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Setting Up Series QV DVRs to Issue Email Alerts
All the QV series DVRs have the ability to send out email alerts that can be triggered by the following events:  Motion Detection,  Alarm Inputs,  Hard Disk Failure,  and a Camera Being Covered.  Email alerts can be turned on/off by camera channel and can have a minimum time interval set to regulate the maximum frequency of messages sent.  It may not be seem immediately obvious, but without proper configuration it would be common for a camera set to motion detection to generate thousands of email alerts per day.  Please keep this in mind when first using this feature.

Additionally, by activating a feature called "Snapshot" , still image .JPG files can be sent with these emails as attachements.  With this cool feature you can send a picture taken with the camera at the moment the event took place that triggered the alert.  The size (D1 or CIF) and amount of image compression of snapshot images can be customized.

Important!, Need to Configure DNS Before We Begin...
It is very important to configure "DNS" under Network settings before we begin.  DNS is the mechanism that resolves/converts server names & URLs into useable IP addresses. The DVR doesn't automatically figure out the IP addresses of your Internet Service Provider's Dynamic Name Servers. You need to configure this first because the service for sending out email is going to need to convert a server name that we enter later on. Luckily, this is not hard to do with the proper guidance.  Please click here for a tuturial on DNS configuration if you haven't already completed this crucial step.  As a side note, DNS also needs to be configured in order for the DVR to interface with a DNSS (Dynamic Domain Name Service) or any server for that matter (NTP, FTP, etc.).

Get This Info Handy Before Starting
To configure the DVR so that it can send out email alerts, you are going to need the following information:

1)   SMTP server name for outgoing mail (example: smtp.gmail.com)  Note, server must support authentication.
2)   Port Number that can be used to connect to the SMTP server (common examples: 25, 587, 2525)
3)   Account Name for SMTP server (this is usually an email address, but not always)
4)   Password for SMTP server (usually the password associated the above email account)
5)  "From" Email Address (sometimes this has to be registered with the SMTP server)
6)  "To" Email Address--destination for alert messages
7)  Knowledge if SMTP server requires SSL mode or not (if absent from documentation, it's usually not)

Comments: It's important to know if you're going to need to use SSL or not for two reasons.  First, it's an option that needs to be set correctly with the DVR.  Secondly, it's often the case that a different Port number must be used that supports SSL (587 is often the port used for SSL). This should be made clear by your SMTP server documentation. However, just be aware to get the right port for your SSL status. If you have a choice between selecting SSL or not, we recommend not selecting SSL.

The SMTP server must support authentication. Generally, this means that before the server will relay an email message, it requires the account name / password in items #3 & #4.  If you're having trouble finding / figuring out what SMTP server you can use, you may get your answers from email client software you have installed on a local PC. To do this, check the "Outgoing" or "Sending" mail options or "Account Settings" of popular packages like Outlook, Thunderbird, or Eudora.  Also, you can try an internet search. For example, if your ISP is Comcast, you can try a Google search on "Comcast SMTP Port". You can also try contacting the tech support of your ISP to get this information.

Also, a FREE Gmail account can be used to relay DVR messages! Below, a real example of using Gmail will be used to show configuring the DVR.  Gmail does appear to have the disadvantage in that snapshot picture attachments seem to be blocked in an effort to prevent the transmission of spam and/or malicious software.

Step 1: Configure 'Email' Settings Under 'Network Menu':

Navigate to the Settings menu using the mouse at the DVR, and select Network, then Email in the list below:

dvr network configuration screen

Comments: Gmail requires SSL, but this is not the normal case for most SMTP servers.  To date, the author has been unable to get the snapshot feature to work with Gmail. Therefore, you may seek an alternate SMTP server to use. Your experience may be different (let WattWire know!). When a message is sent, the server calls this action a "relay". Some SMTP services put daily or monthly limits on the number of relays that can be sent for an account. When these limits are imposed, there's also usually a data transfer limits as well. It's often the case that relay limits can be increased by paying more money to the entity that owns the server. On a side note, it currently appears as though Gmail/Google does not have relay limits.

Port 25 is the most common port used for SMTP.  Some Internet Server Providers block this port.  If this is the case and you want to send snapshots (and can't get Gmail to do this), you may have to sign up with an "alternate port" SMTP sevice such as no-ip.com, authsmtp.com, or smtp.com.  However, for every DVR purchased, WattWire offers a FREE email account to its DVR customers that will allow up to 250 relays per day (supports snapshots). This account is only used for relaying and doesn't have to be the destination address for alert messages.

Important: As with all Network settings, they usually don't take effect until after the DVR has been rebooted.

Step 2: Configure the DVR to Send Email When an Event Occurs:

Example #1, Send Email when Motion is Detected:  To do this, make sure Motion Dection recording is active using "Schedule" mode (vs. Manual).  Next, bring up the Detect menu (from the Settings Menu) and set the following options indicated by the diagram below and the note explanations underneath:

dvr motion detect screen
Note #1:  Other Event Types include "Video Loss" and "Camera Masking" which tries to detect if someone covered/painted the lens.
Note #2:  Check this box to activate email sending.
Note #3:  Clearing this box would be a way to perform regular recording (24hr/day), but still have email messages sent upon event triggers.
Note #4:  Checking this box activates sending a still picture (.jpg) attachment of the camera scene at the moment the event took place.
Note #5:  Remember, each camera has to be configured individually.  Click "Save" after all cameras have been setup.


Example #2, Send Email when Hard Disk failure is Detected:  To do this, select the Advanced menu, and then the "Abnormity" icon.  Ok, Abnormity might not be a real word, but it is a pretty cool menu that allows the DVR to send email if there are hard disk problems.

DVR Hard Disk Error Screen
Note #1: Other Event Types include "Video Loss" and "Camera Masking" which tries to detect if someone covered/painted the lens.
Note #2: The drop down menu shown here is blocking a check box for the "Enable" property.  Make sure it is selected. Also note that there are other event types that can be selected. Obviously "Network Disconnection" doesn't make sense for an email alert, but it might for an alarm out which could activate a relay / alarm sensor.

Step 4 (Optional): Configure Snapshot Size & Compression Quality

The default size and image quality of Snapshots can be changed by accessing the Snapshot menu from the Encode menu. Snapshots files can also be uploaded to an FTP server at timed intervals defined within the General Settings menu. Please refer to the User Manual for details.

DVR Video Encode Screen
Note #1:  Click the Snapshot button of the Encode menu to configure the size and compression quality of the .jpg picture file attachments.
Note #2:  Leave the Snapshot Frequency and Mode default values alone (1 SPL & Trigger). If desired the image size can be increased from CIF to D1, as well as the Image Quality.

Step 5: Receive Email Alerts!

The following is a partial screen capture to show what a typical DVR email alert message will look like:

DVR Email Alert Message

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