Do you have a generic H.264 DVR and want free software (CMS H264) for monitoring? If this is your problem, this article is the solution. Here you will find a universal CMS DVR software that works with most DVRs.
I will talk about the operation of the H264 CMS software, teach how you should do the setup for DVRs, NVRs, and IP cameras.
You will also have the opportunity to download the software for free.
This article is very useful to solve the problem for a lot of people that just like you are also looking for a universal CMS DVR software, so please click the buttons below and share with your friends.
What is the Universal CMS DVR software?
To view live and recorded videos from your DVR or IP camera through your computer, you need to use a CMS (Central Monitoring System) software.
The universal CMS DVR software is used for monitoring mixed brands of DVRs, it's usually used by people who have H.264 network DVRs,
There are many DVRs manufactured in China that do not have a brand and often do not even have manual or monitoring software, that's the reason why people start looking for alternative software for non-branded DVRs such as a universal CMS DVR software.
Using the universal CMS DVR software for local monitoring
Let's start with a diagram that shows the installation of a DVR on the local network. In this case, it is necessary to configure it using internal IP.
The DVR must be installed with the security cameras and connected to the router and to the computer with the universal CMS DVR software.
In this diagram, I am using as an example an OEM DVR from Hikvision with TVI technology. For other types of DVRs, the concept is the same.
Make sure that your system is connected as shown in the diagram and check if the images are appearing on the local monitor before continuing.
DVR IP configuration
Before configuring the universal CMS DVR software make sure that the DVR network configuration (IP and port) is correct, Check also the local computer.
See in the example below the network configuration for the Hikvision DVR, the IP is 192.168.2.135 the computer is using IP 192.168.2.192 and therefore they are within the same range of network IPs (192.168.1.1 to 192.168.2.254)
Make sure that DVR is using the correct IP within your network, it doesn't matter if you are using another brand such as Dahua, Swann, etc. The IP configuration principle is the same. So ,find the IP Menu on the DVR.
Obviously, for your particular case, the IPs will be different from the example above, the important thing is that DVR and computer are configured in the same IP network range.
DVR port configuration
I'm talking about DVR logic ports. On the configuration menu, you will find names like HTTP, RTSP, Server port or HTTPS port.
Note that different brands of DVR can bring other nomenclatures, the important thing is to find the correct port for the application. If you don't what are the ports for your DVR, read the manual or talk to the DVR dealer.
The image below shows the DVR using port 8000. Other DVRs bring port 37777 by default. Just check the menu to make sure what is the port.
Just write down the ports your DVR is using, just in case you need the information later to configure remote viewing.
Check the local viewing before proceeding
Before setup, the DVR for the H264 CMS viewing it is important to make sure everything is working properly between the DVR and the computer. Use a web browser to check if the local viewing is working fine.
By viewing the DVR images using the browser, you are making sure that the IP configuration is correct and the network is working before the installation and configuration of the H264 CMS. This step is pretty important.
Download the universal CMS DVR software
You will not find an official website with links to the universal CMS DVR software so I have it available right here. Just click the link below:
Remember again that it is not easy to find this universal CMS DVR software available in the latest version, so do not forget to share the information with friends. Click the buttons below:
CMS H264 software installation
The universal CMS H264 software installation is extremely simple, just click on the icon and follow the step by step, by clicking "Next". At the end of the installation process choose the language you prefer to use.
See the images below (click to enlarge)
Choose "English" and click "Next"
Choose the language and click "OK"
Universal CMS DVR software features
The software main screen shows a sidebar on the left side where a tree appears with the icons for the DVRs, NVRs and, IP cameras. You can click on these icons and drag them to the center of the screen to view the images.
At the center, the software shows all the cameras, at the bottom, there is a toolbar with log information such as date, channels, cameras, and users.
The right side menu shows the date, time, CPU usage, PTZ control and a menu for settings, configuration. and log out.
See below the universal CMS DVR software main screen (click to enlarge)
On the left side menu, you can organize the devices in groups. In this example, I separated everything by location and created the groups: "Apartment", "Dahua Office" and Optiview Office "where each of the devices is located.
In each group, there are DVRs, NVRs or IP cameras that can be connected by the standard protocol or the ONVIF universal protocol.
ONVIF is a universal protocol for electronic security devices. To learn more, just read the article: How does the ONVIF work.
In the right side menu, you can control PTZ cameras, adjust the picture with brightness, contrast, hue, and saturation, configure the system, use the playback menu and advanced settings.
Each of the buttons will open a menu that shows the options available for each case. The last button is used only to exit the system (logout).
In this menu located at the top right of the CMS H264 software you can check the date and time and to the percentage of CPU processing.
When the system is recording, it is also possible to note the percentage of disk usage information.
The device manager menu allows you to add DVRs, NVRs, and IP cameras to the system.
In the local settings menu, you can configure the general settings for recordings, alarms, and DDNS
The remote settings menu allows you to access device features
You can still configure users and check logs
Layout control menu and general information
The center menu allows you to choose the image layout that will be displayed on the screen, with options for 1, 4, 8, 9, 13, 16, 25, 36, 64 cameras and full screen.
When audio is enabled and configured on the device, you can open the channel to play it. Just click the icon to increase the volume.
The bottom part of the menu shows the date, equipment, channels, connected users and the status of each device.
Universal CMS DVR software configuration
Adding new zones
Initially, to configure the software, it is necessary to open the "Device Manager" menu to add the desired DVRs, NVRs or IPS cameras.
Whenever you need to include, delete, and change new zones (zones) and devices, simply click on the device manager icon on the right side menu.
Click add area and choose a name for the desired zone
Adding new devices to the software
After creating the zone, click Add Area to add devices such as DVRs, NVRs, or cameras. A new window will open for the configuration.
Note in the following window that there are several options to configure the device, in this case, I am including a Hikvision DVR that has the IP address "192.168.2.135" with port "8000" user "learn" and a password.
Note that at the bottom there is the manufacturer's choice, I chose the ONVIF option instead of Hikvision, because in previous tests it worked better this way (and the DVR is compatible with that protocol).
Note that this procedure adds the DVR that is on the internal network, at the moment I am not adding devices that are on the Internet.
Adding devices from the Internet
The procedure to add devices that are on the Internet is identical, just follow the same steps as above but use the IP or domain of the equipment that is on the Internet. Obviously, the device must already be previously configured to be accessed remotely over the Internet.
Setting up the DVR and camera for remote viewing is not the subject of this article. If you want to learn how this process works I recommend reading the E-book available at this link -> Ultimate Security Camera Guide Volume 2.
Below is the example of setting up a Dahua DVR, note that the domain is now used to configure because the device is located on the Internet.
Final configuration and details
After doing all the setup, the universal CMS DVR software will be ready to be used with different DVR brands as shown in the image below.
To have the images displayed on the screen just drag and drop the devices from the trees to the left-hand side of the screen. Note that there is a mix of IP cameras, DVRs and NVRs, including a "fisheye" camera.
Universal CMS DVR software alternative
If you want to combine different brands of DVRs in the same monitoring center and need a more robust software with quality and technical support, I recommend using professional software such as ISS or Milestone.
With the universal CMS DVR software you will have an alternative to monitoring your devices, however, it is not a robust and stable version.
There may be some problems with this software and there's no technical support. Keep in mind that sometimes is better to buy some software.
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Claudemir Martins is a former Samsung Engineer with 19+ years of experience in the surveillance industry. He has been traveling around 17 different countries to teach people how to design, and install CCTV systems. He is currently working for Axis Communications as a Technical Services Engineer and living in the United States with his family.