipped for now and you can come back to this later if you are planning remote access to the NVR.

Screen 5: IP Camera registration: Here’s where you define what cameras should be displayed and recorded. The cameras can be either on the NVR’s own network (when connected to the NVR’s built in PoE switch) or the cameras can be on your main network the same way that the NVR was connected. Latest generation Sharx Security SCNC series cameras such as SCNC3924, or any Sharx Security HTNC series camera will be recognized automatically when plugged into the NVR’s LAN jacks, given at least 2 minutes for the camera to start up and acquire an IP address from the NVR. For cameras not plugged into the NVR, you’d click on the AUTO/MANUAL button, uncheck the checkbox from the camera number that you’d like to add manually, then check the checkbox for “detail” and click on “Search”. Then you select one of the cameras that were found, and then you’d click on the “Registration” button next to the camera that you wish to add. This brings up a menu where you can type the password for the camera. All other settings are typically left at defaults. Then you click on “Test” to make sure you typed the correct password, and then OK to return to the previous menu to add more cameras. Manually added cameras from your network can be deleted, while automatically assigned cameras plugged into the NVR’s own network ports can only be removed by unplugging them from the network jack.

Screen 6: IP Camera Setup: We recommend to keep the defaults in this menu

Screen 7: Time Sync: Here’s where you select your time zone. We recommend to click on the “Time Sync”, then check the checkbox for “use”, and set the time server to time.nist.gov and this will automatically synchronize the NVR to the US government’s time server. If you don’t have an internet connection at that location you’d keep the “use” checkbox unchecked.

Screen 8: Camera: Here’s where you can give your cameras more descriptive names than “Cam 1” etc. Or you can keep all defaults.

Screen 9: Record Quality: This menu allows you to choose the quality level at which the NVR will record your cameras. The default is 30 fps / 4000K bit rate which is ok for up to 8 cameras, and to allow for 16 cameras you’d reduce the frame rate to 15.

Screen 10: Monitor: Now we can set the resolution of the monitor. Typically you’d connect a full HD monitor or TV screen, and here’s where you’d set it to 1920 x 1080 to take full advantage of your monitor’s resolution.

All done!

Now you can see your cameras on the monitor and everything is automatically being recorded as well

You can also log in to the NVR over your local network, and either go directly to the setup menus or go to the viewing menu. Please note that your browser must have a current version of Java, and that it must be enabled in order to view the live video.

 

 

 

Using Sharx Security HTNC series cameras with Netcam Studio

Sharx Security HTNC and SCNC cameras now support ONVIF and this allows the cameras to be used with various software even if there is no dedicated driver.

Here is an example with Netcam Studio:

We installed Netcam Studio and went to “Add video source”

Then we selected the “ONVIF Source” tab

And we clicked on the 3 dots next to the “ONIF Source” which brought up all our HTNC series cameras automatically

We selected the HTNC4404M and clicked on “Accept Selected”

It filled in the model number automatically and we entered username and password and then we clicked on Connect

After “connect” it populated a whole bunch of profiles:

We picked “Profile1 – RTSP_UDP” and then filled in the “Source Name” field with the name HTNC

Then “Save” just worked:

 

Viewing multiple Sharx Security cameras with free Luxriot EVO software

Sharx Security is an authorized reseller of Luxriot VMS and EVO software, which in our opinion is one of the most reliable and feature-rich professional grade Video Management System software packages that we’ve ever encountered.

The new 64 bit Luxriot EVO is available in a complimentary edition, free of charge and without time limits, for up to 9 cameras running at up to full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution. Please note that the free software does not come with any tech support.

The software is very sophisticated but at the same time the setup is definitely not intuitive. The following set of screenshots will illustrate step by step how to download, install, and configure the software for Sharx Security consumer and professional cameras, including all current generation SCNC and HTNC series cameras.

While Luxriot EVO can also be used for our industrial HDNC cameras, please note that the free version of Luxriot EVO does not support the higher resolutions of the Sharx Security HDNC5501 or HDNC6301 industrial cameras, so in that case the resolution would need to be set down to full HD, or a paid upgrade for Luxriot EVO would need to be purchased from Sharx Security.

To start the setup of the free software, go to http://www.luxriot.com/downloads/product-downloads/ and download Luxriot EVO complimentary edition:

Next, run the downloaded software:

You’ll see the Setup Wizard starting up:

Needs approval of license agreement, even for the free version:

If you had a previous version installed and are just updating, you’ll see an option to preserve your previous license. Otherwise you can create a new one.

You’ll see that the 9 camera free license is not just a temporary trial, expiry date is “Never”. While “End of support” is also “never”, it doesn’t mean that anyone offers any  support for the free version. It just means that there is no scheduled change in support status.

Click “Next”:

And “Next” again:

And this time after you click “Next”, it will start installing:

Then the software is installed and you would proceed by clicking “Finish”:

Next is the “Server Setup”. Defaults are ok:

And that’s it for the server:

Now the “Luxriot Console” is used to configure a few things, starting with selecting a password:

It needs to be 8 characters, with a minimum of 2 upper case and 2 lower case letters and 2 numbers, for example you could type ABcd1234

Whatever password you choose, please write it down exactly as you’ll probably have to enter it several more times for the configuration.

If you forget the password, simply uninstall and re-install the software using the Windows control panel.

So far everything has been pretty straightforward and not really worth so many screenshots to explain. But now come the tricky parts.

Luxriot EVO offers to scan your network to find devices, but since that part doesn’t work, you would NOT proceed to Step 1 here, and instead you would click on Exit as shown with the red arrow:

Once exited from the somewhat useless “Setup Wizard”, the Management Console shows a lot of configuration choices, including a bunch that wouldn’t even be available in the free version of the software. Click on “Hide features restricted by license”:

And this will now show a cleaner interface:

Next step is to click on “Devices”:

Now comes one of the really important steps. The best way to configure Sharx Security cameras is not by selecting Sharx or ONVIF from the menu, but by selecting “(Generic) RTSP Compatible”. The reason is that this gives us more flexibility to tell the software the best way to stream video from the camera, without relying on any decisions or assumptions made by the software.

Then it will need a few details, including of course the IP address of the camera which is configured by clicking on “Network” as shown below:

In the example below, the camera’s IP address is 192.168.1.189. Your camera’s local IP address would be different.

The username is admin and the password is whatever you set for the camera.

You could also connect to a remote camera the same way. All you need is the remote IP address or hostname, and the port would typically be 8150 for the first remote camera.

Once filled in, after you click on OK the configuration screen should look similar to the example below, of course with your camera’s IP address.

Next you would click on “”Channels”, and then on “Channel configuration” as shown below:

And now open “Channel Properties”:

Finally we’re getting close to the second really important and non obvious configuration step. Click on the RTSP tab shown below:

For all current Sharx Security SCNC series cameras, uncheck “Use default port” and enter the following info:

Port: 80
High: /live/0/h264.sdp
Low: /live/1/h264.sdp

For all current Sharx Security professional HTNC series cameras, keep the default port 554 and enter the following info instead:

High: /1/stream1
Low: /1/stream3

For all current Sharx Security industrial HDNC series cameras, uncheck default port, and enter the following:

PORT: 8304

High: /h264

After these values are entered, click on OK, and then the channel configuration is done and you’d click on OK there too:

Now the console screen should look like this (except of course with your camera’s IP address):

This concludes the Sharx Security specific setup for the first camera.

And you can then add more cameras, and see them on your computer screen by opening the LuxRiot EVO Monitor application, for which an icon should have been installed on your computer’s desktop already. Be sure to log in with the password that you set up earlier.

In the view below, the camera on the left is one of the previous generation consumer cameras and on the right is one of our new professional cameras. Even at this very low resolution image, the increased sharpness of the professional grade camera is apparent

Note that Luxriot is smart enough to switch to the camera’s lower resolution stream when you’re watching the cameras in a grid as shown below, and automatically switching to high resolution for a full HD full screen view when you double click on one of the cameras. Then you can see much higher resolution, as shown below:

You can now refer to the Luxriot documentation for info on enabling recording and all the other interesting features of this software. Tech support is available for paid versions of the software purchased from Sharx Security: We help with installation and all camera specific setup, and Luxriot helps with general operation questions. Feel free to ask us any questions about the setup, and we will try to improve this setup guide accordingly.

Enjoy your free high powered 9 camera viewing / recording software!

Concern about Apple’s lack of support for QuickTime

Yesterday an antivirus company made news headlines regarding their concern about Apple’s QuickTime player for Windows possibly not being updated by Apple any more.

At this time we could not find any official statement directly from Apple about this. Any Windows user sharing this concern could certainly uninstall QuickTime or all Apple software from any of their Windows PCs.

In the past QuickTime added a certain measure of convenience, but neither QuickTime nor any other Apple software is required on PCs for the operation of current or previous generation Sharx Security cameras.

For our customers with cameras that are more than 3 generations old, we will offer special upgrade pricing

 

Nest is permanently disabling the Revolv smart home hub

Sharx Security cameras are not dependent on any server or service. This means that there are no monthly fees or limits. Also, it means that the cameras will continue to function even without the company. In our opinion, all electronic devices should work in this way, but a recent article by TheVerge.com highlighted that various cloud based systems can simply be shut down when the manufacturer is acquired or is tired of running the service:

http://www.theverge.com/2016/4/4/11362928/google-nest-revolv-shutdown-smart-home-products

“Nest is coming under fire following an announcement that Revolv, a smart home startup it acquired two years ago, would be permanently shutting off its product starting May 15th. The decision, announced in a quiet note on Revolv’s website in February, has gone largely unnoticed and is expected to impact a very small number of consumers. However, it does raise serious questions about the longevity of smart home gadgets. The devices are often costly pieces of hardware made by small startups that may drop support at any point after being scooped up by a larger technology company.”

High reliability motion detector for SCNC3905 now in stock

The Sharx Security SCNC3905 (and SCNC3905-GRAY) cameras have a connection box that allows optional devices to be connected. One such device is the Sharx MD2XT dual tech motion detector.

This device uses microwaves like a police radar gun, together with passive infrared body heat detection, to make sure that the detected motion is caused by a person, large animal, or motor vehicle.

Shadows, insects, snowflakes or raindrops do not trigger the motion detection, either because they don’t have enough of a surface to reflect microwaves or because they have no body heat.

If you need this kind of professional reliability for motion detection, the MD2XT can be ordered from the Sharx Security web site, in the accessories section. It comes with 2 ft of 4 conductor wire, and you can substitute your own 4 conductor low voltage wiring, for example using standard telephone wire or even network wire.

 

 

Sharx Security cameras at below zero degrees Farenheit

Yessterday was an exceptionally cold day here in New Hampshire, with temperatures below zero degrees F at night.

Sharx Security outdoor cameras have captured some interesting scenery, including a frozen river and salt marsh in Rye, NH

Click on the picture below for a screen capture of live video taken on 2/14/16 from the Sharx Security SCNC3904-WIDE mini outdoor camera:

SCNC3904-WIDE-0F

Or click on the link below for live video:

Live SCNC3904-WIDE demo camera

Sharx Security cameras support Mac OSX El Capitan

All Sharx Security consumer cameras with model numbers starting with SCNC support Mac OSX El Capitan with a choice of browsers.

This includes the popular models SCNC3905 and SCNC3904-WIDE outdoor cameras as well as the SCNC2900 / SCNC2900W indoor cameras.

All major browsers including Safari, Chrome, and Firefox are supported.

Please note that plugins including Flash must be enabled on your browser, and for DropBox the popup blocker must be disabled, at least temporarily, so that the browser can ask you for your DropBox username and password in a new window or tab.

Sharx Security cameras support Windows 10 and Edge

All Sharx Security consumer cameras with model numbers starting with SCNC support Windows 10 including the new Edge browser.

This includes the popular models SCNC3905 and SCNC3904-WIDE outdoor cameras as well as the SCNC2900 / SCNC2900W indoor cameras.

Other browsers besides Edge can also be used on Windows 10. This includes Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and even Internet Explorer.

Please note that plugins including Flash must be enabled on your browser, and for DropBox the popup blocker must be disabled, at least temporarily, so that the browser can ask you for your DropBox username and password in a new window or tab.