The DVR's are more than just mere recorders, they are the heart of your system. They are very useful tools in your surveillance arsenal. They are easy enough to use for the novice, but also have advanced features for the professional users. We hope these online video's and tutorials will help you quickly get set up for the task that you are needing to achieve. Please check this page often because we are adding new tutorials and content on a weekly basis. If you need help on something that you do not see on here, please feel free to contact us. Our contact information is at the top of the page. If you just received your DVR and are wondering what to do next, please take a look at our Initial Setup Guide. The PDF file can be found here:Initial Setup Guide
Internet Setup:

Getting the DVR setup for the internet: Internet Setup

*Once you have completed the Internet Setup tutorial above and everything is working right, you may want to use another browser
to access your DVR.  While this is not required, some people prefer other browsers than Internet Explorer.  Two major browsers are Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome.  If either one of these are your primary browser please follow the guides below to take you through the setup for your DVR.*

First view our Firefox DVR instructions: Firefox DVR Setup Guide

Download Firefox's extension: IE Tab for Firefox

If using Google Chrome visit this guide first: Chrome Setup Guide

Download the extension for Google Chrome: IE Tab for Chrome
Backing Up Video Files (getting video evidence off of the DVR to be played on a PC):

There are 2 different ways in which to get a video file off of the DVR to be played on other PC's. The USB BackUp method is probably the   fastest way to get larger video files off of the DVR since it does not require any data to be sent over the Network or the Internet, but the USB backup method requires you to be at the actual site of the DVR. There may be some instances where you would like to download a video file but you are unable to be at the actual site where the DVR is located. As long as you have the DVR connected to the internet properly, downloading video files off of the DVR from a remote site is not a problem at all.

USB FlashDrive BackUp Method: USB
Remote Viewer BackUp Method: Remote Viewer Backup
Converting Your Backup Videos to AVI Format: Convert to AVI
Screen Shots:

Here are some various screen shots of the DVR's Graphical User Interface. We used the 16 channel DVR for these screen shots but please note that the GUI's look the same throughout all versions of the DVR's. Please note that you can also visit any of the various tutorials to see more screen shots on specific areas.
Main Menu Selections
Playback Screen
Remote Viewer Interface
Motion Detection Recording:
The DVR's have some of the most reliable motion detection features that are available. Please the following tutorial on how to properly configure you DVR for motion detection

General Motion Detection Configuration: Motion Detection
Cell Phone Setup:

Before you start any tutorials on the Cell Phone Setup, you will need to make sure you have fully completed the Internet Setup tutorial listed above. If you have not completed that tutorial, you will not be able to view your cameras over your cell phone.

PSS Remote Viewing PC Software: Please see PSS Section

Cell Phone Apps: Please see Cell Phone Setup

File Player: File Player
This is the player that allows you to watch the .DAV video files on your computer. Please note that this player should automatically save to your USB flash drive whenever you backup a video file off of the DVR. But in the rare case that it did not, please feel free to download the player.
Email Alerts:

One of the coolest features that this DVR has is the ability to send email alerts to your inbox whenever it senses motion. It will send you a total of 3 emails per motion event. The first email will be when the event started. The second email will be a snapshot picture of what the camera saw whenver the motion was first triggered. The 3rd email will be when the motion event ended. Please see the following guide on how to set your DVR up for email alerts.

Motion Based Email Alerts: Email Motion
PSS (Pro Surveillance System) is a remote viewing PC software that allows you to view your DVR remotely from your PC via the installed software.

Q: Do I have to install PSS to view my DVR remotely?
A: No you do not, you can simply use the Webservice Remote Viewer through Internet Explorer that is shown in the Internet Tutorial.

Q: Then why would I even want to use PSS if I can do it just fine through Internet Explorer?
A: Because there are some added options to using PSS. One main advantage of using PSS is the ability to add more than one DVR to the program. This allows you to view cameras from several different DVR's all at one time. For example, say that you have a DVR at your work location and you have one at home. If you are away on a business trip, you would be able to view cameras from both of these locations at the same time!!! Another feature is the ability to make custom pre-set viewing options (tasks) which makes the program put up cameras in your desired order all with one click of a button.

Before you get started initiating the PSS program, you will need to make sure you have fully completed the Internet Tutorial.
Please do not attempt to initiate this process until you have fully completed that tutorial because this will ensure that you have your DVR properly networked and setup for PSS. The next step is to download the PSS Programs. Please find the download links below:


Windows(XP, Vista, 7): PSS4.06

Mac 10.6 and 10.7: PSS4.06Mac

Mac 10.8 Only:  PSS V1.001

Attention MAC 10.7 Users:
There is an extra step that you need to do to make this work with 10.7. Please follow these instructions in order to get MAC 10.7 to work properly:

#1) first you need to install a program known as xquartz. You can find
the download here:
Please download and install the XQuartz-2.7.0.dmg into your computer.
After you install the xquartz software, you will need to reboot your computer.

#2) After you reboot, go to your Applications folder, then you go to
Utilities. From there you will see an icon that says, Xquarts. Go
ahead and click on it. At the top left hand part of the screen, there
should be a thing that says X11. Go ahead and click on that and you
should see the version of Xquartz that you are running. It should say
2.7.0 as that is the latest version.

#3) Now download install PSS for Mac 10.7:  

#4) After you install PSS, go to your applications folder and open up

#5) You should see Xquartz pop up on your dock. Give it about 10-15
seconds and PSS should pop up shortly thereafter

Basic PSS Setup:
Please see this tutorial on getting setup with PSS and to show you how to add a DVR to the program: psssetup

Adding a Task (Custom View) in PSS:
What is a custom task in PSS and what does it do? A task is basically another name for a “Custom View”. A custom task eliminates the burdensome duty of manually inserting each camera into its desired box. By creating a task, you can simply tell PSS to automatically open up all cameras at one time and they will all be in your pre-selected position. You can also have the program automatically start the task upon opening up the program as well. This feature comes in very handy for hardcore PSS users who require the use of several different viewing options. For example, in one part of the day you may find it necessary to view a certain 4 cameras while another part of the day you find it necessary to view another 8 cameras. Making custom preset views, or “tasks”, makes this quick and simple.

See this tutorial on how to setup a custom task: psstask

Solving Display Issues in PSS (for Windows 7 & Vista Users):
A limited number of users may find that after they install PSS, that certain icons are overlapping each other or not showing up correctly on the screen. This has to do with a resolution setting in your Windows program. Please refer to the following guide on how to correct these issues: pssdisplay

Managing DVR settings from PSS:
This guide will explain how to manage the settings on your DVR through the PSS software. This can be very useful while you are at a different location than your DVR and need to change settings on it: pssdevicemanage

PSS Search and Playback:
The PSS software is a great way to view your recordings without having to go to the DVR its self.  It's also a great software for about any other need you have with your security system, as you can do anything you can on your DVR plus more.  This guide will explain how to search and playback your recordings from the PSS software: pssplaybackcontrols

Saving a Recording to a PC using PSS:
Using the PSS software allows you to do many of the same things that you can on
your DVR. One of these include saving a recording to your PC directly from the PSS software. Not only can you backup video to the default .dav file format, PSS also allows you to save the video as a .avi file format. Follow this guide thoroughly to learn this new backup method for your setup.  pssdownloadrecording

Setting a Record Plan Using PSS:
Not only can you record your surveillance to the DVR’s hard drive, you can also record your surveillance to your PC with the PSS remote viewing software. This is a great feature if you desire to have a backup of recordings in addition to the recording that is being done at your DVR. We will warn you that this can eat up hard drive space pretty quickly so we recommend that you either have a PC with a hard drive in it dedicated to PSS use only, or another recommendation would be to use an external hard drive that is attached to your PC that is dedicated to PSS recording. Also, this is best when recording to a PC that is in the same network that your DVR is in. You can still record over the internet if you wish but keep in mind that you may have a little bit of network lag if you do that.  PSS has a great feature that allows you to schedule multiple times for recordings each day of the week.  This feature also allows you to set up a scheduled time for recording on each camera. pssrecordplan

Setting up Alarm Notifications in PSS:

Using the Pro Surveillance Software with your DVR has many benefits, one of such is
being able to set an Alarm notification in PSS whenever motion is detected or an external alarm device is
triggered on one or many of your channels. This can be useful when you need an instant view of the
channel(s) where motion was detected or the alarm was triggered.  pssalarmnotifications

Motion Detection Alarm Recording In PSS:
Using PSS you can setup an Alarm when motion is detected, once that Alarm is activated PSS will begin recording directly to your computer.  This is a useful feature in many different scenarios, if you have not read our PSS Motion Alarm guide now would be a good time to do so as it takes you through each step to setup a Motion Detection Alarm. pssmotionalarmrecording


General Cell Phone Instructions: cellphoneinstructions
Adding, Deleting, and Modifying User Accounts:

User Accounts on your DVR allow you to create an account for just one or each individual person that will be using the DVR.  Also, with User Account options you can seperate administrative access from basic user access.  This can be very helpful when you are using your DVR in an office location and/or home location.  This guide will explain step-by-step how to add, delete, and modify the user accounts.

User Accounts: User Account Guide
Setting up your DVR for PTZ cameras:
The cameras referred to as PTZ cameras are excellent when you need a degree of
range and motion to view. The PTZ is great for almost all situations because it
provides an easy way to control your camera, allowing you to cover many areas
that some cameras would not. Just imagine being able to hold down the mouse
button and move the camera itself in almost any direction! Now you can with a
PTZ camera. This tutorial will guide you through every step needed to get your
PTZ up and running great!

Pan-Tilt-Zoom: PTZ Guide

Setting up and using Presets with a PTZ:
A preset allows you to save a specific viewing point on your PTZ. For example, say
that you have your PTZ zoomed right in on a doorway, and you really like the position that you
have it in, in this case you can save this exact position that your PTZ is in as a preset number.
This allows you to go back to that same specific spot at a later time by simply calling up that
particular preset number.Please ensure that your PTZ supports presets, because if not, you will
not be able to achieve presets with your PTZ.

PTZ Presets
: PTZ Preset Guide

Using an Alarm To Activate a PTZ Preset
: Alarm PTZ Preset
Installing a Hard Drive:
This guide will explain how to install a hard drive into your DVR with a few simple steps!
Hard Drive Installation: HD Install Guide
Latest DVR Firmwares
Message about firmware upgrades:
Please note that if you install the incorrect firmware on your DVR, it could totally “brick” the unit. That means it could turn it into a pretty looking paperweight. For this reason, we do not offer firmware downloads on our site. We only send firmware upgrades to your email upon your request to ensure that you get the correct firmware.When you send the email, please include any relevant order information so we can look up your order. Also, please let us know what your current firmware is by following the instructions on this guide:
Checking Firmware Guide
Firmware Installation Guide
Playback Guide

Smart Search
Searching Recordings and Viewing Playback:
Alarm Setup and Recording:

What is an Alarm Device?

We have several people ask us what the 1,2,3,4 etc connections are on the green block on the back of the DVR. Those connections are for alarm inputs to where alarm devices can be connected to. There are several different types of alarm devices and can really be anything that has a relay output on it. The most common types of Alarm Devices are PIR motion sensors and Door Magnet triggers. You may have probably seen these devices before as this is what is typically used by alarm companies to monitor your home or business. A PIR motion sensor works like this: The motion sensor sends out infrared beams in several different directions and whenever an object breaks that beam, the alarm is triggered. Door magnets work in a way that whenever someone opens the door, the magnetic field is broken and the alarm is triggered. Whenever the alarm is triggered, the alarm device sends a small electronic pulse (or in other cases it turns off a constant electronic pulse) to the receiving device. You can also use these alarm devices to hook up to your DVR to be used in conjunction with it as well. Door bells, PIR beams, drive thru cords, etc, are also considered alarm devices.

Why would I want to use an Alarm Device with my DVR?
The main reason why someone would use one is to activate a particular action within the DVR. For example, you can set the DVR to record once an alarm is triggered. The most commonly used device to do this is a PIR motion sensor. One may ask, "Why wouldn't I just use the DVR's built in motion detection as opposed to using a PIR motion sensor?".  The answer is because you will get more of a true motion detection. The reason being is the DVR uses what is called pixel based motion and basically starts to record whenever pixels are moving within the cameras field of view. This can work most of time but can be problematic with false triggers if you have a real noisy picture at night, if the wind blows the housing, if someone turns the lights on and off (the pixels are changing). Using a PIR motion sensor will eliminate many of the false triggers and will give you a more "true" motion. You can also use alarm devices to trigger PTZ presets and/or send snapshots to your email.

Alarm Wiring Guide

Alarm Device Recording

Using an Alarm Device To Activate a PTZ Preset: Alarm PTZ Preset Guide

How to Set the Time and Date on the DVR
This tutorial will take you through each step to set the correct time and date on your DVR.
Time and Date Guide
FTP (File Transfer Protocol)
The DVR has a useful feature that allows you to download recordings directly to a FTP server on your PC.  This is just another way to have the DVR send video files to a computer within your network or to a computer outside of your network. Please note that a simpler method (and more useful) to have your PC record your video is to use PSS (Please refer to our PSS guides on how to achieve this). But there may be some certain circumstances in which you would prefer to have the DVR send video files directly to an FTP server, if so, then this guide is for you.  FTP Guide
Audio Recording With the DVR

Using a DVR and a microphone you can to record audio for a specific camera channel or all channels using multiple microphones.  To record audio you must have the correct connection between your DVR and your TV/Monitor/External Speakers.  If your DVR has an HDMI output, that is suggested for use as you get the best audio and video quality, also its an all one cable which means you do not need to use the audio output on the DVR.  If you use the BNC connection for video, then you will need to run an audio cable from the DVR’s Audio output to your TV/Monitor/External Speakers.  If you use a VGA cable you will also need to run an audio cable from the DVR’s Audio output to your TV/Monitor/External Speakers. Please note that on some TV’s that you cannot hear audio when the TV is in VGA mode, if this is the case, then you will need to use external speakers to hear your audio. 

Audio Recording Guide
Bi-Directional Communication

The DVR's have a very nifty feature called bi-directional talk.  This feature allows you to communicate between a DVR and the online Web Service or the PSS software.  Basically, two people can talk back and forth between one location with the DVR and another location with the Web Service or PSS.  There are two different methods depending on which DVR you are using, be sure and follow the correct tutorial in the guide below.

Bi-Directional Communication Guide
ECON Series

SM-ECON-4 Channel
SM-ECON-8 Channel
SM-ECON-16 Channel
PRO Series

SM-PRO-4 Channel
SM-PRO-8 Channel
SM-PRO-16 Channel
ELITE Series

SM-ELITE-4 Channel
SM-ELITE-8 Channel
SM-ELITE-16 Channel
DVR Specification Sheets:
Setting a recording schedule:
One feature of the DVR is the Schedule screen.  The Schedule function allows you to set up different times and ways (Regular, Motion, Alarm) to record for each day of the week along with allowing you to set these options for each and every channel on the system.  From 24 hour recording everyday to a basic 9 to 5 on weekdays, whichever your recording needs this guide will explain how to properly setup and schedule your recordings.

Schedule Setup
Guides and Tutorials DVR Guides and Tutorials
Top of Page
 Security Monster HDD Calculator
Bitrate (kbp/s)
Channels (1-32)
Days Hours
Hard-Drive Calculator:
This nifty tool allows you to easily calculate about how much Hard-Drive space you will need for your DVR.  Keep in mind, this is calculating as if you are recording 24/7.