If your security surveillance cameras (IP or analog), some or all of them, suddenly stop working, showing video loss message or signal loss on the monitor or screen intermittently, then this article will help you to diagnose your devices.Here we will discuss the common reasons for the video loss issue on CCTV security cameras and systems, DVRs camera systems, and provide tips to fix CCTV security camera video loss.

  • What is video loss on surveillance security cameras
  • Why does video loss happen
  • Video Loss: Reasons & Quick fixes

What video loss means on security cameras/security systems?

Basically video loss means that the receiver (recorder) is not receiving any signal/picture from the camera. Video loss on security cameras comes in different forms and shapes. For instance, a CCTV surveillance system loses video feeds on one or all cameras, displaying video loss at the same time. CCTV camera gets a loose connection, goes black at night, or gets no video with surveillance camera showing a black screen. Sometimes, the camera video flickers on and off, showing lines on the screen and monitor. Or the H.264 DVR gets no picture, camera not working and etc.

Why does the camera video loss happen?

Owl cameras, Zmodo cameras, Lorex surveillance cameras, Amcrest cameras, Qsee cameras, Dahua, Hikvision or CCTV/IP cameras of other brands, all of them have video loss issues. So why does video loss happen? In general, the issue of “video loss” on CCTV security cameras or DVR/NVR, in many cases, comes down to several factors: insufficient power supply, unstable network, wiring problems, hardware (cameras, NVR/DVR or monitor) failures, inefficient camera software and IP address conflicts. Below we will list the most common reasons why your system shows “video loss” and how to fix this issue. .

Video Loss reason 1: Insufficient power supply

The insufficient power supply is, quite often, the culprit of the video loss on one or all security cameras, CCTV video loss at night, video signal loss on screen, camera going black at night, or camera video flickering on and off. In simple words, the camera is failing to receive the necessary juice from the power supply.

Here are some common reasons for insufficient power supply to CCTV cameras:

  • Loose cable connection. For example, between DVR/NVR and the cameras, between CCTV cameras and monitor, power adapter, or any possible loose connection in the camera itself.
  • Bad PoE switch or bad PoE injector
  • Cable is too long, or one cable is supplying too many cameras at once
  • Faulty power cables (old, damaged, degraded or cut)

Quick fixes if your system is dealing with insufficient power supply:

  1. Double-check all power connections, power splitters, cable connectors, and etc. to exclude connection issues. Switch ports to make sure the DVR/NVR port is providing power to the cameras.
  2. Connect the IP cameras directly to the NVR (if there is any) instead of via a PoE switch because the PoE switch could potentially not supply insufficient power to the IP cameras.
  3. The  PTZ IP cameras or night vision IR security cameras, draw more electricity so make sure your system is able to properly power such type of cameras.
  4. If PoE switches or PoE injectors are necessary, make sure you choose PoE switches or injectors properly. Try another PoE switch if you suspect that your switch is not providing enough juice.
  5. Try using shorter coaxial cables or Ethernet cables to power surveillance cameras system and avoid using low-quality extension cables or extension cords. Get high quality cabling for your system (Ethernet type or coaxial).
  6. If you are using battery-powered security cameras, make sure the battery is not dead.

Video Loss reason 2: Power spike or Interference

Another hazard is power spike. This reason is likely to cause sudden video loss on all your security cameras at once, especially if your cameras are using coaxial cable (IP cameras are less susceptible).

Here are some common reasons for power spike & interference:

  • Mounting security camera to a metal/conductive surface
  • Lightning strikes
  • Strong electrical currents interference from nearby electrical equipment

Quick fixes :

  1. To resolve such issue, try using power surge protectors or lightning surge protectors to protect your CCTV cameras from a lightning strike. UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supplies) units will ensure power supply for all cameras when there is a power outage, mitigating concerns for camera power-off. Besides, if it’s hard not to mount your camera to anything other than a metal/conductive surface, add a block of wood in between.

Video Loss reason 3: Weak WiFi connection or low bandwidth

Video loss or weak video signal among WiFi security cameras and IP security systems could be caused by unstable network connections, weak WiFi connection or low internet bandwidth.

Here are common reasons for network-induced video loss:

  • Long distances between wireless security cameras and home routers
  • Too many barriers between your camera & WiFi router
  • WiFi signal interruption & interference
  • Insufficient bandwidth via PoE switch or NVR
  • The loose connection between BNC connector and security cameras or H.264 DVR. BNC connector, unexpectedly and frequently, explains the constant signal loss and video loss on IP home surveillance systems or H.264 DVRs.
Low bandwidth can causes video loss.

Low bandwidth can causes video loss.

Some users set up their home surveillance system by connecting the cameras to multiple PoE switches before connecting it to the NVR. In such cases, video loss or camera not recording is likely to occur due to the bandwidth and network traffic. In addition, a PoE switch or injector, if being loose or cut, also results in signal transmission disruption and video loss in the process.

If you happen to have wireless security cameras installed, video loss during live view could be the result of WiFi signal interruption, be it as a signal drop or signal loss. Once the wireless cameras’ connection with video recorders is severed, it’s impossible to upload or stream video feed on any devices.

Quick fixes if the WiFi is weak or if the bandwidth is low

  1. Check home routers and PoE switches and get your security cameras closer to your home router.
  2. Reconnect the connectors and unplug the PoE switch or injector to troubleshoot the video loss on analog and IP security cameras.
  3. For wireless security cameras, it’s advised to examine the network. If you are using cellular security cameras, make sure the SIM card is properly inserted, not loose, or the data is not maxed out.

Video Loss reason 4: IR cut filter and faulty IR night vision block

If you security cameras are showing up the black screen, or go black during the night, it’s likely that the camera lacks infrared night vision, or the IR night vision camera doesn’t have an IR cut filter or a faulty IR sensor, or you simply forget to turn the IR on. However, nowadays most of the cameras support night vision.

If the IR block is dead, then the picture at night time may be pitch black.

If the IR block is dead, then the picture at night time may be pitch black.

Quick fixes:

  1. Check camera settings to make sure the IR is on. To see if the IR LEDs are working, bring in the camera down and place it in a low-light environment to see if the IR LEDs is turning on. .
  2. If your outdoor security cameras don’t come with IR night vision or their IR block is defective, use external IR illuminators or floodlight when necessary.

Video Loss reason 5: Signal type and compatibility

Sometimes, if your DVR or NVR shows video loss or no video, it’s possible that your NVR/DVR is not capable of decoding the video stream, especially when you running together security cameras from different brands.

In other cases, security cameras with a higher resolution like 5MP or 8MP are incompatible with NVRs/DVRs that are designed to decode 1080p camera. In some rare cases, the DVR is not able to understand a signal type that the CCTV camera is using, especially among some old CCTV cameras.

Quick fixes if your system has compatibility issues:

  1. Consult the support team of respective manufacturer/seller on the technical details.
  2. Remember to use the same brand of NVR/DVR and cameras and make sure the DVR/NVR is able to decode the video stream.

Video Loss reason 6: Problems with cabling/wiring

BNC Cables or Ethernet network cables, to some extent, could have an impact on the functionality of surveillance security cameras, especially analog CCTV cameras which could suffer a greater risk of video loss or signal loss compared to IP cameras. In such a context, hardwired surveillance cameras will be more likely to encounter wiring-related glitches, such as video loss on analog CCTV cameras.

Quick fixes if the issue is cabling:

  1. Check the wiring around your house and every inch of them until you are 100% sure about all wires are firmly connected and fine without any degradation or impairment.
  2. Examine all cables, especially cables through crawl space or attic, to see if the cable is chewed, bent, cut or damaged.
  3. Try powering the coaxial cameras or IP cameras with new cables if necessary.

Video Loss reason 7: Hardware and firmware

If you rule out power disruption, connection problems, BNC connectors, or cable issue, but still failing to fix the video loss on the cameras, it may come down to the very fact that your NVR/DVR or surveillance cameras are in a shabby state. Sometimes, video loss problem could also happen because of the old or bug-ridden firmware that has been upsetting your nerves all along. The possible solution would be to have a quick check on the update info and consider a firmware update to get better performance. In many cases, the video loss is caused by buggy firmware.

Quick fixes:

  1. Update your devices: NVR, DVR, or IP cameras to the latest firmware. Contact the manufacturer or the seller to get the latest version.
  2. When the surveillance security cameras, NVRs, or DVRs go wrong and constantly suffer from video loss, black screen, or no video, it’s time to buy new and better surveillance security systems.

Video Loss reason 8: IP address conflicts

If you can’t solve the video loss issues on your security cameras even after checking the power supply and network connections, it is possible that there are IP address conflicts that stop you from viewing the security cameras. If two IP cameras are on the same network and have the same IP, then they will kick out each other from the network, causing video loss your on your system.

Quick fixes:

  1. Scan the IP address of your security cameras to see if there are any conflicts, for example, duplicated IP address.

Suggestion: Research before buying any security surveillance system. A reliable camera system goes a long way to giving you real peace of mind. Low-quality products will constantly experience problems in picture, videos, NVR and tons of other problems, while high-quality and trusted video surveillance cameras system not only provide you with reliable products but also long-term stability and reassurance.