Security & Fire Protection Systems/CCTV camera


Hi Frank,

I need help getting my security camera working. It is a cctv camera. It is a zmodo brand (if you know of any better brands pls let me know). It came with a dvr. The camera has an all in one power(red) and video cable(yellow). The all in one cable is matched up and connected to the cable for longer length. The red power cable is connected to the splitter cable that is for multiple cameras. That cable is plugged in an outlet. The yellow cable is going into the dvr for one of the four channels. The dvr has a vga port so I used a vga cable that has a YPbPr composite at the other end, which is going into the tv. I set the tv to the YPbPr setting but there is no picture showing up. I turned the dvr on, but I am not getting anything. Do you have any suggestions?

It's highly likely that, while there is a VGA port on the DVR, it's not connected the same way as a computer's video card which could explain why your YPbPr composite adapter won't work.  Try hooking up to a standard monitor (VGA).  Some DVR's also have a straight video RCA jack (yellow).  You can use this to hook up to your TV and then switch the input to that jack.

If a VGA monitor won't work with the DVR, chances are good that it's faulty.  If it's still under warranty, exchange or return it.

Zmodo is a lower end camera.  If you want something with a higher resolution (or better low light performance), you may wish to go with a professional grade CCTV camera.  These are normally available through security wholesalers like TRI-ED or ADI.  Some are very reasonably priced and include options like vari-focal lenses.

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Frank Kurz


Questions relating to Burglar Alarm and Security Equipment, Fire Alarm and Extinguishment Systems, Access Control, CCTV Systems, Installation, Service, Testing, Verification


30 years installing, servicing, and testing security, access control, extinguishment, and fire alarm systems

Chair of ULC Working Groups for Fire Alarm Testing (CAN/ULC-S536) and Fire Alarm Verification (CAN/ULC-S537), Executive Director of the Fire Protection Technicians Network (

Publications, Better Business Bureau Magazine, Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of British Columbia ( SUPPRESS! and Techs Fire Break Newsletters

Associate in Science; Emergency Systems (University of British Columbia); Aircraft Maintenance Technology (BCIT)

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