How to Hook up A Security Camera without a DVR?

Michael started his professional career as a security-camera technician. Later, he started his own business of security-camera service, and it's been a decade that he’s...Read more

Recording videos while using a surveillance camera hooked to a DVR is beneficial in different ways. But are there other options? What if you don’t want a DVR to take care of and want the camera to do the surveillance without needing a DVR?

And that you can do if you know how to hook up a security camera without a DVR.

Well, the best way to bypass the use of DVR to record video with your security camera is to use your monitor or TV. You can connect the security camera to the TV or monitor using the video cable.

All the things a security camera does, preventing crime, aiding law enforcement in identifying, prosecuting, and convicting a criminal, etc., will be functional.

It is quite easy to do, and you will find a few more, including the easiest method as we discuss it further.

What is a DVR?

DVR is the short form of Digital Video Recorder, a device that records video in a digital format to a disk drive, SD memory card, USB flash drive, or other local or networked mass storage device.

What is a DVR

It is a device for high-end surveillance with multiple cameras that makes coordinating high-tech surveillance simple and easy. It also allows you to pause, record, and rewind live footage, while automatically recording all the shows in your series link, so you never miss a detail.

How Do DVR Work?

DVR works with security cameras by capturing footage onto a hard drive stored inside the recorder. The recorder then sends the video signal to your television set via a coax cable or screen attached.

How Do DVR Work

It is recommended to install security cameras with DVR recorders in areas you need to check on employee productivity or make sure employees or assets are safe. DVRs come in many different brands, sizes, and features, but for the most part, they all allow you to watch live videos and scroll through pre-recorded events.

Also, DVRs come with different output capabilities. HDMI is the most common and outputs the highest resolution. VGA output is common too, but won’t show 1080p resolution on a regular computer monitor. Other systems will have multiple outputs to use multiple devices like a monitor and a TV with your recorded security camera footage, especially in the absence of DVR.

Importance of DVR for Security Cameras

DVR saves money, provides extra storage, and extends the life of your system. A DVR is the most important part of a security camera system as it determines how much time, money, and effort you end up investing in your surveillance system. The brain tells when, where, and how to record a video.

Importance of DVR for Security Cameras

Security cameras without DVRs don’t have the recording or storage capability that you require for a longer-term footage recording. If the camera does not have a DVR, it will not record video, and there will be no video footage of what happened.

Therefore, if you want to catch theft or any suspicious activity in your home or business, it is important to use digital video recorders (DVRs)

It shows how important a DVR is. But today, most people find it easy to hook up a security camera without a DVR, and you will find out ways you can do that as you read further.

Can I Connect Security Camera without DVR?

Yes, you can. Some camera systems provide a way to connect security cameras without DVR. With a security camera system such as a network IP camera or WIFI security camera, you don’t need a DVR to support the recording feature. And the live surveillance will be flawless as well. 

Security Camera without DVR

It is possible to connect your security cameras to a computer without using a DVR. The power of the internet has changed the way we do surveillance, including the way people record their security camera footage.

You can access your camera from anywhere in the world with just a username and password for instant monitoring. Not to mention, local or cloud footage recording has become a piece of cake, too.

However, while it is possible to have security cameras without a DVR, you will still want a DVR in most scenarios. Even though a hard drive can record your security footage and act as local storage, there are a few limitations, especially with older model cameras.

If you’re using a hidden camera clock or spy cam of any other type, you won’t need any DVR to do the setup. All you need to do is, connect your phone with it and the phone will do the job of the DVR using a software you’ll install on your phone.

How to Hook up A Security Camera without A DVR?

If you don’t have a DVR, you will be able to connect your security cameras directly to your computer or laptop. Just use the video cable and insert one end into the back of your security camera and the other end into the “USB In” port on your computer.

How to Hook up A Security Camera without A DVR

The information below explains better the ways you can go about that successfully. I will share two methods: the first is through your PC and the second is with a TV.

Connecting Your Security Camera to PC without DVR

Connecting your security camera to a PC without a DVR is an easy way to access and manage your security cameras. By connecting your cameras directly to a monitor, you can use them as a PC-based security system.

how to Connect Your Security Camera to PC

There are ways to connect your IP security camera to a PC via the network or USB. We will explain how you can connect the security camera to a PC without DVR by using the Amcrest Link software.

Get a Compatible CCTV PC.

You need a working PC with graphics capacity, plus it has to be compatible with CCTV cameras. They are not too difficult to find in the market. So, once you get to the market, ensure you get one that will meet the demands of what you intend to use it for.

Download and Install CCTV Camera Software on The PC

You need software that connects the camera via your PC/Laptop. It is CCTV camera software for PCs. Not every software for recording and monitoring is compatible with each operating system. For example, a Windows 10 user can use only the software compatible with Windows 10.

You can always visit the Amcrest Download center to download Amcrest Link software, install, and use it. Just follow the instructions included on how to download and use it.

Mount Your Camera Where You Want It

You need to mount your camera wherever you intend to have it. Choose a perfect location where your camera can have a wide-range view of your area. Ensure that nothing is blocking the camera’s view, and it is placed in a direction that is illuminated with light.

Connect the Camera with Your Laptop

You need to connect the camera with the laptop, and you can do this through a coaxial cable. Mind you; not all cameras allow the connection with coaxial cables; some are compatible or work perfectly with a USB cord.

After connecting your computer to the camera, you need to connect to the internet, and then you can go ahead to record your videos.

How to Connect Your Security Camera with Your TV without A DVR

Just follow these easy 4 steps below for an easy procedure:

  • Locate the TV switch button and switch it off. Also, you need to unplug the security camera from the wall outlet.
  • Get your video cable and attach one end to the security camera output jack and the second end to the back of the TV monitor input jack.
  • Connect the DC power adapter cable that you will see on the security camera and then connect the other end to the power source.
  • Plug in your TV set and switch it on. Initiate the link to the security camera and then press the video input button. You can then follow any option it gives that suits you.


We hope the guide on how to hook up a security camera without a DVR has helped you with everything about connecting your CCTV camera. Most people believe the use of DVR is an old method of recording CCTV footage, but the truth is that it is still relevant.

However, if you decide on using any other options, you should consider the methods discussed above. The latest security camera systems with their fancy features allow you just avoid the hassle of DVR, NVR, and even any cables as you can have complete wireless systems.

Michael started his professional career as a security-camera technician. Later, he started his own business of security-camera service, and it's been a decade that he’s been doing it. There is simply nothing that he doesn’t know about security cameras and their accessories. He created this site Aimprivacy, to share his knowledge and decade of experience with people who don’t have any prior knowledge about security and spy cameras.

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