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Guide to DVR Ports and Connections

The following guide describes the uses of common ports that are used on Lorex security DVRs. The availablity of ports, their appearance, and their functions varies between DVR systems. Check the product Instruction Manual or Specifications Sheet for details on the ports used on each system.


Power / DC 12V Port

Used to connect the male end of a power adapter to provide power to the DVR. Connect the other end of the power adapter to a power outlet, surge protector, or Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS). Some DVRs will turn on immediately after power is connected, and others use a power switch to turn the DVR on or off. Only use the included power adapter with your DVR.



Power / DC12V port

BNC Video Input

Used to connect the video signal from BNC cameras to the DVR. To connect a BNC cable, push the cable in and twist clockwise.

Can also connect cameras using RCA or DIN cables, using the appropriate adapters. See the camera Cables and Connections guide for more details.



BNC Video Input

Octopus BNC Video Input

An Octopus BNC Video Input port is provided on some systems to connect multiple cameras to the same port and save space on the DVR. DVRs that use an Octopus BNC Video Input port require an Octopus cable, which is generally provided with the DVR, to connect the cameras to different DVR channels. Octopus BNC Video Input ports and Octopus cables generally come in 8 and 16-channel configurations.

Octopus cable

Octopus Cable

To connect cameras to a DVR using an Octopus cable, connect the single end of the cable into the DVR and tighten the screws to secure the connection. Connect the cameras to the individual ends of the Octopus cables. Labels are used to identify the channel each connector on the Octopus cable corresponds with.

Octopus cable channel labels

Labels on Octopus cables indicate channel number



Octopus BNC Video Input

DIN Video Input

DIN Video Input ports are used to connect the signals from cameras with DIN connectors to the DVR. DIN cables are proprietary, which means they are specific to the manufacturer and you cannot mix DIN cameras from different manufacturers. Lorex DIN cables use either a 4-pin or 6-pin layout. DIN cables are capable of connecting video, 2-way audio (to and from the camera), and power (to the camera) between the camera and DVR.

When connecting DIN cameras to the DVR, make sure to align the pins correctly, as inserting the cable incorrectly may damage the pins.

Not all Lorex DVRs have DIN inputs. Check the Instruction Manual for your Lorex system. You can connect BNC cameras to DIN ports using an adapter (Lorex model # CVA6933).



VGA Video Output

Used to connect the DVR to computer monitors or TVs for viewing using a VGA cable. A VGA cable carries an analog video signal that requires a conversion from the digital signals used by DVRs and LCD monitors.

Note that the VGA Video Output port cannot be used to connect the DVR to a VGA port on a computer or laptop, as these are also video output ports.



VGA output port

HDMI Video Output

Used to connect the DVR to HDTVs or compatible monitors for viewing using a HDMI cable. Unlike a VGA cable, an HDMI cable carries a digital signal that does not need to be converted to analog by the DVR or LCD monitors.

Although the HDMI standard allows for video and audio to be transmitted through an HDMI cable, not all DVRs with HDMI ports support both video and audio using the HDMI cable. These systems use the HDMI port for a video output and RCA Audio Out ports for audio output.

Note that the HDMI Video Output port cannot be used to connect the DVR to a HDMI port on a computer or laptop, as these are also video output ports.



HDMI port

DVI Video Output

Used to connect the DVR to computer monitors for viewing using a DVI cable. Unlike a VGA cable, a DVI cable carries a digital signal that does not need to be converted to analog by the DVR or LCD monitors.

A DVR with a DVI Video Output port can be connected to a monitor that only has VGA inputs using a DVI-to-VGA connector. However, it is not possible to connect a DVR with a VGA Video Output to a monitor's DVI input.

DVI-to-VGA-adapter

DVI-to-VGA Adapter



DVI Port

BNC Video Output

Used to connect the DVR to a CCTV monitor for viewing using a BNC cable. To connect an RCA cable from a TV to the DVR, use a BNC-male to RCA-female adapter (Lorex model# BNCA).

BNCA

BNC-male to RCA-female (BNCA) adapter



BNC Video Output

BNC Spot Out Port

Used to connect the DVR to a Spot Out monitor using a BNC cable. A Spot Out monitor automatically shows camera channels in sequence, and cannot be used as a main display. Depending on the DVR model, you may be able to select which channels will be shown and the amount of time channels are shown before switching.

You can also use a TV as a Spot Out monitor using RCA cables with a BNC-male to RCA-female adapter (Lorex model# BNCA).



Spot Out port

USB Port

USB, or Universal Serial Bus, is a common computer port used to transmit data to and from external devices. USB ports are often indicated using this symbol: USB icon

On security DVRs, USB ports are used for the following functions:

  • To connect a USB mouse to control the DVR user interface.
  • To connect a USB Flash Memory drive (also known as a thumb drive) to backup or achive video from the DVR.
  • To connect a USB Flash Memory drive to perform firmware upgrades for system enhancements.
  • To enable touch screen controls when connected to a compatible touch screen DVR and monitor.
USB flash drive

USB Flash Drive



USB port

Network / LAN Port

A Network port, also known as a LAN or Ethernet port, is used to connect the DVR to a Local Area Network (LAN) or the Internet, allowing the video signals to be accessed from anywhere in the world. To connect a DVR to a LAN or the Internet, connect an Ethernet cable from the Network port to an available network port on your router and follow the included instructions to configure the DVR and router for remote access.

You must use an Ethernet cable to connect your DVR to the network. Some Lorex IP cameras can connect to a network using WiFi.

Ethernet Cable

Ethernet Cable



Network / LAN Port

RCA Audio Input

Used to connect the RCA audio cables from audio-enabled cameras or self-powered microphones to allow audio recording on the DVR. The maximum number of audio channels supported varies between DVR models.

RCA Cables

RCA Cables (Image shown includes RCA Video and Audio Cables)



RCA Audio Input port

BNC Audio Input

Used to connect the DVR to audio-enabled cameras or self-powered microphones using a BNC cable. To connect audio-enabled cameras or self-powered microphones using RCA cables, use a BNC-male to RCA-female adapter (model# BNCA). The maximum number of audio channels supported varies between DVR models.



BNC audio input

Audio Harness Input Port

Used to connect the DVR to multiple audio-enabled cameras or self-powered microphones through the same port using an Audio Harness Cable, which is usually provided with the system.

Audio Harness Cable

Audio Harness Cable

To connect audio-enabled cameras or self-powered microphones using an Audio Harness cable, connect the single end to the Audio Harness Input port and tighten the screws to secure the connection. Then connect the audio cables from the cameras or microphones to the individual ends of the Audio Harness cable. BNC-male to RCA-female adapters (model# BNCA) are required to connect RCA audio connectors to the Audio Harness cable. Like the BNC Octopus cable, the labels at the end of the connectors are used to identify audio channels.



Audio Harness Input Port

RCA Audio Output

Used to connect the DVR to external speakers or a TV with RCA cables to play sound. Audio-enabled cameras or self-powered microphones are required to play sound from the DVR.



RCA Audio Output port

BNC Audio Output

Used to connect the DVR to external speakers or a TV with BNC cables to play sound. To connect the DVR to external speakers or a TV using RCA cables, use a BNC-male to RCA-female adapter (model# BNCA).



BNC audio output

RS-485 / PTZ Control Block

Used to connect the DVR to compatible PTZ (Pan-Tilt-Zoom) cameras. RS-485 Control Block is sometimes incorporated into the Alarm / Sensor Block.



RS485-control-block

Alarm / Sensor Block

Used to connect the DVR to compatible alarm / sensor devices, such as door sensors and glass break detectors. May also include the RS-485 / PTZ control block.

Alarm Block

Last Updated: 3/30/2012

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