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  Support Overview



Will the DVR work with my existing CCTV cameras?
How do I view the video from another computer?
How can I tell how long my DVR will record before the hard drive is full?
Can I back-up my video files for long-term storage?
My DVR Is Not Powering Up...?
I Have All My Cameras Plugged In, And All I See Are Black/Blue Screens...?
My DVR System Keeps randomly Locking Up...?
I Am Receiving Bad Picture Quality...?
My DVR System Shuts Down...?
I Have DSL/CABLE And I Can Not Connect To The Server...?
I Keep Hearing A Chirping Noise...?
Can I Use USB Devices...?
Can I Install Any Other Software On The DVR...?
Slow Picture On Network Connection...?
Can Not Play Backwards On H.263 Compression...?
Can Audio Be Recorded From a Remote Location?
What is the Difference Between the Audio Expansion Card and the Sound Card?
What is the Recovery Disk?
Can Audio Be Archived?
Why don't 6 and 10 Camera Splits Work on my System?
I Just Plugged my system in and All of my Hard Drives are Full?
Do I need to Delete the File System to Save Hard Drive Space?
Picture Freezes While I am Connected to my DVR Server Using RMS?


Will the DVR work with my existing CCTV cameras?

Yes! In fact, the "plug and play" design of the Argus DVR makes the upgrade to digital video a snap. Simply unplug the cameras from the back of your old DVR and plug them into the Argus DVR. All models come standard with everything you'll need to be up and recording in minutes. If you currently have no cameras installed, Argus has a full line of cameras and accessories to fit virtually any CCTV need or budget.


How do I view the video from another computer?

Simply install the included remote viewing software (RMS) on your home or office PC.


How can I tell how long my DVR will record before the hard drive is full?

There are several factors that determine how many days of digital video a DVR will store.

The Hardware configuration is engineered to continue recording after the hard drive is full. Once full, the DVR simply begins recording over the oldest video stored on the hard drive. The Frames per second setting controls the rate of recording, and quality of the image. At 30 fps, thirty digital "snapshots" are recorded per second. Cameras attached to the DVR will "share" the available frames per second. If you attach only one camera to a 30fps system, that camera will record at 30fps. Add a second camera to the DVR, and the two cameras share the 30fps and take 15fps apiece. Furthermore, a 30fps DVR with six cameras attached would allocate 5fps to each camera. The 30fps system will record 30 frames per second no matter how many cameras are attached.
The amount of "snapshots" being stored per second directly determines how many days of video the DVR will store.

Motion Detection any camera into a motion detector. Since the DVR can record the cameras only when there is activity, the DVR saves storage space on the hard drive simply because there is less data to store.

Compression techniques save Hard Drive storage space. Video data takes up an enormous amount of hard drive space, so it must be compressed in order to reduce the size of the files and make it feasible to record and store large amounts of video data. JPEG compression best preserves the integrity of the video while reducing the file size slightly. H.263 compression decreases the file size exponentially, but it decreases video quality. Setting the record quality to 70% H.263 compression produces a fine video image and, at the same time, creates an acceptable file size. Setting primary cameras on JPEG compression and secondary cameras on H.263 will allow favorable video quality and help to save hard drive space.

Frame Resolution refers to the number of pixels in one frame of video. A standard frame resolution is 320x240, which produces roughly 76,800 parts of each snapshot. At 640x480 resolution, there are actually four times as many pixels being captured for each video frame. It means that the cameras set at 640x480 will write four times as much data to the hard drive as a camera that is set to 320x240.


Can I back-up my video files for long-term storage?

There are several options available to meet your archiving needs:

Back-up an incident to CD.
The Argus DVR has a CD/RW drive as standard equipment to save incidents on CD for future reference. Ask yourself, do you need to back-up week's worth of video of your stock room? How long after an incident occurs would you be aware of it? If the term is less that the available storage capacity of your particular system, this would prove to be the most cost-effective way to preserve the video indefinitely.

Back-up specified cameras and specified hours of recorded video to optional DVD.
Blank DVD media can hold up to 9.4GB on each disk. This affordable option would serve the user who has frequent credit card fraud or a check-cashing station. This will allow you to back-up the video of the check-cashing station camera during the hours that the station is active, minimizing the amount of data that is archived.

Back-up the entire video file system to removable hard drive.
This option should be reserved, when possible, to scenarios where it is mandatory to back-up the entire video file system by law, or for the user who wishes to invest in the rather costly hardware that is required to achieve long-term storage of mass data.

Back-up video to a network drive.
If you have the resource of a Network, this option is for you. Contact your Network Administrator for details.


My DVR is not powering up...?

Verify that the system is plugged into a "live" power source and that the rocker switch on the back of the computer is in the "I" position. Note that not all DVR systems have a rocker switch on the back.

Verify that the monitor attached to the computer is plugged into a "live" power source, and the monitor is turned on. Note that some monitors power-on indicator will light a different color (amber, yellow etc.) or blink for the first few seconds after the DVR is turned on.
If the system does power on, but only beeps, please consult the chart below for a resolution. Note: before doing any of the below steps, unplug your computer completely and grasp the grating on the power supply located on the back of the computer to discharge any static electricity in your body.

2 Beeps - 1 Medium=Monitor Connection Not Found. Verify that the monitor cable is connected to the proper port on the back of the computer. Note: the system will still continue to load as usual if the power is not turned off, but should be turned off to prevent Windows from loading incorrectly.

5-7 Beeps = Video Card Not Found.
Note: failure to identify this problem to Argus prior to attempting repair will void your warranty! Please call tech support before proceeding. Remove the left hand side case cover (as looking at the computer head on towards the Power Button). Locate the video card (by looking at where your monitor would plug in) and press firmly on the side of it that is furthest away from the back of the case.

If all these steps fail, please contact Argus technical support for further help.


I Have all my cameras plugged in, and all I see are black/blue screens...?

Check to make sure that your cameras have power connected to them.

Check your cable connections. Make sure they are all tight and the bridal is plugged securely into the system.

Check the length of your cable runs. Anything 300ft or longer should have an amplified booster attached to them.

If you are using a Power Panel to power the cameras, make sure the voltage that it's distributing is correct. Also, you may wish to plug a camera in separate from the Power Panel to test that the DVR is indeed showing a picture.

NOTE: All of our DVR systems are quality control checked with every camera ports tested.

My DVR system keeps randomly locking up...?

If the Backup is running, be advised that this program may cause the system to pause for up to 1 min. (recording still occurs as normal). The program will recover from this normally.
Check that the fan on the back of the computer is running (you should feel moving air) and that there is about 1' of airspace directly behind the system. NOTE: If the room the system is installed in is not properly ventilated, is abnormally hot (above 90 degrees) or if the system is in a confined area such as a lock-box; the system may become permanently damaged by these conditions and its warranty will be void.

If the green LED on the front of the system is blinking or is a color other than green, your system has probably gone into "Suspend mode". Pressing the power button will "Wake Up" the system. This is a setting under Windows power management that should never be enabled, but is sometimes enabled by installing a piece of software (especially UPS software).

If there are any other programs running other than the DVR Main or DVR Backup programs; please prevent these programs from running. Some anti-virus software mistakes our Proprietary File System to be a virus of some sort and the actions it takes to protect the system may cause the system to stop functioning properly.

Attempt to press Ctrl-Alt-Del once (only once) and see if the "Close Program" dialog is displayed. See which program has the words "Not Responding" to the right of its name and click its name once, followed directly by pressing the "End Task" button (the End Task Function may take a few minutes to complete, please be patient.). If the program that was ended is not one of the DVR software suites, make sure that the program is supposed to be by contacting Argus technical support.

Poor or dark video quality...?

Check your camera connections and make sure everything is connected tightly. If you have Twist-On BNC connectors you may wish to switch them to Crimp-On style. The Twist On BNC connectors have been known to cause camera problems.

Check to make sure you have proper power going to the cameras.

Check the lens on the camera and make sure there is no dust or fingerprints. Also make sure, if it is in enclosed housing, that there is no residue or film on the glass cover.

If you have an outdoor camera and it's mounted on to a metal pole, or on top of a building that is metal, make sure you put some form of molding in between the camera and the metal. Example: a piece of wood or plastic would do. Something that is non conductive and will separate the camera from the metal it's mounted to.

The DVR system shuts down...?

Open the system setting and check that the "Shut Down" button is not enabled. If this box is checked, make sure you uncheck it.

If this is happening at a certain time of day of each week, check to make sure someone is not accidentally shutting off a switch that the DVR is connected to.

Check your power management settings in the control panel under "Display Options/Screen Savers/Power". Check to verify all "Suspend modes" and "Power Down" options are set to "Never".

Survey the area where the DVR system is installed. If it is in an enclosed box or cabinet, the system could be getting way too hot, and this will cause the system to shut down.

DSL/CABLE - cannot connect to the DVR remotely...?

Verify that the DVR server DSL/CABLE service your provider can assign a static (fixed) IP address. Most DSL/CABLE providers use a dynamic (continually changing) IP address. If your connections are set for a dynamic IP connection you will only be able to connect as long as the IP address you are currently assigned is available. The moment it changes you will lose the connection, and will have to find out what the new IP address is. Make sure when you sign up for the service you insist that you have a Static IP address.

Also, you can sign up for a free No-IP account. This service runs a small "Background" program that continuously resolves your dynamic IP address to a "Host Name". For example, if at 1:00 PM your IP address is and at 4:00 PM on the very same day your IP address is you will not successfully connect to your DVR.

However, if you have signed up for this free service and have been given the host name "Dvr1.No.Ip.Info". The "No-IP" service guarantees that at 1:00 as well as 4:00 you will be able to reach your DVR server through your remote software at "Dvr1.No-Ip.Info".

Your DSL router or cable modem may have a built-in firewall to protect you from malicious content on the Internet. You can still connect to your DVR by "Forwarding" port information to your Modem/Router informing the hardware of the authorized communication: Ports 2000 thru 2005 and 29998, 29999 must be forwarded for all DSS series DVR's. For all NAVS series DVR's Ports 6808 and 6809 must be forwarded.


I keep hearing a chirping noise...?

If you hear a chirping noise coming from the DVR system, it means you have one or more cameras that are not getting a video signal. This audible alert is designed to inform you that you have lost video signal.

If you are hearing this audible alert and all your cameras are showing, then you will need to run the "Settings Optimizer" (located under Start/Programs/DVR/Setting Optimizer, in your start program list). The Setting Optimizer will set your system back to the manufacturers default settings.

Can I Use USB Devices...?

Windows 98 DVR systems do not support the use of USB devices.

Windows 2000 DVR systems are configured to support USB devices, such as a USB Modem, External USB Hard Drive, USB Printer, etc.

Can I Install Any Other Software On The DVR...?

The only way you should add any extra software to your Digital Surveillance system is to first contact technical support and ask if the software is compatible.

Your security system comes fully equipped with everything you need to perform surveillance tasks. The only software you should ever have to install on your security system is upgraded software supplied by Argus

Slow playing video on a Network connection...?

If you are connected to a LAN/WAN network that have multiple computers connected to it, you will want to contact your Network Administrator about the bandwidth usage available. The DVR system is producing streaming video across the network. If there are multiple computers also accessing the same lines, this could cause not only the DVR system to function slower, but also the other systems.

To get the best data transfer using a remote system, check the "Save and Transmit" compression method. Click "Setup" while the main DVR program is open, and choose "Network ". The best form of data transmission is H.263 compression. This form of compression creates the smallest file sizes and increases the speed of the transfer. Also, you can check the recording format you are using. Systems set to full JPEG at 640X480 will see a slowdown in data transfer. This is because the files now are much larger in size.

Cannot Play Backwards On H.263 Compression...?

When using H.263 compression, you can only do forward play. Reverse play is not supported under this compression format.

Cameras that will be doing a lot of reverse play and searching from, we strongly suggest you set to the JPEG form of compression.


Can Audio be Recorded from a Remote Location...?

No, the audio can only be recorded at the DVR server. You can listen live via the remote, but not record.


What is the difference between an "Audio Expansion Card" and a "Sound Card"?

The audio expansion card can only be used to record and playback audio. The sound card can be used to record audio or can be used to listen live via the 2-way audio feature in the remote software.


What is the purpose of the Recovery Disk?

This is a CD that will recover the system in the event of a fatal Windows failure. It is only to be used in an extreme emergency and you will need to call tech support to be walked through the process.


Can Audio be Archived?

The only way to archive sound is through the back up process. The backed up sound and video can be played using the supplied back up viewer. The AVI function will only record video.


Why Don't the 6 and 10 Camera Splits Work on my System?

These splits only function on a system with an overlay card. (The Pro series)


I Just Plugged my System in and all of my Hard Drives are Full?

Hard drives will always appear to be full because the file system has the space reserved for the storage of video.


Can I Delete the File System to Save Hard Drive Space?

No, the system is designed so that when the drives are full, it will begin overwriting the oldest video first. Deleting files from the hard drives will damage the file system and may result in the loss of all video from the system.


Video freezes while connected to the DVR server using the remote software?

Either you have lost the Internet (TCP/IP) connection or the bandwidth is very slow.


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