How to connect analog camera to NVR

Let's learn how to connect analog camera to NVR.

Some old analog cameras are so good that they deserve to be part of a modern surveillance system and can do that by using encoders.

In this article, I talk about how to convert analog CCTV to IP so you can use your NVR (Network Video Recorder) to record the camera's footage.

 Digital video server for security camera

A digital video server converts the analog signal from a CCTV camera to a digital signal that can be sent over computer networks and to an NVR.

This type of device is also known as "video encoder" or just "encoder".

Take a look at the diagram below to understand the concept.

As you can see there's an analog camera that sends the signal to a small video encoder which converts it to digital before sends it to the recorder.

Analog camera using video encoder to connect to an NVR

It's possible to use one video encoder per camera or use a model with more inputs, so you can convert 4, 8 or even 16 analog cameras to digital.

The image below shows an example of a 4-channel video encoder.

If you look close, you will be able to see that there are 4 BNC inputs to connect the coaxial cables from the analog CCTV cameras.

In the back part of the device, there's an ethernet port to connect to a UTP (network cable) as shown in this other 2-channel video encoder.

Yes, there's only one ethernet port. (Digital Output).

It doesn't matter if the CCTV video encoder is for 1, 2, 4, 8 or 16 channels, the output is only one ethernet port and each channel is addressed logically.

The video encoder addressing

If you have a 4-channel video encoder, there's an IP address for each channel, as described in the example below:

  • Channel 1 =
  • Channel 2 =
  • Channel 3 =
  • Channel 4 =

By addressing the channels like that, the NVR can have access to individual channels thus adding every single camera to be recorded.

The image below shows an example of diagram with a 4-CH video encoder connected to the cameras and a router which is connected do a NVR and to PC.

4-CH Video Encoder

With a setup like that you can view all the analog cameras in the computer by using a web brower or a surveillance software.

Video encoders for PTZ Cameras

PTZ (Pan Tilt Zoom) cameras can be remotely controlled from the NVR or computer as long as the wiring setup is OK.

Most video encoders are prepared to connect to PTZ camera by using a RS-485 interface which is an universal standard.

==> To learn more, read the article: How to connect PTZ camera to a DVR

So, you can connect your analog PTZ camera to a NVR and control it.


Now you know how to connect analog camera to NVR by simply using video encoders and that's something that can be very useful.

It's time to bring that old analog CCTV camera back to life.

I hope this article can help you, please share with your friends.

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