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Bermudagrass, 3.75 acres, Arkansas
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I upgraded the security cameras on my house last year, and thought this might be worth sharing in case someone is interested. I bought all my equipment from Nelly's Security in Tulsa, Oklahoma. They have excellent customer support and fast shipping. Their house brand equipment is private labeled Hikvision - which is one of the big names in surveillance cameras worldwide. Beware of cheap gray market hardware offered by random sellers on eBay/Amazon. It may work fine, but I wanted to buy from a company who would support me after the sale if I had a problem.

NETWORK VIDEO RECORDER (NVR)

There are different ways to set up an IP camera system, but I chose to build my system around an 8-channel NVR (Network Video Recorder). It's a simple plug-and-play setup. As soon as you plug the cables into the back of the NVR, you will get video feeds up on the monitor. No IP configurations are needed for each IP camera. With minimal effort you can put the NVR on your home network so you can view footage on your computer(s), and if you want to be able to view the cameras from off site, you just open a port on your router (I haven't done this yet).


NVR models start at 4-channels, and double in size up to about 64 cameras (i.e. 4, 8, 16, 32, 64). I ordered my 8-channel NVR preloaded with (2) 4TB hard drives. Here is a simple calculator that Nelly's offers to help you figure out how much HDD space you will want. Note that if you are building your own NVR, you will want to select HDD's that are specifically engineered for surveillance systems. They are tuned for write-intensive/high stream-count applications. Examples would include the Western Digital Purple and Seagate Skyhawk Surveillance.

The NVR has (8) power over ethernet (PoE) ports - meaning all I had to do was run a single Cat 5e cable (pre-made 50 & 100ft lengths) to each camera. The LAN port is connected to my router, and I have the NVR plugged into a UPS to keep it powered up 24/7. I connected the HDMI output on the NVR to an input on my home theater receiver so I can use my TV as a monitor. I use a cheap USB wireless mouse to navigate the user interface/playback.

For viewing on my computer, I downloaded the free iVMS-4200 client software from Hikvision. It's not the most robust software I've ever used, but it gets the job done.

CAMERAS

For cameras I went with the 4MP Fixed Dome IP Cameras. These are probably overkill as 2MP sensors actually give you full 1080p, but these were only about $30 more per camera. The 4MP sensor offers 2688 x 1520 resolution. I am currently recording (6) of these 24/7 on my 8-channel NVR.


These are just some quick screen grabs from my iMac. A download from the NVR would probably look a little better, but this will give you an idea of what the image quality is like...

Front Yard


Driveway


Front Porch



Side Gate


Back Porch

 

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I have a very similar four camera setup from Reolink.

I'm not the happiest with the software but the camera's and NVR work like they should.

I pulled wire for all eight cameras when I put them up. I've added a lot of cat5 and coax to my house and I sure hate doing it. But love the final results.

Cameras are a good investment in my book.

EDIT: The fan on the Reolink NVR is rather loud in my book. I wouldn't put it in a room that you would spend much time in. Mine is tucked away in the back of the master closet so it doesn't bother me that much.
 

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I got the Lorex setup at my house. The quality of the video now is just amazing. And the Power over Ethernet made it a breeze to setup.

The only issue I had was when I saw some kids snooping on my side yard, and the side camera didn't work. Police got involved after my neighbor's cameras picked up what looked like a truck slowly driving around the neighborhood. Come to find out it was some kids hiding from a girlfriend to surprise her, and my side camera didn't work BECAUSE IT WASN'T PLUGGED IN. I pulled the wire through the attic but didn't clip the ethernet all the way into the camera lol oh well
 

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Tifgrand—7,500 sq/ft—Baroness LM56
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I too have been looking at Home Security Cameras and have mainly been looking at Lorex but just can't seem to pull the trigger. I already have the Cat 6 cable but just need to find a package that suits my needs. Thanks Ware for starting this, I hope to get some good ideas from it.
 

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I too use Foscams and have been happy with them for a few years. DFW - they should have the ability to record (mine do at least), as I can set them to motion detection, and then record video or still pictures every so often and send me an email. I can also, save the recordings to my server or a SD card. I dont use it very often but when I have, it worked well.
 

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Bermudagrass, 3.75 acres, Arkansas
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I had a Logitech Alert camera system before this. To save HDD space, I only recorded when motion was detected in key areas within each camera's FOV. It worked, but now having 8TB dedicated to 24/7 HD recording is great. I now have the ability to go back 3-4 weeks and see every vehicle that passed by on the street in front of and beside my house.
 

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I put up cameras at my house about 2 years ago and I thought I will add what I learned while doing it. Also, my boss at work liked how I had my cameras setup at my house so much that he had me order and have cameras put up at work too.

OK, like Ware, I used Hikvision. I have the HIKVISION DS-7608 8 channel POE NVR. I added a 2tb HDD myself. I have 3 bullet cameras and 1 dome. I prefer the bullet as it is easier to clean off. My dome camera is on my front porch though so nobody can point it away from the door. I also ordered a few of them with the 2.8mm lens to get a wider angle. I didn't go through a dealer like he did but I bought off Amazon from a US dealer that sells US based cameras (no brown box). I also bought bulk Cat5e cable and ran it myself and cut the lengths needed which can save a lot of money over preset lengths and not waste cable.

I saw a few people mention Lorex cameras. I wanted to add that if you choose to get a Lorex NVR, they are proprietary, you can only use Lorex cameras. The same goes with Lorex cameras, they cannot be used on another NVR. If you want cameras and an NVR that is compatible with other brands look for something with ONVIF. My Hikvision NRV can take any brand camera that has ONVIF.

I went a different route than Ware in my recording, I started out doing 24/7 recording but found it a waste of space. If you do 24/7 recording, you might want to look at cameras/NVRs that allow you to setup smart events. You can add Line Crossing detection, region exiting detection, license plate detection, etc. With 24/7 recording, you have to know that something happened to then go back and look at it and try to find it. I record motion only with the sensitivity turned up. If i want to review a day, I can pull it up either on the NVR conected to a monitor or on the web interface and play it at 2x or 4x and see a whole day in 5 minutes. I have 4 cameras and I'm recording in 1080p on motion with a 2tb HDD and I go back about 2 months. (note that where I live at night, it almost constantly records because of the amount of bugs flying right by the cameras). This is a personal choice but I found that if you record motion only, you can find a lot more things happen at your house because of the ease of reviewing each day.

Lastly, I did setup the cameras for remote viewing. If you choose to do this, there are plenty of youtube videos that can help you. My home internet is so slow that it is painful to playback on the app. I can view live with no problem but at least i can do that. There have been times while on vacation that I have used playback to check on the house, but again my home internet is SOOO slow that its almost painful to do.

I also agree about the fan noise comment, I have a media closet off my man cave so noise isnt a problem. If you are putting it somewhere know the fan it noisy and runs nonstop.

You can also run these through your computer instead of an NRV using programs like Blue Iris. I personally preferred the NVR. But if you have a spare computer with plenty of storage space, you can setup Blue Iris on there.

If I can think of anything else I'll come back and add it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Red Cup said:
...I also bought bulk Cat5e cable and ran it myself and cut the lengths needed which can save a lot of money over preset lengths and not waste cable.
Good call. The 100ft Cat5e's are about $9ea on Amazon.

Red Cup said:
I went a different route than Ware in my recording, I started out doing 24/7 recording but found it a waste of space. If you do 24/7 recording, you might want to look at cameras/NVRs that allow you to setup smart events. You can add Line Crossing detection, region exiting detection, license plate detection, etc. With 24/7 recording, you have to know that something happened to then go back and look at it and try to find it. I record motion only with the sensitivity turned up. If i want to review a day, I can pull it up either on the NVR conected to a monitor or on the web interface and play it at 2x or 4x and see a whole day in 5 minutes. I have 4 cameras and I'm recording in 1080p on motion with a 2tb HDD and I go back about 2 months. (note that where I live at night, it almost constantly records because of the amount of bugs flying right by the cameras). This is a personal choice but I found that if you record motion only, you can find a lot more things happen at your house because of the ease of reviewing each day.
Also makes perfect sense, although I'm pretty sure I can go back and watch motion events only for any given day in the iVMS-4200 software. The main reason I went to 24/7 was to record all activity on the two streets next to my house. The last time I used it was actually to help get a description of the car someone drove into our subdivision early one morning to burglarize a couple vehicles. With my old system I was only recording motion events on my property, so I would not have been able to provide that.

Just for reference, I looked at my NVR and I can still see motion events from the morning of March 8, so it looks like I'm getting about 37 days of 24/7 footage with 6 cameras and 8TB of storage.

Red Cup said:
You can also run these through your computer instead of an NRV using programs like Blue Iris. I personally preferred the NVR. But if you have a spare computer with plenty of storage space, you can setup Blue Iris on there.
I would emphasize the word spare here. I think once you get more than a few cameras, it can become a real CPU hog.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
MarkV said:
EDIT: The fan on the Reolink NVR is rather loud in my book. I wouldn't put it in a room that you would spend much time in. Mine is tucked away in the back of the master closet so it doesn't bother me that much.
Same here. The fan on my NVR is not "silent".
 

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you fellas got to up your game. Avigilon has a 7k camera out now. it's pretty amazing!! I have laid and out help design some stadiums cctv cameras a few years that you would know and we used Avigilon products and software. It is the Bugatti of the video world. bring your wallet when come.

https://youtu.be/M8oQuZQWikA
 

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@TigerinFL holy cow, that's a pretty amazing camera. I can see if I had the need for a high-security system that would be nice to have that option. For residential systems, I was thinking that the systems that @Uemixyli mentioned would be decent, as having something is better than nothing. I've considered piecing together the system for NAS storage, using Blue Iris, but I haven't ventured any further than that. Too many other projects that require my $$ right now.
 

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I hear ya! For residential that is way overkill. Avigilon is very heavy into the analytics which does serve a purpose. It makes searches much easier. Want to look for a specific vehicle color? They can do it. Want to know when a car comes down the wrong way? It can be accomplished. Their thermal cameras are the bomb.

Personally I'd look into the private label Hikvison stuff. They used to sell some pretty decent commercial cameras. Just be aware of the gray market stuff that is out there. :thumbup:
 
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