As a video surveillance technician or installer, you’ve probably had the unpleasant experience of trying to troubleshoot an issue on a device where, despite your best efforts, you just couldn’t determine what was wrong. It’s stressful for both you and your customer, since every minute counts when it to comes malfunctioning cameras or recorders.
That’s why we designed our hybrid network video recorders (NVRs) with front panel LED lights that tell you exactly what’s going on with the recorder. Perhaps your customer has a disconnected camera? Or a hard drive that needs replacing? The front panel LED lights will be the first sign that something requires attention.
By understanding what the LEDs mean, you’ll save time troubleshooting issues on-site, and also ensure your customer’s recorders remain in optimal health.
Here’s a quick primer on how to read the LEDs on your March Networks NVR:
Looking at your recorder, you’ll see it has four LEDs on the front panel.
The first is the Unit LED, which indicates the status of the unit’s hardware.
The next is the Operation LED, which indicates the status of the recorder’s software and operating system, and the general functioning of the NVR.
The third light is the Recording LED, which shows if the unit is properly recording.
The last is the Export LED, which, when you are exporting video to an external media device like a USB, indicates the status of your export. The Export LED is usually off if you’re not waiting to export, and there’s no USB or external hard drive connected to the recorder.
Green means good
The color of each LED and whether the light is on solid, flashing, or off, gives you information about the recorder.
Healthy running NVRs should, for the most part, display a solid green light on the Unit, Operation and Recording LEDs.
A solid or flashing blue light on the Unit, Operation or Export LED does not necessarily indicate a problem, but rather that the recorder is loading, booting up or down or detecting something. Let’s take a closer look at what each LED means.
As mentioned, a solid green Unit LED means the unit’s software and hardware are operating correctly. A flashing green light is a sign that the recorder has lost power (or someone has intentionally removed the power) and it’s preparing to shut down.
A solid blue Unit LED light means the operating system is loaded, but the unit’s software application is still loading. A flashing blue light means the unit is booting up after losing power or following a reboot.
Blue Unit LEDs should ultimately turn green. If the Unit LED remains blue, it could be a sign that a hard drive is defective, or something else is wrong. Try rebooting the recorder.
A red Unit LED means a critical error has occurred and the NVR had to reboot. In this case, a technician should examine the hardware. Certified partners can try using the LED filter tool in our GURU Smartphone App to troubleshoot the issue.
A solid green Operation LED means the unit is powered and running properly. A flashing green LED means the operating system is available, but the software is still loading.
A blue light means a non-critical, system level problem has occurred, such as a camera disconnection. Log-in to the recorder’s client software to check that your cameras are connected, or acknowledge any alerts, and again, use GURU to help troubleshoot the issue.
Not acknowledging an alert results in the Operation LED staying blue. This is certain to cause confusion, so it’s best to regularly check your alerts, deal with any outstanding issues and then acknowledge the alert using the administrative tools.
If the Operation LED turns red, it’s a sign that a critical error has occurred. This could be a failing hard drive, a disconnected encoder or software that’s failed to start after a reboot. Again, login to your client software to review your alerts and troubleshoot with GURU.
A green Recording LED means the NVR is actively recording or configured to record.
A red LED means a system-level problem has occurred that is affecting recording or will affect future recording. This could be a hard drive issue, but again, login to your client software to learn more.
If the Recording LED light is off entirely, it means your system is starting up, or is not configured to record.
As mentioned, the Export LED light will remain off until such time as you are exporting video. Once you have inserted an external media device such as a USB, you should see a solid blue light, which means the recorder has detected the device. If the video is exporting properly, the light will begin to flash green to show the media transfer is in progress. You should see a solid green light once the transfer is complete.
A flashing blue light could be a sign of several things, including:
- The recorder is still preparing the media for export
- No external device has been detected, but media is waiting to be exported
- The external media device is full and a new one is needed
If you see a red Export LED, it means your media export has failed and you should try a second time. Again, login to your client software to retrieve information on errors. A failed export could occur because of file size (your USB is full or your file size is too large for the device) a bad hard drive, or you removed the USB before it finished transferring the files. You can explore possible faults with GURU, which includes more detailed information on each LED, as well as helpful tips and troubleshooting advice.
Now that you know what your NVR’s LEDs are telling you, you’ll be better equipped to address issues like hard drive failures, or camera disconnections, which are simple to fix, but can create larger headaches if not addressed in a timely manner.
Keep this blog for future reference, or consult the user guide of your 8000 Series Hybrid NVR for further information.