11 Common Problems with CCTV Systems [Plus, Possible Solutions]

Each day that passes, we grow more and more dependent on technology. Our lives are basically consumed with it from every angle. What we don’t take the time to learn is how to fix technology when it has issues.

We always expect everything we use to be fully functioning and working properly without any issues popping up. Unfortunately, this isn’t how it works.  Not with any electronics which surely includes CCTV systems.

CCTV systems can have various problems pop up throughout owning them. This can vary from hardware problems to software problems and even problems and even be related to security-issues the system can experience such as weak passwords.

It all depends on how nice and robust of a system you have put together and how diligent you are about troubleshooting and fixing issues when they do arise. Especially if you opted to self-install and piece together your own system as opposed to using professional install and monitoring systems.

An Overview of CCTV Issues and Common Troubleshooting

In my opinion, many of the problems you will run into on our list can be easily fixed in just a few minutes. In addition, most of these issues can be avoided right out of the gates my reputable purchasing brands and higher end CCTV cameras.

Keep in mind that all CCTV cameras and CCTV cameras systems are different. Not all the issues one camera will have will always apply to another camera. For instance, a camera that’s using POE isn’t going to necessarily ever have many problems with losing connection to the internet.

If your problems fall outside of what we speak about today, you should consider using your owner’s manual or contacting the company you purchased the cameras from to see if you gain further assistance.

For today’s post, I wanted to take the time to cover some of the top problems you may encounter owning a CCTV system and mention a solution you can use to attempt to remedy the issue.

From my experience owning these CCTV systems, you have 11 prevalent problems that will come up more frequently than other issues.

Here’s a look at them.

11 Common CCTV System Problems Plus, Possible Solutions

#1- Overall Wear and Tear and Burnout

Sometimes with older CCTV systems, you are going to run into simple wear and tear issues. The sun directly beaming down on exterior cameras can take a toll on the cameras over time.

In addition, older technology that’s not currently weather proofed could run into hardware issues if exposed to the elements or low/high temperatures.

This is true of all technology, and there’s not much you can do about. Unfortunately, unless they are indoor cameras, they aren’t necessarily built to last a lifetime, and sometimes you just must shell out some extra cash to keep your home and family protected.

Learn from round 1 and find a CCTV camera system that may offer better features or more durability than the camera system that you used the first time around.

Possible Solution

Aim for newer technology that’s built to be 100% weather resistant. You can also have cameras mounted under eaves or other shading devices to ensure that they have some form of protection again the sunlight and other weather elements.

Otherwise, you can simply expect to be replacing an item here and there as they age and take a beating being exposed to the weather and sunlight.

#2 LED Lights or Night Vision Not Functioning Correctly

Sometimes your CCTV system will be working fantastically during the day and then start encountering issues when night time rolls around. In many circumstances, it can be the lighting sources with the camera itself, but regardless, the cameras need to be functioning at 100% at night.

Especially since this is when criminal activity is most likely to occur depending on where you live and what the situation may be.

Possible Solution

Using the directions for your specific camera, you can potentially optimize the camera until it begins displaying back crisp and bright color (assuming you bought a decent CCTV camera to being with).

You can also adjust the low light settings on your camera to see if this begins to improve any of the colors and contrast you are having displayed back.

If you continue to read the manual and play with the settings, you should be able to restore clear video and images with some simple trial and error. If this doesn’t work, likely you bought a low-quality camera right out of the gates which we will cover soon.

#3- Using Non-Interchangeable Equipment and Building Your Own Bundle

Let’s be very clear about one thing. I believe 100% in completing your own system, self-installing and piecing together the perfect CCTV system. However, people commonly make the mistake of buying the cheapest DVR to pair with one fancy doorbell camera and then a few cheap outdoor and indoor cameras.

Or they just are entirely too cheap all together and buy several pieces of CCTV gear that’s not even compatible, to begin with. This is undoubtedly causing significant issues with your system doing anything it’s designed to do.

Possible Solution

Be smart when you purchase your CCTV system. Cheap is fine. Sacrifice some of the little things but not the big things. Purchasing 720P quality is perfectly fine but mixing and matching every component is a big mistake. At least attempt to keep everything universal if you expect it to work correctly.

If you are a beginner just allow a professional to help you. It will save you plenty of money in the long run.

#4 Losing Wireless Connection or No Connection to IP

This is going to happen anytime you run wireless equipment. The internet when hardwired or using POE (power over ethernet) is 100x more stable, but if you are running solely wirelessly, connection issues may arise. It could be from the poor signal or lack of quality equipment such as signal boosters, routers among other things.

It could also be interrupted strictly because of the internet provider or the weather outside.

Possible Solution

Anytime you lose connection with your CCTV system, the first thing you can do is find out if everything is powered on and working correctly. Often a hard reset of the router or modem can re kick start the connection or even performing a reset on the CCTV system itself.

Outside of that, the unfortunate side of having the internet provider involved and a wireless connection is that if you can’t fix it, your likely going to need to call the internet provider to troubleshoot the problem.

#5- Not Taking the Time to Set up Security and Stronger Passwords

This is more of a security issue than anything. Security systems including your home CCTV systems can easily be hacked. Especially when you’re the guy who leaves his password set as “password” or uses very weak password combinations.

Begin implementing stronger passwords and always perform regular software updates when they are available. They aren’t released just for fun and usually contain beneficial code and updates to give your system what it needs to function correctly.

Possible Solution

Perform Regular Updates, Set Strong Passwords and Don’t Share Wi-Fi within anyone outside of your direct household.

#6- Not Staying Up to Date with Hardware and Software

This goes back to # 5 in a way. A lot of individuals take their CCTV systems, install it, download the mobile app and never look back. Well, the problem with this plan of action is that these devices need updates to continue working correctly and sometimes you do have to buy new hardware.

That’s how the world works with any technology or electronic device. Things go wrong, out of date and need to be replaced. When you fail to do this and hope for the best, you never truly being protected or keeping your system running at 100% capacity.

Possible Solution

Check the system from time to time. If a camera or another device is not working, broken or even seems like it’s at the end of its life, replace it. When your app or devices tell you to perform an update, DO IT.

Stop hitting the remind me later button and just let the technology do what it was designed to do.

#7- Not Having a Complete System Ensuring Your Protected from All Angles

How many times have we seen this at friends or family homes? They have spent a bunch of money and have a camera in the living room, kitchen, basement, and garage.

They don’t, however, have anything protecting the side basement window wells, the front door or even the entry or access point to the garage. It’s almost like they set up the system specifically to watch themselves and their family which is creepy.

A half-completed project is just as good as a project not even started.

Possible Solution

Having an entry and access points left uncovered defeats the entire purpose. You’re better off not having a system at all. Do you really think that criminals aren’t smart enough to look for the one area not being monitored by CCTV cameras?

Do you think they see one doorbell camera and just give up? No, they aren’t stupid. They will find a way to protect the house from all angles or don’t buy a system at all. If you can’t afford to do all cameras, use window break sensors or conventional window sensors to protect window entry points.

Again, if you aren’t going to do it right, don’t do it at all.

#8- Having the Settings Programmed to Set Off Too Many False Alarms or Alerts

This can be incredibly frustrating if you don’t know what you’re doing or have an overly sensitive system. Birds can set of motion sensors, rain and wind can even set them off.

Hell, a butterfly landing on the camera may even sound the alarm.

Possible Solution

If you are one of the individuals constantly being bothered with this issue, read the manual and adjust the sensitivity of the system or set rules for the system.

A lot of CCTV systems now allow for you to click on the areas you want the motion to pick up. This way, it can ignore the rest for heavy foot traffic areas.

Having an overly sensitive system is probably going to cause you more anxiety and missed alerts on your mobile device than anything else.

#9- Protecting with More Than Just the Typical Camera Here and There

This goes back to having the proper equipment to monitor the entire home, but it has more to do with the field of views and making sure you cover as much ground as possible.

It’s not always about covering only the entry points but covering other areas of the property when possible such as the driveway, full view of the backyard and even views of additional structure buildings such as sheds and garages.

Possible Solution

Purchase higher quality cameras when it’s possible. Higher end cameras have better FPS or frames per second. Additionally, better cameras will help with other issues we have discussed in this post such as night vision quality, connection issues or even compatibility issues.

Anytime you spend more money up front, you are likely getting what you paid for. It’s not that lower end models won’t get the job done it’s just that some of the common problems you find or troubleshoot off this list tend to be a common theme among the lower end models.

Spend a little now to save a little later.

#10- Bad Video Quality Being Displayed Back to You

Lousy video quality can be displayed back to you from your CCTV cameras for a variety of reasons.

You may have bright spots showing up on the monitor from sun or lighting reflections, and you could also have something such as spider web or other debris that has built up around the camera causing it to have issues.

Whatever the case may be, usually the easily fixable. Check out our solution below.

Possible Solution

Visually inspect your camera to make sure you have nothing blocking the view. If you notice anything obstructing the view, simply remove the debris and clean around the camera the best you can. You may also need to manually adjust some of your settings on the camera itself to make sure everything is set to the correct brightness and lighting features.

If this is this the situation you find yourself in, be sure to check your user’s manual to ensure you are adjusting the correct settings and not making the situation worse than it started as.

#11- Camera Has Lost Power and Not Functioning

This is one of the items on our list that you don’t necessarily have a lot of options to turn into order to fix the problem. Sometimes you will lose power to your system when you lose power to your home and perhaps you are running on a battery-powered or using wireless cameras.

If this is the case, your best bet is to make sure that you frequently keep tabs on the battery life of the device and change them as needed.

I personally always recommend using a hardwired system when possible but sometimes when you are monitoring a remote location, this won’t ever present itself as an opportunity for you. Make sure to download the mobile app for your device and check the battery life within the mobile app.

Outside of that, if your home loses power and your system is plugged into a standard power source, you will not be able to use the system when the power is down or when the internet connection is down for these devices. One of the major downfalls to some of the systems available in the CCTV market today.

Putting it All Together, Some Problems Have Easy Solutions with CCTV Cameras

As you can see, CCTV systems do present the opportunity to have problems and require some work on your end. Sometimes, you can eliminate most of these issues just by purchasing a higher end CCTV system right out of the gates.

Sometimes the problems you run into are going to be from nothing more bad luck or lack of maintenance. Your CCTV system is protecting your home family and other assets. You should make it a priority to keep up with the system and make sure it is always working correctly.

Check the systems for debris, perform regular updates, keep your system password protected and always ensure that the system has compatible components and can easily be interchanged and take the time to learn the ins and outs about your system to ensure you always get the best use and max performance.

What’s your take on problems that CCTV cameras frequently have? Have you run into issues that we haven’t discussed on this list today? If so, what was it and how did you troubleshoot the problem? Be sure to drop a comment below.

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