Tech Tip: CCTV Commissioning

14 Oct, 2020, 2:08 PM

A couple of weeks ago, a customer new to CCTV asked what should be on their checklist for the commissioning of CCTV systems. This is actually quite a good question as it constantly amazes
me the lack of basic configuration done on many CCTV installs. With this in mind, below is a basic listing of what should be done as part of the average small to medium CCTV system setup.


  1. Ensure all cameras are correctly orientated and have the correct lens size to ensure the optimal field of view. Ensure that there are no IR reflectors up close to the cameras and that their field of view is not obstructed. Remember typically indoor cameras should be aligned so that the top of the scene is the top of a doorframe in the background of the scene. Almost always if you can see the ceiling/sky the camera is not correctly aligned.

  3. Configure cameras recording setup. Set frame rates as appropriate for normal and alarm (motion) recording. Ensure the bitrates are appropriate for scene, resolution and frame rate.

  5. Set names for all cameras.

  7. Set motion sensitive areas for cameras as required. Try to block out areas which will cause ‘false triggers’ on motion.

  9. Set camera exposure as required, particular attention to WDR & BLC if required.

  11. Ensure NVR is connected to the client network.

  13. Update firmware for NVR and all cameras, online cloud update for UNIVIEW product.

  15. Set timezone, daylight saving, time & date correctly on the NVR. Set a suitable NTP time server eg

  17. Set a new admin password for the NVR. ***** WRITE IT DOWN, GIVE TO THE CUSTOMER IN WRITING, RECORD ON JOB RECORDS *****

  19. Configure NVR to client viewing software for both phones and on site computer(s). Yes, there is a mac version of EZStation, the PC viewing software. The PC & mac viewing software is available from

  21. Set system alarms to report as appropriate eg email to install company in event of HDD failure.

  23. Verify that the UPS is functioning.

  25. Test playback to ensure all cameras are recording correctly. Test on both NVR and also on client software as appropriate.

  27. If having issues with connecting to phone check the clients’ site UPLOAD speed via You will require a MINIMUM 1Mb upload speed. Ideally, 3M upload to work well.

  29. Fill in job records. Ensure every aspect of the job is noted, especially camera make, model and lens size, all relevant IP addresses, all equipment locations and all passwords etc.

  31. Make a backup of system configuration from the NVR. Ensure this backup is kept with relevant client records.

  33. Show the client representative how to use the system, especially playback. Encourage the customer to playback some footage at least once a week, this ensures that the system is recording OK and that the client knows how to use the system.