Black Box Cams - Frequently Asked Questions

Last Updated: Nov 02, 2017 12:58PM EDT
How do I turn this device on and off?
To turn the device on, you will use the power button on the side and press and hold it for 3-4 seconds.  The light will blink green as it boots up (up to a minute).  To turn it off, you repeat those steps, the light should blink once and then go out.

My device isn’t doing motion detection? My device is only recording in motion detection? How do I change my recording settings?
In order to change the settings, you must download the required software from our site and install it onto a computer that matches the operating system.  The black box camera must be plugged into the computer while you choosing the settings you would like from the software.  The switch on the side of the device must be moved into the "Custom" position to accept the changes made in the software.  From those settings, you can change the device to either record manually or motion activation.

Where can I download the software?
You can easily download the software from the individual product page or the help article with the manual and software for each model of camera.  They all use the same BHS Cam Set-Up Tool for your convenience though. Search your camera model name in the search box on for all of the downloads.

Where is the camera lens on the Black Box Micro and the Black Box Micro HD?
On one of the ends, there is a small hole with a tiny lens in it.   This is the end that you want to point towards where you are recording.

What is FPS? What does Frame Rate mean? Why does my video look jittery and is not playing smoothly?
FPS means Frames Per Second.  In motion pictures, television, and in computer video, the frame rate is the number of frames or images that are displayed per second.  30 FPS or faster is typical for smooth video and considered to be real-time while anything below 13  will have noticeable flicker or choppiness.  The smoother the video, the larger the actual video file will be because there are more images required to show those details.  Choosing your FPS is a personal choice depending on if you want clearer, better picture or smaller files in order to have more video/available space on your micro SD card.
You can also try and copy and paste the files directly to your PC and play them from there.  Playing directly from the memory card will also be slower and can cause jumps in the videos.

Why does the video look grainy?
The quality of the video depends on a few things.  How did you set the quality in the settings?  High will make the video less grainy looking.  If the device is also recording in lower light levels and not in direct light, it will look grainy.  This is because the camera does not have IR for low light, but tries to compensate internally in the camera sensors.  The lower the light levels, the more it has to compensate, and it will affect the quality of the video. 
If you have the device set to auto-switching, to turn to black and white during low light,
this will also cause graininess in the videos due to the lack of proper light.  Try turning this feature OFF and having a light in the area with the camera for a smoother looking video.

Why is my video not playing at all or coming up with an error message?
If you are using Windows Media Player or Quicktime to play the files back, you may encounter issues.  Sometimes these media players cannot understand the language that the video is recorded in, and will either not play it at all or respond with an error message.  We highly suggest using VLC Media Player to play these files back.  You can download it for free directly from their site.  Please use this link for help on getting and using VLC Media Player
VLC For Windows -
VLC For Mac -

How do I format my memory card if it is full or causing the device to get error lights?
These videos will show you how to format your memory card for different Operating Systems.
Windows XP -
Windows 7 -
Mac -

My device appears to be freezing and not responding when I hit the power button.
On the bottom of the camera, there is a button that says reset.  Carefully using a pin, push the button that is inside that hole for about a second and release.  Wait about 10 seconds and then try to power it back on again.

What do the different colored/blinking lights mean?
On the side of the device, next to the power button, there is an LED indicator. 
Green Blinking - This indicates it is booting up, once it goes out, it will be in the chosen record mode.  This can blink for up to a minute as it boots.
Green and then Orange - This indicates that something may be wrong with the SD card.  Please check that the memory is not full.  You may need to try and format the memory card as well.
Green and then Red - This indicates that the battery may be low and needs to be charged.  Please be sure to charge the device for about 8-10 hours.  This could also mean that there is no memory card, or it is not inserted correctly.  Please check that there is a card and it is clicked all the way into place inside of the slot.

My memory card is getting full. What should I do?
There are some options.  The maximum micro SD card this device uses is 32 GB so you could always get a card with a larger capacity, but you could also set the device to enable Circular Recording.  Circular Recording is when the device is set up to start deleting the oldest recorded files on the memory to make space for a new recording.  This way you will never run out of room and you will always have access to the most recently recorded video files.

I’m unable to download or install the software.
Please make sure that you are downloading and installing the correct software for your operating system. You only need the software to change any settings on the box.  If you want to retrieve videos this will work on any computer with any operating system.  Make sure you have an extraction software such as WinZIP or WinRAR to extract the compressed software file or firmware file. 
**Please be aware that you will need to install the current firmware before you can use the Mac version of the Black Box Micro software for the Original Black Box Micro (not needed for the Micro HD or Pro HD).

Why is there no audio?
Hidden surveillance cameras aren’t allowed to have audio recordings due to wiretapping laws in the US.  You can use an audio recording device separately but it cannot contain video at the same time.  You can click this link to learn more about wiretapping -
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