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CCTV DVR Alarm Input Setup - iDVR-PRO Video Surveillance DVRs

CCTV DVR Alarm Input Setup

iDVR-PRO CCTV DVRs support alarm input integration that can be configured to trigger actions such as video surveillance recording, email alerts, and video popup. Burglar alarm devices motion sensors, magnetic door sensors, infrared trip wires, photoelectric beams and any other kind of digital output alarm device can be used. The A series iDVR-PRO models support 4 alarm inputs. The 8 camera iDVR-PRO8H supports 8 alarm inputs and the 16 channel iDVR-PRO16H supports 16 inputs. The latest hybrid iDVR-PROs also support alarm inputs. The new hybrid DVRs support analog CCTV, AHD, and HD-TVI cameras which means that you can mix and match D1, 960H, 720p, and 1080p security cameras on the same DVR. You can find the latest CCTV / HD security camera DVRs here.


The following actions can be taken based on an external alarm input.

  • Alarm Recording - the DVR will begin recording when an alarm is triggered.
  • Alarm Buzzer - the DVR sounds an audio beeping sounds.
  • Video Pop-up - the video channels(s) that are associated with the alarm appear on the screen.
  • OSD Pop-up - a message appears over the video that displays which alarm was triggered.
  • Email Alert - an email alert is sent.
  • FTP Upload - a snapshot of the event is FTP uploaded to a server.
  • PTZ Preset Location - if your system has a pan tilt zoom camera, you can program alarms to trigger PTZ cameras to go to a preset location.

Alarm Input Wiring

In this example, we are going to use the iDVR-PRO8H which has 8 alarm inputs. The below wiring diagram shows how to connect a magnetic door sensor to alarm input one on the DVR. One of the wires from the door sensor is connected to the port labeled input 1. The other wire from the sensor is connected to the ground.

Security DVR Alarm Input Wiring

PIR Motion Sensor Wiring

Motion sensors can be connected to the iDVR-PRO using the same alarm inputs. The below image shows the MS-100E outdoor PIR motion detector wired to alarm input #1 of the DVR.

CCTV DVR PIR Motion Sensor Wiring

DVR Alarm Input Configuration

After your alarm device is properly wired to the DVR input, you can begin configuring the software on the DVR. Using the USB Mouse that is included with the DVR, click the Menu button in the lower left portion of the screen, then select System Setup. (Shown Below)

H.264 CCTV DVR Setup

On the system setup screen click on Event, then select Alarm Sensor..

Surveillance DVR Alarm Sensor

On the alarm sensor event screen, double click on the name field for the input number that you are configuring to name the alarm. In the operation field, choose whether the normal state for this sensor is normally open (N/O) or normally closed (N/C). A door sensor for example is normally closed. When the door is opened, the magnetic charge is not longer present and the circuit is opened. In the linked camera field, click the drop down and select one of more cameras that you want associated with this alarm. The alarm output setting is optionally used if you want the alarm to trigger an output sensor.

Use the 6 checkbox fields to configure which actions you want taken when the alarm is triggered: PTZ preset, buzzer, video popup, OSD popup, email alert, and FTP upload. When you are done, click on the apply button, then close.

CCTV DVR Alarm Sensor Input


Record on Alarm Setup

Follow these instructions if you want to configure your DVR to record based on alarm input.

Using the mouse, click on the menu button and select record setup.


Surveillance DVR Alarm Recording Setup

If you choose intensive alarm recording, the DVR will record continuously, then record using different settings when an alarm is triggered.


Surveillance DVR Alarm Recording

On the intensive alarm recording setup screen, you may configure different video resolutions, frame rates, and compression quality for when the DVR is recording continuously vs when in alarm. In addition, you may also setup the pre-recording and post-recording time is seconds.



CCTV DVR Alarm Recording Setup

When you are done, click OK, then apply and close.


OSD Pop-up

If you setup the OSD popup to engage on alarm this is what the screen will look like when the alarm is triggered.

CCTV DVR Trigger Alarm


Recording Notification

If alarm based recording is setup, the screen will display a red "A" on the channel that is associated with the alarm. Notice that the other 3 channels display a "C" which means that they are recording in continuous mode.

CCTV DVR Alarm Recording

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Works with Analog CCTV and HD Security Cameras

CCTV / AHD / HD-TVI Hybrid Security Camera DVR

Hybrid iDVR-PROs work with the following security camera types and resolutions.

  • AHD Cameras (720p and 1080p resolution models supported)
  • TVI Cameras (720p and 1080p resolution models supported)
  • Analog CCTV Cameras (all analog resolution supported including CIF, D1, 960H)


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If you do not currently have an iDVR-PRO and would like to log in to the demo unit at our office, please request a demo login below. You will be able to login from iPhone, iPad, and Android mobile devices. You can also login from Macintosh and Windows computers. Please click here to request a demo login.

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Security Camera System Quote

Did you know? CCTV Camera Pros can provide a complete surveillance system quote that includes any iDVR-PRO model with cameras, cables, connectors, power supplies, and monitors? We can even mix and match SD and HD security cameras because the latest iDVR-PROs are hybrid. They work with CCTV, AHD, and HD-TVI type cameras. As you have probably already seen on our website, we have 2, 4, 8, and 16 camera surveillance systems in pre-made packages. However, it is not possible for us to package up every combination and quantity of all the different camera models that we carry. So, we can also provide you with a custom quote with as many cameras as you need and a mix of any combination of camera model(s) based on your project requirements.

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About the Author

Mike Haldas

This article was written by , co-founder and managing partner of CCTV Camera Pros. If you have any questions about iPhone security camera app for iDVR, please email me at mike@cctvcamerapros.net.