Welcome to the SCW Support FAQ
All your Frequently Asked Questions about security camera systems, in one place.
If you aren't getting a video feed from a camera, the first step you need to take is to bench test your camera.
Take the camera down and connect directly to the NVR/PoE switch with a short pre-made cable. About 90% of the time a camera that disconnects/does not power, indicates a problem with the cable. This will also give you a chance to look at the Ethernet connector for corrosion or any other foreign object that may have interrupted communication.
90% of our customers use POE for power.
The DC12V connector is only necessary if you are not using PoE. If you have a PoE NVR you can ignore and tuck this cable away. Do not cut this off as doing so will void your warranty.
For standard Ethernet, the run limit is 100 meters or about 320 feet. If you have Admiral line cameras and either an Admiral line NVR or one of our Extended Transmission POE switches, you can extend the length up to 750 feet on a single run. For Admiral line NVRs, you must enable extended transmission under
Camera Management -> Open the Port of the camera -> check “extended transmission”.
We do not recommend painting your cameras and doing so will void your warranty. Cameras are white specifically to keep the camera cooler in the sun. Darker paints will absorb more heat and cause extra stress on the components inside the camera. This may also limit the mobility and aiming capability of the camera at the rotation points.
It is also important to note that making a camera any color other than white will make it overheat at lower environmental temperatures, even when the temperature ratings are the same. Temperature ratings are relative to the internal temperatures of the components, not the environmental temperature (how hot it is outside). Because of this, a black camera will always fail before a white camera will. This is why we only carry white cameras.
Making a camera any color other than white will make it overheat at lower environmental temperatures - even when the temperature ratings are the same. Temperature ratings rate the internal temperatures of the components - not the environmental temperature (how hot it is outside). Because of this, a black camera will always fail before a white camera will. This is why we only carry white cameras.
Motion is triggered by pixel changes. Anything that changes in the image will be picked up as motion. Unfortunately, insects are attracted to Infrared and will fly in front of the camera’s view. Setting the sensitivity on the camera will help somewhat, but insects will fly close and the IR will reflect off of them and still trigger motion.
You can install a bug zapper near the camera to kill the bugs. Also, try applying some insect repellent or lavender on the camera base, or in the vicinity of the camera to ward them off.
Other customers have opted to add an external 850nm infrared light away from the camera and disable the IR on the camera itself so that the insects are attracted to the added IR rather than the camera.
When condensation forms on a security camera, it can blur lenses and compromise image quality. Condensation is because of 2 factors, humidity and Temperature difference between the air and camera. Condensation occurs on the warm side of glass. In summer there maybe condensation in the morning on the outside of the camera lens.
After a cool night, the air starts to get warmer and the camera lens will appear foggy. Unfortunately, this effect is more evident in winter.
All SCW cameras have a silica packet installed inside the device.
A camera that has power will generate a small amount of heat. The cold air outside vs. the slightly higher temperature of the camera will create condensation on the inside of the lens. The colder and more humid the climate the longer this effect will last. Most of the time the silica packet will absorb moisture in a few hours, there have been cases of below freezing temperatures taking a few days to a week or more.
Steps to take: Acclimating
If your newly installed camera has condensation we generally recommend keeping them outside for ~72 hours to see if the condensation can naturally dissipate. If it’s not improving within 72 hours you may have to re-acclimate the camera.
Bring the camera back inside (remove from original installation point)
Place the camera and silica bead packets inside the bag. Silica bead packets can be purchased from home improvement stores for a few dollars.
Wait until condensation is dissipated.
With the camera still in the bag, place the camera outside for a few hours to acclimate to the outside temperature.
Once acclimated you can continue the install as normal.
NVR FAQ Questions
They are SATA cables. SATA cables are used to connect additional hard drives to your NVR. We recommend keeping them as you may want to add hard drives in the future.
By default all recorders will begin overwriting the oldest footage in real time so the recording will not stop. Think of it like a recycling symbol it will continue to overwrite footage.
If you have data retention regulations or policies that force you to store data long-term, you can turn this feature off and have the NVR stop recording and alert you when it fills a hard drive.
Due to strict security measures on the equipment, a password reset will require you to have a computer on the same local network as the recorder. From there we can generate an individual reset code based on the day, device, and serial number. In rare cases password resets could take up to 2-3 business days. If you do not have the system on a local network or have a display connected, it will need to be sent to SCW for reset. Please see our Password Reset Policy and Procedure Documentation.
The NVR / DVR display resolution by default will be set to 720p to ensure compatibility with most displays. You can change this by going to:
Menu-Configuration-VGA/HDMI Resolution Now you will be able to set the resolution to match your display/TV.
Why set it to 720p?
If you have a 4K TV and we set it to 720P, you will see something.
If you have a 720P TV and we set it to 1080P, nothing will display at all.
From the NVR interface, go to the Camera Management screen, select the Edit icon to update the password.
From the Local Connected Monitor: Right click on mouse to bring up menu.
Select “Menu” again -> Camera-> Camera-> Select the camera--> “Modify” at the top of the camera list→ Update the password and be sure to save before leaving page.
From the Web Interface:
Setup->Camera--> Select the camera--> “Modify” at the top of the camera list→ Update the password and be sure to save before leaving page.
While we traditionally recommend using the same series of cameras with NVR it is possible to have our Vanguard series cameras work with the Admiral series NVR. A separate PoE switch/Injector on the network would be the preferred way to connect the Vanguard series camera to an Admiral NVR. There are occasional updates that will allow the Vanguard series cameras to direct connect and manually set to work with the PoE ports on the NVR, some will even plug and play. Results will vary depending on NVR firmware, camera firmware and camera model.
While not recommended, you can add an Admiral line camera to a Vanguard series NVR. The Admiral line camera will not “Plug and Play” with the Vanguard NVR, you will need to add the camera to your network and power it with the 12v DC plug or a PoE injector/switch. Once the camera is on your network you can assign it an IP address using SCW Camera Tools. Then modify the desired NVR’s camera channel to the IP address of your new camera. Please note that not all features of the Admiral Camera will be available when connected to the Vanguard NVR.
The Default Password for all SCW NVR’s: 12345scw
The Default Password for Vanguard Series Cameras: 12345 or 12345scw
The Default Password for Admiral Series Cameras: 123456
You can change the camera names by going to ( On connected monitor: “Right Click” on your mouse. Select “Menu” from the pop-up on screen, then select “camera”, then OSD. OSD stands for “On Screen Display”
Menu → Camera → OSD
On the Web interface, the menu will be called “Setup” in the bar at the top.
Setup → Camera → OSD
From a web browser: First, open Internet Explorer by right clicking the Icon and selecting “Run as Administrator”. Then, log into your NVR and go to the “Playback” tab at the top. Select a camera and the date and time of the incident on the left side, then hit the Play button. To start your clipping, press the Scissors icon in the lower right portion of the play box, and when the video has finished playing through the incident, press the Scissors icon again to stop the clipping. Usually, files are saved in
C:/Users/*youruser*/Surveillance/, but this can be changed at your leisure by going to
Setup → Client → Save Files To and changing that file path.
Admiral and Imperial Line Local Interface
Admiral and Imperial Line Web Interface
The recorder will send out two video streams when you are viewing on your computer, smartphones, tablets, etc.
One is the mainstream - this uses 4-5 Mbps for 1080p 30FPS for each camera and around 6Mbps for a 4MP camera. The mainstream is the exact quality the NVR always records at. Due to the high quality and high bitrates of mainstream some computer’s CPU will struggle to play all available cameras at mainstream and most internet connections upload speed will be unable to keep up.
Substream is a secondary stream coming from the recorder or cameras. This is customizable but at most uses about 512Kbps and is standard definition quality. This is great for viewing on some computers and most internet connections.
Note: Even when viewing substream, the system will still record on the full, main stream quality.
720p at 30FPS - 2048Kbps
1080p at 30FPS - 4096Kbps
4MP At 20FPS - 6144Kbps
8MP/4K at 30FPS - 8192Kbps
720p at 30FPS - 1024Kbps
1080p at 30FPS - 2048Kbps
4MP At 20FPS - 3072bps
8MP/4K at 30FPS - 4096Kbps
What if I need to save space?
What if I need to In most cases you can safely cut the frame rate in half and then cut the bitrate, such as 1080p at 15FPS would be 2048Kbps. This would essentially double the amount of time held on the hard drive.
We recommend the following as maximum. Any higher and you’ll run into issues with the NVR not accepting the feed.
704 x 576 at 30 FPS (or highest resolution available to the camera) - 512Kbps
You may want to lower this if you have a slow internet upload speed on location or if you are viewing on a low bars or roaming cellular connection.
If you NVR's mouse fails, power cycle your NVR, or unplug and reconnect the USB mouse.
Remember that any mouse that does not require software and should connect. (a bluetooth mouse will not work, but wireless RF will) Every NVR has two default screen outputs: A “menu” output for controlling your cameras/NVR, and a “monitor” output, for purely displaying your cameras. Most likely you are plugged into the default “monitor” output and thus can’t see your mouse on the screen. If you are currently plugged into the HDMI port on the back of the recorder, please try plugging a cable into the VGA port on the back of the recorder and testing the mouse. If that works, you’ll need to change the default menu input.
ADMIRAL - Right click anywhere and go to
Menu → System → Preview → Menu Output to change your display preference.
VANGUARD/NETWORKER - Right click anywhere and go to
Menu → Configuration→ Live View and change the “Video Output Interface” to your preference.
Admiral or Imperial Lines:
From a web browser, log into your NVR and go to “Setup” at the top
Camera→ Motion. Select the camera you’d like to set up from the drop down menu at the top, and make sure that the “Motion” toggle is set to On. If there is not a red grid on the video stream, you’ll need to draw one. Click the “Start Drawing” button on the right, and draw a grid on the screen. Anything inside the grid will be detected on motion. Make sure to hit save before you close the page! You’ll also need to setup the recording schedule. This can be done by going to Camera→ Schedule and changing the schedule from continuous to motion.
Vanguard, Executive, Super or Networker Lines
From a web browser, log into your NVR and go to “Configuration” at the top:
Event→ Motion Select your camera from the dropdown menu at the top, and make sure that the “Enable Motion Detection” box is checked. If there is not a red grid on the video stream, you’ll need to draw one. Click the “Start Drawing” button below the box, and draw a grid on the screen. Anything inside the grid will be detected on motion. Make sure to hit save before you close the page! You’ll also need to setup the recording schedule. This can be done by going to Storage→ Schedule Settings and changing the schedule from continuous to motion.
If you camera is upside down, the best result will be if you turn it right-side up. Ideally, you will want to adjust the camera and not the image when it comes to rotating.
To use our software to rotate the image without adjusting the camera :
From the Admiral NVR local interface (Connected Monitor):
Menu->Camera->Image->Select your camera->Image Rotation; Normal, 180, 90 Clockwise, 90 Counterclockwise.
You can also change this on the web:
For the Vanguard series you will need to use a Windows computer that has Internet Explorer. Sign into the camera then navigate to:
Configuration-> Image->Video Adjustment->Rotate.
At SCW we pride ourselves on having the easiest setup in the industry. When you combine our cameras and NVRs the process is completely plug and play, no complicated networking required.
Third party cameras make the setup significantly more complicated due to the fact that ONVIF does not support direct connections like “SCWEasyConnect”. This requires your third party camera to be plugged into an external PoE switch, assigning an IP, and configuring ONVIF settings on the camera. This often requires manufacturer specific software or instructions that SCW technicians are unable to provide and support.
SCW is unable to support third party cameras beyond showing you where to enter the information to connect the camera.
You are responsible for finding an open IP Address on your Network, assigning the IP to the camera, and finding out what protocol and ports it may use, as well as any steps to activate ONVIF on the camera.
Under no circumstances will SCW install or support third party software to configure third party cameras. SCW technicians are also unable to contact other manufacturers for information on the third party camera.
Third Party Checklist - Steps for Support
The following checklist is provided - these steps must be completed before an SCW technician can provide support.
The third party camera(s) must be on a separate PoE switch connected to your network/router (ONVIF does not support direct connection)
The third party camera has been assigned an IP matching your local network
The third party camera is at least ONVIF 2.0 Profile S compatible and ONVIF compliance mode is turned on (if applicable)
The port information is gathered - including web port, RTSP port, management and any other ports the camera may use.
Please contact the camera’s manufacturer for assistance with any of these steps and information required.
Note: Even after this setup certain features such as motion detection, motion recording, time sync, audio, PTZ control etc may not be supported and relies entirely on ONVIF version of the camera and the implementation by the manufacturer.
Please see our Third Party Support Policy for more info.
To add a networked camera to the Admiral series NVR you will need to change the port you would like to use from plug and play to Manual/IP Address. The Admiral line NVR and cameras have DHCP enabled and will find an IP address within the network range of the router it is connected to. It is recommended to change the IP address to a static IP, that will help with disconnects in the future if the router tries to change the camera’s IP.
DHCP will assign your cameras IP addresses as you connect them. After a camera is connected, you can add or auto search the camera(s) to add them to the Imperial NVR.
Under the Network settings for the Executive, set it’s working mode to “Multi Address”.
NIC 1 (or LAN 1) corresponds to the LAN 1 port on the back of the Exec and is normally where you plug the NVR into your network.
NIC 2 (or LAN 2) is the port your PoE switch should be connected to. Now go to camera management and you should see all your cameras listed there. If you see that they are “Inactive”, click “One touch activate” then click “One touch adding” and all cameras should be added to NVR.
Connect cameras to PoE switch and the switch to your network/router. Download the SADP tool to a Windows computer that is connected to the same network as the switch. SADP will show you all cameras on the switch. Use SADP to modify the camera’s IP to match your network’s subnet. Now, from the NVR’s camera management section, you can add each camera by it’s IP address. Note: if you are using a 16 channel or less, you’ll need to modify an existing channel from “Plug and Play” to “Manual” do not use the add button.
First, please consult our Best Practices for preventing IOT Security Camera Hacks guide for why this isn't a great idea.
Sometimes you may have a camera that connects to a PoE (Power over Ethernet) switch. The PoE Switch will need to be connected to the same Network that the NVR is connected to. If you plug a PoE switch into one of the camera ports on the back of the NVR the cameras will fight for control of the port. All camera ports on an NVR are created for one camera one port. When the camera is connected to the PoE you will need to assign it an IP address. For Admiral Series cameras you will use SCW Camera Tools (Windows only). Use SADP (Windows Only) for Vanguard Series cameras, if you have a Mac you will use Guarding Vision (also available on Windows).
Camera/NVR Viewing FAQ Questions
A “VCA” Event must be set up first at the NVR. For example: “Line Crossing Detection” can be set up and must be enabled first from the NVR configuration screen, or from the web interface.
Once this has been enabled, open View Station. (You must already have your NVR connected to the View Station program for this feature to work)
Select the “Control Panel” four box icon in the upper left to open your configuration screen.
Select “Alarm Configuration”
When the Alarm Configuration page is open, select the camera for which you have set up your VCA event for (from the column on the left, select the camera by clicking once on it, so it highlights) This will allow you to go to the right pane and select an “alarm type” . Select from the list which type of alarm you are setting up a notification from.
Select “+ ADD” from the window below - and you will get a popup window - confirm the camera you would like to receive the notification from, in the list. You will need to put a check in the box next to the camera. Then click “Ok”
This will populate the event trigger to the window below. From this area you can select what specifically happens in Viewstation when the event is triggered.
Options are: “Recording on/off” - “Live View” (duration for pop up notification and video from camera) - “Go to Preset” (If you are using PTZ cameras in your system you can call a preset position) - “Alarm Output” (This refers to the NVR’s physical wired alarm outputs, which can be triggered when this event occurs)
When the Event you have chosen occurs, you will now get a pop-up notification window with a message and live view of the camera.
The important specification in internet speed for remotely viewing is your upload speed. For best performance, you should have 2Mbps for each 1080P camera or 4Mbps 4K Camera.
We recommend, at minimum, around 1Mbps upload for reasonable performance. Our cameras use between 4-5Mbps to do 1080p at 30FPS for full recorded quality - this is called the “main stream”. Our systems have the ability to send out a secondary stream that uses less data and is standard definition called a “sub stream”. The sub stream typically uses around 256-512Kbps but can be lowered at the cost of image quality. It will still record in full quality while you’re looking at sub stream.
Please make sure you change your password, as we do publish this default password on the internet.
You can! You can use Cirrus (with either system). If you purchased from our Admiral line use SCW View Station that you can download and import multiple systems into. If you’re using our Vanguard, Networker, Econ, Exec or Super line use Guarding Vision.
All SCW NVR’s have the ability to have 128 total streams at any given time. 1 camera view = 1 stream. There are multiple bottlenecks in network transmission that can limit remote viewing. NVR’s outgoing bitrate, upload speed of the internet connection, network limitation (switch, router, traffic), for this reason you will want to use the Sub-Stream feed for less data transmission.
For larger systems it is recommended to give specific camera access to users based on their particular needs. Under this configuration, users will be able to view cameras that pertain to them.
It may not be necessary for “John” to have access to all 32 cameras when 4 is all he needs. You will then be able to utilize your network bandwidth more efficiently.
The view from the NVR local interface does not count as a remote stream.
SCW NVR’s are limited to 32 User Accounts including the admin account. All SCW NVR’s have the ability to have 128 total streams at any given time. 1 camera view = 1 stream. There are multiple bottlenecks that can limit remote viewing. NVR’s outgoing bitrate, upload speed of the internet connection, network limitation (switch, router, traffic), for this reason you will want to use the Sub-Stream feed for less data transmission.
For larger systems it is recommended to give access to users to see the cameras that pertain to them, it is not necessary for “John” to have access to all 32 cameras when 4 is all he needs.
The view from the SCW NVR local interface does not count as a remote stream.
Currently Internet Explorer is the only fully supported browser. Safari versions 11 and earlier work for Mac.
When you visit your web view with Internet Explorer, the plugin download option will become availible.
In order to view your cameras from Mac OS (if you’re on Safari 12 or later), you’ll need to install Cirrus (either line), or View Station (Admiral and Imperial line), or Guarding Vision (for our Vanguard and Networker lines).
App setup requires some networking setup on both the recorder and the router. We have a full guide at here. The first step is to assign an IP address to the recorder that corresponds to your network’s subnet. Second, port forward to allow remote access. Finally connecting via that public IP and appropriate port. If you need any assistance with this basic networking, feel free to give us a call at 1-866-414-2553 and we’ll be glad to assist you with your setup.
PTZ FAQ Questions
No, you don't need a joystick, anymore!
You can control a PTZ with the on screen controls found on the NVR local interface, the Web portal, SCW Go app and in SCW View Station. From the Web interface on the right side of the “Live View” screen, there is an arrow that will open PTZ controls.
Currently we don’t have the option for a Joystick for the Admiral and Imperial line NVR’s.
Our PTZ will come with a PoE injector and a 24v AC power adapter. You can add a PTZ directly to the NVR camera port or on the network. If you connect the PTZ to a camera port on the back of the NVR it will not connect properly as the NVR PoE ports do not have the power to power a PTZ on its own.
PTZ Auto Tracking is new and in its infancy, as a technology. It supplements but is not ready to replace human operation.
It has the ability to track moving objects in the camera’s view and follow them, but it doesn't know what object is what. It just follows whatever moves. This option is primarily used in an area that has no outside movement other than what is wanting to be tracked. Use cases include, areas with little to no vegetation that may blow in the wind and confuse the auto tracking.
SCW Shield FAQ Questions
We have to charge fees because of both 911 surcharge laws, Verizon connection fees, and the cost to maintain a central alert infrastructure.
Almost all phone lines in the United States have a monthly 911 surcharge fee. This is how 911 is funded. Nearly all legislation for 911 surcharges for phones lines also apply to cellular connections and data lines for alarms. SCW Shield has both a IP based data line and an optional backup Cellular line through Verizon. Alerts are processed and pushed to your app using these services. Additionally, all SCW Shields Alarm Panels connect to a central server infrastructure (even when not professionally monitored) and receive automatically firmware and app updates.
But your camera app is free and can send alerts, why does Shield cost money monthly if I am self-monitoring?
Yes, but these devices send data in different ways and are regulated differently.
SCW Go and SCW Easyview both directly connect to your device directly. If you setup email alerts with a SCW camera system, you use your own email address to send emails. There's no central server at all for SCW to maintain.
SCW Shield uses a Verizon backup line or your internet connection to send data to a central server. This central server then sends you and, if you have selected a pro-monitoring plan, the central monitoring station, Security Central, an alert.
Alarms must comply with UL Standard 827 as well as tons of state and local regulations. Alarm station/server regulation requirements include multiple failsafe communication protocols and safety, cyber security, access control, and backup power system standards. Alarms require using a central station or server since they are regulated - the state has an interest in preventing fraudulent or excessive use of 911.
SCW professional monitoring is provided by Security Central. A family owned and independent monitoring company based in North Carolina. Security Central has been in business since 1963 and monitors for over 340,000 accounts.
SCW Shield Hubs have a 1500 FT open range for sensors. Walls and other interference will reduce range. Load bearing walls, brick, or metal walls can cut this distance down significantly.
Z-Wave is wireless home automation standard. This type of wireless communication antenna will allow you connect to other 3rd party devices in your home. This includes such devices as thermostats, window shades and light switches. Z-Wave allows nearly endless possibilities for home automation and reactions to alarms.
Here’s some potential Z-Wave scenarios:
Ability to turn on your lights during an alarm trigger from your Shield system
Pair a SCW 3-in-1 Flood Sensor with a Z-Wave valve shut off to prevent floods.
When water is detected at the Flood sensor, all connected pipes to the flood area are closed.
Shield Sensors don't have a way to alert you without the SCW Shield Hub.
You can log into your SCW Shield Portal and change monitoring at any time. There are no contracts and switching is easy. You can also call SCW at 866-414-2553 and request that we change the plan for you.
Motion detectors use infrared sensors to detect motion. They can't tell what causes the motion. All alarms achieve pet resistance (or call themselves "pet proof" by blocking motion signals lower than a certain angle, which creates a object-motion height threshold for alerts to go off.
Our pet resistance uses a angle-height combo that allows your pet (under 85lb) to walk around at floor level and not alert the motion sensor.
If you pet climbs stairs or gets on furniture, it will probably still set off the motion detector. This is why we use the term "pet resistant" rather than "pet proof."
There is an 85 dB siren built into the SCW Shield hub that will sound when an alarm is triggered. You can purchase additional wireless sirens.
85 dB is very loud. it is about as loud as riding a motorcycle or listening to a Boeing 737 fly overhead when landing. It will cause hearing damage if listened to for about 8 hours. You won't miss it.
The SCW Shield app offers a quick access button to the SCW GO application, but they are different applications.
SCW aims to have a unified app in the near future, but there are currently regulatory requirements that we have to investigate before combining the data.
The backup battery for SCW Shield is rated at minimum 4 hours but can last up to 24 hours. It depends on how much you use it and how many sensors you have.
LTE Backup is considered a “backup” in case your internet connection fails, or you lose power to your home for any reason. The Shield Hub will remain powered on through its internal battery, and be able to contact the monitoring service for alerts during this time.
Your smartphone or tablet is designed to be the primary method of interacting with the SCW Shield system. This is an intentional design choice. The things we didn't like about the "tablet on a wall" idea for alarms was that it increases the costs by usually using proprietary tablets, having limited screen size options, and the tablet was always in the wrong place. We always have our phones with us, so we started there.
We do let you use any tablet you want, and keep them anywhere you want. If you want to put on on the wall, awesome, just buy a tablet wall mount from amazon., but you don't have to buy the tablet (or mount) from us.