Are you wondering how to connect an IP camera to an NVR with a built-in PoE switch? It’s pretty easy and logical. Technically, all that you have to do is plug it in the back for the recorder. But there are some more things that you need to consider.
In this wiring guide, we will show how to connect an IP camera to the PoE switch at the back of the NVR. These recorders are usually called PoE NVR. If you are wiring your camera to a separate PoE switch, click here. If you are wiring your camera to a non-PoE switch or directly to a router, click here.
This diagram is valid for an IP camera and NVR regardless of the brand names. The logic is the same, the camera gets plugged in at the PoE port of the NVR and it will transmit data and power from the same cable.
Note: these instructions assume that the camera and the NVR are from the same brand/manufacturer.
How to connect an IP camera to a PoE NVR?
Let’s examine the diagram. First, the NVR needs to be plugged into a power outlet using the power cord that it comes with. If you’re using a power strip, make sure the line provides enough amps to support all the devices plugged into it.
The NVR with built PoE draws more power than a regular NVR since it has to power the cameras as well, plus the recorder itself. So, just ensure the power outlet can the devices hooked up in the power strip. We’d recommend placing the NVR in a separate power outlet.
Then you have to connect the NVR to a router using an Ethernet cable (network cable). By doing that, you will bring the NVR on the network and you can view the cameras remotely as long as the unit is exposed to the internet.
You can add a monitor to the NVR by connecting via HDMI or VGA. Most NVRs feature both HDMI and VGA outputs. Keep in mind, VGA will transmit video only, HDMI can transmit audio as well (if your cameras feature microphones).
Next, turn on the NVR and complete the Wizard setup. This step depends on the NVR’s brand but basically, you need to create a password for the unit, set up the language, time, date, recording mode (motion or continuous), format any hard drives, and perform other settings.
Once the NVR is set up, you can connect your IP camera to the PoE switch in the back of the NVR with an Ethernet cable. You can use a premade network cable or run one yourself and then terminate the RJ45 connectors.
The camera will get powered by the PoE NVR and the data will be transmitted via the same cable. You can hook up as many cameras as the NVR allows (for example, 4 channel NVR, 8, or 16, etc).
Normally, if the camera(s) and the NVR are the same brand/manufacturer, there’s nothing else to do. The camera will self-configure and show up on the screen a few minutes later. Then you can scan the QR code of the recorder and see these cameras on the phone via the app (whatever app your NVR uses).
If the camera and the NVR are from different brands, further configuration is necessary, as you will have to add the camera to your NVR via the ONVIF protocol.
Common questions when connecting an IP camera to PoE NVR
Is there any need to do any configurations when connecting an IP camera to a PoE NVR?
There’s no need to do any configuration if the camera and the NVR are from the same manufacturer/brand. The units are totally compatible and the NVR will auto-configure the camera.
Once plugged in at the back of the NVR, you may need 2-5 minutes for the camera to come online on the screen. After that, you may adjust certain settings on the NVR’s settings section such as the resolution, frame rate, bit rate, recording mode, etc.
If the camera and the NVR are from different brands, then you need to add the camera to the recorder using the ONVIF protocol. This is a universal protocol that allows cameras to communicate with third-party NVRs.
Basically, you need to access the camera’s settings via the web browser, activate the camera by creating a password, enabling the ONVIF, setting a static IP address, and then plugging the camera at the back of the NVR.
Then you need to add the camera manually. Go to the NVR’s settings, find the “add camera” section, click ONVIF and enter the camera’s information such as username, password, port, IP address. Click OK and you should see the camera online a few minutes later.
What’s the password for a camera plugged into a PoE NVR?
Usually, the username of the cameras is admin and the password will be the same as the NVR. When the NVR will auto-configure the camera, it will use the same password for each camera. In a few words, the NVR and the cameras plugged into it have the same password.
If you change the password of the NVR, the cameras will use the old one. So, it’s important to remember these passwords if you change them.
Some NVRs give the user the option to update the password of the cameras when the NVR’s password is modified. If so, you should always use this feature to ensure that the NVR and the cameras share the same credentials.
How to update the firmware of cameras connected to a PoE NVR?
There are a few ways to update the camera’s firmware. One method is by using the NVR. Some NVRs offer the option to update the camera’s firmware via their interface. They can search for the firmware automatically online or you can plug a USB stick and select it manually.
Other NVRs don’t support this feature and you can either disconnect the camera and plug it into your laptop and then update it by accessing it directly via the web browser. On the configuration settings of the camera, there should be an “Update” section.
Another method is by using the Virtual Host feature. Access your NVR through the web browser, go to the Virtual Host tab, enable it and reboot the unit.
When it comes back on, go to the Camera Management section of the NVR and beside each IP camera, you should see an IP address. Click it and it will bring you to the login screen of the camera. For example, here’s this method explained for Hikvision devices.
Can I use microphones on PoE NVRs?
It doesn’t really matter. NVRs support any camera that comes with a built-in microphone. There’s no need to run extra cables, the video, audio, and power are transmitted via the same Ethernet cable.
If you need audio, just make sure to purchase a camera that has a built-in microphone and then connect it to the NVR same as a regular camera. You need to enable the audio on the setting of the NVR and that’s all.
If you want to hear the audio on the TV or monitor, make sure to connect the NVR using an HDMI cable and turn up the TV’s volume using the remote. If you use VGA, there will be no audio since this type of connection doesn’t transmit audio.