Support Center

Will Sighthound Video work with my analog (CCTV) camera?

Jul 03, 2014

Sighthound Video works with network (IP) cameras, or USB webcams plugged into a PC. If you have a CCTV camera that is plugged directly into a digital video recorder (DVR), these cameras send video in the "analog" format that your TV uses, not the "digital" format a computer uses, so Sighthound Video will not work with the camera directly. It is possible, however, to use some products that convert the CCTV analog video to digital format, either to connect your camera or your DVR to your computer. These are called "encoders." There are two categories:

IP video encoders, also known as video servers. These devices take analog video input and convert it to digital video streams that are sent over a computer (IP) network. As a result, they appear on the network the same way network cameras do, so Sighthound Video can work with them. Our current list of supported IP cameras include several Axis video encoders.

Non-IP video encoders, also known as video capture devices. They come in standalone and PCI card form factors. You install the device into your computer, plug in cameras, and go. Some of the cards support a single analog input ("single-channel") and some support multiple inputs ("multi-channel").

  • Single-channel encoders. If the encoder has a DirectShow-compatible driver, it should work with Sighthound Video. For Windows customers, we have tested the Kworld DVD Maker USB adapter and verified that it does work with Sighthound Video. For other brands, we recommend testing it with the Starter edition of our software first to be sure. We have not found any USB adapters that work reliably on Mac OS, however. For example, customers have reportedly set up the VideoGlide product to work, but later encountered problems.  If you do have a brand of USB adapter that works with SighthoundVideo, let us know and we'll add it to our supported list.

  • Multi-channel encoders, such as TV tuner cards that come with many PCs today. Unfortunately, these products tend to have proprietary drivers, so Sighthound Video will not work with most of them. If you find one with a DirectShow driver, it should work, but we have not tested any. A bigger issue, however, is that these products are actually single channel encoders with multiple inputs. This means that they can only get video from one of the inputs at a time, which makes them of limited value for surveillance.