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How to Convert Surveillance Camera From RCA to USB

by Jeff Grundy

Unlike webcams that you must turn on and initialize to stream video, standard surveillance cameras stream images constantly, as long as they have a power source and a device into which to feed video. While you can use a webcam to monitor an area in your home or office, a surveillance camera usually provides a much faster frame rate, albeit with lower color definition. If you have a standard surveillance camera you want to connect to and monitor with your PC, you must use a USB video capture device before you can record or stream video to the computer.

Step 1

Connect the USB cable to the computer and the external video capture device. Insert the driver installation disc for the capture box, and follow the prompts to install the video capture software and device driver on your PC. Restart the PC if prompted.

Step 2

Connect one end of the RCA cable to the Video Out ports on the rear of the surveillance camera housing. Connect the other end of the RCA cable to the Video In or Camera In ports on the back of the video capture device.

Step 3

Connect the AC power adapter to the surveillance camera. Plug the AC adapter cord into an empty electrical socket. Click “Tools,” “Preferences” or “Settings” on the video-capture program menu bar. In the Video Devices or Connected Devices section, select the “RCA Video Device,” “Connected Composite Device” or “Non-USB Video Device Option.”

Step 4

Click the “Apply” or “Save” button to save the configuration changes for the video capture device. Restart the application if prompted.

Step 5

Click “View Video Source,” “Grab Video,” “Import Video” or other similarly named button or link on the program toolbar. The video stream from the surveillance camera appears in the preview window of the video capture program.

Click “Record” or “Record Video” to save the stream from the surveillance camera to your computer.

Items you will need

  • USB cable
  • USB Video capture device
  • Video capture device installation CD
  • Surveillance camera with RCA video out ports
  • RCA video cable

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