How To Fix Horizontal Lines on Security Cameras

Security cameras can sometimes show horizontal lines that distort and disturb the image. Let’s learn how to fix horizontal lines on security cameras.

These pesky lines are sometimes referred to as smearing or blooming, and they tend to block your footage and, thus, decrease the security and efficiency of your security system.

Whether they flicker on and off or simply stay put, they are not an excellent addition to your footage. These lines can wash up sections of the video feed and create movement, further distorting the image.

The instability created by horizontal lines on security cameras renders your system useless at times. Footage will seize to be helpful, and you won’t have proof in cases of theft or other incidents.

Regardless of the situation, it would be best if you focused on fixing the bothersome lines as quickly as possible. Though there are various reasons why your camera might have lines across the footage, this article will break them down one by one.

These reasons can range from the software to bad cabling. Continue reading to find solutions for horizontal lines on security cameras.

How to fix horizontal lines on security cameras

It is important to note that most of these horizontal lines show up in analog cameras rather than IP ones. The lines can be vertical in some cases but tend to be horizontal most of the time.

Issues regarding lines on your footage can sometimes be caused by interference or even lack of power to your camera, which keeps it from turning on properly.

Furthermore, your camera’s frequency being affected can also cause various issues. Usually, cameras work at 50-60Hz, so ensure that those settings are correctly set up. In fact, if you are using a Hikvision camera, take a look at our Hikvision recommended video settings in the article.

Lastly, if your camera tends to have horizontal lines at night, it can be that the drainage of power from the camera to turn on the lights is too much for the sensor, and it struggles to project a good image.

Camera Swap

If you want to find out if the problem is the camera or an outside factor like the cables, you can replace it with another camera. Horizontal lines on security cameras can mean that the camera is damaged or cheap.

Introduce a new camera in the exact location, roughly a similar angle, and connect the same cables used on the old camera. If the same lines show up, then you know that the camera is not the issue.

However, if lines continue appearing, it makes it more clear that the cable, recorder, or other factor is influencing the security camera’s footage.

Furthermore, attempt to mess with the settings by turning on or off BackLight and WDR (Widen Dynamic Rang). This can tell you if the settings affect the footage instead of other physical aspects like cables.

Power Supply

As discussed above, a lack of sufficient power can trigger horizontal lines on security cameras and be a tell-tale sign that something is off or wrong.

If your camera is functioning correctly, but the lines are showing up, then it means that the sensor is struggling to work correctly or that the frequency of the power supplies does not match up with the required one for your camera.

Loose Cables

In order for the connection to be closed, the coaxial cables should not be loose. Check the recorder and camera for any unplugged BNC connectors. If the cable is broken or does not look right, you might have to purchase and connect a brand new one.

Horizontal lines on security cameras can also show up if your cables run outside, as there is a possibility that animals like rats, squirrels, and birds damage the cables.

Weather, such as heat or rain, can also impair the connection between the camera and the recorder when outside. So, thoroughly inspect your cables for any damages or issues that might be causing the problem.

Blinding Light

Sources of light that hit your camera’s sensors can possibly trigger horizontal lines. The light can “blind” the sensor and keep the transmission from acting properly.

This happens because the light hitting the sensor causes it to get overwhelmed, and the image’s pixels get messed up and somewhat robotic. Thus, you see the interference of the light. 

Changing the camera’s angle can make a huge difference. Moving it to a different spot can also work, but it will be a more lengthy process, so start by changing the angle and hopefully get rid of the lines.

If you don’t want to touch the camera because the angling is perfect to match your needs, then you can adjust the light instead. Whether you remove it or attempt to lower the light bulb’s intensity, it can help ease the camera’s sensor.

Lastly, you can put sunglasses on your camera. Well, it is like wearing sunglasses. Switching your dome camera’s housing for darkened glass can help cut out the light and keep it from reaching the sensor.

Cat 5/Cat 6 shield

Due to interference, certain cameras run into issues when paired with Cat5/Cat 6 shields. Furthermore, you can attempt to fix horizontal lines on security cameras by disconnecting the system.

Also, inspect the Ethernet cable used for your system; Rj45s can sometimes cause trouble and have grounding issues.

CCTV Ground Loop Isolator

To fix horizontal lines on security cameras, you can use a ground loop to remedy it in no time. All you have to do is connect the device on the pathway between the camera and the head end.

Apart from being affordable, it connects using BNC connectors and can quickly fix your horizontal lines problem.

Final Thoughts

Horizontal lines on security cameras are a common but pesky issue. Nevertheless, they are often easy to fix and should be back to normal easily.

As soon as you realize there is an issue with the lines, start working to fix it, as your footage should be rolling at all times. Any event that occurs when the image is not clear should be rendered useless.

Furthermore, this compromises your safety and the reliability of your security system. Start by checking the most probable culprits, including the camera, cable, and lighting.