7 Common CCTV System Issues & How to Fix Them

Updated October 6, 2023

The tech sector has seen many innovations in security devices over the last two decades. Whether it’s a CCTV or IP camera, each model comes with a range of functions that guarantee maximum protection for residential and commercial properties. CCTV is a powerful security tool, but this is only true as long as it works well. If your CCTV system gets buggy or doesn’t work at all, it won’t protect your home or business.

Most CCTV camera problems occur because of incorrect installation or the wrong configuration. Fortunately, these issues can be fixed relatively easily – read on to learn how!


  1. Horizontal Lines on CCTV Videos

Horizontal lines can occur because of electrical interference or lighting problems. The issue should be fixed as soon as possible, as it makes it hard to monitor vulnerable areas and essentially renders the footage useless. Check the area to see if there’s a source of light interfering with the camera.

If the light shines directly on your CCTV camera, this can result in horizontal or flickering lines. Inadequate power supply can also cause this issue. Electrical issues can easily be addressed by calling an electrician. If it’s a lighting issue, you can adjust the ambient lighting, or switch to a WDR or CMOS camera.

  1. The Video is Flickering

Flickering CCTV can be hard to fix. This can be caused by incorrect installation, equipment malfunctioning, or simply a lack of adequate power supply. Poor weather can also cause the footage to flicker. Troubleshooting this issue can be challenging since the source of interference can be hard to detect. Even if you think you’ve  fixed the issue, it’s important to continue to monitor the video quality over time, as flickering can be intermittent.

Are the cables and connectors routed properly if it’s a wired camera? Does the system have an adequate the power supply? If you notice flickering when there’s a sudden change in lighting conditions, the problem can probably be fixed by changing the angle of the camera. You could also disconnect other devices to see if the flickering stops. Alternatively, the light sensors may be damaged – if theis is the case, you’ll need to change your camera.

  1. Unclear Images

Unclear images usually happen because the lens is dirty, typically because of the accumulation of dirt on the lens or spider webs. Grab a damp microfiber cloth and gently wipe the lens to see if this fixes the issue. If the images are still unclear or fuzzy, you might need to call a professional for further troubleshooting.

  1. No Video Signal

Flickering and noise can occur intermittently. However, if you can’t see the picture at all, it’s a sign your camera has lost its signal. First things first, check the powerr to see if the camera is turned on and has enough power. If there is no problem with the power supply, chances are the images are being produced correctly but aren’t transferring to the monitor. Check if the monitor and cables connecting the CCTV to the monitor are in working order. If you have an IP camera, check the network settings.

  1. A Black Screen on CCTV

If all you see on your CCTV video is a black screen, this is probably due to signal interference. In most cases, video signal interference is not a big issue – you’ll just need to check if the optical pathway is obstructed. For example, leaves and branches can obstruct the view. If that’s not the issue, turn the camera off and on again, and reboot the DVR box to see if it starts working.

  1. Deteriorated Images in the Dark

Another common cause of black or dim screens is poor or inadequate lighting. Some CCTV cameras won’t work in the dark, so you might get a black screen at night or in dim lights. If that’s the problem, you’ll have to either install lighting or replace the camera with one that works well in all lighting conditions.

If you already have a CCTV camera that works in the daylight and at night, the problem is probably the configuration. The camera should be configured to function in the dark or unlit areas. If your camera has suddenly started producing deteriorated images at night, check the LED. Aging can also be the reason why you are getting unclear and fuzzy images – it could be time to upgrade your system.

  1. CCTV is Working but DVR doesn’t Record Anything

If your CCTV captures images clearly but the DVR does not record the videos, misconfiguration or inadequate storage could be to blame. The good news is latest DVR boxes are easy to check and repair. Check the available storage in the DVR and delete the footage you don’t need anymore.

Having a CCTV system is pointless if it’s not kept in good working order. Even small flickering can hide the details of the intruder breaking into your premises or stealing from your car. Check the cables, connector, DVR, and monitor to detect the issue and if these troubleshooting tips don’t work, it’s time to call the professionals!

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