What do I need to record sound with an IC Realtime or Clear View system?


Most surveillance cameras don’t have a built-in microphone. Legally speaking there’s a lot to know about audio recording in surveillance, and the laws in the different US states and Canada are all different. In Canada you cannot intercept a private communication, read the criminal code section 184 to know more. However for applications where it’s legal, here’s how to do it.

First, the microphone connection differs depending if the cameras use an analog signal on coax or an IP connection. With an analog video system, the microphone needs to be connected to the DVR itself. Depending on the model, the first 4 channels, or all channels, will have a BNC audio input connector for audio recording. Unlike analog, with an IP system the audio input is on the camera itself and not on the NVR. You also need to be aware that entry-level cameras aren’t equipped with such input. You will find audio connectivity on full feature models like our IC Realtime ICIP-D2000-VIR or ICIP-B2000-VIR. Finally, these audio inputs are line level which makes direct connection of a microphone impossible. You need a microphone preamplifier. IC Realtime offers the ICR-MIC, a small 12 Volt DC powered pre-amplified condenser microphone that can be easily integrated. For better results, SFM also offers solutions based on Shure products.

The IP camera models that have audio capability also have a line level output. If you connect an amplifier and loudspeaker to it, with the ICRSS app or software you could actually talk to someone there by pressing the microphone icon on the screen interface. “Fido, get off the couch!”

Send your technical questions to custominstallation@sfm.ca and each month Mario will answer one of your questions. Dealer’s name will be held confidential.