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How to connect a security camera to my PC

how to connect security camera up to PC. I recently bought a Swann Nighthalk camera to view the outside of the house. I currently have the camera reciever hooked up to my VCR and record, but I have to rewatch the tapes to see if any activity went on then re-record over the save VCR tape just to rewatch againa nd again. I would love to have the images come up on my home PC to record longer legths of time and to hopefully have a time stamp placed on the recording.  DVR's are extremely expensive and I figure that I already have a PC and can burn DVDs so why not utalize what I have.  Please advise.

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There are a few things you can do inter-phase your security camera with your PC. But first just a few important notes. Realize that if you want to do this, you will need some sort of software that can interact with your security camera. Super DVR software is free and you can do a Google search and find a copy. If you cannot find a free copy, then you can just purchase one. There are many for sale. Realize that most of those soft-wares are not hardware compressed (meaning it will not have the best quality) and it will cause some stress on your PC. I would advice not running the software for long periods of time, it will cause stress on your system. You could also buy a dvr card. Again do a Google search and you will find an affordable card. It is hard to get around a standalone unit or a solution built for a computer. Most people just do not realize that depending on what you want to do, depicts your security budget. In this case if you are just looking at live video and recording to your hard-drive to burn to a CD is simple. But you do not want to use this as a long term solution. The reason for that is that these security cameras shoot video in real-time! Real time viewing is rated at 30 frames per second. That is hardcore! Imagine using a software compression solution to shoot video and trying to record that data to your 80 gig, or 200 gig hard drive. In a matter of a few days, your hard drive will lock up. The amount of hard drive you eat up will be based on the amount of cameras you have. Some dvr software will let you control the frames per second you record at. To figure out how much record time you will need remember this: at real-time it is 6gig per camera per day. So 6 times 1 camera. So 6gig per day. So again one camera is not so bad. I know this is a long answer, but one must be advised before just plugging up your security camera to your computer. It is doable, all you need is a dvr card, an RCA video cable, and a RCA to BNC connector and wah-la. This will work, for one camera solutions with at dvr card! You do not want to stess out your PC and end up losing personal data. There are plenty of dvrs out there now that are under two hundred dollars now. I hope this helps.

Chad Buie - your answer is really wonderful and exhaustive

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question is how to view live video: Cool , so it's not your PC's issue, it's TV or LCD monitor issue, since you don't need it to record.


1. buy a T-connector, cost < $0.5.  Connect the camera, 1 side to VCR, 1 side to your TV, with RCA connector input. (need a extra cable to connect your TV)

2. VCR directly connect to your TV, live view, if your VCR has this function.

3. get a $50 DVR USB card, connect your PC, record video in your PC.



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